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Poll: How soon after delivery do you bill your customer?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 04:23
SITE STAFF
Mar 28, 2007

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How soon after delivery do you bill your customer?".

This poll was originally submitted by Mikael Adolfsson

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Riccardo Schiaffino  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:23
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
Normally once a month Mar 28, 2007

Normally once a month, a cumulative invoice for all work done for each customer during that month.

Some customer have different requirements (e.g., invoices for individual projects), and we normally try to accommodate them.


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vixen  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 14:23
Member (2002)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Depends Mar 28, 2007

I do a lot of work for one particular client and invoice this client twice a month. If there are only a few smaller jobs, I invoice them at the end of the month.

I try to send out invoices for other clients/jobs within a few days after completing the job, but if I'm very busy I will invoice them at the end of the month.


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 12:23
Dutch to English
+ ...
Month-end Mar 28, 2007

I'd say 90 - 95% of my work is from repeat clients who often send me a number of jobs each week, so I find it easier to send specified invoices at month-end, payable strictly within 30 days. It's also easier for me to do personal financial planning with bulk amounts coming in, rather than dealing with dribs and drabs.

I set my own payment terms (yes, even in Portugal) and don't change them to accommodate clients. At this stage of my career I fortunately don't need to accept longer terms and act as a interest-free loan facility for undercapitalized agencies/end-clients.

I invoice new clients immediately when I deliver the job and switch over to my monthly system once I'm happy about their payment practices.

Large projects are billed once a month as progress payments.

I set aside the morning of the last working day of the month for invoicing. If clients see you're serious and organised, they are less likely to drag their heels when it comes to payment. Birds of a feather, as they say.

Luckily I've only had one problem payer since moving to Portugal at the end of 2001. Admittedly, being a lawyer helped in that department

[Edited at 2007-03-28 20:49]


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jokerman
Germany
Local time: 13:23
English to German
+ ...
whenever I get some time Mar 28, 2007

the last bunch I sent was end of december 2006, haven't manage to write any ever since.

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Szymon Metkowski  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 13:23
Member (2006)
German to Polish
+ ...
Usualy at the end of the month Mar 28, 2007

There are however two exceptions. I always bill new clients and large projects on the delivery day.

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John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:23
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Mar 28, 2007

The in-house work I do has to be billed between the 20th and 25th of the month (company policy). Anything else I bill is when I get around to it. I HATE preparing invoices!!

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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:23
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
No entitlement to invoice in Germany more than a month later Mar 28, 2007

jokerman wrote:

the last bunch I sent was end of december 2006, haven't manage to write any ever since.



As far as I know, there is a rule in Germany that invoices have to be issued within a month, and after that date you lose your entitlement to issue an invoice for the job concerned.

Astrid

P.S. Looks like I am unusual in automatically sending the invoice together with each translation.

[Edited at 2007-03-28 22:22]


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:23
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
End of the month Mar 28, 2007

It's hard to set a mid-month cut-off.

This used to be easier. Now the end of the month is becoming a purely administrative workday.


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Cecilia Civetta  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 13:23
Member (2003)
Italian to Spanish
+ ...
End of the month Mar 28, 2007

Now I see why freelancers often complain about wasting too much time on administrative tasks. So far, almost 60% have voted same day/same week.
If I had to issue an invoice for each and every single job I do, I think most of my day would go in administrative work (which I hate). I write only one cumulative invoice per client at the end of the month, which makes things much easier for me and for them!


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Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 17:53
Member (2006)
English to Hindi
+ ...
Invoice and finished job go out together Mar 29, 2007

I seem to be an exception here, for each finished translation that I send to my client, even if it is for less than a dollar, is accompanied by a full invoice containing all payment details.

Thanks to Translation Office, this is little or no additional demand on my time.

For some regular clients I also send monthly invoices, but this is in addition to the invoices for the individual jobs of the month that according to my practice go out along with the translated material for each job.


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Erik Hansson  Identity Verified
Germany
Member (2002)
Swedish
+ ...
Same day Mar 29, 2007

I normally send out the invoice on the delivery day. Fast invoicing seems to reduce the time between the reception of invoice and payment day. A supplier sending out the invoice some weeks after delivery might give the impression that quick payment is not the highest priority, which might lead to late payment.

Cumulative invoices can however be a good idea if you have many small jobs for the same client and invoicing for each of them would take too much time.

But seen from a business perspective, late invoicing is simply to give away money as the client has received the delivery and is now working with your money. I don't see any reason for us to expand the waiting period anylonger.

By the way: haven't we discussed this topic already?

Erik


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Iza Szczypka  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:23
English to Polish
+ ...
I missed the "It depends" option badly Mar 29, 2007

I am a sworn translator, so I voted "same day" as it is standard with small clients (individuals), who would otherwise disappear without payment. Still, those clients do not make the bulk of my work, even though they are most numerous in absolute numbers.
With agencies, it depends again. In case of two agencies I invoice when a reasonable value threshold is reached, which usually is end of month, but can be 1.5 months with slower turnover or 2 weeks if I am short of cash. The general agreement is "we'll pay whenever it suits you, but please mind our banking costs" - how nice of them
With another agency, we decided to close every job with an invoice even though they pay monthly, just to have some order in the books. They offer jobs of at least 10,000 words split into several files, so closing jobs in this way seemed most reasonable.
So it really depends on individual arrangements ...


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:23
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
With the work - indeed, my favourite task ... Mar 29, 2007

Balasubramaniam wrote:

I seem to be an exception here, for each finished translation that I send to my client, even if it is for less than a dollar, is accompanied by a full invoice containing all payment details.

Thanks to Translation Office, this is little or no additional demand on my time.

For some regular clients I also send monthly invoices, but this is in addition to the invoices for the individual jobs of the month that according to my practice go out along with the translated material for each job.


Hullo Balasubramaniam,
No, your'e not such an exception! Like you and Astrid, I usually email my invoice with the work, indeed, it's my favourite task and takes very little time - it's got to be done sooner or later, after all. (I've made a template invoice for each client). A few clients prefer me to wait until the end of the month and send a monthly invoice detailing all the jobs I've done for them that month. Then on the last day of the month I send a monthly statement to each client by post. This helps me keep my books in order and also serves as a reminder to the client.
It amazes me that some colleagues say they find this such an arduous task. It's easy enough if you keep templates of invoices and statements.
Best wishes,
Jenny.


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E Perret
Switzerland
Local time: 13:23
German to English
Depends on customer Mar 29, 2007

Some customers insist on receiving a monthly bill, while others prefer me to send them a bill with each job.

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