Monday, May 04, 2009

Sign of the times?

Found today in my junk mail folder:
Interpreter/Tranaslator Companies: Get paid within 24 hours on all your commercial account invoices.
Are you waiting too long for your commercial customers to pay you?
Apparently an offer from a credit collection company, or (more likely) just a scam. But I had not seen one aimed specifically at our industry, before.

I'm certainly not going to use the services of someone who sent an unsolicited e-mail just like that, but, for those of us who dislike having to ask our customers to pay overdue invoices, it is a useful reminder: this is not the time to let our customers fall behind in payments.


  1. It's odd: we translators often complain about slow payments, so one could have expected credit collection companies to discover the needs of our niche market sooner.

    Peter Motte, English/French to Dutch

  2. I don't know. I invoice most clients once or twice a year, because it takes up too much potential earning time to do otherwise. Most pay up within 1-3 months, some within 3-9 months. In the meantime, other payments come in, so I just suck out whatever is there in the company account. Have been working like this for 5 years now and find no real problems with cash flow so I'm not going to waste even more admin time niggling clients about late payments.

  3. Received the same e-mail. As I understand it, invoice factoring (which is what they were offering) is quite common in many industries in order to keep up the cash flow in the face of long-ish payment terms for receivables. They are not a collection agency, and if one had a lot of delinquent clients, I doubt that they would continue to offer their services. But I do agree with Riccardo: Don't let customers fall behind in their payments, and unsolicited e-mail is probably not the best source for business services.

  4. Interesting stuff. You just reminded me: sadly enough, we just sent our first client ever to collections -- and we didn't go with someone who sent us an unsolicited e-mail (not surprisingly). We went with D&B as suggested by the American Translators Association, and are hoping for a quick resolution, although it is not looking good.

    We invoice customers as soon as we turn in the project. To save the planet and speed up the process, we invoice via e-mail and send PDFs. Most of our customers have stated that they like getting the invoice right away so their accounting is up-to-date.


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