Sunday, 16 October 2011

Invoices

I hate writing invoices. As a freelance Chinese to English translator, I have to write invoices for each individual job I do. This month I've already written more than 10 invoices. I thought about adopting another on-line solution such as Fresh Books, and I did some research into the possibility.

So the first thing I needed to know was, how much time do I spend writing invoices. That was easy enough to determine. I took an average over 10 invoices and discovered that they take "x" minutes each (I don't want to give out the exact number due to client confidentiality agreements).

Next step would to work out the cost of doing the same using a website. I logged onto the website for Fresh Books one of the many online companies with similiar services. Next step was to look through the pricing and try to work out the cost for sending an invoice. With the websites, the initial time would be rather high, but once it was up and running, the main costs would just be fees. Let's call that price "y".

So now comes the easy maths. If x is more than y, then it would be worth my time to move to y. And x was considerably less than y. In fact I did some work and found that in order to justify paying even the just the fees (not taking into account the time and trouble to log on etc). I would need something like 30-50 invoices per month.

My conclusion is that at this point, using a website to do my invoicing would save time, make my life easier, and allow me to focus more on my work, but since the main reason I'm not earning more money is a lack of clients (ideally I'd have work to do for 8 hours every day all year round), rather than a lack of time, it's not worth doing anything like that at this point.

Other translator's I've spoken to usually do their own invoicing as I do. Some use a bookkeeper. I think it depends on the language combination. Germans/French/Spanish/Italian etc seem to get as much work as they can handle, so it might be worth doing it for them. More unusual languages like Chinese will mostly have at least a few hours per week to catch up with their invoicing for free. Link

4 comments:

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Gorazd Spajzer said...
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Gorazd Spajzer said...
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