Forums > Digital Art and Retouching > Need advice on late/non consistent payment.

Retoucher

nebulaoperator

Posts: 344

London, England, United Kingdom

Hi,

Recently I came across the client a quiet big company that I retouch for. The trouble is they tend to delay the payments though I was given days of the week they they commited  to pay me on time. Let's say on Monday I've been told I get paid on Tuesday and I get paid only week later. It's annoying as I don't know were I stand financially. I was wondering how you deal in situations like that? Is there a way to do some sort of on time payment agreement between to parties? Many thanks.

Mar 19 13 05:35 am Link

Photographer

pullins photography

Posts: 5879

Troy, Michigan, US

nebulaoperator wrote:
Hi,

Recently I came across the client a quiet big company that I retouch for. The trouble is they tend to delay the payments though I was given days of the week they they commited  to pay me on time. Let's say on Monday I've been told I get paid on Tuesday and I get paid only week later. It's annoying as I don't know were I stand financially. I was wondering how you deal in situations like that? Is there a way to do some sort of on time payment agreement between to parties? Many thanks.

be patient, get your money, then dump them as a client...they have money problems

Mar 19 13 05:46 am Link

Photographer

Loki Studio

Posts: 3132

Royal Oak, Michigan, US

A few strategies:

1) Have a frank talk with your client contact.  Sometimes your client contact may not be aware of the delays.
2) Offer them a discount if they pay early/on time.
3) Cap the amount of work you will do for them until they are paid in full.
4) Raise your rates to cover the delays in payments.

Mar 19 13 05:52 am Link

Photographer

Bob Helm Photography

Posts: 18220

Cherry Hill, New Jersey, US

Loki Studio wrote:
A few strategies:

1) Have a frank talk with your client contact.  Sometimes your client contact may not be aware of the delays.
2) Offer them a discount if they pay early/on time.
3) Cap the amount of work you will do for them until they are paid in full.
4) Raise your rates to cover the delays in payments.

That covers it.
If they are just lazy or slow give them an incentive (discount) or raise your prices.

Give them a low credit limit.

To many late pay is measured in months, not days.

Mar 19 13 05:56 am Link

Photographer

Azimuth Arts

Posts: 1490

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

nebulaoperator wrote:
Hi,

Recently I came across the client a quiet big company that I retouch for. The trouble is they tend to delay the payments though I was given days of the week they they commited  to pay me on time. Let's say on Monday I've been told I get paid on Tuesday and I get paid only week later. It's annoying as I don't know were I stand financially. I was wondering how you deal in situations like that? Is there a way to do some sort of on time payment agreement between to parties? Many thanks.

If your problem is you are working for a large company and they pay you a week after you did the work count yourself lucky.  Most large companies I have ever worked for in a variety of fields usually pay 30-90 days after the invoice is submitted.

I understand wanting to be paid when the work is done for smaller companies or independent photographers, but frankly for any company with 25 or more employees the accounting procedures alone usually make it very difficult to pay on a daily basis.

If you are getting regular work from this company I'd cut them some slack.  Establish a reasonable time to get paid (whether it is a week or a month after the invoice is submitted) and get them to agree to it.  If they keep pushing out the payment dates perhaps then it is time to fire them as a client.

Just my $0.02

Mar 19 13 05:56 am Link

Retoucher

Ken Fournelle

Posts: 99

Saint Paul, Minnesota, US

Really?  You have to wait a whole week?

Mar 19 13 07:04 am Link

Retoucher

Avilio

Posts: 57

Tegucigalpa, Distrito Central, Honduras

I think there´s no problem if a big or small company says clearly to you that they will pay you until 2 months, the problem is they say you one date and is not true, then you start to scare.

Mar 19 13 07:43 am Link

Photographer

dottore della peste

Posts: 232

Los Angeles, California, US

Three words...

Late
Payment
Fee

Mar 19 13 08:28 am Link

Retoucher

nebulaoperator

Posts: 344

London, England, United Kingdom

Avilio wrote:
I think there´s no problem if a big or small company says clearly to you that they will pay you until 2 months, the problem is they say you one date and is not true, then you start to scare.

That is exactly how I see this situation. I don't mind waiting month or so I need people to stick to they word.

Loki Studio wrote:
A few strategies:

1) Have a frank talk with your client contact.  Sometimes your client contact may not be aware of the delays.
2) Offer them a discount if they pay early/on time.
3) Cap the amount of work you will do for them until they are paid in full.
4) Raise your rates to cover the delays in payments.

I have spoken to them regarding that but it ends up ,,accountants didn't get back to me sort of that talk,, To cap the work is good idea I like it. Thanks

Robert Helm wrote:
To many late pay is measured in months, not days.

No one likes delays smile Especially when it comes to retouching though.

Azimuth Arts wrote:
If you are getting regular work from this company I'd cut them some slack.  Establish a reasonable time to get paid (whether it is a week or a month after the invoice is submitted) and get them to agree to it.  If they keep pushing out the payment dates perhaps then it is time to fire them as a client.

Just my $0.02

Do you have in mind some written agreement ? I was thinking about one but not sure if this is common practice in industry .

Mar 19 13 08:41 am Link

Retoucher

alberta86

Posts: 64

Orlando, Florida, US

nebulaoperator wrote:
Do you have in mind some written agreement ? I was thinking about one but not sure if this is common practice in industry .

Written agreements are essential in business no matter the field of work.  It makes things easier in case you have to go to court.  Decide what your terms and penalties are and have a lawyer help you draft one up.

Before performing work for a new client, they will have to agree to your terms for late and non-payments, etc.  I have also found that with written agreements, people tend to respect you more as a professional.  It's the best way to protect yourself.

Mar 19 13 09:40 am Link

Retoucher

Kristiana-Retouch

Posts: 289

London, England, United Kingdom

I agree working with large company's can be a bit frustrating. Most common thing is that payments are made by accountant an if they won't like something in papers or won't be absolutely sure how to define payment to you or something else, they will pass your payment till next time... And next time is usually once a week when they make payments again hmm
My experience comes from my business in Europe.

I usually keep that in mind and don't relay on their payment terms. In my mind I add 2 weeks to payment term big_smile It works for me.

Mar 19 13 10:35 am Link

Photographer

richy01

Posts: 153

Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands

Try delivering after receiving payment or on delivery...

Mar 19 13 10:40 am Link

Photographer

J O H N A L L A N

Posts: 10896

San Pedro, California, US

- Change your future invoice terms to "Due upon receipt"

- Add an interest penalty for say 60 days overdue in your invoice terms

- Talk to the company's payables department directly as opposed to your client contact. They can give a more accurate timeframe.

- Be patient

Mar 19 13 10:43 am Link

Photographer

Azimuth Arts

Posts: 1490

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Azimuth Arts wrote:
If you are getting regular work from this company I'd cut them some slack.  Establish a reasonable time to get paid (whether it is a week or a month after the invoice is submitted) and get them to agree to it.  If they keep pushing out the payment dates perhaps then it is time to fire them as a client.

Just my $0.02

nebulaoperator wrote:
Do you have in mind some written agreement ? I was thinking about one but not sure if this is common practice in industry .

No so much a formal written agreement per se, but indicating on your invoice a due date, and a penalty for missing the date.  You can mention this to the person you are directly dealing with by email.  But keep in mind that when you leverage late fees clients will not be happy.  You need to decide what is most important to you - the regular business or making an extra few dollars if they go over the 30 day payment period.

Keep in mind that some businesses would simply rather find a vendor that will work on their payment terms than deal with the hassles of having to pay someone quickly.  Also, the person asking you to do the work probably has no idea how the accounting department handles invoices.  Of course, they should not make promises they can't keep, but be realistic about the type of company you are doing business with.  Generally the larger the business, the longer it takes to pay, especially when the invoice is for a small amount.

It's not necessarily fair, but a reality of how most corporations do business.  You can set your terms, but be prepared for the client to say no thanks, and find someone who will.

Just my $0.02

Mar 19 13 11:09 am Link

Photographer

KMP

Posts: 4834

Houston, Texas, US

richy01 wrote:
Try delivering after receiving payment or on delivery...

Large companies are like a huge slug when it comes to getting paid. 
It's not uncommon to get a voice message and never really get to speak to a person.

You may ask that your client, sign an agreement that states usage and all sorts of things that are laid out and one of them is how payment must be within a certain time period or late fees and interest may occur.

I getting someone actually in the accounting area is hard but the best way to get a real idea of what might get paid, when.   My clients aren't always given nor can give a realistic idea.   I get further with honey than vinegar..as they say.

You'll have to check with an accountant or lawyer but as I understood it, I could charge up to 2% penalty without any specific agreement and quite a bit more if they signed an agreement to more.

All my invoices state Due Upon Receipt.   
I normally get paid within 10-30 days.

Mar 19 13 12:36 pm Link

Photographer

KMP

Posts: 4834

Houston, Texas, US

DP

Mar 19 13 12:38 pm Link

Photographer

Light and Lens Studio

Posts: 1925

Sisters, Oregon, US

Do you have a cousin "Guido" that can encourage them to pay.  Actually, though, if you are getting paid within 30 days that's pretty good.  You aren't dealing with e-Bay here.

Mar 19 13 12:54 pm Link

Photographer

Leonard Gee Photography

Posts: 16718

Sacramento, California, US

nebulaoperator wrote:
Let's say on Monday I've been told I get paid on Tuesday and I get paid only week later. It's annoying as I don't know were I stand financially. I was wondering how you deal in situations like that?

A one week delay and you "don't know where I stand financially"? This has to be a joke. If you don't know that from week to week, you are in serious trouble. Get a accountant.

Big companies. The boss, when they pay, issue a pay request on the invoice. The invoice goes to accounts payable. They put it in the "pay" stack. The checks get printed at the end of their working cycle. It goes to the mail room and into the mail. That could well take a week from the time the "pay" cycle started. Normal business practice.

With big companies, when I need it quick, they are told to please expedite and send out the check that day. Or I tell them I will pick it up. Then they know and it bypasses the regular cycle.

Mar 20 13 11:28 am Link

Retoucher

Michael Jovani

Posts: 39

Pasadena, California, US

How do you get paid? Personal check? Printed company check? Electronically?

I work in accounts payable for a large engineering firm in Los Angeles. At my company, if we receive an invoice on Monday, we have a 72 hour window to get it entered into the system for scheduled payment. We only have check cutting days on Tuesday and Thursday. If it gets entered on, say, a Wednesday it won't get picked up for a check run until Thursday and usually they get sent out the day after printing. Give or take a few days for delivery and you're looking at at LEAST 7 business days and that's if we process the invoice asap. The same applies for our wires/electronic payments. A week is not too bad but I suppose it matters on the size of this company's payables department and their current workload. Hope this helps a bit.

Michael

Mar 20 13 11:18 pm Link

Retoucher

The Invisible Touch

Posts: 736

Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain

pullins photography wrote:
be patient, get your money, then dump them as a client...they have money problems

What would you do if unfortunately all your clients were paying late...?? Dump them??

Mar 21 13 10:58 am Link

Retoucher

The Invisible Touch

Posts: 736

Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain

Azimuth Arts wrote:
If your problem is you are working for a large company and they pay you a week after you did the work count yourself lucky.  Most large companies I have ever worked for in a variety of fields usually pay 30-90 days after the invoice is submitted

This!! Every company deals with invoicing in a completely different way, some take longer than others!!

Mar 21 13 11:00 am Link

Photographer

Marin Photography NYC

Posts: 7319

New York, New York, US

Take their money. Waiting a week isn't so bad. I worked for a large corporation and any contracted work usually took weeks to pay them. We had over 100,00 employees to deal with. It usually took 90 days to pay an invoice. The electric bill was paid every six months! Not a money problem, it's an endless paper trail and red tape with an approval process that takes a long time to prevent theft. They watch every penny! One cent off and the shit hits the fan!...

Mar 21 13 11:12 am Link

Photographer

Stickgunner

Posts: 85

Medford, Oregon, US

pullins photography wrote:
be patient, get your money, then dump them as a client...they have money problems

How many multi million dollar clients do you have?   I have a few, and can tell you that you are way off the mark. I've got some that I can finish a project and get paid in a week or two, and others that take a few months.  If you can't accept that as part of the work, don't play with the larger clients.  I've got some clients where I have a check coming in monthly, and I don't call or get concerned if its a week or two late.  If we hit the three week part I'll call, but only because I'm concerned it may have gotten lost in the mail. 

If the OP has a large client that they are doing steady business with, the answer is NOT to dump them, it is to get used to things and be a productive part of THEIR program.  There are very few people who can not be replaced. Rocking the boat and complaining all the time is a good way to find out exactly how replaceable you are.

Mar 22 13 12:15 am Link

Retoucher

nebulaoperator

Posts: 344

London, England, United Kingdom

Leonard Gee Photography wrote:
A one week delay and you "don't know where I stand financially"? This has to be a joke.

Dead serious.Do you want another joke?

Mar 22 13 05:27 am Link

Retoucher

nebulaoperator

Posts: 344

London, England, United Kingdom

Thank you everyone. So much learned from you guys! It's just...I have never had a big company to work with and usually was paid before work in advance or right after project. Some one told me here to be sensible with them so I was . I asked them to let me know how it works with them and what to expect. A couple days later things been clarified and  I know what to expect from now on.

Indeed, large companies are like a giant slug. For now I am sorted. Everybody is welcome to use this thread! Cheers smile

Mar 22 13 05:38 am Link

Photographer

terrysphotocountry

Posts: 4272

Rochester, New York, US

Normally company's pay there bills with in 30 days, once a month etc. You should find out what the bill paying policies are in advance. You can also add to you bill that this bill must be paid with in 30 days for a 10% discount. Just make sure your price compensates for you providing a 10% discount.

Mar 22 13 05:53 am Link

Photographer

richy01

Posts: 153

Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands

nebulaoperator wrote:
Thank you everyone. So much learned from you guys! It's just...I have never had a big company to work with and usually was paid before work in advance or right after project. Some one told me here to be sensible with them so I was . I asked them to let me know how it works with them and what to expect. A couple days later things been clarified and  I know what to expect from now on.

Indeed, large companies are like a giant slug. For now I am sorted. Everybody is welcome to use this thread! Cheers smile

Really like to know what you are to expect from the company...how do they work?

Mar 22 13 06:50 am Link

Photographer

Stickgunner

Posts: 85

Medford, Oregon, US

It sounds like there is a lot less stress for you now, that is great news.  Typically, the longer you work with a client, the more in tune you get with them.

Mar 22 13 10:59 am Link

Retoucher

The Invisible Touch

Posts: 736

Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain

richy01 wrote:

Really like to know what you are to expect from the company...how do they work?

As state above... every "big" company works in a completely different way from each other. It is hard to say what procedure they follow as all of them they use different accounting policies/systems!! In my experience is up to you to adjust to them and make sure you state in your invoices "due on receipt" rather than 30/60/90 days although even this doesn't guaranty immediate payment. Although some companies will pay within a week so many other ones won't. I hope this helps!!

Mar 22 13 11:11 am Link

Photographer

TampaFoto

Posts: 668

Tampa, Florida, US

If your getting paid whats owed to you just delayed a few days hell even weeks be glad your getting paid at all and do not mess up a good thing.

Mar 22 13 11:12 am Link

Photographer

GCobb Photography

Posts: 15898

Southaven, Mississippi, US

It really depends on the company, how big they are, when they do payables, etc.

Give them a 10% net 15 or something.  If you're not giving them an actual invoice that could be an issue too.

Mar 22 13 11:15 am Link

Photographer

kl-photographics

Posts: 296

Lemgo, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

working with real companies is 30 days payment. after that late pay fee. with pvt clients i just work payment / photos. i also can deal with the statement that i get my money in two months, but when they don't stick to their word i get mad. once i broke the dvd in front of the client n have it thrown on his desk. just keep the disk it's on me. bye

Mar 22 13 11:22 am Link

Retoucher

The Invisible Touch

Posts: 736

Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain

kl-photographics wrote:
but when they don't stick to their word i get mad. once i broke the dvd in front of the client n have it thrown on his desk. just keep the disk it's on me. bye

Wow!! That's worrying... how many clients you've got left??

Mar 22 13 11:29 am Link

Photographer

Chuckarelei

Posts: 9732

Seattle, Washington, US

The bigger the clients, the longer it takes them to pay. That's just how it is.

Don't like it, either drop them or they will drop you. Big time clients with big $ don't have to worry about finding a service provider.

Mar 22 13 11:37 am Link

Photographer

kl-photographics

Posts: 296

Lemgo, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

The Invisible Touch wrote:

Wow!! That's worrying... how many clients you've got left??

haha u know, not even that one. one day later he called, apologized for the delayance, asked to come by with a new dvd, n added 50 bucks for the extra disks to the check. i admit i was very surprised, but sometimes u just have to stand up for urself. u have to put a limit, even to client. client is king but im not the court jester.

Mar 22 13 12:27 pm Link

Retoucher

Mike Needham Retouching

Posts: 369

Cheltenham, England, United Kingdom

kl-photographics wrote:

haha u know, not even that one. one day later he called, apologized for the delayance, asked to come by with a new dvd, n added 50 bucks...

I want to live in this world, but I don't.

Mar 22 13 05:58 pm Link

Photographer

John Horwitz

Posts: 2918

Raleigh, North Carolina, US

C.O.D.

Mar 22 13 06:32 pm Link

Photographer

kl-photographics

Posts: 296

Lemgo, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Mike Needham Retouching wrote:

I want to live in this world, but I don't.

just come to mexico, here u will see a lot weird shit. it sounds unbelievable but this story is true. i also thought i would never hear from that guy again, but now he really likes me. i'm working once or twice for him each month now. always getting paid upfront now. once after some tequilas he told me, u know u r a god damned german motherfucker, but u have balls. all the others r just coming to suck my dick, when they r waiting for their money. i like that u r talking straight to me like a man. i will never pay those putos, who cannot stand up for themselves n their business. we had another tequila n i keep working with him. maybe i was very lucky, but as i said i'm not the jester of my clients.

Mar 22 13 09:32 pm Link

Retoucher

The Invisible Touch

Posts: 736

Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain

Not sure in Mexico but in my world that's unprofessional!!

This is a crazy world so it is!!! :-)

Mar 23 13 02:33 am Link

Photographer

kl-photographics

Posts: 296

Lemgo, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

The Invisible Touch wrote:
Not sure in Mexico but in my world that's unprofessional!!

This is a crazy world so it is!!! :-)

don't worry in ur world u r also driving on the wrong side of the road. or is it maybe almost all the rest of the world that is wrong? ;-)

Mar 26 13 10:28 pm Link