Thanks to all of you who are sharing in this wonderful freelance revolution. As we reach for higher standards of professionalism, I ask that you observe these rules when invoicing me for your services. We can make the paperwork a lot less onerous by following what I have outlined below. Thanks again for all your help and vive la revolution!
Andrea K. Smith
PO Box 845
Severn, MD 21144-0845
Please be sure to include all of the following information. Invoices submitted with missing data will be delayed until I have time to devote to negotiating a correction with you.
- Date, location, start and end times, and a description of event.
- The name of the deaf consumer is not required. Please do not include this information on the invoice.
- A unique invoice number. This is a basic accounting rule and I legally cannot pay you without a unique number. Please do not put an invoice number for each individual job submitted on a single form. The invoice number is for the entire form and I can only pay one number per piece of paper that I have to claim against a remittance check.
- Your Taxpayer Identification Number (SSN or EIN).
- Quantity of hours worked, the agreed rate per hour and the total amount due. Please do not bill me for reimbursable expenses (mileage, parking, etc.) as those are never a part of my billing contracts and I cannot pass them through to the client. If you would like more information on why you should be deducting these from your taxes, please ask.
- Do not bill me for an initial fees. Initial fees are designed to defray the cost of the business overhead. As the primary contractor, I am the one responsible for all of the business expenses. When I work for you, I will return this courtesy. You may negotiate an hourly rate with me accordingly.
- Billing is in 15-minute increments.
- Please remember to include your name, address, phone number, and email address. I will need all of this information to process payments and for your tax forms at the end of the year.
Submitting the Invoice
- If this is your first time invoicing me, please submit a signed and dated W-9 form. I cannot process your payment until I have received this form from you.
- I maintain a paperless office whenever possible. Please do not submit hard copies unless specifically requested. Please email your invoices in a non-writeable format, such as PDF or JPEG to email@example.com. Please note: .doc and .docx formats are not acceptable formats.
- Please try to combine assignments on invoices. Sending me an invoice for each individual assignment greatly increases my overhead and increases the chances that mistakes will be made in handling your invoice.
- If you are late or the assignment goes longer than the originally agreed upon end time, tell me immediately by email. I will not re-bill assignments to the clients after receiving an invoice with unexpected times and I don't want you to have to eat the lost time. Late arrivals and overtime are both calculated at 15-minute increments. Please note: "Late" means your eyes met the consumers' more than 2-3 minutes after the scheduled start time. It is your responsibility to calculate enough time for traffic and security procedures. Please dock your time accordingly.
- Invoices will be processed for payment 30 days after I receive them. I will respect due dates on your invoices, but will adjust accordingly if you delay in actually sending the invoice to me. If there is an error that requires you to send me a corrected invoice, please update the invoice due dates accordingly.
- I use an on-line payment system that works like direct deposit without me ever having to see your account information. This service is called POP Money. You will need to sign up and fill out your information once. Subsequent payments will be delivered automatically and you will be notified via email that the payment has processed. If you require an alternate form of payment, please notify me up front. I will deduct a $5 service fee from your invoice for any payments required in check form, cash, or money order.
- Please bill only the rates that we agreed upon.
- I will mail the required 1099 by the IRS due date. If you would like to check the amount of your 1099, please feel free to send me an email with the amount you are expecting and I can confirm that. However, please do not ping me for the 1099 itself until the IRS due date has passed.
- Please do not discuss billing or payment with the clients. Very often, the people you see are not the people who are responsible for negotiating prices or handling paperwork.