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ProZ.com frequently asked questions


Invoicing

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  • 1 - What is ProZ.com invoicing for translators?

    ProZ.com invoicing for translators is a tool to help language professionals easily create, send, and track invoices online. More information about the invoicing tool is available here: http://proz.com/invoicing


  • 2 - Who can use the invoicing tool?

    ProZ.com full members can use the tool to create and send an unlimited number of invoices. Non-members can create up to five invoices for free (provided they have not tried the tool as members before). Any client can receive an invoice, whether or not they have registered at ProZ.com.


  • 3 - What about confidentiality? Who can access my invoice data?

    Like all information collected at ProZ.com, invoice data is protected according to the site's privacy policy.

    Invoices created with this tool can be accessed online in the following cases.

    * An invoice can be viewed and edited by the user who created it (and by others at that user's company, if the user has a corporate profile with multiple employee logins).

    * When sending an invoice to a client, a special invoice URL containing a random secret key is provided. Anyone who has access to this special URL can view the invoice online (unless the invoice has been deleted).

    * If the client has associated his client record with his ProZ.com profile, the client can view invoices sent to him in his own "accounts payable" tab (unless the invoices are deleted or marked as a "draft").

    * ProZ.com staff have access to invoice data solely for the purpose of providing support and maintaining and improving the service. This access is governed by the privacy policy. Invoice data is treated as confidential, and will not be shared with third parties or used for marketing or other purposes inconsistent with providing support and maintaining and improving the service. If a ProZ.com staff member accesses an invoice, whether to assist a member or for any other reason, a record of that access is kept.

    See this page for more information about invoice data protection and security.


  • 4 - Will clients of mine be contacted by anyone as a result of my including their contact information in my invoices?

    No. Information included in an invoice is not made available to others or used for any other purpose.


  • 5 - How can I change the name and company information used in my invoices?

    The company information used in your invoices (shown on your company settings page) comes directly from your ProZ.com profile. The address and tax ID are those you specify in your profile. The "name" is either your company name (if you have specified one) or your personal name as it appears on the site (your full name or just your login, depending on the preference set in your profile).

    To change the name and company information in your invoices, just change that information in your profile.

    Alternatively, you can also create a new custom invoice template, and specify your company information exactly as you wish it to appear. Please note that this means the contact information in your invoice could become out of sync with the contact information in your profile; when your contact information changes, you would need to update it in both places.


  • 6 - Can I re-use past invoices as the basis for new ones, to simplify invoice creation?

    Yes. Go to the "view" page for the invoice you want to re-use, and click "Duplicate" at the top of the page. A new invoice will be created with the same data. Simply edit the fields that have changed in your new invoice.


  • 7 - How can I specify taxes?

    It is possible to specify as many taxes as you need to support in your invoice. Either go to the tax settings page, or select "[edit]" from the list of taxes in the invoice edit form. List each tax name and percentage that you need to support in your invoice.

    When creating an invoice, select the appropriate tax to each item in the invoice. You can select up to two taxes for each invoice item.


  • 8 - How do I support tax deductions/withholding?

    If you need to deduct taxes from your invoice (e.g. for tax withholding done by your client), you can specify the tax percentage as negative amount in the tax settings form. This will cause that amount to be deducted from your invoice subtotal.

    See the info on the tax settings page for details.


  • 9 - How do I support compound taxes?

    In relatively rare cases, taxes are applied on a compound basis. For example, in some Canadian provinces, GST (Goods and Services Tax) is charged on the selling price, and PST (Provincial Sales Tax) is charged on the total of the selling price plus GST.

    To support this case, each tax in the tax settings page has an "applies to" option. In most cases, the "applies to" field should be set to "Item amount".

    In the compound tax example above, however, you would specify that PST is a compound tax by setting the "Applies to" field to "Item amount + tax 1". When creating your invoice, you would then specify GST as Tax 1 and PST as Tax 2.

    See this documentation on the tax settings page for details.


  • 10 - How can I create invoices in a language other than English?

    The standard invoice template is available in a few common languages. To use one of these pre-translated invoice templates, select the appropriate template when creating or editing your invoice.

    You can also create a custom invoice template that you translate yourself. (Click here to manage your invoice templates.)

    If you have created an invoice template you would like to share, you are encouraged to post it to the invoicing discussion forum, or contact ProZ.com staff by submitting a support ticket for assistance.


  • 11 - How can I back up my invoice data, or export it to a spreadsheet?

    You can export your invoices and client list to a text file in comma-separated value (CSV) format, which can be opened with a spreadsheet program or processed with another application.

    To export your invoices, go to your browse invoices page, and click "Export these invoices". All your invoices will be included by default. To export only a subset of your invoices, use the search form on that page to filter the invoices before clicking "Export these invoices".

    Similarly, to export your client list, go to your browse clients page, and click "Export these clients".


  • 12 - How can I see all the invoices sent to me by others? (Or: How can I link my ProZ.com account to invoices from a provider?)

    If other members send you invoices via the ProZ.com invoicing tool, you can track invoices they send to you on the accounts payable tab. To do this, you must create a "link" between your ProZ.com account and each provider who sends you invoices. (Technically, you are linking your ProZ.com account to the record that represents you in the provider's client list.) This "link" will only be visible to you and to the provider.

    To create this link, view an invoice from that provider online using the link in the email sent to you. Then click "add this provider's invoices to your accounts payable page" on the right side of the invoice.

    Note that this will also cause your profile contact information to be used for the invoice "Bill To" address, which means that your profile contact information will be disclosed to that provider. See this FAQ for details.


  • 13 - How can a client update the "Bill To" information in invoices received?

    Clients who are ProZ.com members have the option to link their ProZ.com account with invoices received from each provider. See this FAQ for details.

    This causes the "Bill To" information in those invoices to come directly from the client's ProZ.com profile. These billing details are therefore updated automatically whenever the client changes it profile contact information. Note that this means the client's profile contact information will be disclosed to that provider.


  • 14 - Why can I no longer edit the billing contact information for my client?

    Clients who are also ProZ.com members have the option to link their ProZ.com account to the invoices you send them. This allows them to override the "Bill To" information in those invoices with details from their own ProZ.com profile. See this FAQ for details.


  • 15 - How do I mark an invoice as closed/paid?

    Invoices are automatically marked as closed when they are paid in full. To record a payment for an invoice, click "receive payment" on the invoice view page. You can optionally enter details about the payment for your reference, or you can just submit the form with its default settings, which assumes payment was made in full.


  • 16 - Are there any plans for a downloadable/offline version of the invoicing tool?

    Not at this time. The invoicing tool is currently only available online, though you can save PDF copies of your invoices to your local computer. You can also export your invoices and client list in spreadsheet-compatible format, for backup or offline processing.

    A separate, downloadable version is not planned at this time.


  • 17 - How can I create custom templates for my invoices?


    1. Go to Settings->Invoice templates, and click "Create a new custom template".

    2. Enter a name for your template, such as "Custom French template".

    3. Edit the template. The invoice template is a simple HTML document. Either edit it using the web-based editing tool, or click the "Source" button in the editing tool to edit the raw HTML source. (Note that in order for PDF invoices to work properly, the invoice templates must include only basic HTML, and can't include CSS.)

    4. Use special placeholder symbols (ex. %invoice_date%, %company_name%, etc.) to indicate where invoice data should be inserted into your template. To find a particular placeholder symbol, use the drop down list above the template editor--select the type of invoice data from the list, and then copy/paste the symbol into your template.

    5. Click "Preview as HTML" and "Preview as PDF" at the bottom of the form, to ensure your new invoice template looks the way you want. (Make sure to preview as PDF--the PDF version is more sensitive to incorrectly formatted HTML.)

    6. When you are satisfied with how it appears, save the template.

    You can specify the template to use for an invoice in the "edit invoice" form. You can cause your new template to be used by default for all new invoices by clicking "Save as default" on the template settings page.


  • 18 - How can I include a form to pay via Paypal or Skrill in my online invoices?

    Configure your online payment gateways in the Settings->Payment gateways page. From this page you can specify your Paypal and/or Skrill payment info, and whether to include an online payment form when clients view your invoice online.


  • 19 - Can I add a new column to the invoice template?

    A customize fields option will be added in the future. Please use a "description" field in the meantime.


  • 20 - Can my clients pay me through ProZ.com directly?

    ProZ.com doesn't intermediate payments between clients and service providers using the invoicing tool. Clients make payments directly to the service provider, just as they would do if the invoicing tool was not being used.


  • 21 - How do I send a payment reminder?

    When an invoice is overdue, the link "Remind" will appear at the top-right corner of that invoice page. That link leads you to a page to send a reminder to the client.


  • 22 - How do I close last year's books?

    At the bottom of the Financial overview page (Reports tab), you will find a link called "close all invoices issued before XXXX" (where XXXX is the last year).

    That link will close all that year's invoices.


  • 23 - How can I digitally sign my invoices?

    The ProZ.com invoicing tool does not currently support electronic signatures. If you need to digitally sign your invoices, you can save a PDF and use whatever digital signature process you would normally use. Alternatively, many users in the EU prefer to print out the invoice, sign it, and send it manually.


  • 24 - Why are some characters garbled when exporting my invoices to PDF format?

    Some multibyte characters won't convert to PDF properly, including many Arabic and Cyrillic characters. This is a known issue in the software library ProZ.com uses to do this conversion. The library maintainers have scheduled a fix for the next version, but the date when that new version will be released is unknown. When an updated version is available, ProZ.com will upgrade the invoicing system.

    Until this is fixed, invoices with multibyte characters that don't appear properly in PDF format can still be printed and viewed in HTML.



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