Scary. (via nymag)
Okay, I know I’m risking getting jumped on for being a capitalist again - and just to clear the air I did a quick calculation of our AP to freelancers and it’s about half of this with the majority being under 30 days past due. But the thing is, this is not entirely fair in my business. I mean I guess with journalists it’s different - I don’t claim to know the day to day finances of running a pub. But with agencies it’s either 1) pay before your clients pay you or 2) get screwed together.
The economic recession has brought MASSIVE changes to how agencies are paid - most clients have completely, unilaterally re-written the payment terms on jobs - most terms were doubled. A responsible agency has little choice but to commensurately adjust their payment terms. We did so incrementally, doing our best to honor previous commitments even when our clients changed theirs. We did not always succeed.
What’s crazy to me is how many people just blithely sign their freelancer estimates that say 30 day terms, and then, later, tell that same freelancer “oh you get paid when we get paid.” Okay. That’s not a bad system, but MAYBE YOU SHOULD HAVE TOLD THE FREELANCER THAT TO BEGIN WITH.