by Rachel Smith
17 April 2020
Updated 17 April 2020
It’s no secret that twiddling your thumbs and waiting for outstanding invoices to be paid is one of THE most annoying and scary parts of being a freelancer. So much so that we’ve written about it here, here and here. No wonder sites like Clients from Hell are so popular.
Need to pay your mortgage? Bills? Childcare? Eat? Nope, sorry – you’re at the mercy of the big fish who determine when and how they’ll pay you for the work you did, often months before. Or years, as some freelancers have told us after work supposed to be paid on publication was re-scheduled, leaving the writer out of pocket. And let’s not even touch on how Covid-19 is affecting freelancers with outstanding invoices.
In one 2016 report, Australian organisations were revealed as the worst at paying overdue invoices, taking an average 26.4 days to pay an overdue invoice. And back in 2018, it was reported that late payments among freelancers are ‘an absolute epidemic’ and that small businesses (including freelancers) were owed a whopping $26 billion for unpaid work.
That’s not okay.
And although things have improved since then with a National Payment Transparency Register in place, far more needs to be done to improve the cash flow of freelancers and small businesses.
How long have you waited for outstanding invoices to be paid?