I have had a couple of times that a freelancer has performed work for me but claimed for the incorrect hours. Whilst mistakes happen, I think that it is unreasonable to be deducting any money out of my account until I have had the opportunity to review or confirm the hours.
I have raised this in the past and was advised that I should log request on this forum.
- I understand that funds are not released to the freelancer until the client has a chance to review the hours
- The problem is, as a client, our account is deducted immediately. We are are not given the opportunity to review the hours PRIOR to the funds being deducted from our account.
I believe the system needs to change. Clients should be given at least 24 hours to review and dispute the hours prior to any money leaving our accounts.
Matt, as a practical matter, you can view a contractor's work diary almost in real time. You can see screenshots and memos within an hour of when they were logged with the time-tracker. You can pause or close the contract at any time.
These are some very powerful features.
If a contractor is unsatisfactory, you can prevent her from continuing to log hours, which is even better than reviewing work after the fact and disputing it.
One strategy would be to limit the number of hours a contractor can work initially, review the work done, and expand the number of hours that can be worked ad you see that the contractor is meeting your expectations.
But you ARE correct in your understanding of how logging of time works and how time logged Is automatically billed after a week is over.
At this time, if you want to be able to review a contractor's work diaries and manually approve pay before your credit card is billed, you will need to use a different platform, because Upwork does not provide that option.
This IS indeed the place to propose and discuss such a change. But I don't think the idea will gain sufficient traction to actually be implemented. I could be wrong, though. Some features which I was not personally interested in HAVE been implemented due to popular support for the idea.
Thanks for your response Preston. You are correct in saying that there are many powerful features of Upwork but I think this one is an item that could be improved. The time tracker is good but I don't look at it every day. Only if I feel that the time taken was too long. Freelances can also claim for "offline" time which doesnt' show up in the time tracker.
I still believe that we should have the opportunity to review the hours presented prior to deducting our accounts.
It has happened to me twice and has cost me a couple of hours in time both times to perform the following:
- Raise it with the freeleancer
- Receive a refund from Upwork
- Transfer that refund to paypal
- Transfer the paypal refund to my bank account
- Pay bank interest for 2 x weeks whilst this took place (due to my business loan)
- Track and detail all of this through my bookkeeper in my accounting software
The cost for me to process the refund was greater than the refund itself.
All of these steps could have been avoided if we had the option of reviewing and approving the hours.
Even if the clients were given just 24 hours to approve the timesheet, if we don't approve them within 24 hours then they get automatically approved.
You lay out clear reasoning for wanting this feature. Perhaps others will weigh in with their opinions.
The one additional thing I can offer is to suggest that you can easily block the logging of manual time unit you have worked with contractors enough to trust them with the privilege.
Given the fact that Upwork doesn't currently have this feature, the most time-efficient route would be to review work diaries regularly when working with new contractors, or (even better) have your project manager do so.
Or if you don't want to do that, but you still want to use Upwork, put strict limits on how many hours a contractor may work during a week until you have time to assess the value of their work and assure yourself that they're not wasting your time and money. Upwork allows you to set a limit as low as one hour per week, and there is no way for a contractor to circumvent that.
Even if Upwork were to decide to move forward with your suggestion, it would take many months to implement and roll out.
You do, essentially, have most of Monday (seeing that you are in Australia)
The work week ends at midnight UTC and the freelancer has until midday UTC Monday to make changes (remove time etc) before the diary locks and the client is billed and subsequently charged.
So if you do your reviewing on a Monday your time you can communicate with your freelancer to fix any problems before it locks and you get charged.
Thanks for sharing your feedback about billing procedure on Hourly contracts. Just to note that we do advise clients to actively communicate and review freelancers' Work Diary to ensure the work has been done as per their specifications.