I have a project with 3 milestones.
I funded the first milestone and the funds are in escrow -- no problem.
Q #1: I wish to fund the next 2 milestones. How do I do that?
Q #2: The freelancer completed milestone #2 before the other 2 milestones -- no problem. I wish to fund Milestone #2 (see Q #1 above) and release the funds now. How do I do that?
Solved! Go to Solution.
You can not actually release payment for a second milestone before releasing payment for the first milestone.
You can really only fund one milestone at a time.
But you can pretty much release any amount of payment to a freelancer, as long as it is equal to or more than the agreed amount milestone amount, or if the freelancer agrees to the amount.
So pay your freelancer whatever it is that you need to pay her for the work she has done thus far. And then fund a new milestone for whatever it is that you need her to do next.
Ok, thank you @PrestonH.
Too bad. Seems like a limitation in the system, but I'll live with it.
You would think that Upwork would want more milestones funded in escrow as they have those funds in their account gaining interest for them.
Maybe Upwork will make the service a bit more flexible down the road here.
Doug: You are correct in your realization that it is a fairly limited system in terms of how it handles "milestones." The concept is not like a fully-realized data object that you can manipulate, edit, move around, etc. It's sort of just a placeholder for "making multiple payments to the same freelancer as part of the same contract."
Doug, you can choose when you create the contract to fund the whole budget at once. But otherwise, as Preston pointed out, unfortunately you can only fund one milestone at a time after that.
Upwork doesn't really consider milestones (and their deadlines) as solid immovable things. They're more guidelines than actual rules, as it were.
It appears the easiest way to use Upwork is by defining a project as a whole and funding it as a whole. Then managing my own milestones, offline, releasing partial payments as, how and when I need to.
I'm okay with that. Just need to understand how to use the service.
But there is great opportunity for the Upwork development team to make the service geared better to the hiring company. Seems like the tool is geared toward the freelancer -- which is good. Just needs to consider both parties in the project and transaction to make it a better more usable tool.
Please note that all the payments need to be processed through Upwork. You can agree with your freelancers and create multiple Milestones at the onset of the job, so you'd be able to release partial payments covering specified tasks and fund subsequent Milestones. To add to Preston's comment, you can actually edit the Milestone amount to account for any changes to the scope of work freelancer delivered.
Thanks for chiming in @VladimirG.
My take-away from the original post is the service is restrictive and there is tremendous opportunity for the Upwork dev team to enhance the project/milestone funding, escrow, payout portion and there is huge financial opportunity for Upwork owners to collect the large amount of money they are leaving on the table given the limitations and restrictions around project/milestone funding.
If it were my business service, I would seriously re-think the funding policies and practices.
Have a great day,
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