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dsmgdesign
Community Member

Client timesheet

I just started working with a new client on an hourly contract. They are "requiring" that I complete a time sheet on their system. It seems redundant and unnecessary when I'm submitting my timesheet on Upwork on a weekly basis (and have already received payment from this client through Upwork). One of the reasons I use Upwork is for the simplicity in their payment system. I really don't want to add any redundancies or unnecessary steps for an Upwork client...it's just not worth my time. Had I known this client was requiring this, I might have passed.  Is there anything in the TOS about clients having to follow Upwork's time reporting system? 

 

Update (I've noted this in a post below, but updating here as well for more clarity): Just adding a bit more of a description to this. The client is "requiring" (key word) me to complete timesheets on their system....as in it's a stipulation of being paid for the time I log on the project. Now I laughed at this initially because Upwork has their own hourly protection protocals. My question is, what exactly does the Terms of Service say for clients in this regard about hourly payment and following their time recording process? I did a search but didn't find anything. 

11 REPLIES 11
prestonhunter
Community Member

re: "I just started working with a new client on an hourly contract. They are 'requiring' that I complete a time sheet on their system."

 

Who cares?

I am getting paid for all the time that I log while working on this contract.

If it takes me some time to log time in their system, I'm going to go ahead and do so. I'm getting paid for it. It's fine.

 

If the client tells me that I must compose a short poem about each day's work, I will do that.

So what?

I'm getting paid for all of the time that I spend working on the project.

 

If I DON'T WANT to compose poems or if I don't want to log time in a separate system, then that is MY CHOICE.

 

I can tell the client that I am not going to do it.

Or I can quit without tellling the client why.

Or I can JUST NOT DO IT.

 

These are all choices that I can make.

It's not an Upwork issue.

 

If I decide to not do it, then the client can decide he doesn't actually care.

Or he can decide to fire me. It's up to him.

 

re: "It seems redundant and unnecessary when I'm submitting my timesheet on Upwork on a weekly basis (and have already received payment from this client through Upwork)."

 

Yes.

It is redundant and unnecessary.

So what?

I watched a music video recently with 20 dancers.

They were redundant and unnecessary. Could have done the same video with 5 dancers.

But all the dancers were paid. It was the client's choice to pay people to do redundant and unnecessary work.

 

re: "One of the reasons I use Upwork is for the simplicity in their payment system. I really don't want to add any redundancies or unnecessary steps for an Upwork client...it's just not worth my time."

 

Then don't do it.

Nobody is forcing you to.

 

re: "Had I known this client was requiring this, I might have passed."

Every freelancer working on Upwork for a significant length of time can say the same thing about clients they worked for. "If I had known that my client was a smoker, I would have passed." "If I had known that my client was going to be such a bozo about my blog articles I would have passed." It's part of freelancing.

 

re: "Is there anything in the TOS about clients having to follow Upwork's time reporting system?"

No.

gilbert-phyllis
Community Member

It's an hourly contract, they can assign you to do whatever they need done that's legal. Charge them for the time it takes you to comply with their redundant timesheet requirements. Or if the contract is juicy enough that you don't want to rock the boat, don't charge them and shake your head all the way to the bank.

 

a_lipsey
Community Member


David S M wrote:

I just started working with a new client on an hourly contract. They are "requiring" that I complete a time sheet on their system. It seems redundant and unnecessary when I'm submitting my timesheet on Upwork on a weekly basis (and have already received payment from this client through Upwork). One of the reasons I use Upwork is for the simplicity in their payment system. I really don't want to add any redundancies or unnecessary steps for an Upwork client...it's just not worth my time. Had I known this client was requiring this, I might have passed.  Is there anything in the TOS about clients having to follow Upwork's time reporting system? 


They may be asking you to do this so they can track more easily specific project expenses. Charge them for the time and remember that it's likely they are asking you to do this to help them manage their business more easily. As long as you can charge time, just do it. It's not like they are asking you to change how you bill. 

 

I have an assistant who I hired through Upwork. I ask her to record the time she spends on different tasks in my system so I can account for the costs properly. She bills me by logging her time on Upwork. It's not to change her billing but to help me with my invoicing and accounting. 

petra_r
Community Member


David S M wrote:

Is there anything in the TOS about clients having to follow Upwork's time reporting system? 


No, of course not. You are following "Upwork's time reporting system".


David S M wrote:

it's just not worth my time.? 


How is it "not worth your time" to be paid for our time?

 

dsmgdesign
Community Member

Just adding a bit more of a description to this. The client is "requiring" (key word) me to complete timesheets on their system....as in it's a stipulation of being paid for the time I log on the project. Now I laughed at this initially because Upwork has their own hourly protection protocals. My question is, what exactly does the Terms of Service say for clients in this regard about hourly payment and following their time recording process? I did a search but didn't find anything. 


David S M wrote:

Just adding a bit more of a description to this. The client is "requiring" (key word) me to complete timesheets on their system....as in it's a stipulation of being paid for the time I log on the project. Now I laughed at this initially because Upwork has their own hourly protection protocals. My question is, what exactly does the Terms of Service say for clients in this regard about hourly payment and following their time recording process? I did a search but didn't find anything. 


I don't know exactly where it's located in the terms of service, but clients who refuse to pay you for correctly logged hours will have their account suspended. So no, they can't refuse to pay you if you don't comply with their "requirement", but as the others have already said, I'm not sure why you'd refuse to comply with a harmless and reasonable request, as long as you're getting paid for your time. I wouldn't consider it to be worth arguing about, as you'll get off on the wrong foot with this client.

As I work for attorneys who ultimately re-bill my time to their clients, I often have to add my time to their software.  Doesn't bother me at all.



I don't know exactly where it's located in the terms of service, but clients who refuse to pay you for correctly logged hours will have their account suspended. So no, they can't refuse to pay you if you don't comply with their "requirement", 


So, this is a good start and one of the most helpful and informed replies I've seen so far. Would be good to track down that language, though, if others can add to this part of the conversation. What I'm looking to do is use that language in my email. 


David S M wrote:


What I'm looking to do is use that language in my email. 


Why would you send an email to that effect? You know as well as anyone else does that the client is being charged automatically for any hours you track, and provided you have tracked those hours correctly, you are paid automatically.

 

I am at a loss why you are so determined to antagonize the client over a perfectly normal request. 

Track your time to complete the client's timesheet or walk away from the contract if you really consider it such an incredible inconvenience to be paid for doing something the client considers essential.

 

Preston wrote: "I watched a music video recently with 20 dancers.

They were redundant and unnecessary. Could have done the same video with 5 dancers.

But all the dancers were paid. It was the client's choice to pay people to do redundant and unnecessary work."

Preston, you do crack me up. But, I agree, certainly, with the gang here. You're kind of stuck. If you don't like it, try working for magazines. They put you through dozens of idiotic redundancies. Your job is to not lose your cool about it.

By the way, you don't have to put "requiring" in quotations marks. If you're not using the word with some special meaning or out of context, then the quote marks are "unnecessary."  (My apologies for being a grammar granny.)

dsmgdesign
Community Member

I emailed Upwork support. They sent the legal language that focuses on hourly contracts and the client having to follow Upwork's hourly terms and conditions for freelancers. I needed this to show that the client has no basis to "require" (yes, I used the quotes exactly right on this one..haha) Upwork freelancers to fill out the client's own time sheets as an additional condition of payment for hours worked. I obviously already knew this, but it doesn't matter what I know, the client needed to see it in Upwork's legal language. It's a bit different than what I was looking for, I think I already saw this section, but it works and apparently this is all Upwork has. I've emailed it to the client already, but sharing it here in case anyone else finds this thread and needs it:  https://www.upwork.com/legal#escrow-hourly

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