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Confused about Milestone payments

Community Guru
Lisa W Member Since: Nov 14, 2015
1 of 12

This came up last month and I thought I had done something wrong, but it came up again this month and I'm still confused, maybe someone can tell me what the process looks like from the client side.

 

Job #1: Client funds Milestone 1, on the specified day the following month, the Client approves payment and funds Milestone 2. I do nothing, and the payment for Milestone 1 immediately goes into Pending, then after 5 days goes into Available. Works great.

 

Job #2: Client funds Milestone 1, on the specified day the following month, the Client approves the payment and funds Milestone 2. In order for payment to be processed, I have to click the 'submit payment' button. The payment moves into 'in review' and when the client clicks (something? approve, maybe?) then it moves into pending and goes into Available after 5 days.

 

I know now how to tell if something has been properly approved by looking at the pending column, but I'm just wondering why the first job payment is initiated and approved by the client and I do nothing to make it go into pending, and the second job requires an approve/submit/approve process with me involved in order to go into pending.

 

Are there two steps for a client and perhaps my client is only doing one of them at a time?

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Community Guru
Juvy Ann P Member Since: Oct 29, 2015
2 of 12

I experienced the same things, Lisa.  My hypothesis is that such options are available to clients and and depend on their psychological profile.  Some clients may take offense when freelancers request for payment and would rather release funds according to their own free will.  The bottom line is that when trust has been built between me and my client the two options don't bear much weight anymore.

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Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
3 of 12

@Juvy Ann P wrote:

I experienced the same things, Lisa.  My hypothesis is that such options are available to clients and and depend on their psychological profile.  Some clients may take offense when freelancers request for payment and would rather release funds according to their own free will.  T


 Sorry, but that is just nonsense.

 

There is a system in place for milestone based work, and no client will take offence if freelancers use that system correctly and in the way that causes them (the client) the least amount of work.

 

That means freelancer is hired, milestone is funded, freelancer does the work for the milestone, submits it and clicks on the "Submit work / Request payment" button.

 

At that point the payment moves from "work in progress" to "under review"

As soon as the client approves the milestone the payment is released from Escrow and moves to pending.

If the client requests changes you do the changes and resubmit

If the client neither submits changes, nor approves the payment, it is released (to pending) automatically after 14 days.

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Community Guru
Juvy Ann P Member Since: Oct 29, 2015
4 of 12

Lisa, Petra offered a better explanation I guess.

 

Petra, it is just a hypothesis. Smiley Happy

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Community Guru
Lisa W Member Since: Nov 14, 2015
5 of 12

@Juvy Ann P wrote:

I experienced the same things, Lisa.  My hypothesis is that such options are available to clients and and depend on their psychological profile.  Some clients may take offense when freelancers request for payment and would rather release funds according to their own free will.  The bottom line is that when trust has been built between me and my client the two options don't bear much weight anymore.


 Hi Juvy,

 

The weird thing is that the client did initiate the funds first. We had a conversation through messages talking about what the payment should be (he funded a large amount and each milestone I work off part of it). So we agreed on the payment, then he initiated the approval process, then I had to submit, then he had to approve it again before it would move to pending. With my other client, he simply submits and it rolls over to pending immediately.

 

I'm sure there's something simple I'm missing, I just feel uncomfortable not fully understanding the process.

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Moderator
Valeria K Moderator Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
6 of 12

Hi Lisa,

 

The client is able to release funds from Escrow whether or not you submitted the work through the system and requested payment. I recommend submitting the work through the system anyway to make sure it's properly documented and you get paid automatically 14 days later even if the client becomes unresponsive.

~ Valeria
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Community Guru
Lisa W Member Since: Nov 14, 2015
7 of 12

@Valeria K wrote:

Hi Lisa,

 

The client is able to release funds from Escrow whether or not you submitted the work through the system and requested payment. I recommend submitting the work through the system anyway to make sure it's properly documented and you get paid automatically 14 days later even if the client becomes unresponsive.


 Valeria,

 

Thank you for your response. I understand the client can release funds without my submission. What I am saying is that there must be something strange (or simply confusing) between the submission and payment, regardless of who initiates. To clarify:

 

Client 1 submits payment for completed milestone > payment immediately goes into pending and then moves to available (I do nothing in this process)

 

Client 2 submits payment for completed milestone > payment goes into review > I have to click 'submit' and the client has another 14 days to review it before it moves to pending. (In my case, my client approved my submission the day after I clicked - he never waits 14 days)

 

My point is that for both clients, payment for a milestone is initiated by a client. Client 2 and I had a conversation about what should be paid for the month based on what I completed. We came to an agreement, and he initiated the payment based on the reviewed and agreed work. Why then do I need to submit and have him review something he already reviewed, since he is the one that initiated payment?

 

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Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
8 of 12

I think you're getting confused between funded and released.

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Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
9 of 12

@Lisa W wrote:

Job #1: Client funds Milestone 1, on the specified day the following month, the Client approves payment and funds Milestone 2. I do nothing, and the payment for Milestone 1 immediately goes into Pending, then after 5 days goes into Available. Works great.

 

Job #2: Client funds Milestone 1, on the specified day the following month, the Client approves the payment and funds Milestone 2. In order for payment to be processed, I have to click the 'submit payment' button. The payment moves into 'in review' and when the client clicks (something? approve, maybe?) then it moves into pending and goes into Available after 5 days.

 



 Lisa, it sounds like you have two contracts that pay monthly.

Both clients fund a month's worth of work.

The most convenient and correct way to go about it is to submit the work and click on "Submit work / Request Payment" button on the day you expect to be paid

 

It sounds like your client 1 pro-actively pays last month's milestone, and client 2 is waiting for you to request for the funds to be released by clicking "submit work / request payment"

 

Really this model of monthly payment is not ideally suited to the way milestone based contracts are meant to work and the system is not intended to work ideally for that sort of thing.

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Community Guru
Lisa W Member Since: Nov 14, 2015
10 of 12

@Petra R wrote:

 



 

It sounds like your client 1 pro-actively pays last month's milestone, and client 2 is waiting for you to request for the funds to be released by clicking "submit work / request payment"

 

 


 In both instances the clients initiate the payment. Client 1 iniitiates on the date I expect and I do nothing and get paid. Client 2 initiates on the date I expect but I have to click 'submit' and then he has to approve again before it moves from review to pending. So boh clients initiate the payment, but one goes through without my action, and the other one needs me to click submit and wait for approval before it goes through.

 

I could understand if I had initiated the payment I would need to wait for the client to approve, but when the client initiates the payment, why is there an extra approval step?

 

This is really just about me understanding the process. It only extends my payment for a day, so it's not a big deal, I would just like to know how it works.

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