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UpWork hourly billing options much more restrictive than on Elance

stringwaver
Active Member
Marko V Member Since: Nov 9, 2015
1 of 7

I was (am) an Elance member since 2003 and was really happy with it. Now that I'm moving my work to UpWork I noticed a serious problem with the way hourly projects are billed/paid.

 

On Elance I could open a repeat project for a client each month, enter the hours I've logged for the previous month (on my own off Elance) and then simply request a payment from my client by issuing an invoice.

 

On UpWork I'm unable to do that. The only thing I can do is to have UpWork track my hours and then it will automatically issue an invoice to my clients once a week. So no way I can now bill for the hours I did not track on UpWork or issue an invoice for the hours done in previous month(s) that were also not tracked on UpWork, or issue an invoice on my own once a month. 

 

So I'm left with a much poorer experience on how to handle hourly billing to my clients and in that way Elance was a MUCH better experience than UpWork currently is. Smiley Sad

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
2 of 7

You can enter manual hours for the current week (or the previous week up to Monday noon UTC) and the client is automatically charged for them. No need to issue an invoice.

 

The only difference between manual  and actually tracked hours is that the latter are not guaranteed, so if the client disputes them the client wins the dispute by default.

stringwaver
Active Member
Marko V Member Since: Nov 9, 2015
3 of 7

Thanks for your input and help Petra. I do appreciate it.

Still...

UpWork does not allow me to manually enter hours, I can only enter time (FROM and TO). Which is restrictive as I opened the project this morning, so now I have to wait 10 hours to pass, before I can bill for 10 hours (which were actually done in the past month) and I cannot bill for more than 10 (unless I keep waiting for more time to pass again).

On Elance I could bill them right away once the repeated project was opened and I could bill as many hours as I wanted. I was not forced to track my time on Elance at all or was restricted with the time that passed from when the project was opened.

And I had the chance to manually invoice the client when and how I wanted, as many clients prefer to be invoiced once per month and not every week.

So overall this is still a big downard shift from what could be done on Elance and I would love to have more similar options on UpWork as well.

lysis10
Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
4 of 7

It's the same as it was on Elance except you have to specify a time frame. So, if I work 1 hour for someone, I just put in a time in the day. I don't worry too much about what time it was just as long as it makes sense. For instance, I wouldn't put that I worked 6pm-7pm when I turned in the work at 5pm. Usually, I put 3pm-4pm if I worked an hour and turned it in at 5pm.

 

The only difference between Upwork and Elance is that Upwork asks you to estimate the actual time frame instead of just typing a number for hours.

 

ETA: Upwork works on UTC time, so you have to figure out what time that is on Sunday. For me, I think it's somewhere around 10pm, so I make sure I do all work for hourly stuff first thing on Sunday if I need to do something to make sure I get it in before the cutoff.

stringwaver
Active Member
Marko V Member Since: Nov 9, 2015
5 of 7

Thanks for your input Jennifer.  But I have to respecfully disagree at some points.

As much as I would love for it to be the same on Elance -- it just isn't.

It has changed in three important ways:

1. I can not enter a number of hours manually at will. I can only do so using a timeframe, meaning I am restricted in the number of hours I can enter (a problem if I need to bill more hours -- like multiple people working on the project, or if I started working efore I opened an UpWork project).

2. I am obligated to track my time on UpWork. I did not have to do this on Elance.

3. UpWork takes over my control over when and how I issue an invoice for hourly jobs as it does this automatically. On Elance I had much greater control over this (especially on repeat projects).

So I hope you guys will consider bringing some of these options back.

researchediting
Community Guru
Douglas Michael M Member Since: May 22, 2015
6 of 7

@Marko V wrote:


As much as I would love for it to be the same on Elance -- it just isn't.

That is correct.

So I hope you guys will consider bringing some of these options back.

 

Don't hold your breath.


Seriously, Marko, Elance and Upwork have been making business decisions about which features of the other platform to emulate or not for at least a year. Those decisions are made and implemented.

 

If you want to have any input on Upwork practices and policies, you must argue your desired features as a business case—one that benefits Upwork and/or its clients and/or its freelancers (which last is likely to carry the least weight).. "I'm used to and prefer something else" just won't cut it.

 

And even if you argue along the lines I suggest—such arguments are necessary and totally insufficient conditions for change, or even consideration.

 

Best,

Michael

lysis10
Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
7 of 7

@Marko V wrote:

Thanks for your input Jennifer.  But I have to respecfully disagree at some points.

As much as I would love for it to be the same on Elance -- it just isn't.

It has changed in three important ways:

1. I can not enter a number of hours manually at will. I can only do so using a timeframe, meaning I am restricted in the number of hours I can enter (a problem if I need to bill more hours -- like multiple people working on the project, or if I started working efore I opened an UpWork project).

2. I am obligated to track my time on UpWork. I did not have to do this on Elance.

3. UpWork takes over my control over when and how I issue an invoice for hourly jobs as it does this automatically. On Elance I had much greater control over this (especially on repeat projects).

So I hope you guys will consider bringing some of these options back.


 

1. Not sure that's what you're supposed to do here. Are you an agency? I thought there is more transparency here where the client can work directly with the person working on their job. The other contractor should be using their own work diary, but I'm sure someone will chime in with that one.

 

2. No, you were supposed to use Elance's tracker too. Just like Elance, manual hours aren't guaranteed here. They weren't on Elance either.

 

3. Yeah, that's kinda a downgrade, but I don't see it as a big deal if you just keep billing hourly each week. You just get used to getting paid on Wednesday. 

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