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Why can't I invoice my client for a fixed price project?

feed_my_eyes
Community Guru
Christine A Member Since: May 4, 2016
1 of 15

I have always worked on a fixed-price only basis - I split projects into two milestones, ask for a 50% deposit to be funded and released, then send an invoice requesting for the escrow to be funded for the balance. It seems that I know longer have the option to do this? I can invoice for the first milestone but not the second. I contacted Upwork customer service and was told that they have removed this functionality and that I need to message my client and ask them to fund the balance. I have followed this advice but my client is having difficulties figuring out how to make the final payment. 

 

So if anyone can help with this issue, I'd appreciate it. And if anyone who works for Upwork is reading this, I'd be very interested in knowing what kind of thinking was behind this decision.

 

vladag
Community Manager
Vladimir G Community Manager Member Since: Oct 31, 2014
2 of 15

Hi Christine,

 

While the option to request a new Milestone was available on Elance, on Upwork freelancers need to ask the client to create and fund the Milestone directly in their communication. I checked and it looks like your client managed to create and fund the second Milestone, so please let us know if they need further guidance.

Untitled
feed_my_eyes
Community Guru
Christine A Member Since: May 4, 2016
3 of 15

Yes, I know that I can't invoice my client - my question is WHY? If they owe me money, why in the world doesn't Upwork give me the ability to invoice them? 

 

Also, you are incorrect in saying that they have now paid me; you must have been looking at a project for a different client. The project that I'm having trouble with has already been closed by the client - do they need to re-open it in order to pay the balance? Is there a link I can give them to explain how they should pay? I really hate having to hassle my client like this when it should be simple enough for me to just invoice them myself!

mthornton-cpc
Community Guru
Melissa T Member Since: Dec 5, 2014
4 of 15

Your client can use the "hire again" feature to set up this new offer with the remaining milestone. Clients must create the milestones (have for quite some time), and freelancers are advised not to work on them until they are funded. The client controls the money, but you control whether you work on something that hasn't yet been funded. So, going forward you should avoid doing work until the milestones are created and you've reviewed them to make sure they're funded and set up correctly. I'd advise the client to use the "hire again" feature. It's easy to use and isn't a big inconvenience.  

feed_my_eyes
Community Guru
Christine A Member Since: May 4, 2016
5 of 15

Thanks Melissa - I've just messaged them with your suggestion. I still think it seems like a lot of unnecessary hassle for both me and the client. This system makes absolutely no sense and I should have the ability to invoice my clients as and when needed instead of sending them messages telling them to fund the balance - it's a very strange and unprofessional way of doing things and I wish that Upwork would review this policy.

mthornton-cpc
Community Guru
Melissa T Member Since: Dec 5, 2014
6 of 15

I see where you're coming from, but I look at it a little differently. I'm actually glad the client sets up the milestones. It means I don't start work on a particular part of a project until the milestone is funded, so I'm more protected. I prefer to have the money already in the system so that when the milestone is completed I hit "submit and request payment" and it's done. Not to mention I like clients to set up the milestones because it provides a place for the client and freelancer to agree to to terms of the job at the beginning - less chance of "oh, I didn't realize you weren't going to release the final files until after the second review" or the like halfway through the work. 

 

Ideally you don't need to tell your clients to fund anything. It should be set up at the beginning of the job. It doesn't help you in this particular case, but in future jobs you won't need to guide your clients through the payment process if the milestones are set up appropriately for the project at the start. Hopefully this is a one-time annoyance. 

feed_my_eyes
Community Guru
Christine A Member Since: May 4, 2016
7 of 15

But that's what I'm saying - ideally I SHOULDN'T need to tell my clients anything. It says right in my proposal what the milestones are. But with every project I have to send messages saying, "could you please fund the milestone?" "Could you please release the payment?" "Could you please fund the next milestone?" It feels like I'm nagging them. Why not just have a link so that I can send them an invoice instead? Then ideally they get a notification and they can click on a link to go pay it, instead of having to figure out how to do it themselves.

mthornton-cpc
Community Guru
Melissa T Member Since: Dec 5, 2014
8 of 15

The simple answer is because escrow.

 

The more nuanced response is that clients often don't know how to use the platform well. To be fair, it's the same with freelancers. I've had to coach many clients through the process. I'm willing to do that, though, because not only does it make sure I get paid, but it makes the client a better user of the platform, which only benefits me in the end. The system is different than the last time you used it to add invoices/milestones, so it's best to know that functionality inside and out so you can be the expert going forward. As annoying as it may be. 

kochubei_valeria
Community Manager
Valeria K Community Manager Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
9 of 15

@Christine A wrote:

But that's what I'm saying - ideally I SHOULDN'T need to tell my clients anything. It says right in my proposal what the milestones are. But with every project I have to send messages saying, "could you please fund the milestone?" "Could you please release the payment?" "Could you please fund the next milestone?" It feels like I'm nagging them. Why not just have a link so that I can send them an invoice instead? Then ideally they get a notification and they can click on a link to go pay it, instead of having to figure out how to do it themselves.


 Hi Christine,

 

You can make sure the client funds all the milestones before you accept the offer. That way you don't need to ask them to fund each new milestone. You can just use the button to submit work and request payment for each milestone when ready. The client will be able to access the invoice in their Transaction History for each of those transactions.

~ Valeria
Upwork
tlsanders
Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
10 of 15

@Christine A wrote:

But that's what I'm saying - ideally I SHOULDN'T need to tell my clients anything. It says right in my proposal what the milestones are. But with every project I have to send messages saying, "could you please fund the milestone?" "Could you please release the payment?" "Could you please fund the next milestone?" It feels like I'm nagging them. 


 Something is definitely going wrong in your process. I've done 80+ fixed price jobs, some of them with dozens of milestones, and I have had to ask clients to fund milestones perhaps five times in more than a year and a half. 

 

 

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