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Topic # 232067 27-Mar-2018 18:03
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Hi, to all independent contractors.

 

So, I just started out contracting as a Software Developer. What wording do you use on your invoices in relation to your work completed?

 

I want to have something along the lines of: "Payment is proof that that work carried out has been except and that I take no ownership or responsibility for work done." But, I don't want to sound like an A-hole about it.

 

Thanks.

 

 

 

 

 

 






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  Reply # 1984449 27-Mar-2018 18:09
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1st pass of proofreading:

 

"except" should say "accepted"





Most of the trouble in the world is caused by people wanting to be important. (T.S. Eliot)


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  Reply # 1984455 27-Mar-2018 18:38
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Ideally you would do some sort of sign-off sheet with the customer that states that, and then you send the invoice - After we do an equipment install, we send a customer an email with a link to a web form (which links to our CRM) via a token. They complete a few checkboxes, leave other comments if they wish, and because it is "tokenised" there no arguments. The customer is followed up within the day if the form hasn't been completed. I coded this myself (in PHP) and was actually really easy - I am no developer by any means.

 

If they have signed off saying "work is complete and satisfactory", it's a lot easier for you to get paid and if any issues arise, that is chargeable work to get fixed.

 

Don't worry about sounding like an a55hole - when have you ever read a "friendly" T&C's page?!


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  Reply # 1984477 27-Mar-2018 20:05
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IMHO and IANAL but I don't think you can do this with an invoice, it has to be in your contract. When I was contracting I used Xero for invoicing, and the contract with the firm / IT recruiter covered everything else off.





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  Reply # 1984507 27-Mar-2018 21:08
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Depends what it is you are doing and who you are doing it for (disclaiming all liability against a retail consumer is very different from disclaiming liability against a large corporate). I also think it's a bit unreasonable to disclaim everything on payment. Most independent developer terms I have seen have a 30/90 day warranty - e.g. if you notice anything wrong within 30 days, I'll fix it, but that's your sole remedy (i.e. no refunds).

 

If you don't have contractor terms already, a Wellington law firm, Simmonds Stewart, has a free document assembly tool you can use: https://simmondsstewart.com/doc-makers/independent-contractor-agreement-doc/ (note that this is company-friendly, rather than developer-friendly, but it will give you a starting point). You need to register (or used LinkedIn) but it doesn't cost.


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  Reply # 1984826 28-Mar-2018 11:25
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Things about warranty, liability, ownership, on-going maintenance, etc should all be in the contract that you got the client to agree to and sign before you started any work.


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  Reply # 1984877 28-Mar-2018 12:48
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Be wary of large corporates, who may impose their own terms on you as a supplier. As a case in point, there was publicity last year regarding the potential for suppliers to Fonterra, to not be paid for up to 90 days, https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/91461374/Fonterra-under-fire-for-payment-scheme-being-at-expense-of-businesses 


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  Reply # 1984879 28-Mar-2018 12:49
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You can put a waiver of liability on a contract document and it might put some people off trying to hold you accountable, however, the fair trading act would still apply IMO and I wouldn't touch a developer (or sign said contract) that put one in as I think it's kind of shady.

 

A scope of works and a signed off feature list/proof of concept I'd have a lot more trust in. 

 

 


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  Reply # 1984882 28-Mar-2018 12:53
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timmmay:

 

IMHO and IANAL but I don't think you can do this with an invoice, it has to be in your contract. When I was contracting I used Xero for invoicing, and the contract with the firm / IT recruiter covered everything else off.

 



This.  As someone who has contracted in the IT market for over 20 years, this kind of issue should be covered in a contact.  The only thing I see on invoices is terms of payment (due 20th of the following month, for example).

Do you have a contract already in place and signed?  (Note - IANAL)


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  Reply # 1984952 28-Mar-2018 14:38
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jimbob79:

 

I want to have something along the lines of: "Payment is proof that that work carried out has been except and that I take no ownership or responsibility for work done." But, I don't want to sound like an A-hole about it.

 

 

As others have pointed out, terms need to be in the contract, not on the invoice. If I saw this on an invoice, I wouldn't pay it, as it's attempting to introduce a condition that did not exist previously.

 

I terms of wording, avoid addressing multiple points in a single sentence. "Work remains the property of x until full and final payment is made." On the subject of responsibility, I would look to limit my liability, but not necessarily responsibility. If you are delivering bespoke software, I would want to limit liability for any unintentional damage, but I would support my product. If it was found not to do what was necessary, I'd fix it, but the agreement would make it clear that any further work required not in the original scope would incur additional charges, and that you may choose not to undertake such work. If you are simply contracting as a developer, on a per-hour basis for example, then I would put in the contract that services would be provided on a best effort basis, and future maintenance, including correcting any deficiencies in that work, would be the responsibility of the contracting party.


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  Reply # 1985096 28-Mar-2018 19:13
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jimbob79:

 

Hi, to all independent contractors.

 

So, I just started out contracting as a Software Developer. What wording do you use on your invoices in relation to your work completed?

 

I want to have something along the lines of: "Payment is proof that that work carried out has been except and that I take no ownership or responsibility for work done." But, I don't want to sound like an A-hole about it.

 

Thanks.

 

 

Wow. I wish I could live in your alternate universe!

 

I know that I will probably get little support for my "endpoint user's" point of view, but if you were to put the customer first, you might just find that additional "income hours" could be a possibility if your final product is not quite right and you acknowledge that.

 

I know it sounds strange, but take responsibility for what you have done. Be proud of it and don't be afraid to charge extra if you need to put in some extra hours to get it right. Your contract and reference thereof on said invoice should make that quite clear.

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 1985216 29-Mar-2018 04:23
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allan:

Be wary of large corporates, who may impose their own terms on you as a supplier. As a case in point, there was publicity last year regarding the potential for suppliers to Fonterra, to not be paid for up to 90 days, https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/91461374/Fonterra-under-fire-for-payment-scheme-being-at-expense-of-businesses 


I fired a large corporate customer who tried this in 2014. I'm not their financer.

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  Reply # 1985231 29-Mar-2018 08:09
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cadman:
allan:

 

Be wary of large corporates, who may impose their own terms on you as a supplier. As a case in point, there was publicity last year regarding the potential for suppliers to Fonterra, to not be paid for up to 90 days, https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/91461374/Fonterra-under-fire-for-payment-scheme-being-at-expense-of-businesses 

 


I fired a large corporate customer who tried this in 2014. I'm not their financer.

 

I once sold some software to a school that assured me that they could pay my invoice within 7 days. After coming and installing the software for them and doing some basic training they told me that payment would require the approval of the board of governors, and since it was near the end of the year (beginning of December) the governors had already had their last meeting for the year and didn't meet again until mid February of the next year, and since cheques were only made out at the beginning of every month so the earliest the cheque would be made would be the beginning of March. I was somewhat annoyed...


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  Reply # 1985437 29-Mar-2018 14:50
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I think the best advice that has been given on this forum is to go and seek professional advice. That could be your accountant or lawyer. 

 

Everything else really should be taken with a grain of salt since nobody on the forum knows your specific circumstance and/or has claimed to be in any of those professions.

 

Plus their personal experiences might not necessarily apply to your situation.





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