// Heidi McLean // Crew Connection
Invoicing day: The day independent contractors love to hate. For any production crew without a standalone accounting department, invoicing simultaneously keeps businesses afloat (hello cash flow!) and keeps you away from the work you got into the business for in the first place. It doesn’t have to be so painful, though! Like everything on Crew Connection’s online platform, invoicing is easy and streamlined.
Here are some best practices to help you simplify invoicing and get paid quickly.
The invoicing process in a nutshell
Here are some simple but important keys to uploading your invoice to Crew Connection:
- Wait until the day after the shoot end date to upload your invoice.
- Click the “Upload a New Invoice” button (bottom left).
- Be sure to export a PDF file (no larger than 2MB) from your system of choice.
When will I be paid?
We pay within 30 days of the day you upload your invoice (not the end of the shoot date) and we always initiate payments on Wednesdays. The later you upload your invoice and the more revisions you have to make in order to finalize it, the longer it will take after wrap to get paid. It behooves you to make the invoice a priority the day after you finish the shoot and to make sure you avoid revisions.
What causes rejections?
Nobody likes to be rejected. It’s usually just a matter of clearing up some confusion, but here are the two most common reasons we have to kick back invoices:
- There are discrepancies between the estimate and the invoice (for instance, new line items without explanations/notes, or unexpected costs such as parking and meals).
- There are mistakes—the wrong date, client name, or location, for example.
How can I prevent confusion on my invoice?
Once a client approves your estimate, it becomes a project. Basing your invoice on your project keeps everything consistent. That means we’ll likely have fewer questions for you and more time to cut your check. (Need a refresher on creating an estimate? Click here.)
Here’s what we mean by consistency:
- Make your invoice look as much like the estimate as possible. If you bid the project as a package, don’t submit an itemized invoice. On the flip side, if you break down costs such as camera operator, labor, gear, audio, etc., do so on both your estimate and your invoice. Either way, pick your approach and stick with it.
- Be sure to include your preliminary total, less our finder’s fee, and your net on every invoice. Not sure what we take commission on? Get the scoop here.
- Provide proof of purchase. Spent some extra cash on the job? Include those lunch, parking, and other receipts as pages of your invoice or as separate “invoices” for the same project. Make a habit of including meal and parking receipts. Vague extra costs make clients nervous, while clear communication makes them feel more comfortable.
When anything doesn’t line up, we have to go back to the production crew and find out what changed. We notify you via email and give you a chance to fix it. That said, it still delays the whole process (and often the payment). It will just be a quicker and smoother process if you take your time and do it right up front.
The bottom line
We built our online database to make getting paid fast and easy already, and these little tips will set you up for success from your very first estimate. Uploading your invoice on Crew Connection is the fastest way to get it in front of our crew coordinators and get you paid. It’s easy. Promise.
About Crew Connection
Crew Connection puts a suite of marketing tools at your fingertips. Get your demo reels, stills, gear, awards, and more in front of the biggest clients all over the world—for free. At Crew Connection we pay video and post production providers within 30 days of receiving your invoice so your work and your life are never interrupted. Need live assistance or want to add quality jobs to your pipeline? Our crew coordinators are on call around the clock. Sign in to Crew Connection, call 303-526-4900, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.