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bounties, invoices, expensing, payment, money, etc.

Posts: 34092
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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A lot of people are here for the PDC and a lot of awesome people are picking off those bounties. Awesome!

Jocelyn has been doing our accounting, plus her full time worky-job, plus coordinating between instructors and food and bunks and cleaning and cooking and a long list of other things. So I would like to make things as easy on jocelyn as possible. And the answer to this is to do everything as "normal" as possible.

Jocelyn has us set up to do do everything twice a month. For all stuff done on the 1st through the 15th, jocelyn should have an invoice from you on the 16th. Checks are usually printed on the 20th. For stuff done the 16th through the end of the month, jocelyn should have an invoice from you on the 1st. Checks are usually printed on the 5th. Sometimes we can do paypal instead of a check.

If you buy something for a bounty, then that expense is yours. But there are times that you pick something up where we said we would reimburse you. Please add that and the receipt to the invoice.

For a lot of folks, invoice stuff seems to be old hat. For a few youngsters, this is their first time making an invoice. When I was 20 I spent a year as an invoice fondler for a massive company. And I think my explanation is pretty damn simple:

It has to have the word "INVOICE" at the top, and it has to be all caps. A bigger font is helpful.

It needs to have an invoice date. It literally says "invoice date:" followed by the date that the invoice was created.

It needs to have a unique invoice number. It literally says "invoice number:" followed by a number. I usually use the date in a format like this "20150606". If I ever send two invoices on the same day, the second one will be "20150606B".

Near the top is "Bill to:" followed by whoever is gonna write the check. Probably "paul wheaton"

It needs a spot that says "terms:" followed by all sorts of things. I usually put "terms: net 7" - this is relatively standard for an invoice. It means "don't take any discounts and pay within 7 days." You might be tempted to fuck with this, but don't fuck with this unless you REALLY know what you are doing. You might even think about leaving this out - it MUST be there. It is a critical part of an invoice.

Then you will list the particulars of the invoice. You will list the bounties and the reimbursement stuff on the left and the dollars for each of those on the right.

Near the bottom of the document is "TOTAL DUE:" and a dollar figure.

At the bottom to the left is "remit to:" which is info about how to pay you.

Finally, I would like to suggest that you store your invoice as an RTF file that is named a .doc file. The reason is that doing this makes for a very small file that can be read by any software. So often, doc formats cannot be read by picky software. But anything that claims to read a doc file can read an rtf file. And then email this file to jocelyn.

So here is a sample invoice. Since the forum does not have the ability to move text to the right, then I'm making the best of it. But the following makes for an entirely legit invoice. And this may be the very simplest possible invoice. Yes, there are hundreds of things that can be done differently for all sorts of reasons. But you probably don't want to get into that.


Bill to:

Justin Case
4567 someplace ave
missoula, mt 59801

INVOICE DATE: March 18, 2015


terms: net 7 days

10 million doomaflotchies $900.00


TOTAL DUE: $900.00

Remit to:

paul wheaton
2120 s reserve #351
missoula, mt 59801 usa

In this invoice, a check will be written to some doofus named "paul wheaton". Another doofus named "justin case" will be about $900 lighter in the bank account. So, this document is basically paul wheaton saying "hey justin case, you owe me $900". But it says it in "the standard way" so that everything is on the up and up.

If it is your first time, you might want to send your stuff in as early as possible so that jocelyn will have time to help you clean it up if needed (we have seen people make a lot of math errors - and sometimes people add something to an invoice that should not be in an invoice).

paul wheaton
Posts: 34092
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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Some new terms effective december 1, 2015. Both of these are a feeble attempt to make less work for me and jocelyn. Mostly jocelyn.

Recently I read this on another site:

When I started at my job, we were just opening our first location in my area. My boss said to us 'We don't really have rules right now. I'm going to treat you like an adult for as long as I can, and every time you prove to me you aren't an adult, we'll have to make rules and I'll need to micromanage you like children. Let's try to prevent that.'

It was good at first- I loved the trust we had- then people, undoubtably, began to take advantage. Now, when new people start and I tell them some of the rules -- they'll express displeasure at the micromanagement and I'll tell them that I agree, but we have all of our rules because we need them and people who work here have already proven that we need them.

We had two people this month that thought it would be okay to invoice later. They probably think that that is easier on me and jocelyn. The only thing that is a problem with that is that then we have to do "invoice CSI" and try to remember the details of long, long ago to make sure everything is accurate.

While we do appreciate trying to make things easier on us, this is one of those things that just makes it harder, so please don't do that. And there's a bunch of other reasons. So: please don't do that. Please send an invoice on the first or the sixteenth where the invoice reflects stuff completed in the previous 14 to 16 days (1st-15th or 16th-EOM).

So, again, .... for stuff completed on the 1st through the 15th, please submit your invoice on the 16th and be paid on (or near) the 20th. For stuff completed on the 16th through the end of the month, please submit your invoice on the 1st and be paid on (or near) the 5th. If your invoice comes in a day late, that's no big deal. And for this put as terms "net 7."

So I'm trying to figure out how to encourage people to do this in a timely fashion. One idea was that it would just be considered volunteer labor - but I like the idea that people collect funds for the work they did. A few different ideas were thrown about and this is what we settled on:

If you are going to submit an invoice late, then the terms are "5% 60". This means that if we pay the invoice within 60 days, we take a 5% discount. So we have 60 days to do "invoice CSI" and folks that help us by sticking to "the system" effectively get 5% more.

One last time: Invoices, by default, use "TERMS: 5% 60." However, prompt invoices may use "TERMS: NET 7."

- - - -

We've had a lot of people ask for checks early. And there have been some times when they were really kinda mean about it - but Jocelyn dropped the other things she was working on, did all the accounting junk early for the one person, I look it all over, jocelyn prints a check, I sign it and then we have to get it to the person. Some people have been really grateful for the extra effort, but, of course, the people that were kinda mean about it .... those are the people that this is for. Unfortunately, everybody, good and bad, kinda gets thrown into the same pile.

Check rush: $50.

I'm guessing that by doing this, nobody will ever again ask for a check rush. Which is nice.

- - - -

So the guys that are currently cooling their heals are awesome guys who think they are being helpful. They both intend to be caught up on the next pay period. And they can use "net 7" then. But after that, late invoices are "5% 60."

I love a good mentalist. And so does this tiny ad:
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