Paperwork Delays and its Causes

August 10, 2011 Peter Zawistowski

I have already laid out some ideas on procrastination. This time, I want to speak about delaying paperwork, especially invoicing for the self-employed and expense reports for those employed.

The bipolar individual, whether employed or self employed, rides a mood swing of some magnitude. A lot of work consists of starting a project, doing the project, finishing the project and then the necessary paperwork. This work load can be compared to a bipolar mood swing. Starting the project is building on the mania. Doing the project is riding the mania high. Finishing the job is the coming down swing. The depression cycle is in the expenses, reports for reimbursement and invoicing paperwork, period. There is an old phrase, “Is it still a joke if no one laughs?” I'd like to reword it to “Is it still a job if you don't get paid?”

Final invoicing is particularly difficult for the bipolar individual. Not only is the job done, but the relationship with the customer may be perceived as done ( it's not done if you have not been paid!). Another self-employment issue is the delay in receiving final payment. You may have a 7 day or 30 day net due. Net is the time from when the job is completed and when it must be paid. Do you have a contract or agreement? If no, maybe you should have one with completion dates and net due time.

One of the advantages in keeping the paperwork in order during the project is collecting the money due to you in the short, agreed upon time. Something that helps in collecting money quicker is the Project Finished or Sign Off sheet. These sheets set the exact date and agreeing with the terms with a signature from the customer. This means your net due date is already counting down before you return to the office. I still would not delay too long in invoicing. Someone could misplace the sign off sheet (probably in a piled high desk). If you delay weeks for the billing or invoicing for a completed project, the client does not have much motivation to pay promptly. Then causing (severe) cash flow problems.

As for expense reports and petty cash slips, these are so easy to let go, pile up and get to them next week, then its the week after and it goes on and on. Remember that part of the job is the paperwork. Starting the next job or assignment may be required by a supervisor and triggers the little manic self inside you. Paperwork is necessary, how can a company keep track of expenses and invoice the customer if there is an incomplete record of expenses. No expenses, no invoice; no invoice, no check coming in; no check, no payroll to give out. Yes it is important to do the paperwork. You should make those around you feel the expense reports, etc. are really important. You owe to yourself to value your accomplishments.

APA Reference
Zawistowski, P. (2011, August 10). Paperwork Delays and its Causes, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, April 19 from

Author: Peter Zawistowski

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