How much freelance work goes unpaid?

 In General

Freelancing gives you the chance to set your own agenda. However, many of the activities carried out during an average freelancer’s day cannot be charged for directly and therefore go unpaid.

Some of these activities are likely to drum up revenue in the long-term, while others are administrative necessities required of all commercial enterprises.

Unpaid freelancer activities tend to include:

  • Accounting
  • Sourcing new clients
  • Business communications
  • Marketing
  • Website/social media administration
  • Training
  • Networking

According to a recent report from advanced accountancy software provider FreeAgent, almost one third of microbusinesses (including freelancers) work more than the government recommended maximum per week of 48 hours. A further six per cent stated they worked in excess of 64 hours per week.

The proportion of these hours that goes unbilled depends on a whole range of factors, including the type of service or product you provide, the market you sell to and your seniority within the sector.

In combination, these activities might add up to 10+ hours of unpaid work per week. But, the only way to know for certain is to keep a record of your schedule for a week and come up with a rough estimate. This figure should then be factored into your hourly rate.

While most of these activities will continue to eat up your time, advanced accountancy software like Xero can help cut your accounting time dramatically. Such software can be set to send out invoices automatically, provide a real-time cash flow overview, calculate your Self Assessment liability and synchronise with your accountant so that they can provide timely financial advice.

If you want more expert accounting advice for freelancers, call on the friendly team at 3 Wise Bears.

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