For an independent contractor, it's extremely important to keep accurate payment records. Each job has it's own rate, hours and payment process, so it can be very confusing if you are not organized. In a previous post, I even mention practicing the virtue of patience in payment .
Personally, I find it helpful to record the date of the job, client and the exact amount I expect to receive when my check arrives. When the check comes, I can double check the amount and mark the invoice as paid in my records. This has been a great exercise and kept me from second guessing any payment amounts. Last week, I was reminded of why this exercise is so important.
In February, I worked for Jack Daniels at the Tucson Rodeo. I was a last minute booking because another girl backed out. There were four girls on the job and each girl had slightly different hours. My shift was the longest and I made sure to keep accurate records of my days, hours and rate. On the last day, one of the girls was a no show (BIG no no!).
When my check finally arrived, I double checked my records and realized it was short by $144!! I immediately gave the agency a call to make them aware of the mistake. After some digging, we discovered that I was shorted the exact amount the other model should have been shorted for not showing up the last day. So, I was not paid for an entire day of work.
Thankfully, the agency apologized for the mistake and promised to cut me a check for the remaining amount. But, the only reason the agency realized the mistake was because I brought it to their attention. Without an organized system to record and double check my payment amounts, I would not have realized my check was incorrect. This was a great reminder that taking a few minutes to keep accurate records is well worth the time and effort!