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How do you prove your work time?

when your a freelance designer and your charging your hour rate or day rate

how do you prove to your client that its taken you X amount of time ?

do you issue them with a work load time table? or do they just take your word for it?

is there an industry standard way of doing this or does it apply differently to different designers?

You shouldn't have to prove anything to them, they have no idea what goes into creating a design for a logo or a brochure that's why they have come to you in the first place..

I have never created a time table for a client, would sort of take offence if they asked me to supply such a document but would still not argue and would show them where the hours/days were spent.
i get you, do you have to provide anything like a contract or paper work of any kind when getting freelance work

i know these may be silly questions but i am just starting out as a freelance designer



Staff member
You need to provide them with some form of general terms & conditions and a more specific proposal which you should get them to sign so you both know exactly what you are and are not doing. It also means you've got em by the short and curly's if they decide not to pay.
If your working for clients direct its rare they would want a breakdown of what time you spent on what unless your working on several different briefs for them. If your working for design/ marketing agencies they may well want a more detailed breakdown of your time but it depends on the company. I've worked in house in the past for a design company that made you record what you we're doing in 15 minute intervals on a timesheet and precisely what I was doing. I found this horrendous and really interrupted creative flow, hence I don't do any work for them anymore.
15 minute interval time sheets! not a chance that would really slow things down, i think a terms and conditions is what i need, just some form of protection as i know people like not paying,

like big dave said i need to grab them by the short and curlys
15 minutes, wow, what a doddle. Most accountants have to keep timesheets for every 6 minutes!

Don't complain about completing a timesheet. It really is the best way to cost your jobs.


Staff member
I'd just use a simple grid with start, end and description of work done if it was required.

Not quite sure how they'd take the description of computer is rendering imagery/video while I'm in bed sleeping though....
Thats because a lot of accountants don't lift a finger without charging for it. I have no problem with timesheets, I keep my own for jobs even if it's flat rate work as it's useful info for quoting future jobs. But 15 min intervals just means you're constantly clock watching and trying to think of excuses as to why you spent more than 3 mins making a coffee or fixing a paper jam.