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How to Make Sure You’re Not Being Cheated by Freelancers: Definitive Guide To Billable Hours (And How To Record Them)

Maria Petit

As a business owner, you know that working with freelancers can be a great way to get the job done without having to hire a full-time employee. However, it’s important to ensure that you are not being cheated by them when billing for hours worked. 

In this definitive guide, we will teach you how to ensure that you are paying fair billable hours for the work that is being done. We will also give you a few tips on how to record these hours so that you can keep track of them.

Let’s get started!

Freelancers are that little Swiss army knife that if you know how to use, a lot of great things can be done! Think about them as a nice toolkit. For business owners, working with freelancers has a lot of advantages. The most obvious one is cost efficiency since you only pay for the hours worked on your project and nothing more. However, how do you know if you are paying for the job that is being done? 

Find out here!

The Benefits of Hiring a Freelancer

Currently, there are approximately 1.57 billion freelancers in the global workforce, with the market expected to grow without much trouble in the coming years. By 2023, the global freelance market economy will potentially reach $455 billion. With these massive numbers, surely hiring a freelancer worth the money! Let’s see what you get when you hire one.

There are many benefits of working with freelancers: 

Cost Effective Strategy

As we mentioned above, saving a portion of your budget is the most obvious benefit. 

For many businesses, hiring freelancers is a cost-effective way to get the skilled labor they need without having to commit to a long-term employee. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 70% of an employee’s salary goes toward the actual pay, leaving approximately 30% for benefits. Companies theoretically save this % when hiring a freelancer

Freelancers can be hired on an as-needed basis, which allows businesses to save on overhead costs such as benefits and office space. In addition, businesses can often negotiate lower rates with freelancers than they would with traditional employees.


Expertise is always in high demand, no matter the industry. As businesses grow, they quickly learn that they cannot do everything on their own and must rely on outside help to remain competitive. This is where freelancers come in. 

By hiring freelancers with specific expertise, businesses can get the quality of work they need without the high cost of full-time employees. In addition, freelancers provide a level of flexibility that full-time employees cannot match. Businesses can hire them for specific projects or tasks and then let them go when they are no longer needed. 

When you hire a freelancer, you’re getting somebody who is an expert in their field and who can bring a unique perspective to your project

For businesses that are constantly changing and evolving, this flexibility is essential. So if you’re looking for work of quality without a high price tag, consider hiring a freelancer with the expertise you need.

High Quality of Work

Evidently, with this expertise comes quality! When you hire a full-time employee, they may be juggling several projects at once and may not be able to give your project the attention it deserves. 

However, when you hire a freelancer, you can be confident that they will focus on your project and put in the time and effort to produce high-quality work. In addition, freelancers are often more willing to go the extra mile to ensure that you are happy with their work. 

Worldwide Reach

With the ease of the internet, businesses have access to an unprecedented pool of talent. Companies are no longer limited to hiring employees who live nearby. With the help of freelancers, businesses can tap into a global workforce and get the skills they need without incurring the overhead cost of traditional employees. 

This means that you are no longer limited to hiring employees who live near your business

Whichever way you look at it, hiring a freelancer is a great way to get the skilled labor you need without breaking the bank. So if you’re looking to save money and get high-quality work, consider hiring a freelancer today!

Recording Billable Hours: How to Make Sure You’re Not Being Cheated by Freelancers

Not everyone out there is as honest as we would want. Thus no matter how great a freelancer is, there’s always the potential for them to cheat you on billable hours. 

Billable hours are the amount of time that a freelancer spends working on a project that can be charged to the client, including anything from brainstorming ideas to writing proposals to actual billable work like design or coding

So how can you make sure that you’re not being cheated? Here are five ways to ensure that you’re paying a fair amount of billable hours to your freelancers:

Clear and Concise Scope of Work

When you have a clear and concise scope of work, the freelancers cannot change the scope at you last minute and ask for more money. This happens because they know exactly what is expected of them before they start working. Also, when you are clear about what you want from the beginning, finding the right freelancer for the job becomes easier. 

If the scope of work is not clear, it can lead to misunderstandings and potential disputes down the line

For example, if you need a logo designed, be specific about what type of logo you want, what colors you want to use, etc. This will prevent the freelancer from giving you something that you are not happy with. In addition, it is important to set a deadline for the project so that the freelancer knows how much time they have to complete the work. 

Agree on a Rate Beforehand

Before hiring the freelancer you chose, make sure that you agree on a rate for their services. This will help avoid confusion or disagreement about how much they should be paid. 

In addition, agreeing on a rate beforehand will help to ensure that the freelancer is not overcharging you for their services. There are a few different ways to do this: either by setting an hourly rate or by agreeing on a flat fee for the project. 

If you don’t know what an appropriate hourly rate is, we are helping you out! According to Payoneer, the average freelancer earns $21/hour, as shown in a study that surveyed 7,000 people from 150 different countries. You can see the rest of the spectrum in the graph below.

Yet, these rates can vary among industries. The graph below compares the hourly rates for 8 prominent industries:

Track Their Hours

We highly encourage tracking the hours that the freelancer works on your project. This can be done by using time-tracking software or simply asking them to keep a log of their hours. Monitask is one of the greatest software in the market for tasks like this. 

The employee time tracking feature on Monitask is an amazing tool for employees, field contractors, and freelancers who want to be able to manually clock in when they start working. This feature allows employers to take screenshots of the employee’s work process, which is useful when trying to improve workflows or catch errors. 

As well, the feature allows employers to see how long an employee spends on a task, which can help with time management. Monitask is a great way to improve transparency and communication between you and your freelancer.

By tracking your freelancer’s working hours, you can ensure that the freelancer is not padding their billable hours!

Get an Itemized Invoice

When you receive an invoice from a freelancer, make sure that it is itemized like the one below. This means that it should list out all of the hours worked and the tasks that were completed. 

Itemized invoices will help to ensure that you are only being charged for actual work completed. In addition, they will provide a record of what was done in case there are any questions or disagreements later on. 

Pay by the Project, Not by the Hour

Paying by the hour may seem like the most straightforward way to pay a freelancer, but sometimes is not the best option. First of all, hourly rates can incentivize freelancers to take longer to complete a project. 

In addition, hourly rates don’t take into account the experience or skills of the freelancer, which means that you could end up paying more for a less experienced worker. For some projects, paying by the project is a much better option, as it allows you to agree on a set price upfront. This way, you can be sure that you’re getting what you’re paying for.


When working on a long-term project, it is important to set up mile Milestones are a great way to keep track of the progress of a project and ensure that it is on schedule. 

They also help to ensure that you are only paying for work that has been completed

For example, if you have hired a freelancer to design a website, you could set up milestones for each stage of the project, such as the home page, the about page, and the contact page. 

This way, you can be sure that you are only paying for work that has been completed. In addition, if there are any delays in the project, you will only be responsible for paying for work up to the last milestone that was reached. 

Set Up a Weekly or Biweekly Call

You’re probably using freelancers to help you with various tasks related to your business. While it can be great to have an extra set of hands, you also need to be careful that you’re not being taken advantage of. 

One way to protect yourself is to set up a weekly or biweekly call with each of your freelancers

This will give you a chance to check in on their progress, ask any questions, and provide feedback. It can also help to build trust and mutual respect. If you set up a weekly or biweekly call with your freelancers, you can rest assured that they’re not taking advantage of you – and that your business is moving forward as planned.

Don’t Pay in Advance

It’s a simple rule, but one that is often broken. All too often, clients pay freelancers in advance, only to never receive the work they were promised. 

If a freelancer asks for payment in advance, move on to someone else

If a freelancer asks for payment upfront, be sure to ask for samples of their previous work. If they can’t provide any, it’s best to find someone else to do the job.

Hourly rates are just one aspect to consider when hiring a freelancer – experience and skills matter too! When looking at hourly rates, also take into account the freelancer’s experience and skills to get a fair price.

So there you have it! A definitive guide to recording billable hours (and how to make sure you’re not being cheated by freelancers).


By following the tips above, you can be sure that you’re not being cheated by freelancers. By tracking their hours, getting an itemized invoice, and paying by the project, you can protect yourself from being taken advantage of. 

In addition, setting up a weekly or biweekly call will help to build trust and mutual respect. And finally, don’t pay in advance, take the time to do a little research, and be careful with whom you hire – it could save you a lot of money in the long run! 

By following these tips, you can be sure that you’re getting what you paid for. We hope you have enjoyed our article. If you are interested in learning more, take a look at our posts archive!

-The Monitask Team

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