|NOTE: Actionstep offers built-in Accounting to users on our Practice Pro + Accounting plan. This article covers functionality only available with that option.
A firm withdrawal is a transaction that involves removing money from your bank account to pay an expense. In Actionstep, a firm withdrawal transaction is not for paying a supplier invoice. It is for paying an expense that you did not get invoiced for.
In this article, we will show you how to get to the screen where you can enter a firm withdrawal, how to fill in that screen to process the firm withdrawal and how to access previously entered firm withdrawals.
Creating a New Firm Withdrawal
Use the Global create button, and make sure it is the expanded version. Look under Accounting and choose Firm withdrawal.
You will want to:
- Check the 'Bank account' and 'Date' are correct
- Enter who the payment is to
- Set the 'Payment method' and enter a 'Journal memo'
- Select the 'Account' and the 'Amount' for the line item
- If the withdrawal is for an expense you want to bill onto your client, select a 'Matter' and tick the 'Bill' tickbox
TIP: There are two ways that you can speed up entering the data in the New firm withdrawal screen. The first is to use a Withdrawal template. Click on the icon in the top right of the screen.
Here you will see existing saved templates, or you can create a new one using the current withdrawal data.
Once created, you can access and use the Firm Withdrawal templates to fill in default information.
You can also set defaults for a Firm Withdrawal so that some of the fields in the form are automatically populated to your preferred option. You can do this on the Accounting Preferences screen.
TIP: As you enter a Firm Withdrawal, you can also upload a supporting document using the paperclip icon in the top right of the screen.
Use this to upload a scan of your receipt to keep complete auditable records of all your transactions in Actionstep.
Once you have saved a document, a number will appear beside the paperclip icon to indicate how many documents are attached to the transaction. Click on the icon again to view and download the documents.
Understanding the New Firm Withdrawal Screen
The screen is broken down into the top where you enter the details of the bank transaction and the bottom part of the screen where you enter line items to break down the withdrawal.
We explain each of the fields below.
|The bank account that the withdrawal will be made from. Trust bank accounts will not be displayed.
|The date that the withdrawal will be made out of your bank account.
The contact that the payment was made to.
The dropdown will display commonly used contacts first (contacts that you use for withdrawals often), then you can choose either:
If you choose 'Another contact record', you will be prompted to choose or create the contact record from those in your system.
If you choose 'Other' you can free type in the Payee's name.
|Amounts include GST/VAT?
This tick-box will only appear if you have sales tax such as GST or VAT set in your system.
Untick this box if the value you enter into the 'Amount' box is exclusive of sales tax.
Select how the payment was processed. The option that you chose will dictate what fields are displayed for the 'Reference'.
For example, if you were to choose the option 'Printed check' you would have a field asking you to choose the check series.
If you were to choose "Electronic funds transfer' you would have a field asking you for a reference.
Enter the reference for the transaction. This is displayed in your bank reconciliations to make it easier to identify transactions.
The field may have a different label depending on the payment method selected. For example, if the payment method is Printed Check, you will be prompted to choose the check series.
|The Quick-code dropdown will allow you to populate the Journal Memo field faster. The options available will be set by your Admin.
|Enter a memo or note for this transaction. You can populate the Journal memo from a pre-set list of memos using the Quick-code dropdown.
Search and select a matter to associate with the withdrawal that you are creating.
Even if you are not going to bill a firm withdrawal onto your client, if it is for one matter you may want to still associate it to a matter. Reports like the Multi Matter Profitability Report give you insight into your profitable matters if you record costs against them.
This must be populated for every line item in your firm withdrawal.
Select the general ledger account that you would like this item posted to. Think of this as a way to categorize what type of expense the line item is for.
You are able to type the account name or number to help find it faster.
|Choose what sales tax rate will be applied to this line item.
Enter the description of the line item.
If you leave this blank, the line item description will populate with the firm withdrawal's Journal memo.
To bill this line item onto your client, tick the box.
Please note that to bill this cost onto a client you will need to ensure the following are included:
UTBMS (or Uniform Task-Based Management System) is a process where the items you bill are categorized based on a fixed set of codes. This is a system required by some clients of law firms to help them understand the break down of what they are being billed for.
In the Firm withdrawal, we have this so that if you bill this line item onto your client, you can assign a UTMBS code to that billable item as you create it.
If you don't Bill using LEDES or UTBMS then please ignore this option.
|Enter the amount for the line item.
Use this button to create more than one line item.
Most users will enter in one line item for a supplier invoice, even if that supplier invoice has multiple lines displayed in the paper/PDF copy received. By summarising together lines into one line you cut down on the amount of data entry required.
There will be exceptions, however.
Accessing your Previous Firm Withdrawals
Firm withdrawals will be treated as banking transactions and so you will find them included in the list of transactions for your bank.
Access these by going to the Accounting menu and clicking on Banking. Choose the bank account the transaction should have been made from and using the three-dot button select Transactions.
The listed transactions will include all transactions for that bank account. If you want to see just the firm withdrawals, use the Filter to filter the 'Entry type' by "Firm withdrawal'.
Q. Can I do a "bulk" firm withdrawal, for example I want to make one payment for Search fees but the payment relates to a number of different Search fees for different matters?
A. If you have a firm withdrawal that will have billable items for more than one matter, then you follow the same process as creating a new firm withdrawal, but you create a separate additional line entry for each by using the + Add row button.
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