Setting Up Billing for a Specific Matter

Modified on Tue, 07 May 2024 at 02:19 PM

In this article:

Billing for a legal matter ensures transparency and accountability in the provision of legal services, allowing both you and the client to track the time and resources expended. In Actionstep, you can set up how billing will be handled on a matter-by-matter basis.

How-To Video


Setting Up Billing

You can set up how billing is handled for a specific matter.

To do this:

  1. Edit your matter. (See Editing a Matter for help.) 
  2. Click the Billing icon. The Billing page appears.
  3. Either click Matter billing options. or click the edit icon above the billing panels.
    The Matter Billing Options page appears.
  4. Enable billing for this matter by toggling Enable to on. Additional fields become available. 
  5. Select the Billing status. Your options include Active for billing, Closed for billing, or Use matter status for billing (which syncs the billing status with the matter's status).
  6. Complete the fields in the Basics section:
    • Click Invoice template and choose the default bill template. (The template you select here will be suggested when you generate the bill. If needed, you can choose a different template when you actually generate the bill.) 
    • Enter the email address(es) you want to send the bill to in the Send to email address field. By default, the primary participant's email address will be listed beneath this field. Select their name to add their address to this field. 
    • This email address will also be used for Mass Billing
    • Click the Email Template drop-down list to choose the template that will be used to format the email. 
    • Click the No. of copies to print drop-down list to choose how many copies of the bill will be printed at the time of billing. Your options include Do not print, 1, or 2.
  7. Complete the fields in the Billing arrangement section:
    • Click the Arrangement drop-down list and choose whether a matter is to be billed on an Hourly or Fixed fee basis. 
    • Click the Price group drop-down list and choose your pricing group.
    • Click the Default time entry behavior drop-down list and choose if an entry is charged or visible on the bill. Your options include Bill, Hide, and No Charge.
    • Click the If WIP is less than / exceeds estimate drop-down lists to choose how to address situations where the WIP either falls short of or exceeds the quoted amount, respectively. 
    • Click the Fee Reductions drop-down list and choose how discounts will be displayed on the bill.
    • Toggle Only invoice disbursements to on to ensure that only disbursements will be billed. Toggle this option to off at any point allow fees to be added to bills.
  8. Complete the fields in the Estimate section:
    • Click the Estimate amount includes drop-down list and choose what costs will be included in the fee estimate. Your options include Fees only, Disbursements only, and Fees and disbursements.
    • Enter the Estimate amount.
    • Select Get notified when the matter reaches 80% of the estimate to receive a warning when you're actual billing amount gets close to the estimated amount. 
  9. Click the Discount type drop-down list and choose the type of discount you want to apply to fees for this matter. Your options are Percentage and Fixed Amount. Then enter the number for the option you selected.
    TIP: Discounts are applied to fees only—not expenses or disbursements.
  10. Complete the fields in the Rates section:
    • Click the Default rate label drop-down list and choose the type of rate that should be suggested for the billing. This option overrides any other system user or quick code rate label for any user adding time to this matter.
    • Toggle Enable custom rates to on to add custom rates for each role that might work on this matter.
  11. If available, complete the fields in the General retainers section:
    • Toggle Enable to on to allow general retainers.
    • Click the To pay drop-down list and choose what activities the retainer balance can be applied against.
    • Click the Payment automation drop-down list to choose how balances are applied at the time of billing: Manually or Automatically.
      TIP: To enable general retainers (and view these option on the Matter Billing Options page), an admin can go to Admin > Billing Settings.

  12. Complete the fields in the Retainer replenishment section:
    • Toggle Enable to on to allow billing to happen to replenish any retainers. (At the time of billing, the system looks at the retainer balance. If the balance has reached the trigger amount, a minimum retainer balance request is added to the bill.)
    • Enter a Minimum balance and Top-up trigger amount.
      EXAMPLE: A matter has a minimum retainer balance of $5000 and a trigger value of $3000. The matter currently has a General Retainer balance of $6000 and WIP of $3500. When a bill is created for the $3500, the balance will fall to $2500, which is lower than the trigger value. Therefore, the bill will add a request for $2500 to replenish the retainer balance to its required minimum amount.
  13. Complete the fields in the Trust accounting section:
    • Click the To pay drop-down list and choose whether funds are applied to only unbilled items included on bills, or to both new charges and past receivables. 
    • Click the Payment automation drop-down list to choose whether the funds will be applied automatically or manually by the user.
  14. In Mass Billing settings, clear Exclude this Matter from Mass Billing to include this matter when reviewing and sending your bills in bulk. See Mass Billing for additional information.
  15. Complete the fields in the Fee allocation section to change how fee allocations are completed for a specific client. See Fee Allocation Settings for more information.
  16. Complete the fields in the Tax section based on your firm's requirements. These options are based on your settings in in Admin > Billing; however, you can customize this on a matter-by-matter basis here. 
    EXAMPLE: You may usually charge sales tax on invoices. However, in this particular matter, your client is offshore and therefore the regulations indicate that you cannot charge sales tax. You can change this setting just for this matter here.
  17. Complete the fields in the E-Billing section to assign UTBMS codes for this matter. 
  18. Click Save to save your changes. 


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