In this article, you will learn about the 'Matter Billing Options', that are available within the billing menu in a matter.
You can access the matter billing options in two locations from within your matter. Go to your Matter > Click on the calculator in the menu bar within your matter. You can then either click on Edit located in the top bar or Matter billing options located in the left menu.
First of all, you'll want to determine whether or not billing is enabled for the matter at all. You can do so using the toggle under 'Enable' pictured in the screenshot above. If the matter is billable, you'll then want to select the Billing status. 'Use matter status for billing' will mean that the billing status mimics the state of the actual matter (open, closed). Otherwise, you can also set a static option of 'Open' or 'Closed' by default.
|The most commonly used option here would be to Use matter status for billing. This means that the matter will be able to be billed when open and it will not be able to be billed when closed.|
Here you can set the default bill template under 'Invoice template' - note that you can still override the default by selecting a different template at the time of generating the bill. You can also determine which email address the bill will be sent to - by default, the primary participant's email address will be available beneath this field. If you check the box next to their name, it will auto-populate the field with their email address. This email address will also be used for Mass Billing. You can also select an 'Email Template' for the email that is sent out along with the bill. Lastly, you can determine the number of copies that will be printed at the time of billing (1, 2 or Do Not Print).
In this section, you can indicate whether a matter is to be billed on an Hourly or Fixed-Fee basis. You can nominate a pricing group. You can also create provisions to accommodate for situations where the WIP either exceeds or falls short of the quoted amount. Through the 'Fee Reductions' field, you can determine the behavior of discounts within the bill, in terms of whether or not they are visible as discounts to your client. Lastly, you can utilize the toggle pictured underneath the rest of the fields in the screenshot below to ensure that only disbursements will be billed out. This option can be disabled at any point to re-enable fees to be added to bills.
You can outline a fee estimate here in terms of fees, fees and disbursements or disbursements only.
You can nominate a matter discount here. This will apply a discount to every invoice in this matter (in relation to fees only, not expenses or disbursements).
In this section, you can assign a default rate label to the matter, or create custom rate overrides. You can also click on the blue text under the 'CLIENT RATE' column to open the client's contact record and set a specific rate for the specified client.
|NOT available in all systems so you may not see this option|
Retainers are made available globally via the 'Billing Settings' but you are also able to determine whether they are enabled at a matter level. The 'To pay' field determines what activities the retainer balance can be applied against, and the 'Payment automation' field determines how balances are applied at the time of billing: manually or automatically.
General Retainers must be enabled via Admin -> Billing Settings for these options to appear within the 'Matter Billing Options'.
When Retainer replenishment is enabled, you can enter a minimum balance and top-up trigger amount. At the time of billing, the system looks at the retainer balance and triggers. If the balance has reached the trigger amount, a minimum retainer balance request is added to the bill.
|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.|
This section allows you to control how the trust funds for the specified matter are used. With the 'To pay' field you can determine whether funds are only applied to unbilled items included on bills, or to both new charges and past receivables. 'Payment automation' will determine whether the funds are applied automatically or manually by the user.
Mass Billing Settings
Use this checkbox to determine whether or not the specified matter will be included/excluded as part of Mass Billing.
This setting inherits the default value set within Admin -> Billing Settings, but can also be changed for one specific client.
More here: Fee Allocation Setttings
You can change your tax settings here. They are based on your setting 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 customer is based offshore and therefore the regulations state that you do not charge sales tax. You can change this setting just for this matter here.|
If enabled, you can use this section to determine which UTBMS codes will be used on the specified matter.