This article explains how to use General Retainers with Actionstep Payments.
Firstly you need to turn on General Retainer in the admin settings following these instructions: Turning on General Retainer
You then need to enable the Matter Billing Options on the matter by going to your matter > Billing (calculator) > Matter Billing Options and scrolling down to the section Retainers (making sure to choose General from the dropdown).
If you would like to request an initial retainer amount (i.e. request funds to be paid to the general retainer before starting work) enter an amount in the initial retainer amount box above and hit save.
Once this has been saved you will see a Create online button in the Matter billing. Click on this and you will be taken to send a request for retainer funds through Actionstep payments.
When your customer makes an online payment you will receive an email notification. The General Retainer deposit will also appear in the General retainer tab.
|NOTE: These notifications and transactions will be made in real-time.|
Once any payment has been made towards the initial retainer amount - the amount will lock and cannot be edited.
In the example, above my customers paid $900 of my retainer request for $1,000 I click on the create online button again Actionstep will automatically request the $100 remaining of the initial amount requested.
Minimum general retainer amounts and Top-ups - General Retainer
You can set up a minimum balance on your general retainer which means that your customer must always have a minimum amount in their general retainer account for you to proceed with their matter.
A Top-up trigger amount is also used to outline when you would like to request a top-up.
If your minimum balance is set to $1,000 and your top-up trigger amount is $,1000 - if the balance in the general retainer falls to $999 your customer will be sent a request for $1. It is best practice to set the top-up amount to be an amount less than the minimum balance that means you will not stop work but it will be annoying for your customer to receive minimal top-up requests. We would suggest a top-up amount of $900 in the above example.
For more information on accounting transactions made to your business/operating account, click here: Understanding the Accounting Transactions created by Payments to your operating/business account
Q.I have received my initial retainer requested from my customer and started work. Further work is required how do I request another retainer?
A.Currently, you only have the ability to request one initial retainer amount. To request a subsequent amount - enter a minimum balance and set the top-up trigger to $0. Select Create online and send the request to your customer. Once you have sent the payment request make sure to remember to come back to the matter billing settings and turn the replenishment retainer off. This will ensure your customer will not receive any further requests in the future.