Rate Label Hierarchy and Overrides

Created by Allison Cloyd, Modified on Tue, 24 Jan 2023 at 03:55 PM by Robert Butler

This article explains how rates can be set in multiple areas called rate labels and also what historic rate labels are. This provides the ability to set different rates for users of the same role. It also allows rate values to be overridden for specific matters and billable parties. 

A hierarchy exists to reliably override the rates. There are several levels that take precedence over the previous rate designation. The hierarchy is as follows. The top of the list takes precedence.

  • Matter rate override - Override rate in Matter billing options
  • Client rate override - Rate value set on the contact record
  • Timekeeper rate - User override
  • Matter rate - Rate set in Matter billing options
  • Quick code rate - Rate set for a specific quick code
  • Timekeeper rate - The default rate
  • System role rate - The default rate
  • Default - no rate set

 

Below is a description of each area where rates can be set and overridden. In the table, there are parentheticals next to the names of the rates and overrides. (rate) means it sets a specific rate label for Time Entries (override) means it overrides the value of a set rate. 

 

The table below explains the areas for setting rates and rate values automatically. It's important to note that rates can be selected on the time entry itself to override any automatic setting. 

/helpdesk/attachments/150002489346 

 

 

 

Rate Label Hierarchy Table

 

RateDescription
Matter rate (override)

Matter rate override is the topmost precedence rate value in the hierarchy. This is the rate value that will be used for the matter. This is an override of the rate's value.

This setting is located within a matter. It can be accessed by selecting the billing icon and then Matter billing options. 

It is located in the Rates section of Matter billing options.

/helpdesk/attachments/150002489347

The toggle for Enable custom rates must be set to 'On.' This displays a table to enter specific amounts that will be charged for the corresponding rate.

In the image above, the rate 'Attorney' has an override value of 230.00. When the rate is selected manually or by default, the value of each hour will be 230.00. 

As a result of the matter override, the time entry will display the rate value as a Matter rate.

/helpdesk/attachments/150002489348

Rate settings with higher priority

  • None
Matter rate (rate)

This is the top-most set rate (Although, Matter override can change the value). The value can be overridden; however, the rate selected here will be used for the matter. 

The Matter rate is set inside the matter in Matter billing options in the Rates section.

/helpdesk/attachments/150002489349

In the image above, the matter's selected rate is 'Special - $200.' This will be the rate used by default in time entries for all users. 

Rate settings with higher priority

  • Matter rate (override)
  • Client rate (override)
  • Timekeeper rate (user override)
Quick code rate (rate)

The quick-code rate is the rate attributed to the quick-code selected for the time entry. This is set per system role. Different system roles can have different rates for the same quick code.

/helpdesk/attachments/150002489350

In the image above, the quick code (client_meeting) rate is 'Special - $350.' 

Quick-codes can be accessed, created, and edited in Admin > General settings in the Quick-codes section. 

/helpdesk/attachments/150002489351

When editing or creating a quick-code a Default rate label to use by system role can be set.

/helpdesk/attachments/150002489352

In the case of the settings above, when an administrator creates a time entry with the quick-code client_meeting, the rate will be set to 'Special - $200.'

 

You can set up default rates against a quick code at a fixed fee or custom rate. 

 

Rate settings with higher priority

  • Matter rate (override)
  • Matter rate
  • Client rate (override)
  • Timekeeper rate (override)
Client rate (override)

The client rate override is a specified rate value for a client. If the matter rate is set to default and the matter rate override has no value, the client rate will override the value of the selected rate.

The settings for client rate overrides are located within the Contact record > Accounting section > Rate sheet overrides.

/helpdesk/attachments/150002489353

When a rate value is set for a rate for a contact, the time entry will display that rate value and denote that it is a client rate.

/helpdesk/attachments/150002489354

Referencing the two images above: The first shows the 'Senior' rate value changed from 450.00 to 550.00. In the resulting time entry, the selection of the 'Senior Lawyer' rate produces a rate value of 550.00.

Rate settings with higher priority

 

  • Matter rate (override)
Timekeeper rate (override)

The timekeeper user rate override is set at Admin > Users & permissions > Select user > Custom rate values section.

/helpdesk/attachments/150002489355

This allows that specific user to have a unique rate value when the overridden rate is selected for that user on a time entry. 

The Timekeeper rate override can also be set in Admin > Billing settings by selecting a rate in the Rate labels section. This can be accessed by selecting the Customize rate value by Timekeeper checkbox and entering an override value. 

 

 

The rate value on the time entry will display "Timekeeper rate (rate value).

/helpdesk/attachments/150002489357

Rate settings with higher priority

  • Matter rate (override)
  • Client rate
Timekeeper rate (default Rate)

The Timekeeper rate is a rate set for a specific user. The setting is located at Admin > Users & permissions > Select a user > Set field 'Default rate label' in the User preferences section.

/helpdesk/attachments/150002489358

This is the rate that will be used for that user unless the rate is overridden in the rate hierarchy. 

/helpdesk/attachments/150002489359

When creating a time entry, the Rate value field will display the Default rate (rate value).

 

Rate settings with higher priority

  • Timekeeper rate (user override)
  • Client rate
  • Matter rate (override)
  • Matter rate
System role rate (rate)

The system role rate selection determines the default rate for all users of that system role.

The system role rate is set at Admin > Users & permissions > System roles > Select system role > General settings section > Default rate sheet field.

 

 A time entry using the System role rate will display the Default rate (rate value).

/helpdesk/attachments/150002489360

 

Rate settings with higher priority

  • Timekeeper rate (default rate)
  • Timekeeper rate (user override)
  • Quick-code rate
  • Client rate
  • Matter rate (override)
  • Matter rate
Default - no rate set

If all rates are set to default, the time entry rate will select the first rate alphabetically. 

/helpdesk/attachments/150002489361

 

Rate settings with higher priority

  • System role rate
  • Timekeeper rate (default rate)
  • Timekeeper rate (user override)
  • Quick-code rate
  • Client rate
  • Matter rate (override)
  • Matter rate

 

 

Fixed fee and custom rate labels cannot have an override value. By design, they are used to enter a value when creating a time entry.

 

 

Historic Rates

/helpdesk/attachments/150002489362

Historic rates display in time entries when a rate value or hierarchy has been edited or removed. 

 

 

TIP: If a time entry has been saved with a 'Senior Lawyer' rate and the rate value is changed in Billing settings, the rate value on the time entry will display as a historic rate. This applies to editing the rate value, deleting the rate and merging it into another rate, or removing rate value overrides.

 

 

If a time entry has been saved with a 'Senior Lawyer' rate and the rate value is changed in Billing settings, the rate value on the time entry will display as a historic rate. This applies to editing the rate value, deleting the rate and merging it into another rate, or removing rate value overrides.

 

FAQ's

Why are my time entries showing a historic rate when using the Outlook Add-in? 

If you save a time entry from the Outlook Add-in with no matter number and assign it to a matter from within your timesheet then it will show a "historic" rate label. The rate value will be correct however because the time entry has in effect been saved to Actionstep twice the system believes it is overriding an old rate label and does this automatically. This does not affect the rate value. 



Related Articles: