Clients & Matters Billing Set Up

In this article:

  1. Client & Matter Invoice Settings
  2. a) Client-level Invoice Settings
    b) Matter-level Invoice Settings

  3. Consolidate Matters for Billing
  4. Create and Edit Global Rates
  5. Client Trust Accounting
  6. Split Billing Projects
  7. Billing Categories
  8. Enable interest for a Client
  9. Client & Matter Account Groups


Client & Matter Invoice Settings

Client-level Invoice Settings

These can be setup firm-wide under Clients>Settings>Invoice Settings, or under individual clients Clients>Clients & Matters>[client name]>Invoice Settings. Client-specific settings will override any firm-wide settings. Matter-specific settings will override client settings, and Client-specific settings will override any firm-wide settings.

Click on Clients>Settings>Invoice Settings

Automatically complete milestone and generate invoices - The system will auto-generate invoices against Milestones (fixed fee invoices) that have a date equal to or before the drafting date. By default, this will be turned on. If this option is turned on at the time of generating draft invoices, all the milestones in the invoice date range will be billed. If this option is turned off when generating draft invoices, the milestone invoice will not be generated. That would require manually generating the invoice by clicking Complete and Generate Invoice on the Matter Plan tab. 

Default flexible billing template - This template will be used for all new matters and can be changed at the matter level as well. Templates can be customized to include as much or as little detail as required and can be set up at Invoice>Settings>Flexible Templates.

From address - This sender address will be used for all new matters and can be changed at the matter level as well. The addresses that show here are fed from Account, Our Account.  The firm main address is located on the Our Account tab.  Additional remittance or branch addresses can be set up on the Additional Contacts tab.

Apply interest - Interest can be turned on or off at the client level. An Interest Start Date can be set at the matter level. TimeSolv uses simple interest. 

Interest rate - Enter an annual percentage. Your Grace Period and Payment Terms will impact when interest starts to accrue.

Interest Type - in the case of Simple, interest will always be calculated against the principal balance amount. Whereas in the case of Compound, interest will be calculated against the total balance amount (including the interest).

Grace period - This is assigned at the Client level and allows a period of time before interest will accrue (in addition to Payment Terms).  For example, if invoices give a 30-day grace period, then no interest is calculated within the first 30 days. On day 31 (if Payment Terms are Upon Receipt), it would start to calculate interest on the unpaid balance owed at the percentage assigned to it. The Grace Period does not show on the invoice.

Payment terms - This can be modified at the Client or Matter levels and allows a period of time before interest will accrue (in addition to the Grace Period).  While default language will feed into the Payment Terms Text area based on the choice made here, it can be customized. The Payment Terms can be made to show on the invoices (template, Main tab).

Payment terms text - customize how you want the payment terms information to be displayed on the invoice for clients.

Default invoice delivery

Printer – Depending on your browser settings, a dialogue box will be presented on the screen so the user can decide to save, print, or discard the invoice.
Email - several email formats are available (see image below), including LEDES.

Automail -  TimeSolv can send hard copies of invoices to your clients for a small fee.

Invoice narratives - TimeSolv gives you maximum flexibility to communicate with your clients on invoices and emails. These can be edited at the firm, client, matter, and draft invoice levels. The narrative fields include cover page, invoice, invoice footer, email message, statement message, and payment instructions.


Matter-level Invoice Settings

Click on Clients>Clients & Matters>[matter name]>Invoice Settings.

Billing arrangement options - Matters can be set to bill specific ways.  The usual hourly bill would be Time and Expense (On Demand).  Perhaps you have a contingent matter and want to bill the expenses only… you can do that.

Time and Expense
Time Only
Expense Only
Fixed Fee – Time and Expense (expenses included in the amount)
Fixed Fee – Time Only (client pays the expenses)

Event

On Demand – these matters will be listed when you create new draft invoices.
Milestone – these matters will not be listed when you create new draft invoices.

Checkmark ‘ Automatically Complete Milestone and Generate Invoices‘ box if you would like the system to auto-generate Milestone invoices (fixed fee invoices) that have a date equal to or before the drafting date. This option will only be visible if the billing event is set as Milestone. By default, firm-level settings will determine whether this is enabled under Clients>Settings>Invoice Settings. If this option is turned on at the time of generating draft invoices, all the milestones in the invoice date range will be billed. If this option is turned off when generating draft invoices, the milestone invoice will not be generated. That would require manually generating the invoice by clicking Complete and Generate Invoice on the Matter Plan tab.

Default flexible template – This template will be used for this matter, overriding the client and firm default template choices. This allows users to specify exactly what information appears on the invoices generated. Invoices can include as much or as little detail as required. Set this up under Invoice>Settings>Flexible Templates. [***link to templates***]

From address - This sender address will be used for all new matters and can be changed at the matter level as well. The addresses that show here are fed from Account, Our Account.  The firm main address is located on the Our Account tab.  Additional remittance or branch addresses can be set up on the Additional Contacts tab.

Apply interest - Interest can be turned on or off at the client level. An Interest Start Date can be set at the matter level. TimeSolv uses simple interest. 

Interest rate - Enter an annual percentage. Your Grace Period and Payment Terms will impact when interest starts to accrue.

Interest Type - in the case of Simple, interest will always be calculated against the principal balance amount. Whereas in the case of Compound, interest will be calculated against the total balance amount (including the interest).

Grace Period - This is assigned at the Client level and allows a period of time before interest will accrue (in addition to Payment Terms).  For example, if invoices give a 30-day grace period, then no interest is calculated within the first 30 days. On day 31 (if Payment Terms are Upon Receipt), it would start to calculate interest on the unpaid balance owed at the percentage assigned to it. The Grace Period does not show on the invoice.

Payment terms - This can be modified at the Client or Matter levels and allows a period of time before interest will accrue (in addition to Grace Period).  While default language will feed into the Payment Terms Text area based on the choice made here, it can be customized.  The Payment Terms can show on the invoice (template, Main tab).

Interest start date – Designate when interest is to start for any given matter.

Payment terms text - Customize how you want the payment terms information to be displayed on the invoice for clients.

Discount % - Establish a discount at the time of matter creation. 

Consolidate matters – If two matters are consolidated and one of the matters has a discount set at the matter level, the discount will be applied to matter that has the discount specified against it.

Split Matters – In case of split matters the discount will only be applied to the matter that has the discount set.

Note: You cannot apply discounts to Fixed Fee invoices.

Invoice delivery

Printer - - Depending on your browser settings, a dialogue box will be presented on the screen so the user can decide to save, print, or discard the invoice.
Email - several email formats are available (see image below), including LEDES.

Automail -  TimeSolv can send hard copies of invoices to your clients for a small fee.

Invoice narratives - TimeSolv gives you maximum flexibility to communicate with your clients on invoices and emails. These can be edited at the firm, client, matter, and draft invoice levels. The narrative fields include cover page, invoice, invoice footer, email message, statement message, and payment instructions.


Consolidate Matters for Billing

Merging multiple Matters onto one single invoice means you save time and costs. 

Click on Clients>Clients & Matters>[client name]>Matters.

Select the  Consolidated? checkbox against the desired matters. 

Note: If you created any drafts for the client before these changes were made, you will need to postpone and recreate the draft in order to update the client invoice to consolidated.


Create and Edit Global Rates

The advantage of using Global Rates is that you can customize your rates for various situations and have them ready to use. Rate examples could be a 10% discount rate, litigation rates, divorce rates, child custody rates, etc.  Or, if you have a different rate for specific clients, you can name the rate by the client name so that it is easy to assign.

Click on Time>Settings>Global Rates>New Global Rate.

Description - this description is only available when viewing the list of global rates under this tab. When you are assigning global rates in the clients and matters section, you will only see the name of the global rate, not the description.

Click on  Edit Rates link next to the newly created global rate and fill in the alternative rates against each user. If a rate is not assigned in the right column, the default rate will be used (left column).


Client Trust Accounting

TimeSolv allows management of Trust payments easily and quickly. Your firm can even auto-pay invoices from the Trust account and request replenishment funds on an invoice automatically when the Trust falls below the threshold designated. The Trust Banking Report is also very valuable in managing trust funds.

In order to view Client level Trust settings, ensure Trust Accounting is enabled under  Payments>Settings>Enable Trust Accounting.

Click on Clients>Clients & Matters>[matter name]>Trust>New Trust.

Note: if there is anything tied to the Trust account it cannot be deleted. This will create a ‘client sub-container’ in the firm trust account. To deposit funds in the Trust, go to Payments, Trust and complete the upper part of the screen. If auto-allocation is not selected, trust funds are manually allocated at the lower part of Payments, Trust. 


Split Billing Projects

Select the Client that is the ‘Master Matter’ for split billing project – the ‘Master Matter’ is the one time and expense entries will be entered against before everything is split during the invoicing stage.

Note: Ensure that the ‘Master Matter’ (i.e. the parent Matter) that you are creating the split billing project for is NOT consolidated, as consolidated Master Matters cannot be used in split billing. This can be checked under  Clients>Clients & Matters>[client name]>Matters>General. The ‘Master Matter’ must also not be a part of any other Split Billing configuration (i.e. it cannot be attached to another Split Billing project as a Secondary Matter).

Click on Clients>Clients & Matters>[matter name]>Split billing.

Step One

Select Split Option:

Split Hours and Amount - hours worked and amount to be billed will be split between all clients-matters under this split billing project, according to the percentages assigned to each client-matter (as shown below).

Split Hours and Calculate Amount - the number of hours worked will be split first, then the total amount to be billed will be calculated according to the percentages assigned to each client-matter (as shown below). This is useful for those split billing projects that have various timekeepers with different default rates working on it.

Step Two

Click on the  Add Split Billing Project to add the Secondary Matter. You can continue this process to add as many matters to the split billing project as required.

Remainders - at least ONE Matter added to the split billing project MUST have the value ‘Remainder’ assigned to it, so that any leftover fraction values are not left unassigned when splitting invoices/bills between multiple clients-matters.

Delete - there will be no warning before deletion. Clicking on the delete link will immediately remove the client-matter.

Step Three

Now any time & expense entries made for this ‘Master Matter’ (i.e. primary Matter, or parent Matter) will automatically have those entries assigned to any Secondary Matters listed under the split billing project too. These will be split when you generate an invoice (and click the Split checkbox) for Master Matter. 

Timesolv recommends that an unsplit draft invoice for the Master Matter be generated first for review and corrections. Once that is completed, void the draft and regenerate it but click the Split checkbox. The split invoices will be created.  While you can edit each of these invoices individually, if you do so, you will not be able to Undo Split Entries – another powerful feature TimeSolv offers.

If you don’t edit the drafts separately and find you need to put the entries back together, you can do so.  You would void the drafts, go to the Matter, Split Billing tab, and click Undo Split Entries in the upper right corner.


Billing Categories

Users can create Billing Categories to help invoice your clients in more organized batches. These should not be confused with Client Categories which feed into 13 different reports.

Users can customize the ‘Billing Categories’ label and create new Billing Categories.

Click on Client>Settings>Billing Categories tab. 

Click New Billing Category.

Assign these billing categories to clients & matters under either Clients>Clients & Mattters>[client name]>Invoice Settings or Clients>Clients & Mattters>[matter name]>Invoice Settings.

By default, matters will inherit the Client-level setting.

Note: on consolidated matters, only the client level Billing Categories will be used.

If a billing category is not specified for a client or matter, draft invoices will generate for them if the Billing Category is left at ‘None Specified.’

To draft invoices by Billing Category, Click on Invoices>Drafts>New Draft Invoices.


Enable Interest for a Client

If the client already exists in TimeSolv, first change the firm-level settings to apply interest to all future clients, and change the interest settings on each existing client at the client level.

Note: this would be for companies that charge interest for all clients.

TimeSolv uses both compound and simple interest.

In the case of Simple, interest will always be calculated against the principal balance amount.

Whereas in the case of Compound, interest will be calculated against the total balance amount. In short, if interest is unpaid, your clients will be charged interest on top of interest because it is calculated on the balance owed. For example, if your invoices give a 30 day grace period, then no interest is calculated within the first 30 days. On day 31, it would start to calculate interest on the unpaid balance owed at the percentage that you have assigned it.

Interest is calculated based on the percentage you assign (please se this article on how to turn interest on and how to assign that percentage). Interest is assigned at that percentage for anything that is due over their grace period time.

Click on Clients>Settings>Invoice Settings.

Apply Interest? - Enable.

Interest Rate - interest rate is based on an annual percentage rate. As an example, if you were to charge a 5% annual interest, you would enter 5 in this field. Or, if you wanted to charge 1.5% monthly interest, you would type in 18 (because 1.5 * 12 months of the year = 18). 

Interest Type - in the case of Simple, interest will always be calculated against the principal balance amount. Whereas in the case of Compound, interest will be calculated against the total balance amount (including the interest).

Grace Period (days) -  This is the amount of provisional time you will allow the client to make a payment beyond the due date before you begin to charge interest (in addition to Payment Terms). This can be overridden at the Client level. For example, if your invoices give a 30 day grace period, then no interest is calculated within the first 30 days. On day 31 (if your Payment Terms are Upon Receipt), it would start to calculate interest on the unpaid balance owed at the percentage that you have assigned it. The Grace Period does not show on the invoice.

Payment terms – This can be modified at the Client or Matter levels and allows a period of time before interest will accrue (in addition to Grace Period).  While default language will feed into the Payment Terms Text area based on the choice made here, it can be customized.  The Payment Terms can show on the invoice (template, Main tab).

Payment Terms Text - will automatically pre-fill with whatever Payment Terms are selected. But this can be customized to suit your needs. This text box is the only place for you to notify your client what the payment terms are, so if you wish you can write ‘Please pay immediately’ despite having a payment term set up in your back office.


Client & Matter Account Groups

In TimeSolv, clients can be classified into various account groups. This information feeds into the Client/Matter by Matter Detail report. The payment and account groups are also used for syncing with Account Edge.

Click on Clients>Settings>Account Groups tab.

Click on New Account Groups to create a new group.

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