Add a Soft Cost

Soft costs are also known as indirect costs or cost recovery.

They are “in-house” items generally considered part of your firm’s overhead, a portion of which may be attributed to your client.

Examples include:

  • Photocopies
  • Printing
  • Long-distance phone calls 

As a firm, you need to decide how to seek reimbursement for these items. You may choose to absorb the cost and not charge your client, add a  % fee to every invoice, or itemize these charges. Soft cost entry is meant for those who wish to itemize. If you wish to charge a  % fee, you can add an overhead charge.

Watch a Video

Add a Soft Cost

You can add a soft cost from:

Global Add Shortcut

    1. From atop the right side of the screen, click the Global Add Shortcut (plus sign).
    2. From the drop-down that displays, click Expense (Soft Cost).
      The Add Expense screen opens.

Matter Landing Page

    1. From the left navigation panel, click Matters.
    2. From the Matters screen right navigation, click the gavel icon.
      The Add Expense screen opens.

Matter Details

    1. From the left navigation panel, click Matters.
    2. In the Matters screen, double-click the matter, or single-click the matter to highlight it, then in the toolbar atop the screen, click Details.
    3. From Matters Details left navigation, click Billing.
    4. From the tabs atop the Billing screen, click Time/Expense.
    5. From the toolbar atop the Time/Expense screen, click Add Expense > Soft Cost.
      The Add Expense screen opens. 


    1. From the left navigation panel, click Activities.
    2. Atop the Activities gray left navigation, click Time/Expense.
    3. From the toolbar atop the Time/Expense screen, click Add Expense > Soft Cost.
      The Add Expense screen opens.

Soft Cost Fields

Client-Matter Section

If a matter is already selected when adding a soft cost, this field will auto-populate. Otherwise, you can begin typing the client, matter, or file number and a suggested list of matches will display for you to choose from. 

This is a required field.

Info Section

  • Select the date your firm is charging this expense. This is the date that will display on the invoice.
  • Defaults to today’s date, but can be changed.
  • Click an expense from the drop-down list, or enter one into the field.
  • You can customize your drop-down list.
  • If you choose the “Group identical soft cost charges for Invoice Printing” option when generating a bill, this expense name must be identical for those items to group.
  • If this is an eBilling-enabled file, you will see ‘E’ codes listed instead.

Amount Section

  • Quantity of items associated with this expense. For example, if you are billing $0.25 a copy for 50 copies, you would enter the quantity as 50.
  • Defaults to 1
  • This is the amount billed to the client.
  • Value = Quantity x Rate/Price
    • Billing @ $0.25 a copy for 50 copies would result in a 0.25 x 50 = $12.50 value.

Advanced Settings Section

Billing Status Billable
  • This is the default option.
  • The expense will be included in the unbilled balance and displayed on your next invoice.
  No Charge
  • Items you are completing free of charge, but you want the value displayed on the invoice. For example, Value: $200 Charge: $0.00.
  • Items you want to track for internal rather than billing purposes.
  • Not listed on the invoice. 
  • Check this box to place the expense on hold.
  • The next time you invoice your matter, this item will not be included.
  • When you are ready to bill for it, edit the expense and un-check this box to free it for billing.
  • Tip: On the time/expense tab you can use the filters (on the right) to show items on hold.
  • You can flag the timecard with a priority billing level.
  • This assigns a red (critical), green (normal), or blue (low), flag next to the item on the time/expense grid.
  • For Internal use only.
  • Do not display on the invoice.
Taxable Unchecked
  • If this setting is unchecked, no tax will apply to this entry.
  • If this setting is checked, you can review the rates applied to this entry (as determined by the matter setting) and can make changes if needed. These changes will only apply to this entry.

Documents Section

Add and manage documents associated with the expense.

Save Options

Save and New
  • Click Save and New to save the expense and enter another soft cost right away. Helpful for bulk entry.
  • Click Save to save the expense and return to the Time/Expense screen.


Updated on January 5, 2022

Was this article helpful?

Related Articles

Need Support?
Can't find the answer you're looking for?
Contact Support