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Manage Your Operating Retainers

Some jurisdictions allow you to accept and retain client funds in your firm’s operating account. You can track these funds using the Operating Retainer feature. 

Add an Operating Retainer

There are a few areas in which you can add an operating retainer deposit:

  1. From the main matters page – When looking at your list of matters, you will see several icons on the right, one of which is for operating retainer deposit (3rd from the bottom).
  2. From matter details – When viewing the details of a matter, click on the banking tab and you will find a button for Receive Retainer. Click this and then select Operating to receive a deposit into the operating account.

Entering Deposit Details

Once the Receive Retainer – Operating Screen Opens:

  1. From the Date field’s drop-down, click the operating deposit date.
  2. In the Amount field, enter the operating deposit amount.
  3. If using CosmoLexPay or LawPay, you will see an option for Integrated Payments. If you wish to process this deposit using your integration, check this box.
  4. From the Type field’s drop-down, click the deposit type.
  5. In the Ref # field, enter a reference number, if desired.
  6. From the Method field’s drop-down, click the deposit method.
  7. In the Payor field, enter the payor.
  8. Complete the address fields, if desired.
  9. From the Bank field’s drop-down, click the operating bank from which to withdraw the funds.
  10. Complete the memo field either by typing or choosing from the drop-down. This memo will display on a check if printed. 
  11. In the Memo2 field, enter information you want to record for internal recordkeeping only. This memo will appear on the stub of your check, if printed. 
  12. In the Account field, confirm the pre-populated selection or use the drop-down to click a different account.
  13. In the lower-left corner, check the Remember Payee box if you would like to add this payee to your address book. If you do not wish to remember, leave the box unchecked. 
  14. Take the appropriate action:
    • Click Cancel to exit the screen without saving the operating retainer deposit transaction.
    • Click Save and New to save this operating retainer deposit transaction and enter another.
    • Click Save to save this operating retainer deposit transaction and return to the Transactions screen.

If you clicked Save or Save and New, the system adds the operating retainer deposit transaction and associates it with its designated matter.

If you chose to apply an integrated payment, an additional screen will display asking for payment details (see below).

Processing an Integrated Payment

Integrated payments are real-time charges. Once this information is saved, the credit card, or bank account will be charged the amount of this transaction.

  • Credit Card
    • Enter the card information and then Charge at the bottom right.
    • If you would like to securely save this card’s information for future payments, check off the box to the left of “Save for future use” (only available with CosmoLexPay).
  • Bank Account (CosmoLexPay Only)
    • Enter the account’s information and then click Charge at the bottom right.
    • If you would like to securely save this bank account’s information for future payments, check off the box to the left of “Save for future use”.

Refund an Operating Retainer

To refund an operating retainer, create a credit memo for the matter. 

Turn Off Operating Retainer Option

If your firm does not accept Operating Retainers, you can remove the operating retainer icon from the matter screen. 


Removing the operating retainer will not remove the “Client Funds – Operating” column from the matter page.

Besides tracking operating retainers, the column also reflects invoice over-payments and client funds that have been temporarily unattached from an invoice.

  1. From the left navigation panel, click Setup.
  2. From the Setup left navigation, click Firm Settings.
  3. From the tabs atop the Firm Settings screen, click Firm Preferences.
  4. On the Firm Preferences screen, scroll down to the Trust Settings section.
  5. From the Allow Operating Retainer Transactions field’s drop-down, click either No or No (but allowed post warning).
    No Does not allow overpayments or deleting a paid or partially paid invoice
    No (but allowed post warning) Displays a warning, but allows overpayment receipt or deleting a paid or partially paid invoice
  6. In the upper right corner, click Save.
    Refresh your browser to view the change.
Updated on March 25, 2022

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