Not all Matters are the same, and some will have very unique needs. To meet those specific needs, there are extra tools in the Advanced Settings in the Add Matter screen. This article will review all of these settings with instructions on how to set up and use them.
You can access a matter’s advanced settings in either the Add Matter (for new matters) or Edit Matter (for existing matters) window. Once you are on the add/edit matter screen, scroll down to the Advanced Settings tab and click on it. To expand the Advanced Settings area, This area is split into the following six sections.
This is the first, and perhaps most used area of Advanced Settings. Here is a break down of the items offered there.
- Apply Rate – here you will determine if a rate is determined upon the Timekeeper’s billable rate or a flat amount set for the task.
- Rate Level – on an hourly matter, you can choose one of the pre-set eight rate levels to be used by all Timekeepers while billing on this file. If you wish to use a unique rate for this matter, see “localized billing rate” setting below.
- Overhead Charges – if you wish to charge your clients a percentage fee to cover additional business charges generated during administration of the matter, you can set a percentage of Time Cards, Expense Cards or both to be billed to the client at the time of invoice generation.
- Sub-Account – Use only if a sub-account number was assigned specifically to this matter by the bank providing your trust account. This sub-account # can also be displayed on this matter’s printed checks.
- PO # – To capture a Purchase Order number, if applicable.
- Localized Billing Rate – In the event that you make an arrangement with a client to charge a billable rate outside of the eight preset ones in the software, here you can create a billing rate unique to that Matter. To learn more on how to set up matter-specific billing rate, review the following article, Set up a Matter-Specific Billing Rate.
- Minimum Retainer Balance Required – If you require your client to keep a certain amount in retainer at all times (evergreen retainers), you can set that minimum amount here. Afterward, you will be able to run reports to see who is not meeting that requirement, send bulk email notifications for replenishment or even add the needed replenishment to their upcoming invoice. To learn more about managing evergreen retainers, review the following article, Managing evergreen Retainers
- Calculate and Apply Finance Charges – This computes finance charges based on overdue balances when an invoice is being generated. To enable, click on the box next to Calculate and Apply Finance Charges. Here you can set an Annual Interest Rate, Finance Charge Type (Simple or Compound Interest), Grace Period and Threshold Finance Charge based upon the firm-wide settings in Setup or a specialized settings for that Matter. To learn more on how to set them up in Setup and how they work, review the following article – Setup & Use Automatic Finance Charge.
- Invoice Settings – Here is where you can determine whom and where an invoice should be set to after generation.
- Invoice Address Setup – if a client has more than one mailing address associated with them in their contact card, here is where you choose which one would be printed on the invoice itself.
- Invoice Email Setup – here is where you can add additional parties to receive an email of the invoice when sent from the software. To learn more about this tool, review the information contained under the Email Invoice to Multiple Parties section of the following article – Emailing Invoices.
Here is where you can select specific accounts as defaults for to track income or trust transactions on your General Ledger reporting.
- Default Legal Fee Income Chart of Account – Choose an account only if you need to overwrite your firm’s choices. This is useful for separating legal fee income by area of practice. You can customize fee income ledgers in the Chart of Accounts area in Accounting. To learn more about adding customize chart of account, review this article – How to Customize Chart Of Accounts.
- Default Trust Transaction Chart of Account – There will only be two options here – Client Trust Funds or Client General Retainer. Choose an account only if you need to overwrite your firm’s default choices in Setup.
Some clients, such as large insurance companies, require LEDES or UTBMS billing from their lawyers. If your client makes such a requirement, here is where you will set that up. CosmoLex currently supports LEDES1998B format. To learn more about LEDES billing codes, review this article – Set up and Manage eBilling(LEDES).
As part of their compensation model, some firms will compensate their various timekeepers and matter parties a portion of the income generated from a matter. There are Timekeeper allocations, where a person can receive a piece of their fees that were collected on the matter. There’s also a Matter Parties allocation, where a person is entitled to a portion of all of the fees collected on a matter. To learn more on how to set these up, read this article – Set Up and Manage Fee Allocation.
- Class – This is to choose the specific Class to be used for tracking of income and expenses associated with the Matter. To learn more on how to create and use Class Based Reporting, read the following article – Set Up and Use Class-Based Reporting.
- Notes – Here is where you can capture notes related to a matter. Moreso related to client intake or for infrequent reference. Once this matter is added, there is a separate, dedicated notes section used more for ongoing case notes.
Here is where you can set if a matter’s fees and expenses are taxable or not. There is a firm-level setting under setup with designates the default for this. US firms will default as non-taxable and Canadian firms will default as taxable.
If the Matter is taxable, here is where you can set a specific rate different than the firm default.
- Tax Status – here you can enable the Matter to be taxed or not.
- Localized Tax Rate – Select this if you wish to override the tax rates for this matter. These unique rates will then be used for this matters time cards only for our United States clients, or both time and expense entries for our Canadian clients.
As with any information added in the Add/Edit Matter screen, it will become finalized only once you click on the orange Save button on the upper-righthand corner of the screen.