- Understanding the Difference Between Task Codes and Explanation Codes
- Using PCLaw for Time and Billing But Not Accounting
- Using Trust to General Transfer
- Understanding General Retainers
- Understanding the Types of Lawyers
- Task Codes are used to classify time and fee entries for billing purposes and often are required for electronic billing.
- Explanation Codes are abbreviations of commonly used phrases that are typically used to enter greater detail about an entry in a convenient manner. Explanation Codes can also be used to enter default information for an entry, such as an associated expense G/L account or rate.
Use the following practices to use PCLaw for only time and billing:
- Accept the default G/L account if it appears when you enter transactions.
- Use 5000 (named Expenses if PCLaw is configured to use simplified accounting) if a G/L account is required when you enter a transaction.
If more than 12 months are open, PCLaw may display a prompt, requesting that months be closed, even though the program is not being used for accounting purposes. In this case, it will be necessary to close some months by selecting End of month from the G/L drop-down menu. After closing 12 months, it is necessary to close the year by selecting End of Year from the G/L drop-down menu.
Use the Trust-to-General Transfer function in the following situations:
- You just created a bill and want to transfer trust funds to the general account to pay off the bill.
- You plan to create a bill and want to include a transfer of trust funds to the general account on the bill.
NOTE: The transferred amount cannot exceed the current AR balance plus total unbilled disbursements. In specific, it is not possible to transfer trust funds to cover unbilled time or fees.
- You want to transfer trust funds to the general account to pay off an Accounts Receivable balance.
- You used the last retainer from the client and you need more funds for the general account.
Consult your local bar association or law society to determine the regulations you must follow regarding trust funds and general retainers.
Use General Retainers according to the following guidelines:
- Inputting Retainers: The default retainer account is 1210 or/ 5010 depending on the accounting method. If you specify any GL posing reference, PCLaw remembers where the retainer was allocated.
- At Billing: The general bank journal for the default bank account reflects the movement of the retainers at the time of billing. At point of billing, PCLaw debits the GL account that originally received the retainer and credits the appropriate fee account and/or 1210 / 5010 depending on the invoice. PCLaw allocates leftover balance in the general retainer to 1210 / 5010 depending on the accounting method.
PCLaw contains the following seven types of Lawyers:
- Client Introducing Lawyer: The lawyer who brings the client to the firm.
NOTE: You can create a client/matter without an Introducing Lawyer.
- Responsible Lawyer: The lawyer in charge of the matter.
- Assigned Lawyer: The primary timekeeper on a matter.
- Working Lawyer: The timekeeper whose nickname is entered with a time/fee entry.
- Fee Credit Lawyer: A timekeeper who is assigned credits for billed time or fees. Billed time and fees are automatically assigned to the Working Lawyer if the Auto Allocate Time/Fees to Working Lawyer checkbox is checked on the Billing tab of the Matter Manager or specifically allocated.
- Collecting Lawyer: The lawyer responsible for collecting the receivable if the invoice becomes overdue. If you enter a nickname during billing, the matter Responsible Lawyer becomes the Collecting Lawyer. A lawyer becomes a collecting lawyer during billing if his/her nickname is entered during the billing process in the Lawyer field in the Main tab of Bill Selections.
- Matter Introducing Lawyer: The Lawyer that introduces the matter to the law firm.