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Tip: Monitor Your Cases with Excessive AR

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Bob McNeill Posted: Wed, Jun 28 2006 10:33 PM

Doing pro bono work is great, but you should do it on purpose and not by accident.  If you have Billing Matters, the Time Matters Monitor function can notify you if anyone opens a matter form of a case that has overdue AR, or adds or views a related record with the overdue case in the Regarding line of the record being added or viewed.


If you don't have Billing Matters, you have to specify the matters with the excessive AR because Time Matters doesn't know what each matter's AR is.  The easiest way is to customize a user field on the matter form as "Overdue AR" (checkbox field).  Right-click the field you want to customize.  Select Customize Field.  In area 1-Field Descriptions, enter "Overdue AR" in all three fields.  In Area 2-Customize Field, select Checkbox.  Click OK to finish.


To keep the information current each month, clear the checkbox on all matter forms by tagging all matter records (on the matter list, press CTRL+T).  On the menu bar click Process > Change Records.  Select Create a New Template and Change the Contents of a Field.  In Replace Field, select the "Overdue AR" field you customized.  In the With Value field, leave the checkbox unchecked.  Click Next several times to finish, but save the Template with a name like "Clear AR field." 


Then run a report from your billing program listing all matters with AR in excess of your threshold.  Go to the matters list, tag the overdue matters, click Process > Change Records, and create a new template to change the Overdue AR field to checked, using the procedure above, but check the checkbox in the With Value field.


To create the Monitor to notify you if anyone works on a matter that has a balance in excess of a specific amount, go to File > Setup > Templates > Monitors.  Select the Filter Based tab.  Select the Matter tab. 


Click the plus sign ("+") to add a new matter monitor.  Make it a Program level monitor by clicking the radio button (unless you previously chose to view only the Program level monitors, in which case you won't have to select Program level again).


In the Description field, enter "Balance is over $1000" or whatever amount you wish.  Click Select Filter.  In the Field column, select the "Overdue AR" field you added, make the comparison "Is Equal To" "Y."  Click "OK."


In area 3, Activity to Monitor, under Matter Records, check "Matter Opened," and under "Other Records," check "Matter Added to Regarding Line" and "Matter Viewed to Regarding Line."  Click the Select button next to both " Matter Added to Regarding Line" and "Matter Viewed to Regarding Line" and select all record types.


In area 4, Message to Display, click "Send a Message to," and click the lookup button to select which user(s) to which to send the message.  (In the alternative, you could click Display a Message, which will then display a message to the person who triggers the monitor action, but this person will not necessarily be the firm manager who wants to keep track of AR.)  In the memo field, enter the message you want to send, such as "The A/R is this case is more than $1000."  Click "OK" to save and "Close" to exit the Monitor setup.


Test the monitor by opening a matter with AR in excess of your threshold, open other records that are related to that matter, and add new records that are related to the matter.  You should get the Time Matters Message you set up (or displayed message if you chose that option) each time. 


Setting up a monitor to notify the person in charge of collecting overdue accounts is a great way to collect AR because when clients need you they are more likely to pay, and to make sure that you spend your time on clients that pay on time.


Robert S. McNeill, J.D., Time Matters-Billing Matters-PCLaw CIC, Moderator

OTB Consulting-2009 and 2010 Lexis Platinum Achievement Award-Top Time Matters Producer

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