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Billing: Write-Offs

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Revilo Posted: Wed, Jul 26 2006 12:54 AM
I have 2 questions on billing and write-off's in PC Law. 
(1) I'm trying to fill a request on an atty bill where they would like me to:
a. Not show or charge for a time entry
b. Not lose the data of the time entry so that the timekeeper maintains billable hours whether actually billed or not
c. Not associate the written off entry with the client matter initially charged
I thought of creating a new matter for these entries but wanted other thoughts on that. 

(2) If I perform a write-off at billing, will it affect the timekeeper's billable hours?  I understand it will affect hours billed, but not whether reporting will still show the billable hours that were worked, but written off. (In the event someone wanted to see total hours worked for a timekeeper in a given period)

Thanks very much,

Revilo Office Administrator - Washington, D.C.
Top 10 Contributor
Posts 544

In order to preserve the time, you can first run a bill for only those entries they do not want to show.  

To prevent them from showing on the bill, you could put them on hold and then bill the other entries, but that leaves them on the file.  So I tell my clients never put anything on hold. 

When you run the first bill for the time entries you wish to write off, under the Options tab choose "select charges".  That will allow you to pick just the time entries you wish to write off.  Write the bill down to zero.  Then you can generate a bill for the remaining entries and adjust as desired. 

Hope that helps.


Pat Cunningham

C&S Consulting, Birmingham, AL


Pat Cunningham, PCLaw CIC, Time Matters CIC

C & S LegalTech Consulting Group, LLC

Birmingham, AL

(205) 647-1850

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Posts 1,280

Pat has offered a solution. Perhpas we can take the discussion further with some more information. It helps if you provide your version of PCLaw/PCLaw Pro.  What reports are you using to do your analysis or hours, time, and billing? It also helps if you include how you are writing off (or down) and the details of the write off.(or down). Is there a reasoning behind not wanting to have the time entries associated with the matter?


Matt Stone, LLB
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The 7 Second Blog

LexisNexis Platinum Achievement Circle 2009 Top Sales Producer – Time Matters

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Revilo replied on Thu, Jul 27 2006 11:38 PM
Hi Again!

The PCL version I'm working with is 7.61a.  I haven't yet gone into in depth Reports in order to track timekeeper time - I'm anticipating having to do this near year end.
If I'm writing off an entire bill or outstanding balance to a bill I go thru the Change/Write-off Bill feature and have no problems there.

I have so many questions and I'm trying to be as concise as possible.  In Billing - I have the biggest problem trying to make sure that the hours timekeepers actually worked don't get lost or distorted when I receive a prebill and it has requests like these:

a:  No Charge [for time entry, but do show the narrative] -- here, I go to Charge Selection during billing and replace the Amount column with Zero.  Should I also reclassify?  Is this the wrong method entirely?
b:  Delete an entry - - here, I go to Charge Selection during billing and hit the Write-Off button.  When the window pops up re Reverse Unbilled Charges, I'm not sure what the 3 options really do.
c:  Change the hours [usually decrease the hours on the time entry, i.e. from 5 hours to 2 hours] - in Charge Selection, I double click an entry and change the hours from 5 to only 2 - - should I be reclassifying the task to something else or leaving as billable time?  Does the system reflect anywhere that the hours used to be higher than what they currently show as after I change it? 

On this newer request where the atty does not want the time associated with the matter - - the atty says that if we ever run a report for all the time for a client, they want to make sure that this particular time does not show up because the amount of time spent by a particular timekeeper was inefficient.  The atty did not like the Hold or Never Bill features because when they pull up the time in the register - these entries still show up with other entries in the matter.  They also plan to possibly review the time they've classified this way for a particular timekeeper - it may cover more than one matter, I'm thinking that they want everything in one place.. 

I hope this was more clear - thanks so much for your help.


Revilo Office Administrator - Washington, D.C.
Top 150 Contributor
Posts 19

Write off during billing is an effective way to 'bill' the hrs/amount to zero while retaining time/value worked and time/value written off.

I don't know about Ver 7.61a but in 7.63a when you select charges during billing and 'write off' a particular time charge - the time entry is not shown on the bill.  PCLaw shows the time entry on the client ledger as 'held'.  The productivity report (for the TimeKeeper and for the Matter - ie: Time Listing and/or Time Summary report) shows the time/value as having been done as BW and also as a 'minus' in the WD category.  This is only valid if you do not change the hrs and/or amt in the time entry!  You can run a Time Listing and/or Time Summary to show by task code (WD) - by TimeKeeper - how much time/value is worked over a period and how much written off.  You can do this also on a matter by matter basis (go to the 'matters' tab in these reports using 'advanced' reporting selections.)  It sounds as if this will give you want you want.

If you change the time entry during billing - the original time entry will show reduced hours and/or amount and you will not see the original time spent in the productivity reporting.  It seems to me that you want to track the original time spent to see how much 'wasted' time is being spent and how much bw is not being billed. Yes, you can see the original hrs spent by running a client ledger/time listing and include corrected entries - but it seems to me that this is only practical for individual instances rather than a monthly overview of staff productivity.

HELD Charges - when written off during billing or 'never bill' - yes they appear on the client ledger but they will never appear on a prebill - they appear on the client ledger to show you they were there but that they are not going to be billed.  They are there for productivity only.  Remember if they are removed, you can still determine productivey but in a more round about manner.

A 'no charge' (show description only) entry will show n/c for the amount but show the client that the work was done. You don't have to do anything at billing except bill the charge.  The amount of the entry is automatically written down to zero of the 'no charge' entry.  There is a difference however in how this appears in the productivity reporting.

Time Listing/Time Summary:  The reversal does not show on these reports.

Billing Realization: (Productivty PCLawPro report):  Shows that the time/value was worked but written off. 

The Billing Realization report shows concisely by matter time and value worked but not billed and is worth reviewing for your purposes. The hours are not however written off - only the value.

I hope this helps.


Barbara Brown PCLaw and Time Matters CIC BBLaw Inc. Toronto, ON Canada Tel: (416) 301-0825
Top 100 Contributor
Posts 27


A: No Charges: For No Charges, I recommend creating a task code called NC and classify it as "BILLABLE".  In the RATE BOX, be sure and select a RATE CODE (don't leave it at ZERO as PClaw interprets 0.00 as "pick up the default rate of the timekeeper".  If you have already filled up your rate codes, you can add another one by going to OPTIONS:LISTS: RATE CATEGORIES.  Add one called "N".  Then go back to LISTS: TASK CODES: and go to NC and set it to rate "N".  To keep track of NO CHARGES, you can review the Time Listing and Time Summary reports and summarize by task code.

b:  Delete an entry - - here, I go to Charge Selection during billing and hit the Write-Off button.  When the window pops up re Reverse Unbilled Charges, I'm not sure what the 3 options really do.  For deletions, in the current version, tracking DELETED entries is not easy.  One tip is to create a matter for each timekeeper and instead of deleting the entry, you can reassign the time entry to the "WRITE OFF" Matter for each timekeeper.  Using task codes here is also beneficial as you can analyze this time on the TimeSummary report as well.   If you don't want to REASSIGN the time entry to a "write off" matter for each timekeeper, you can always run the time listing report and select [x] include corrected entries.  This will include your deleted time entries.

C: Modifying an entry - same as above.  Not easy in the current version.  Watch for future updates that may address this very issue.

Please let me know if this is helpful.  I have a few clients that work with this "method" and it has been successful for them.

Steven J. Best, President
Best Law Firm Solutions, Inc.
PCLaw and HotDocs CIC

Steven J. Best, Esq. HotDocs, Time Matters, and PCLaw CIC Best Law Firm Solutions, Inc. Tel. 770.998.3800 Reply to:
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