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Flat fee billing

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Bud Ritenour Posted: Thu, Jul 13 2006 3:39 AM

I occasionally get appointed to cases in which I must keep track of - and report by - hours per activity (what I label phase), but get paid on an hourly scale that is not consistent for hour, and does not consider activity/phase.  Eg:  .01-1.00 hours = $50;  1.01-2.00 hours = $100.00; 2.01-3.00 hours = $125.00, etc.  Phases can be interview the client, hearing preparation, investigation, hearing time, etc.   In the past, I have been tracking and billing the hours (at $0 rate), printing the bill with phase summaries to get the activity report for my voucher (but not posting it), then manually figuring the fee based on the table I am given, deleting the billing records, creating a new one-time charge for the total fee, and then printing/posting that for my tracking records.  That's too much effort, so I am trying to create one bill that I can post that will list the hours by activity/phase, but also let me show the flat fee that I have calculated.  I have spent hours working with the billing preferences, bill profiles and bill layout trying to create such a document, but have been unsuccessful.  I thought I could get the flat fee to show on the 1st bill, every bill, last bill, some bill, but can't get any of them to work.  Suggestions?

John "Bud" Ritenour Attorney at Law Board Certified - Criminal Law Texas Board of Legal Specialization The Ritenour Law Firm, PC 115 E. Travis St., Suite 1716 San Antonio, Texas 78205 Ph: (210) 222-0125 Fax: (210) 222-2467 RitenourLaw@aol.com
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One way to change what you 'see' on a printed bill is to modify the bill profile. Some clients choose to print a standard message above the fee section rather than printing the detailed entries. So you get a blurb, such as 'Per Our Fee Arrangement', and the next line has Total Fees $1,000.00 (or whatever dollar amount is in the arrangement on the preference). On the profile, uncheck the fee detail box, and on the print order tab, move the standard message to the top. In the preference, on the message tab, select the appropriate standard message. Don't neglect to indicate how often the message should print. If you are going to print multiple bills for the same matter, you can set the fee method on the arrangement tab to 'progress'. At each billing, simply modify the amount to be billed. I wonder if you would be best served by selecting to show fee detail, but 'summarize by phase code'. You can also include a phase table, and exclude all details. Remember that what you 'see' on the bill is dependent upon selections on the profile, and how much bills is dictated by the fee arrangement on the preference.

 

Kathy Burger PREMIER LEVEL CIC - PCLaw, Time and Billing Matters Plus Certified Kathy Burger Consulting, LLC 200 Windward Ave. Beachwood, NJ 08722 732-279-6301 Kathy@KathyBurgerConsulting.com

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