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Re: Client Expense/Future Payable

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Hassan Maje Posted: Sat, Aug 15 2009 1:40 PM

Various ways to hablde future exps.

However it is improtant to define what constitutes hard costs/ soft costs as a firm policy. In our firm we use internally determined exps recovery figures. We charge all couriers for example (with an element of profit presumably sometimes) at billing as Expense Recovery as one block figure that comprises photocopying, binding, courier, postage, phones, etc. The amount charged to client is allocated to an Exps Recovery income account (Office Disbs Recoveries). When we receive the Fedex invoices we charge it to the Courier Exps account under A/P Payables.

If your firm charges couriers or other expenses as identifiable or direct costs (i.e. hard costs) and not as soft costs/expense recoveries, you should consider using the ANT (Anticipated) Disbs feature at Billing time to charge the same at billing. You can have multiple ANT DISBS in the UNRECORDED DISBURSEMENTS window. This will create a negative unbilled disbs charge on the client ledger.

Subsequently when you incur the actual costs via Cheque or A/P Payable you will allocate the charges to the relevant matters and the Negative unbilled Disbs will be reduced on the matters at the time. In theroy you would want the charges estimated and billed as ANT to be the same as when paid or booked via A/P Payable. However there may be an over or under charge. In case the ANT Disbs is lower than the actual charges, a supplementary bill can be raised to recover from the client. If the ANT Disbs is higher than the actual charges, the balance can be refunded to client and for good measure a Disbs bill that will be zero and to epxlain the refund can be raised and sent to the client.


Hassan Maje Anjarwalla & Khanna PCLawPro Ver 9.10d, Accounting Method: Accruals
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J_Dorst replied on Mon, Aug 17 2009 9:21 PM

Thanks for the great explanation.

The limitation here is that the approach you describe applies to individual bills but not to mass billing. In our practice, we have several clients (the majority of our business, actually) that have several matters going at the same time and expect/require the billing summary page
(if they don't get it, I get a phone call...). It appears that most send the summary page to accounting to process payment and the actual invoices elsewhere for detailed review. Unfortunately, if you prepare individual bills, PCLaw doesn't prepare the client summary page, so I need to mass bill. Manually preparing a summary page for each of our clients would require an additional four to eight hours of labor, something I just don't have when pressed to get the bills out so we can get paid promptly.

Perhaps if PCLaw gave you an option at the start of the billing process to pause at the Billing Information window to enter adjustments during mass billing.... Hmmm. Cool. Found the solution! After all these years - darn it! In Bill Selections, on the Options tab, check Prompt for Changes to Billed Amounts and PCLaw does just that. Excuse me while I go and vent my frustration at not having noticed that check box before. 8-)

John Dorst
Herrig & Vogt, LLP
Business Manager
(916) 960-1000
Top 10 Contributor
Posts 544

John - also under the Options tab over to the right you can select to print a summary page even for single matter bills. 


Pat Cunningham, PCLaw CIC, Time Matters CIC

C & S LegalTech Consulting Group, LLC

Birmingham, AL

(205) 647-1850

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