This describes how to accomplished a specialized workflow whereby:
A client is charged a recurring monthly fixed fee
Users still track time against client
Every so often (Quarterly), the tracked time is evaluated against the fixed fees we have charged during the previous period, and
If hourly time exceeds fixed fees that are charged, we charge the overage onto the client in an additional invoice, or
If hourly time is within fixed fees, we write off the hourly time
Setting Up Client / Matter
Matter should be set up as hourly billing (not fixed fee) (Matter > Access & Billing)
Create recurring monthly fixed fee for matter (Matter > Fixed Fee)
Users can now track time for the matter. The time will be considered billable time.
Monthly Billing of Fixed Fee
Go to Billing > Ready to Bill and find the client/matter
The item will show both the fixed fee ready to be billed and the hours accumulated so far
Uncheck the hours column, then click the lighting button to create a draft with just the fixed fee and not the hours
Quarterly Evaluation of Billing
On a quarterly basis (or as needed), clients billed this way are evaluated.
Go to Reports > Ready to Bill, adjust time period and find the client/matter to see how much was spent in terms of hours in the "Ready to Bill Hours" column
Go to Reports > Revenue by Client and Matter, adjust time period to find out how much we billed the client in the "Billed" column (potentially excluding expenses)
Depending on the comparison we have two courses or action, option 1 or 2.
Option 1: Invoice Overage Hours
If hours exceed the fixed fees already billed, we create a special invoice with those hours but with a credit that includes the fixed fees already paid by client.
Go to Billing > Ready to Bill to create draft invoice with the open hourly time for the client
Go to Billing > Draft and open the invoice
Scroll to bottom of invoice and click "Add credit" (near the invoice total)
Enter text "Fixed fees already billed" (or similar) in the description field
Enter amount equal to fixed fees already charged and click Save
Check that invoice total is correct and save invoice
Option 2: Write-off Hours
Go to Billing > Ready to Bill and find the client with open time
Click on the client to go to the invoice preparation page which shows open time etc
Click CLEAR next to the Unbilled Time section
Pick "Clear and Mark Unbillable" in the choices presented
This removes the hours from the ready to bill section