Q: "I have a recurring notary public client and used a fixed fee template for the one-time service. I am wondering how I can send a 'new invoice' for when she requires my services again for the same fix fee template without changing/adding a new client ID number."
A: Any matter can have a fixed fee added as a one-time event. We like to think of this as a fixed fee task. Read on to find out how.
Matters can be set to the billing type "fixed fee." However, fixed fee charges can also be added to any matter. The billing type determines the default for time entries and reporting. Fixed fee matters will default to non-billable, which means that the time recorded is considered part of the fixed fee. You can change time entries to hourly billed if necessary. Read on here to learn more about billing types in LeanLaw.
Adding a Fixed Fee to a Matter
1. Navigate to Matters in LeanLaw
On the top action bar, click the Matters tab.
2. Select a Matter
Select the Matter associated with the Fixed Fee. You can use the search bar and filters to assist in locating the matter.
3. Click on the Fixed Fee tab under the Matter.
4. Click Add a Fixed Fee.
You also can pick from your fixed fee templates from the dropdown. You will find a link to create new Fixed Fee Templates in Settings on this page. LeanLaw allows you to create templates for your frequently used fixed fees. This will enable users to quickly add fees with consistent descriptions/LEDES codes/amounts without recreating them.
Note: Keep in mind that these are usable by anyone in the firm with the ability to add fees. Avoid saving case-specific information in these templates. Read more about creating templates here.
5. Complete the Fixed fee form shown in the screenshot below.
A fixed fee requires an amount and a description. Other fields are optional. The description will go on the client's invoice.
The date determines when the fee should go on an invoice. If you do not provide a date, you can pick when to put the item on an invoice when it's ready.
Though it is not a required field by default, we strongly recommend selecting an Invoice User responsible for the fee, as this is used to allocate revenue later. This user can be shown as the default for revenue allocation on the invoice.
ProTip: The "Require User on Fixed Fee" option in Settings is a must-have for firms that frequently bill fixed fees. This prevents costs from being unallocated and falling between the cracks.
Recurring fixed fees can be set up by adjusting the "Recurring" dropdown. You can pick monthly, quarterly or yearly. You can also enter a start date and end date with a recurring fee. Alternately, you can enter the total number of times you wish to bill the fee in the Count field.
If you click the Add recurring period to description checkbox, the month will be appended to the description on invoices. Similarly, the quarter or year will be reflected if these intervals are selected.
If the firm uses LEDES, you'll also need to set the Activity and Task codes accepted by the payment system. Use the Label field when saving the fee to a template so that your team will know what the templated fee is meant for.
Finally, for both recurring and non-recurring fees, you can pick an hour limit. For a given billing period, hours up to the limit will be considered part of the fixed fee and thus non-billable. For hours above the limit, the remaining hours will be billed at an hourly rate provided:
In this example, we pick an hour limit of 10 and a rate of $200/hour. Let's say that we record 12 hours for this matter in the billing period. That is 2 hours above the limit so that the client will be billed the fixed fee (say, $1,000) plus a separate line item of 2h x $200 = $400, a total of $1,400.
6. Click the Revenue Allocation tab. (optional)
If you wish to allocate revenue for a fixed fee to more than one user, you can do so under the "Revenue Allocation" tab. This affects the Revenue by Attorney report. The fixed fee amount can be split between individual users for reporting purposes. Select the user from the "Add User" dropdown. Learn more about splitting the fixed fee revenue between users here.
7. Click Create Fixed Fee.
After reviewing that all information is correct, click Create Fixed fee at the bottom of the form. Your new fixed fee for this matter will now appear on the fixed fee tab, as seen in the screenshot below.
That's it! You've added a fixed fee to your matter. To invoice the fee, go to Billing and note how the fixed fee shows up under "Ready to Bill" for the matter in question. Click on the matter, and next, make sure you select the "fixed fee" to be part of the invoice before creating a draft.
Once the fixed fee is added to an invoice is it marked as billed and will not show up under "Ready to Bill" again.