How do I enter the client's retainer and then generate an invoice/bill that shows the work that was done and how much of the client's retainer is remaining?

So my attorney charges her clients a retainer fee based on the type of case she is handling (so each client can have a completely difference retainer amount), and on top of that, she is billing AGAINST the retainer. We were generating bills in Word format that showed what my attorney was billing for and how much of the client's retainer remained after each month of work on the matter. My question is: Is this possible as well in TimeSlips? I don't want to generate a bill and have our clients thinking that they owe this money, but I do want to generate a bill that shows the client their current retainer balance. 

And for reference, we have the new TimeSlips Pro that we just had installed on our system this month. 

Thanks in advance for any help!

  • Hi , welcome to Timeslips and Sage City.

    Wow, moving from Word invoice to Timeslips with retainers is a BIG step! 

    The short answer is YES, we can absolutely show that on a Timeslips bill.

    The "how to do that" is a bit more complicated though, and depends on some choices you get to make about how you want to do it. As you will soon learn, Timeslips can be VERY flexible about how it does something.

    You won't find anything in Timeslips specifically called a Retainer (mainly because different firms call it different things). We call it Client FUNDS. You add the Funds in when they pay the retainer. Then you can either manually pull funds out to pay your bill or have Timeslips automagically do it for you. You also need to make sure and tell Timeslips to SHOW that activity to your client on the bill.

    I have a little PDF handout that might be helpful for you as you begin your journey.  You can find it here: https://www.duhon.biz/downloads/

    Nancy Duhon, Esq.
    Duhon Technology Solutions, LLC
    Master Certified Consultant for Sage Timeslips
    Providing individual Consultations and Third Party Remote Desktop Support - including older/unsupported versions.
    404-325-9779
    [email protected]

  • Hi Nancy,

    I thought the FUNDS category was specifically for the IOLTA account (funds associated with out of pocket costs -these funds are refundable to our clients, but the retainer is a non-refundable amount) and that the "retainer" would be under the Accounts Receivable Tab?

  • Hmmm, okay, a non-refundable retainer that you bill against????? That's an odd one. What happens if you don't use it all up?

    You can have two Funds accounts for the same client. One that is the IOLTA/refundable, and the other that is the non-refundable retainer.

    Nancy Duhon, Esq.
    Duhon Technology Solutions, LLC
    Master Certified Consultant for Sage Timeslips
    Providing individual Consultations and Third Party Remote Desktop Support - including older/unsupported versions.
    404-325-9779
    [email protected]

  • Just thinking, really if it is a non-refundable retainer, then you might also look at a Minimum  Flat Fee arrangement. 

    But then it would be harder for the client to see how much runway they have left on their retainer.....

    Nancy Duhon, Esq.
    Duhon Technology Solutions, LLC
    Master Certified Consultant for Sage Timeslips
    Providing individual Consultations and Third Party Remote Desktop Support - including older/unsupported versions.
    404-325-9779
    [email protected]

  • As Nancy mentioned, different firms use terminology differently. If you are depositing what you call a retainer into your operating account, then you can put the money into Timeslips as a payment and the client will have a credit balance that gets used as you bill. If they money is put into your IOLTA account then you would have to have a separate funds account and make that one setup as auto pay to operating. It really depends on your agreement with your client, your state Bar Association rules, and where you deposit the money.