Sunday, June 19, 2011

Past Due Notices

By default, Past Due Notices show the billing date, matter number, invoice number, the amount of the invoice, any interest you have charged, any amount paid, the balance now due, the interest rate, and the aging of the invoice. You can change these settings – System Settings – Past Due. By default, a 30 day grace period is set before interest is calculated, in compliance with the Solicitors Act.

You can add custom phrases too, however they will not appear until you add the “phrase” token using the template editor. Alternatively, you could save custom templates, with your phrasing, plus any other changes you would like to make. You can assign a default template for most of your clients, and use the Billing tab in Matter Manager to set special templates for certain individual clients.

For example, you may have a large corporate client that pays on 60 days. There is no need 30 days to appear on your template. Make a custom template for this client with 60, 90 and 120 days.

At the end of the month, you can run Past Due Notices for all clients with A/R balances; just leave the matter box empty. On the Options tab, you can set the program to ignore A/R balances below a certain amount.

To reduce client inquiries, try to put as much information on the Notice as possible. A checkmark placed in “All Matters for Client on One Notice”, will avoid clients asking where their payment went, if you can show that it was applied to an invoice outstanding on another matter.

Checkmarks placed in the activity section will show the history of billings and most importantly, their payments, and this will likewise reduce inquiries to your office. If your matters have lengthy histories, you can set a Starting cut-off date. On the options tab, you can also choose to group the activity by date or by matter.

As always, I invite your comments and suggestions for future posting topics. Next week – How to pay Accounts Receivable with a general retainer.