Sunday, July 17, 2011

Numbering Variations

When you are searching for anything in the Register or pop-up menus, you can click on the headings to sort the list, and thereby reduce your search time. You can reduce your search time even further, by altering the numbering format for your matters and invoices. These examples are only suggestions – you can design whatever system you are comfortable with.

For example:

Some matters inherently short in duration, like real estate closings, which are typically about 60 days. These matters could by numbered by year:
11-0001, 11-0002, etc.

Other matters like estates or litigation are long-term, and can go on for several years. If you are maintaining corporate records with annual filings, etc., these too would be long-term matters. For these matters you might consider grouping them by type of law:
estates: 900001, litigation: 800001, corporate: 700001, etc.

You can also use alphanumeric numbering for matters – CORP0001, EST0001, etc. It is possible to use a matter numbering system to give you information on the file at a glance: C08-0001 for a corporate client new to you in 2008.

You can gradually move to a new numbering system as old matters are closed and new matters are opened.

If you want to change your old matters to conform to a new numbering system:

1) Print a list of your matters – Reports – Client – List of Clients – on the Matter tab – checkmark “Sort by - Type of Law”.

2) File – matter – renumber matter/client.

Your invoices can also be issued by year. When doing your first invoice of the year change to 110001, next year 120001, etc. On OK, you will get a message asking – “Would you like to set next invoice based on this one? – YES.

Invoice numbers are limited to six digits (that you can manually change), so you are limited to 9,999 invoices in one year. This blog is written for solos and small firms, so this should not be a problem for you.

As always, I invite your comments and suggestions for future post topics. Next week – Memorized Transactions.