Amicus Small Firm Accounting enables you to record Client name and contact information including address, phone numbers, email addresses and matter descriptions. You can also enter notes on the File, billing contacts and diary report items. This information is entered in the Client Matter Details screen. With the exception of the Client Matter ID (which uniquely identifies the File and cannot be changed) you can edit all the Client File information at any time.
Transactions that can be posted to a Client File include fees for services rendered (time entry); Client expenses such as photocopies, courier charges, and medical bills, Accounts Receivable invoices and payments, and trust receipts and checks. To post time, choose Time, New Time Entry. To post Client expenses (disbursements), choose Expenses, New Expense Entry. To post invoices, choose Billing, Create Bills. To post receipts of payment, choose Receipts, Receipts. To post receipts of trust funds choose Trust, Receipts, and to post trust checks, choose Trust, Trust Checks.
You can also post time, expense and Accounts Receivable write-offs, trust transfers, time and expense transfers, trust transfers to pay A/R, interest, and firm checks.
WIP stands for Work In Progress. In Amicus Small Firm Accounting, WIP means unbilled fees or Client expenses.
Most posting programs allow you to edit saved entries before you post them. In the posting program, click View Unposted Transactions to see transactions you have saved but have not yet posted. Click the transaction that you want to modify and click Edit. Make your changes and click Save.
Expenses affect your client recoverable expense accounts (if you use the Cash accounting method) or WIP (if you use the Modified Cash or Accrual accounting method).
If the firm uses Cash or Modified Cash accounting method, then when you post an expense entry to a client file with an expense General Ledger account and then post a firm check to the expense account to pay for the expense, the net affect is a debit to your WIP Expenses and a credit to your general bank. The net affect on your client expenses is zero unless you pay out more or less than what was charged to the client. For example, if you post a $100 expense to the client but pay $150 with a firm check, there is a net expense to the firm of $50. The client recoverable expense accounts in your General Ledger reflect the recovered client expenses.
Use the Trust Transfer to A/R program to transfer client trust funds to credit the client's account receivable.
In Amicus Accounting 2008 or higher, the following methods are available for transferring trust to pay A/R:
There are a few ways of handling this:
In Amicus Accounting 2008 or higher, the Enter Receipts function allows you to enter the total payment once. Select the bills to pay and any overpayment will be displayed as an Unused Payment. You have following ways to handle the overpayment:
Apply as a general retainer which can be applied at a later date.
Issue a refund check.
Reverse the receipt. This will credit the General Ledger account for your bank and will reinstate the A/R on the client file. You cannot reverse a receipt that has been cleared in the Bank Reconciliation Program or posted to a client file that has been closed.
The New Expense entry, Firm Check and Invoice Entry programs calculate tax based on the tax settings on the individual expense codes and on the tax settings on the client files. The expense code tax settings are configured in the Lists, Expense Codes screen. Print your list of codes and review them before making changes. Don't make changes to expense codes after you have posted using them.
There are two types of taxable codes: those in which tax is included in the amount you enter, and those in which it is not. For example, if you enter $10 in the posting program, do you want tax to be calculated on top of the $10 (i.e. for a total of $10.70, if the tax rate is 7%) or is tax to be broken out so that the total remains at $10 including tax? Review your list of codes and ensure that the setting for Tax Included is set correctly, either to a Y or an N.
If you don't want tax to be calculated on an expense code at all, set the Tax 1, Tax 2, and Tax Included settings to N.
The tax setting on client files also determines whether tax will be calculated when posting to that file. Click Clients, Client Matter Details and locate a file that should not have tax calculated. Click the Matter Details tab and check the Tax 1 and Tax 2 settings in the lower left corner. If the file is nontaxable ensure these are set to N. The tax setting on the client file overrides the settings on the expense codes - you can post to a client file marked as nontaxable using a taxable expense code and tax will not be calculated.
Expense codes are also used by the Firm Checks posting program. Client expenses posted using the New Expense Entry posting program will be summarized by expense code (except for codes 0 and 999, see below) on client invoices. Client expenses posted using the Firm Checks posting program will be itemized on client invoices.
Here are the settings to use for the various types of expense codes.
|If the expense is…||It should have these tax settings:|
|Taxable and the amount you will enter will include tax for which you will get an input tax 1 credit.||Tax1 = Y, Tax2 = N, Tax Included = Y|
|Non-taxable, therefore there is no input tax 1 credit.||Tax1 = N, Tax2 = N, Tax Included = N|
|Taxable, but the amount you will enter does not include tax and therefore the program should calculate tax on top of the amount you will enter.||Tax1 = Y, Tax2 = N, Tax Included = N|
Most likely, the transaction is marked for billing. To check, go to the Account Inquiry screen and view the client file. Click either the Time or the Expenses details tab, depending on the type of transaction you are trying to write off. Find the transaction, and scroll to the right until you see the Stat column. If there is a small "p" in this field, or a "p" followed by a number, this means the transaction is marked (also called pre-billed) for billing. You need to unmark it before you can write it off. To unmark time or expense transactions:
You can write off invoices using the Accounts Receivable Write-off program.
You cannot write a check off term trust funds. Instead, use the Trust Receipts posting program to transfer the funds to regular trust. Follow these steps:
Amicus Small Firm Accounting's flexible billing program enables you to generate statements of account either for individual client files, for all client files by name, matter number or file number, and by any combination of Responsible or Assigned Lawyer, file type, and billing cycle. You can automatically post payments from trust without using the Transfer to A/R program and you can automatically post and print trust checks and print client receipts. Other options include the ability to save draft bills and print a summary report of the drafts, and to print a summary report of the final bills. You can also exclude files based on a minimum amount owing, include non-billable time on the bill and print envelopes.
Bill numbers are automatically created by Amicus Small Firm Accounting and are unique on each client file. The bill number starts at 1 for each file and is incremented each time you post a bill to the file. You cannot change the bill number. You will need to know the bill number assigned to a bill if you want to reverse it or if you want to see which time or expense entries were billed on the bill. The Account Inquiry screen displays the bill number on billed time and expense transactions and on the bill entry in the client file's Accounts Receivable details.
Unlike bill numbers, you can specify the starting invoice number in the Firm Settings yourself. Invoice numbers don't have to be unique on each file. Invoice numbers are used to group related Accounts Receivable transactions such as a firm receipt and the invoice being paid, or an Accounts Receivable write-off and the invoice being written off. The A/R Aging report and the A/R Reminders group Accounts Receivable transactions by invoice number so that the Accounts Receivable is aged correctly. Invoice numbers are also called "reference numbers". On the firm receipt screen, the Reference field refers to the invoice number.
Amicus Small Firm Accounting's flexible billing program enables you to generate statements of account either for individual client files, for all client files by name, matter number or file number, and by any combination of Responsible or Assigned Lawyer, file type, and billing cycle. You can automatically post payments from trust without using the Transfer to A/R program and you can automatically post and print trust checks and print client receipts.
Other options include the ability to save draft bills and print a summary report of the drafts, and to print a summary report of the final bills. You can also exclude files based on a minimum amount owing, include non-billable time on the bill and print envelopes.
In Amicus Small Firm Accounting, a time or expense transaction might have a status of posted, pre-billed (also called marked), billed or written off. This only applies to time and expense entries, not to trust or Accounts Receivable transactions.
To check the status of a transaction, go to the Account Inquiry screen and click on either the time or expense details tab. Find the transaction, and scroll to the right until you get to the Stat column. It is important to know how to check this because there are some operations you cannot do depending on the status of a transaction. For example, you cannot write off or transfer a transaction that is pre-billed or billed.
|Status field in the Inquiry screen shows||Status||What this status means|
|A blank||Posted||The transaction has been posted. It has not been pre-billed, billed or written off.|
|A "p"||Pre-billed||The transaction has been pre-billed (also called marked) for billing.|
|An asterisk followed by a number, e.g. *4||Billed||The transaction has been billed in the billing program. The number beside the asterisk is the bill number of the bill. Billed transactions cannot be written off or transferred to another client file. If you want to write off the transaction or transfer it, you must first reverse the bill, and then unmark the transaction.|
|A "p" followed by a number, e.g. p7||Bill has been reversed||The transaction was billed, and then the bill was reversed. The "p" means the transaction is currently pre-billed (you will not be able to write it off without unmarking it) and the number indicates the bill number of the bill that was reversed. Handle these transactions the same as regular pre-billed transactions.|
|A "W"||Written off||The transaction has been written off using the Time or Expense Write-off program. If you decide to transfer the transaction to another file or to bill the transaction instead of writing it off, you must reverse the write-off first.|
A transaction audit is a report of what you have posted. Each audit consists of two sections. The first section shows the transactions as they were posted to the client files or General Ledger accounts. The second section shows the automatic journal entry that was posted to the General Ledger.
Every time you post in Amicus Small Firm Accounting, a transaction audit is created and an audit number is assigned to the posting batch. A posting "batch" refers to the single transaction or group of transactions that you enter and save, and that are posted when you click the Post button. For instance, if you enter ten expense entry transactions and then click Post, they comprise one posting batch and each transaction is assigned the same audit number.
Use the Unprinted Audit Reports program if you don't print your audits immediately after you post. (The Spool to Disk option in Firm Settings allows you to choose whether to be prompted to print your audit immediately after you post.) The Unprinted Audit Reports program allows you to print unprinted audits by posting program type. For example, you can print all unprinted billing audits, or all unprinted journal entry audits. If you are user 1 you can also print audits for other users. If you are not user 1, you can only use this program to print your own audits.
Yes, audits that are not printed are saved to the Unprinted Audits file. Choose the Firm Settings function in the Start Up module and enable the Spool To Disk option-then users won't be prompted to print audits each time they post. Also disable the Display Audit Trails option-then the audit number and report will not appear. Users may later choose the Unprinted Audits function in the General Ledger or Month/Year End module to view and/or print any unprinted audits as desired.
Select Firm Settings from the Start Up menu. Check the Month Last Cleared field. It should be set to the number of the last month you were posting in. For example, if you are currently doing the majority of your posting in August, the Month Last Cleared field should be 7.
By default, Amicus Small Firm Accounting uses the date from the current system date on your computer, and formats it based on the Date Format field in the Firm Settings screen.
If the date displayed is incorrect, check the date on your computer. Also check your computer's date format. Click Start, Settings, Control Panel, Regional and Language Options. Ensure the Short Date and Long Date are set correctly based on the standards of the country in which you operate.
Lawyer reports are based on fee distributions. Expenses and taxes are always automatically distributed to the responsible lawyer, but you must specify the lawyer to whom the fees should be posted, both for billings and for receipts. It is important that you distribute fees correctly. For example, if you distribute the fees on a bill to one lawyer but the receipt to another, your A/R Aging report will be incorrect. The report for the first lawyer will show the amount as still outstanding and the report for the second lawyer will appear as if the client has overpaid.
Manual distribution means that you can enter the lawyer number and then manually enter the amount of fees. You can enter as many lawyers as necessary until all the fees have been distributed.
The All to Responsible option means all the fees will automatically be distributed to the responsible lawyer, regardless of which lawyer has done work on the file. Prorating the fees means, in the case of bills, that the fee distribution will be based on the time posted to the file. For example, if four lawyers have worked on the file and each has posted 25% of the time that is being billed, the prorate option will automatically post 25% of the billed fees amount to each of the four lawyers.
Interest on outstanding invoice amounts is optionally calculated and printed on the A/R Reminder Statements, based on the Aging Date and the invoice age you specify in the Charge On field (e.g. 30 days).
Note that interest is not posted to the A/R by the A/R Reminder Statements function. If you wish to create an interest invoice, you must enter an amount in the A/R Reminder Interest function and post it to the A/R.
The next time you generate an A/R Reminder Statement and select the Charge Interest option, interest is calculated on the principal amount, including the amount in prior interest invoices. Therefore, interest will be compounded at that time.