Billing for an Initial Consultation - Money Up Front - Deposit before the Consultation
This article covers how you use Migration Manager to bill and receive payment for an Initial Consultation in a situation where you require the client to deposit the funds in to your Trust/Client Account prior to the Initial Consultation. It will involve the following steps:
- Create the Matter
- Request a prepayment (in the form of a deposit) for the consultation in to the Trust/Client Account
- Issuing a receipt for this deposit
- Record that the consultation has taken place (recorded as a Fee)
- Generating an Invoice/Statement of Services as evidence that the work has been undertaken
- Transferring the money held in the Trust/Client Account to your Office Account
1. Create the Matter
If you have not already done so, you will first need to create the Matter in Migration Manager. To do this:
- Click the New button in the main toolbar
- On the New Matter window set the Matter type, enter the details of the person/entity who will be the client and set the responsible staff members
- Click Create which will create the matter and then open the Matter Detail window.
For full walk through instructions on how you create a Matter please see: How to Create a Matter
When you have generated the Matter, you should try to ensure you insert the basic client information including:
- Their Surname and Given Name*
- Their email address
- Their residential address*
*If you are using the Trust Account, these are mandatory.
You will also want to go in to the Accounts Overview tab and set who the default billable person is as this will make generating accounts documents for this matter quicker.
2. Request the Deposit
Next, you have the option of using the Deposit Request function in Migration Manager to generate a document for the client that sets out how much and how you want the person to deposit in to your Trust/Client Account.
The Deposit Request can be generated by:
- Going to the Client Funds tab in the Accounts tab
- Clicking the New Deposit Request button in the Client Funds tab.
- In the Item Type column, choose Fee
- From the Charge Code column, select the code for Initial Consultation (For instructions on how to create a Fee Code see: How to Create Fee Codes )
- Edit any of the values that appear in the remaining columns and when happy click Save & Finalise
For full instructions on how you generate a Deposit Request, see: Request a Deposit
Once you have generated the Deposit Request, you can send it from the Documents tab (if you generated it as a Word document, don't forget to PDF it first). For full instructions on how to email a document, see: How to send a Letter or Document via Email
3. Receipt the Deposit
When the money is received in to the Client/Trust Account, you will need to generate a receipt to record the payment.
To generate a receipt:
- Click the New CF Receipt button in the Client Funds tab,
- From the Payment Type dropdown specify how payment of the deposit was received.
- Record the total amount received in the Total box.
- Fill out the details of what payment was received for.
- Then click Print and then Save & Close .
For full instructions on how to generate and fill out a receipt, see: Receipt a Deposit
Once you have generated the Receipt, you can send it from the Documents tab (if you generated it as a Word document, don't forget to PDF it first). For full instructions on how to email a document, see: How to send a Letter or Document via Email
4. Record the Work - Recording a Fee for the Initial Consultation
When you have completed your initial consultation, you need to record this activity in Migration Manager so that it knows that you have completed a billable activity.
To record a Fee:
- Go to the Fees & Disbursements tab and then click the New Fee button,
- Select the appropriate Fee Code (For instructions on how to create a Fee Code see: How to Create Fee Codes )
- Entering any additional information that might be necessary to provide further and better particulars of what work was done
- Review and modify the amounts if necessary
- Click Save & Close.
For full detailed instructions on how to record a fee, see: Record the Work - Record a Fee
5. Generate the Invoice/Statement of Services
Once you have recorded the Fee in Migration Manager, you can now generate an Invoice/Statement of Services to give to the Client as a record that you have completed the work and you are now entitled to be paid.
To generate an invoice for all previously recorded work that has not yet been Billed/Invoiced:
- Click the New Invoice button in the Fees and Disbursements tab
- Check/update the information which has been populated if necessary
- Click Save & Finalise. This will merge the Invoice for you and save a copy to the Documents tab.
For full instructions on how to create an Invoice go to: Generate an Invoice for Work Completed
Once you have generated the Invoice, you can send it from the Documents tab (if you generated it as a Word document, don't forget to PDF it first). For full instructions on how to email a document, see: How to send a Letter or Document via Email
6. Transfer the Funds
Once you have issued an Invoice/Statement of Services showing that you have completed a block of work, you can now transfer the funds that were deposited in to the Client/Trust Account across to your Operating Account. This should involve two steps:
- You first need to actually move the funds between your two bank accounts. It is always recommended that, where possible, you record accounts transactions in Migration Manager that have taken place as opposed to what is intended to take place. That way Migration Manager has an accurate record of what has occured.
- Recording the transfer in Migration Manager.
To record the transfer in Migration Manager:
- Go to the Client Funds tab and click the Client to Office transfer button. The window that will appear will show a list of invoices which haven't been paid and how much money is available in the Client/Trust fund.
- Now you need to set how much money you want to move between your two accounts by recording a value in the Apply column
- Click Save & Close. This will record the transfer in Migration Manager.
For full instructions on to perform a transfer, please see: Pay an Invoice - Transfer from the Client/Trust Account
7. Finish - You can review what has happened
Your Client Funds tab will now show the funds were received and that those funds have been transferred out of your Trust/Client Account.
Your Office Account will now show that an invoice was created and that the Invoice as having now been paid.
The Fees & Disbursements tab will show that an activity was recorded and that activity has now been billed.
The Accounts Overview tab will summarise the state of the matter.