Perhaps the most important part of logging your firm's time and expenses is actually invoicing matters for these items. Before beginning with Invoices, first make sure that you have completed your firm's Time & Invoice Settings. We also suggest registering for LMPay so that you can make use of online payments and other features like our payment gateway.
To begin creating an invoice, hover your mouse on the Billing tab at the top of your Lawmatics page and then select Invoices.
Once you arrive on the Invoices page you will see a list of all of the firm's invoices to date. Notice the invoice number and status, shown on the left side of the page, as well as the action icons shown on the far right. If you are using our integration with QuickBooks, you'll also see the QuickBooks indicator, showing which invoices have been synced via the QuickBooks integration.
You will always begin the process of invoicing by creating an invoice draft, you will then send that invoice once you are ready. To begin the process, click the Create New Invoice button shown at the top right in the image above.
After you click this button, you will be taken to a page showing all matters that have invoiceable time and/or expenses. Once you locate the contact you wish to invoice, you will see any and all of their matters listed below their name. In the example shown below the contact only has one matter, but if they had multiple you would have the option to select which of their matters you wish to create an invoice for.
You can also select matters from multiple contacts if you wish to create a batch of invoices.
Similarly, for clients who have more than one ongoing matter with your firm, you can send invoices for all of their matters in one batch. This allows them to receive all of their invoices for multiple matters in one email, making it easy for them (and you) to manage all invoices. We’ve also given you the option to create a custom email template specifically for batched invoices, providing extra clarity to the billing process for your clients.
Be sure to enable this setting on the Invoices tab of your main settings page (gear icon near the top right, then select Invoices from the left sidebar).
Once you click the Create Invoice you will see a page similar to the one shown below.
You will use the menu on the left side to build the invoice. Let's walk through each of the items that require selections.
- Name: The client's name. This will be pre-filled from their matter but can be edited if needed.
- Address: This will also be pre-filled from the matter as long as you have recorded their address on their matter. If it was not recorded on the matter already, you will need to manually enter it.
- Invoice Date: Select the current date or the date you plan to send the invoice.
- Payment Terms: Select from the options shown below.
Due Date: This date will automatically calculate based on the option selected for the Payment Terms, shown above.
Invoice Number: This number will be automatically generated in sequential order from your previous invoices.
Invoice Status: If you are planning to create an invoice to be sent to a client then this will most often be selected as Draft. If other circumstances apply, then you will select the status accordingly.
You can also create an invoice to log a payment that has already been received offline, without actually sending that invoice to the client. To do this, select the status as "Sent". This will create the invoice, but not send it. You can then update the status of the invoice to reflect it as paid. This is extremely useful for recording revenue from a past invoice without the client needing to receive a duplicative invoice.
Target Bank Account: Select whether the payment for this invoice should go into your Trust or Operating Account.
Update Time Entries by Date Range: If you only wish to include time entries and expenses from a certain time period, select that here. Any entries that are not within the selected date range will be removed from the invoice.
Note: Optional, feel free to type a note to be included with this invoice.
Balance Forward: Selecting this option will include any unpaid balance from previous invoices for this contact, and add it on to this new invoice.
Statement of Accounts: This will include a summary of previous invoices for this contact.
Enable Online Payment: Check this box to collect payment via online payment. Note: this function requires use of LMPay, learn how to complete the registration here.
If you would like to create the invoice incorporating the matter's trust balance, select the Apply Trust Balance option, as shown below. This will apply the balance into the invoice total, shown toward the bottom right in the image below.
When looking at the various Time Entries and Expenses for this matter, you also have the option to manually remove any entries or expenses that you do not wish to include on this invoice. By default, all uninvoiced time entries and expenses will be included on the invoice. To remove one, click the Delete button, highlighted below. Once you have deleted one, you will find it in the section labelled Available Entries, also highlighted below.
You also have the option to create an adjustment for this invoice. This would be used to charge for Interest or Tax, or to add a discount. When adding an adjustment, you will have the option to apply it to the sub-total in its entirety, or apply it to just the time entries or expenses.
Once you have created any adjustments and finished making all of your other selections, then click the Save button on the bottom left. The invoice will then be visible on the Invoices page, or on that particular matter's activity timeline, as shown below.
You can also view the invoice by clicking on the matter's Billing tab.
Note how this invoice was created as a draft. We have the option to make any further edits to the invoice (if needed) by clicking the edit pencil shown on the right in the image above, or we can send the invoice by clicking the envelope icon. Once you send the invoice, it will be emailed to the client, and it can no longer be edited.
If you have enabled online payment for the invoice, then when the matter pays their invoice electronically it will be logged directly on the Payment Activity tab, shown next to the Invoices tab above.
To log a payment manually, either go to the Invoices page or to the matter's Billing tab. In either place, you will click the icon highlighted below to log the payment.
If the payment was set to go to the firm's Trust Account, you will see the payment reflected there accordingly. If you wish to simply view the invoice that was sent, click the eyeball icon shown directly to the left of the icon highlighted in red above.
We also suggest that each user go to the Notifications page in settings to select how they would like to receive notifications for successful payments received. The Only Mine option will only notify the user for matter that they own.
You have the option to have a custom payment receipt automatically sent to your matters when they make a payment. To set this up, go to the Invoice Settings page.
Lastly, you also have the option to refund an invoice when necessary. You'll only see this option on invoices that have been paid, you will not see it for drafts or past due invoices. Go to your Invoices page under the Billing tab, and then click the ... button for the invoice you wish to refund. You'll then have the option to refund the full amount of the invoice, or type in a different amount. If the payment was made through LMPay, you'll see the option to refund through LMPay.
You can also feel free to leave any notes for future reference.
How do I keep track of the status of all of my firm's invoices?
The best place to view an overview of your firm's invoices is on the Invoices page under the Billing tab. Here you will see a status of each invoice listed as Draft, Sent, Partially Paid, or Paid. Each user can also turn on payment notifications on the Notifications page in settings.
How do I create an invoice to log a payment that has already been received offline, without actually sending that invoice to the client?
When creating the invoice, select the status as "Sent". This will create the invoice without actually sending it to the recipient. You can then update the status of the invoice to reflect it as paid. This is extremely useful for recording revenue from a past invoice without the client needing to receive a duplicative invoice.
Can I resend an invoice if the client lost it?
Yes, simply click the envelope icon again for that invoice and it will be resent. This will not create a new invoice, it will simply resend the one that was already created.
Why don't I see a particular matter listed on the Invoiceable Matters page when creating a new invoice?
You will only see matters that have uninvoiced time entries and/or expenses on that page. Make sure that you have logged your time entries and/or expenses for that matter before creating the invoice.