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Billing Workflow: Options and Bill States

This article details the steps and options involved in Clio's billing workflow.


Generating Bills
The Draft Bill State
Submitting for Approval
The Pending Approval State
Approving a Bill
Approving a Bill and Applying Trust
The Unpaid State
Paid and Voided Bills


Generating Bills

New Bills: Will show a list of all billable Clients. A billable Client is any Client and their connected Matters that have any amount of unbilled Expense or Time Entry. Zero dollar Time Entries will still show, but not Time Entries with zero time. 


 You are able to filter for a number of criteria to generate specific Bills.


When generating, you are given the option to skip the bill approval process. Checking this option will put the bill immediately into the "Unpaid" state, by-passing the "Draft" state and an opportunity to make edits.


If your firm has multiple users and observes a billing approval workflow, you have the option of turning on Draft notifications. With Draft notifications enabled, you will be be given the option to send a notification that a bill has been generated to a user in your firm. For more information, click HERE.

A state change marker will display at the bottom right of the page when you move the bill(s) to the next state. You can click Undo to move the bill(s) back to the previous state or click on the "View bills in Draft" link to move to the Draft state area.


The Draft Bill State

Once generated, the new bill(s) move to the "Draft" state for review. In Draft, they can be edited before being approved. Draft Invoices cannot take payment. 

To view the bill, click on either the Bill ID number or the dropdown button beside Edit and click View


While in draft mode you can perform the following actions which can be found by clicking the buttons at the upper right of the invoice's screen:

  1. Previous and Next arrows: Clicking on the previous button will allow you to navigate to the previous bill in the current state. Clicking on the next button will allow you to navigate to the next bill in the current state.
  2. Edit*: Edit the bill to make changes to existing line entries or add new ones, add discounts or tax per line entry or to the entire bill.
  3. Submit for Approval: Move the bill to the "Pending Approval" state for review. You can also send out a notification email to the reviewing party. 
  4. Approve: Bypass the approval process and move the bill to "Unpaid" where you can apply payments and send the final bill to the Client.
  5. Approve & apply Trust: Approve the bill and automatically apply any Trust funds to the invoice. If there is not enough Trust funds to fully pay off the invoice, the maximum available amount will be applied. If the Trust funds fully pay off the bill, it will move into "Paid" state. 
  6. Send: Utilizing Clio Connect, the "send" button will allow you to send your invoice to your Client. The "Draft" watermark that appears on the bill will help you and your Clients differentiate between Draft and final bills.
  7. Delete: Delete the bill if needed which will reset the original bill entries and move them back to the "Billable Clients" state.Screen_Shot_2017-11-27_at_1.41.20_PM.png
  8. Download: the bill in either PDF, CSV, or Ledes 1998B Output Formats.
    *Please note that only changes made to the Quantity, Rate, Date, and line item Notes can be reflected back in the Matter's Time and Expenses tabs.



Submitting for Approval

The "Submit for Approval" action is relevant to those firms using a Pending Approval workflow.

From the Draft state, you have the ability to submit multiple bills for approval at once:

1) Check the boxes beside the bills you want to submit

2) Click Submit for Approval that will appear once you select an invoice


When you submit a bill(s) for approval, you will be given the option to send a notification of that submission to a user in your firm. 

  1. Notify a user: Select the firm user who should be notified that you are submitting bills for approval. You can continue to add multiple users by continue to type in a different name. If you do not want to send a notification, leave this field blank and click the "Submit for Approval" button.
  2. Notify via: Select if the firm user should be notified by E-mail, Clio Secure Message, or both.
  3. Add note: Click the + button to add a note to the E-mail or Secure Message notification.

Click the "Submit for Approval" button to complete the submission or click "Cancel" to abort the submission process and leave the selected bills in Draft state.


Once submitted for approval, the success notification will appear on the bottom right hand corner to reflect the new Bill State. 


The Pending Approval State

The Pending Approval state is relevant to those firms using a Pending Approval workflow.

Pending Approval: Once a Draft is submitted for approval, it will move to the "Pending Approval" state for review. Changes can still be made to the bill same as in the Draft state. Please note that once approved, the Bills can no longer be edited.


Approving a Bill

When done reviewing the bill and changes are no longer required, click on "Approve" to move the bill to the "Unpaid" state:



If the Issue Date of the bill is in the past then you will be given the option to change the Issue Date and the Due Date. By changing the Issue Date,  the interest and early payment periods will update accordingly.


Checking Update the issue date (optional) will calculate the new issue and due date based on the grace period on the payment profile for the Client.

*Please note that any user in the account has the ability to approve Draft bills into "Unpaid".

Once Approved, the success logo will reflect the new Bill State, and how many items were moved into "Unpaid".

Approving a Bill and Applying Trust


Approve and apply Trust allows you to approve the bill and apply and Trust funds available at the same time. If the Trust are insufficient to pay off the entire invoice, then any funds available will be applied as a partial payment. If the Trust funds are able to complete the entire invoice, then it will be moved to the Paid state. 

The Unpaid State

Unpaid:  From this state, you can send the final bill out to your Client or send it via Clio Connect or email and await the payment. This is the state where interest calculations will begin to accrue if set up to do so. Also the "Draft" watermark will be removed from this state.  Once the payment is received, you would apply the payment, click HERE for instructions.

Please note that changes can no longer be made to the bill during this state. If a change is needed to any of the line items, the bill would need to be voided. Click HERE to learn more. You can enable editing for bills in Unpaid by modifying your Billing Settings in Settings.


Paid and Voided Bills

Paid: Once the bill is paid in full,  it will move the the "Paid" state. 


All:  Bills in all states, including voided or deleted bills, can be located in this area.


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