Each Matter can be set up to be billed on an Hourly basis, Flat Fee basis, or on Contingency. By default, if you do not make a choice, all Matters are billed on an hourly basis.
You can specify the Matter Billing type when creating a Matter or editing an existing Matter. Scroll to the "Billing preferences" section and choose the appropriate option.
Matter Billing Types
Selecting the "Hourly" option will allow you to record time entries with client, Matter, and activity specific rates. At any time you are able to generate bills for the time you spent working on the Matter.
For more information on understanding rates in Clio, click here.
Clio's flat fee feature will charge a fee to the client automatically and allow you to track your time going forward on the Matter.
- If the Matter is already created, go to the Matter in Clio and click on "Edit":
- Go down to the "Billing preferences" section and choose the Flat rate option. You will then be able to select the user who will earn the flat rate on the Matter. Additionally, you can choose an optional existing Activity Category or simply enter in a custom flat fee rate. Then click on Save matter:
If it is a new Matter, you will see the same option to set a flat fee in the New Matter screen.
- You will see the flat rate entry in the "Activities" section of the Matter.
After you associate a Matter with a flat fee, you will immediately be able to generate a flat fee bill to send to your client. To generate the bill, go to the "Bills" tab, then click "Billable Clients". Generate the invoice for the client.
After billing your client for the flat fee, you can still keep track of all the time that you spend working on the Matter. All subsequent time entries will be automatically marked as non-billable and tracked at your default hourly rate. However, at any time you can manually enter an amount in the Rate field or unselect the non-billable checkbox if you choose to charge for the time. You can then optionally generate additional invoices to show your client the time or expenses that you record on the Matter.
What if I don't want to generate anything in the Billable Client Page?
If you want to track your time or even if you want to bill the flat fee at a later date, then mark the matter as Non-Billable. This means that any entries you make will not show up in the Billable Clients page.
What if I want additional items to show up on the flat rate bill, not just the flat fee on its own?
If you want to add other items to the flat rate bill, don't generate the bill until you have entered all charges on the Matter that you want to be part of the bill. If you enter in additional time and expenses and then generate the bill you will see the flat fee together with the other time and expense entries recorded on the Matter. In the example below we entered in an expense entry prior to generating the bill:
What if I don't want an individual line item to be included in a bill?
You can simply mark the item has non-billable. More information can be found here.
What if I want to change my Matter from flat rate billing to hourly billing?
You can change the billing method from flat fee to hourly provided that a bill has not yet been generated on the Matter. To do so, go to the Matter, click on "Edit" and at the Matter Billing box at the bottom, change the option.
If you have already generated a bill on the Matter, you will have to delete the invoice that you generated with the flat fee on it. Following that, you will be able to change the billing to hourly.
Selecting the "Contingency Fee" option will allow you to specify a contingency fee percentage and the award or settlement amount won at the completion of the case. You are then able to generate a bill to provide to your client and you can receive payment from the award in trust.
For detailed steps involved in a contingency workflow in Clio, click HERE.