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Comprehensive Guide: Bill Settings, Bill Themes, & Payment Profiles

 

  • Introduction

    Before generating invoices for your clients, it's important to set up your billing options, Bill Theme, and payment terms.

    In this chapter, you will learn how to set up billing options such as defining taxes and time rounding. You will be introduced to Clio's bill customization feature and, finally, you will learn how to apply interest and early payment discounts.

  • Bill Settings

    Topics

    Locating Bill Settings
    Overview of Billing Options
    Core Bill Settings

     

    Locating Bill Settings

    To locate your bill settings, click "Settings" in the left navigation menu.

    Then click on the "Billing" link in the Clio Settings column.

     

    Overview of Billing Options

    The Billing settings screen contains four tabs:

    Bill Settings

    This tab contains the core bill settings and is where you will specify:

    • Firm Logo
    • Default Currency
    • Taxes
    • Time Rounding options
    • Bill States options
    • Enable draft Bill Notifications

    These core bill settings are detailed below.

    Bill Themes

    Bill Themes allow you to define what information should appear on your bills and how your bills should look. 

    • Common Bill Theme options are detailed in the "Bill Themes" section of this chapter.

    Payment Profiles

    Payment Profiles allow you to specify the payment terms to be applied to your clients, including:

    • Payment grace period
    • Interest percentage and frequency
    • Early payment discounts
    • Steps for creating and applying Payment Profiles are detailed in the "Payment Profiles" section of this chapter.

    UTBMS Codes

    Subscribers of Clio's Boutique plan can enable UTBMS codes for time and expense entries. These codes are useful for those firms that submit electronic invoices in LEDES 1998B format.

    For instructions on how to enable UTBMS codes in your Clio account, see the "UTBMS Codes" article.

     

    Core Bill Settings

    Firm Logo

    Logo images that are uploaded to Clio can be displayed on your bills and help reflect your brand.

    Ideal logo dimensions have a ratio of 5.5 units of width for each unit of height, however the system will attempt to appropriately size the image to fit according to standard bill dimensions. 

    Logos should not exceed 2 megabytes in size and must be one of the following file types: JPEG, PNG or GIF.

    Default Currency

    Clio allows you to bill clients in many different currencies. Currency can be adjusted for the firm, or it can be adjusted on an invoice-by-invoice basis.

    Clio only supports one default currency.

    Taxes

    If your jurisdiction requires that you collect taxes, you can specify default primary and secondary taxes. You can then choose to apply those taxes when generating bills. 

    1. Tax Name
      Give your primary and secondary taxes a name to help you identify them easily.
    2. Tax Rate
      Enter in the percentage rates for your applicable taxes. Note that Clio supports tax rates with a percentage of up to eight (8) decimal places.
    3. Secondary Tax Rule
      Choose whether your secondary tax should be applied to the pre-tax amount or post tax amount.
    4. Apply Secondary Tax
      Check this box to enable the use of a secondary tax. By default, this box is not checked.

    When generating a bill, you will also have to check the tax options in the Generate Bills window. 

    Time Rounding Options

    When you change the time rounding settings on your account it changes how all time entries are displayed in Clio on the activities tab and in the matter tab, even the ones that have already been billed. This will not, however, affect the totals on the bills that you have already generated.

    Time rounding affects all users on your Clio account.

    Clio allows you to round time to the nearest two decimal places and/or to the next minute increment. 

    Examples:

    • To bill time in 10ths of an hour, set the minute increment to "6". 
    • To bill time for every quarter hour, set the minute increment to "15".

    Bill States Options

    For small or solo firms that do not require a pending approval workflow, the "Pending Approval" bill state can be removed by checking the "Hide Pending Approval" box.

    For those firms that need the ability to edit the line items on approved bills, you can enable this by checking the "Allow editing of approved bills and trust requests".

    Enable Draft Bill Notifications

    For those firms with a draft bill approval workflow, you can enable draft bill notifications. 

    Draft notifications allow you to select a Clio user to be notified by email or secure message whenever you generate a bill.

    For more information about working with draft notifications, see the "Draft Notifications" article.

  • Bill Themes

    This chapter contains brief details on commonly used Bill Themes options.

    For more information about working with Bill Themes and customizing your invoices, see the "Customizing your Bills" collection of articles.

    Topics

    Bill Themes Basics
    Display Options
    Localizations - Language Options
    Line Item Table Options
    Account Balance Options
    Changing the Bill Theme on a Bill

     

    Bill Themes Basics

    Clio's Bill Themes allow you to determine what information should appear on your bills and how your bills should be styled. 

    To access Bill Themes, go to the Billing settings screen and click on the "Bill Themes" sub-tab. 

    The "Default" theme will automatically be applied to all your bills. You can edit the default theme or create a new theme. 

    To edit the default theme, click on the thumbnail image. 

    The Edit Bill Theme screen has three main areas.

    1. The left-most box lists the top level customization categories. 
    2. When you click on a top level category, the main settings area will display further categories and customization options. 
    3. Below the options area is a live preview of your Bill Theme. The area that you are currently customizing will be outlined with a blue box.

     

    Display Options

    You can customize font, spacing, tables, and alignment in many of the bill theme categories. You can use these options to brand your bills with your firm colors and general feel.

    Firm Logo or Image

    To adjust how your firm logo or image is displayed on bills, go to "Firm Information" > "Logo".

    Here you can set the logo orientation, height, and spacing; or you can hide it altogether.

     

    Localizations - Language Options

    You can change some of the wording that appears on your bills from the "Localizations" category.

    For more information about changing the wording on your bills, see the "Localizing Your Invoice" article. 

     

    Line Item Table Options

    You can customize the line item tables on your bill by going to the "Matter" category.

    "Line Items" options allow you to customize what and how charges are displayed in the table, including:

    • Splitting time and expense entries onto different tables
    • Including/excluding Activity Descriptions from line items
    • Displaying subtotals and discounts

    "Orderings" options allow you to specify which columns should be visible on the bill tables. 

     

    Account Balance Options

    The "Statement of Accounts" category allows you to add account balances and outstanding balances to your bills.

    "Summary of Accounts" allows you to add an outstanding balance calculation to your bills. This equation can optionally include the client's trust balance.

    "Client Account" allows you to add trust and operating transactions to the bottom of your bills.  

    • Select "Account Details" to show individual transactions.
    • Select "Account Summary" to only show account balances.

     

    Changing the Bill Theme on a Bill

    To select the theme that should be applied to a bill, click the "Change bill theme" button on the bill preview. 

  • Payment Profiles

    Payment Profiles allow you to specify the payment terms to be applied to your clients, including:

    • Payment grace period
    • Interest percentage and frequency
    • Early payment discounts

     

    Creating a Payment Profile

    The default Payment Profile will be applied automatically to all of your clients unless you specify otherwise. 

    To edit the default profile, click on the "Edit" link. Or, to create a new profile, click "Create a payment profile". 

    In the "Edit Payment Profile" window, enter your payment terms. 

    Payment Terms

    Principal
    The amount of the invoice prior to any interest charges.
    E.G. Bill Total = $1000 

    Grace Period
    Grace period is used to calculate the payment due date. Interest will not be charged when a bill is paid before the due date. Interest is calculated for the grace period and added to the bill once the due date has passed. Thereafter, interest is calculated based on the interest period.

    Simple Interest
    Interest is calculated only on the principal, or a portion of the principal.

    Compound Interest
    Interest charged on the principal and any previous interest charges.

     

    Applying a Payment Profile on a Contact Card

    If you have created custom Payment Profiles other than the default profile, you will need to apply those profiles to your clients on their Contact cards.

    When adding a Contact to Clio or when editing an existing Contact, scroll to the bottom of the Contact form to the "Contact Billing" section. 

    In the "Payment Profile" field, select the profile that you would like to apply to all Matters and bills for this client. 

    Next Chapter topic: Billing Workflow