For Matter Costs, there are actually quite a few ways to add them, including in the Quick Create section (shown in this guide here) and within the Billing section in the Daily Work Entity, but these are second to actually creating a Matter Cost in the Matter Costs Entity.
The reason for this (and the reason that we’ll be focusing on the Entity for this guide) is that the Entity is the only place in which you can specify whether the Cost is a Hard Cost or a Soft Cost.
In the future, we’ll be adding fields for these in every place in which a Matter Cost can be created, but for now and for this guide, we’ll stick to creating Matter Costs in the Matter Costs Entity.
Creating the Matter Cost
To access Matter Costs, scroll down the Action Bar on the left side of your screen and find the Matter Costs Entity under the Accounting Subheading.
This screen will default to Active Matter Costs and will show you a list of currently Active entries, as well as some other information across the rows. To create a new Matter Cost, find the +New button the top of the screen.
Note the fields with Red Asterisks in the following page. All fields like this *must* be filled out in order for the Matter Cost to be saved to the respective Matter. These fields are outlined below:
The Type field is asking for a Type of Cost/Charge. You should have what you need in the list, but if not, you can either Create a New Matter Cost Type by clicking the blue option as it appears, or else you can have an Admin add a new Matter Cost Type for you.
The Matter field is simply asking for which Matter this Cost will be created.
The Date, Payee, Payment Method and Amount should all be self-explanatory in the following screen, but the Cost Type can take a little explanation, as you’ll need to specify between Hard and Soft Costs.
A Soft Cost can include any expense that does not require a check, but for which you still may wish to be reimbursed by your client. Common examples of Soft Costs can include court parking, mileage, or postage.
By contrast, a Hard Cost would include any expense that requires your firm to write a check on behalf of your client. Common examples of Hard Costs can include filing fees, paying a private investigator or paying an insurance adjuster.
By default, this field will always start as a Soft Cost.
The final two Required Fields will fill automatically based on the Cost Type, so you can simply leave these be.
Once finished and ready to Submit, click Submit Cost at the top. If, however, you would rather leave this to be Submitted later, you can choose Save & Close.
This Matter Cost, Soft or Hard, has been Submitted to your accounting team! Now we wait. If your Firm does not have Auto Approval on Matter Costs, then the new Status Reason on the Cost is Pending Approval.
But if Auto Approval is ON -or- if it's been Approved by your accounting team, you'll see that the Status Reason has been set to Ready to Bill.
Now your path will diverge slightly depending on whether you have Business Central integration or not. By default, your firm WILL NOT have Business Central unless you've requested it and we've integrated it for you. After a Cost has become Ready To Bill, a new option will appear at the top for Complete.
*NOTE* - It is recommended that a Cost is not marked as Completed unless the Client has paid the Cost, but you may use this button however you see fit.
--Without Business Central
Regardless, once your Firm considers this Cost Complete, click Complete (and confirm a subsequent dialogue box) to close out this Matter Cost.
--With Business Central
If, however, your Firm IS using Business Central, you'll see the option at the top of the screen to Post. Posting, in this case, will simply send the Cost to Business Central to be processed there. Click Post and confirm the subsequent confirmation box to continue.
While you wait for the Cost to be processed at Business Central, the Posting Step will show Queued.
Now you can sit back and wait for Business Central to finish processing the Cost, and, as above, you can mark it as Complete once the Cost meets your Firm's specific criteria.