Billing

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Overview

There are a number of steps to be completed when raising a bill for a client. The process begins with an analysis of client WIP to determine which clients are to be billed and for how much. Once WIP details are identified, a draft bill can be generated for the client using the Billing Wizard.

Topics in this Section

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  • You can apply a miscellaneous charge to any client assignment, whether it has billable WIP against it or not. A miscellaneous charge can be added at the time of billing from the Bill Amounts window. You can also create them prior to billing from the Misc/Est tab in the Assignment window for the relevant client.
  • There are times when the value of WIP entered against a client is not exactly the amount that will be charged at the time of billing.
  • The Bill Amounts page is accessed from within the Billing Main window by clicking on the Bill Amounts   button, or if you are using the Billing Wizard it is displayed when you click Next on the Stage One window.
  • CCH Practice Management has a Billing Wizard which guides you through all the stages in the billing process quickly and easily. This wizard will always be your starting point when you need to bill a client.
  • Your practice may want to assign the type of business to the fee income of a bill. You can assign a fee dimension as they are submitted within the Billing Main window, or you can set up the fee dimensions and customise your Home Page to use the Toolbox: Fee Analysis History option.
  • The Billing Main window guides you through the steps involved in creating a bill, from the billing decisions to the printing of the invoice that will be sent to the client. From the Billing main window, you can access windows for completing bill details such as creating an invoice for the client, as well as checking, authorising and posting a client's bill after it has been submitted.
  • Once a draft bill for a client has been submitted, the next step it to authorise and post the bill. This process moves the client WIP into debtors, allowing the practice to then keep track of its financial exposure.
  • You can copy the text from previous bills in the Posted Bills window. To open the Posted Bills window, in the Bill Paragraphs billing page, click  This Client/Assignment or Other Client/Assignment buttons. From the Posted Bills window you can browse to any bill previously raised on the system and copy the text directly into the current draft bill. The same buttons are also available in Stage Three of the Billing Wizard.
  • The Posted Bills window, accessed from the This Client/Assignment and Other Client/Assignment buttons on the Bill Paragraphs page, is where you can copy the text from previous bills.
  • The following diagram shows you all the steps that can be included in the billing process. Many are optional (see legend below), depending on how much you want to customise in the client's bill. The bill creation is made easy in CCH Practice Management with a Billing Wizard. The wizard leads you through the steps in the billing process.
  • CCH Practice Management allows you to customise the fee layout and text that appears within a client bill. Once the bill amounts have been decided in the Bill Amounts page, the next phase in the billing creation process is to define the invoice content.
  • When you have analysed a client's WIP and are ready to create a bill for them, the first step is to generate a new draft bill. Once you have done this you can define the contents and amounts to be billed through the subsequent billing windows.
  • Master paragraphs are used in billing to add predefined text to a bill. When you are raising a bill for a client, you can view and select the master paragraphs available for use in the Master Paragraphs window.
  • Standing orders are template bills used to automatically bill a client on a fixed and regular basis. For example, some clients may want to be billed monthly or others quarterly to prevent ending up with a large bill at the end of a set of work. You can use the existing client bills to create templates that will automatically generate a new bill for a particular client at regular time intervals (for example, monthly billing).
  • Standing orders are template bills used to automatically bill a client on a fixed and regular basis. For example, some clients may want to be billed monthly, some others quarterly, to prevent ending up with a large bill at the end of a set of work. You can use existing client bills to create templates that will automatically generate a new bill for a particular client at regular time intervals (for example, monthly billing).
  • The Bill Amounts window is where you decide the amount to bill the client. On this window you can view and allocate the client's WIP. You can view the amount of WIP held against specific assignments, employees, code (tasks), or code type. Grouping and filtering features allow you to display the WIP in the most efficient format to make your billing decisions. This could be at the assignment, client or code type level. You can also drill down into a group, such as an employee or assignment, to the individual transaction level.
  • Using the Bill Amounts window, you can filter the WIP items for each group selected.
  • Billing groups are viewed, created and maintained through the Group tab on either the Client page or the Assignment page. From here you can see any child clients attached to the selected client or assignment, or view the parent client or assignment. Billing groups can also used for reporting purposes. Creating billing groups of clients or assignments allows for more than one client’s WIP to be billed on the same invoice. NOTE If you do not wish to set up a billing group you can add a client assignment as required by selecting the Add Assignment button in the Bill Amounts page.
  • You can customise the fee layout and text that appears within a client bill. You can also allocate billing amounts to specific bill paragraphs at whatever level of detail you require. Once the bill amounts have been defined, the next phase in the billing creation process is to tailor the invoice according to client requirements or practice standards by adding and customising the paragraphs of text which will appear in the final invoice.
  • The body of the text in a client invoice is defined in the Bill Paragraphs page.
  • The Current Outstanding WIP   button in the Assignment tab of the Client window opens the Client Assignment Enquiry window, which gives you the total WIP balance and the breakdown of that total by assignment and task code. The WIP Enquiry button on the Task Bar of the Assignment page also displays the Enquiry window, but when accessed from here it displays only the WIP items for the selected assignment.
  • Estimates are used to raise an invoice for client work that has not yet been entered as WIP. They are also known as interim fees. An estimate essentially puts a credit against the total WIP amount. There is no write–off/on required. Like a miscellaneous charge, you can apply an estimate against any client assignment, regardless of whether it has any billable WIP against it.
  • There are times when a client has paid an invoice and then requires a refund for payment, or does not pay the invoice at all, requiring a credit note to be raised to remove the amount from the debtor’s balance in the sales ledger. Credit notes can be used against an existing invoice or can have a new reference. You use the Miscellaneous Charge feature to raise a credit note for a client. You must enter the credit amount as a negative amount in the Create New Billing Charge window in order for the credit note to be processed correctly in debtors. TIP Credit notes can be used against an existing invoice or can have a new reference. A brief explanation as to why the credit note is being raised should be entered in the Notes field.
  • A miscellaneous charge is a cost that you want to pass on to a client that has not been raised as a timesheet or expense item. It is often a fixed amount that you have been billed for on a client’s behalf, or a one-off fee such as payment for registering a company or a standard cost associated with the commencement of an assignment. They can also be used for entering opening debtor balances into the ledger. You can apply a miscellaneous charge to any client assignment, regardless of whether it has billable WIP against it.
  • Amounts to be billed are allocated in the Bill Amounts page. This is where you can increase (write–on) or decrease (write–off) a bill amount at a number of different levels, such as: total client amount/ WIP amount amount for an assignment amount for each employee who worked for the client amount for individual time and expenses entries, or transactions.
  • The Billing History by Partner window is used to view a summary of all the invoices posted for a specific partner within CCH Practice Management. The default sort for the list is by invoice number. The Billing History by Partner window is accessed by selecting Billing > Billing history By Partner from the main menu.
  • There are a number of methods you can use to print a bill using CCH Practice Management. Draft and submitted bills are printed from within the Preview window, accessed by clicking on the Preview option available from the following places during bill preparation: Billing Main page Bill Paragraphs page. Generally bills are printed once they are posted, using the Invoices Ready to Print window. This window lists all posted bills and automatically appears when a bill is posted. It can also be accessed by selecting Bills > Invoices Ready to Print... from the menu. From this window, you can either print or preview the bill using Microsoft Word. Once printed the bills are generally removed from this list. To reprint a previously printed invoice use the Client window > Bills tab, where the client's previous bills are listed in the Full Billing History list.
  • There is a bill reversal feature in the Bills tab that allows you to return billed amounts to WIP. Reversing a bill achieves the following: reduces debtors balance by the exact amount of the fee. As the fee numbers and amounts are identical, both entries count each other out.7 reinstates the WIP time and disbursement entries associated with the original fee. NOTEs You can reverse a fee partially or fully if a receipt has been allocated against it. If the bill was partially or fully receipted, you need to unallocate the receipt applied to the bill and allocate the negative bill to the original bill.
  • Once a client bill has been posted, most practices print the invoice that will be sent to the client. The Bills Ready to Print window is where you can either print or preview the bill using Microsoft Word.
  • Prebilling reports are used when a practice would like to see a printed report of the work that has been completed for a client. A practice may use a prebilling report as the basis on which to raise an invoice for a client, or as an alternative to making their allocations directly in the billing screen. Prebilling reports are generated at the individual client level (unless the client is a parent client, in which case all the WIP recorded for their child clients will also be included). There are four prebilling reports available in the Client page > Assignment tab. Note The Pre Billing Reports toolbar link is available on all tabs for assignments.
  • The analysis of unposted as well as unbilled client WIP in the practice allows you to make informed billings decisions. Regular analysis of WIP in this way ensures that the unbilled WIP amount in the practice is kept to a minimum. It also prevents WIP mounting up for your clients as you can easily see when it is timely to bill them.
  • When a draft bill is created the address that is automatically selected by the system is the one stored in the Client page > Details tab. This will be the main address or, if one has been defined, the billing address. If a client has multiple addresses stored in the system, you can nominate a different address to appear on the client bill you are preparing from the Bill Address window (or from the Stage Four window in the Billing Wizard).
  • The Standing Orders and Draft Bills window automatically appears when you launch the CCH Practice Management application if: you have sufficient authorisation and posting rights and there are draft bills or standing orders ready for authorisation and/or posting You can view the window at any time however, by selecting Billing > Draft Bills.. from the main menu.
  • Billing groups are viewed, created and maintained through the Group tab on either the Client page or the Assignment page. From here you can see any child clients attached to the selected client or assignment, or view the parent client or assignment.
  • Use the Full Billing History window to view a summary of all the practice's posted invoices. The default sort for the list is by invoice number. The Billing History page is accessed by selecting Billing > Billing history from the main menu.
  • When a bill is created for a client it is held as a draft bill until it is posted.
  • Invoices that have been raised and posted for a client or assignment are listed in the Full Billing History area of the Bills tab. From here you can run a Draft Internal Bill Report of the selected invoice and view the invoice in Word.
  • Before raising a bill for a client you will most likely want to review the status of their WIP.
  • Estimates are used to raise an invoice for client work that has not yet been entered as WIP.
  • When a bill is created for a client it is held as a draft bill until it is posted.
  • Understanding the concepts of WIP and debtors is fundamental to managing the billing process for any practice. When a practice undertakes to perform work for a client, any time spent or expenses incurred while working on client assignments is recorded in order to generate an invoice for that client. These timesheet and expense sheet entries and their equivalent monetary value allow a practice to keep track of and report on financial information related to client work and business practices.s it.
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