How do I charge a retainer?

Charging a retainer will be based on how the retainer was added.

If you use the Trust Accounting feature:

  1. After creating the invoice, click on the blue Accounting tab.
  2. Click on the Receive Payment button.
  3. Fill in all the required information and change the payment method to Trust Account. From there, you can choose the trust account with available funds.
  4. Under "Invoice Number" choose the desired invoice and type in the amount you want applied to this invoice.
  5. Click the Add button. A pop-up window will open. Click on the Ok button.
  6. Click the Save button.

Note: If you want this payment and retainer balance reflected on the invoice, make sure that you have the Trust Accounting Summary add-on added to your invoice template.

If you do not use the Trust Accounting feature, and you put a retainer in the Accounting as an adjustment in advance, the retainer will automatically deduct from any invoices you create for the client.

Approach #1: 
The balance for the client or matter is a credit balance as shown by the green text inside brackets. When you send out an invoice, the balance of the invoice is automatically applied to the credit balance. So just by creating the invoice, the retainer is charged.

Approach #2:
Click on the Clients tab
Click on the desired client
Click on the client's Accounting tab
Click Balance Adjustment
Change the Adjustment Type to Credit
Entered the desired amount
Click the Save button

To apply the adjustment that was already saved, go to the Invoice Details screen and click the Payments tab:

  1. Click the Apply Payment button.
  2. In the  Payments pull down menu, choose the desired retainer.
  3. Make sure the Amount to Apply amount is correct.
  4. Click the Save button.


Also asked: How do I charge against an advanced payment?

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  • Avatar
    Russell C Gache

    Sorry, this is not what I wanted.  I want to know HOW to create the invoice for the retainer.  Creating a normal invoice is easy, and assigning the payment once it arrives, but creating a retainer invoice is different because it is essentially a single invoice on an existing matter (project) created out of time sequence from the other recorded entries.  Support, can you add an article for how to invoice for a retainer?  You should name it:  "How to Invoice a Retainer to a Client."  Also, get rid of word "Charge" in this article.  A better word would be "Apply", because that is what the article is about.

  • Avatar

    I agree - I want to use the paypal feature linked with bill4time to request payment of a retainer and initiate it from the bill4time side.  I don't want to invoice a retainer.

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