Occasionally, you may run across a situation where you'll need to bill two separate parties for the same project/matter. This is a fairly common practice when dealing with Estate Law and Trusts, or when you're expecting insurance to pay/reimburse a percentage of what's being billed to the client.
While Bill4Time's standard settings don't currently allow for this, we have workarounds that will allow you to achieve split-billing! There are a few different set-ups for this, and the method you'll choose below will depend on how you would like this to be reflected for your records (and in the clients' accounting).
IF IT'S OKAY TO COMBINE THEIR INVOICING/ACCOUNTING RECORDS:
Please follow the instructions below, depending on your preferred set-up.
For paper/mailed invoices:
If you're billing these parties via paper invoices, this is a bit easier/quicker to achieve.
- Create time/expense entries as you normally would, and pull them into a pre-bill.
- Apply a discount (to reflect whatever percentage each party is expected to pay) then save and finalize the invoice.
- Print one copy of this invoice, with the client's billing contact name/address set up with the first party's information.
- After you've saved/printed the first copy, go into the client's profile and update the billing contact name/address to the second party instead.
- Unfinalize the invoice and change the discount (if the percentages are different from party to party), then save/finalize to update the amount being billed.
- Print another copy of the invoice.
- Mail these invoices out and wait to collect payment from both parties.
- Once you receive payment, you'll enter them as two separate payments in the Client's accounting and apply them both to that invoice.
For emailed invoices and online payments:
The steps to achieve this are the same as listed above, however, you'll want to pause after emailing the first copy of the invoice out - to allow the first party to pay. Once the first party pays, you'll need to:
- Unfinalize the invoice and shift the invoice date to when the first payment was received/applied
- Note: This is a required step in between emailing the first and second party, to help ensure that the actual amount due has been properly updated on the invoice.
- Once the date has been updated/saved, finalize the invoice and email it to the second party so they can pay the remaining balance due.
IF THEIR INVOICING/ACCOUNTING NEEDS TO REMAIN SEPARATE:
This workaround is handled the same, regardless of whether you're sending printed invoices or emailing them to the client for online payment.
- Create one Client profile - this will house the related projects/matters and entries for these parties.
- We recommend naming this something generic, like "(Name) Trust" or "(Name) Estate", since it will be shown at the top of your invoice's address information for both parties.
- On the details page of that client profile, click "Edit Settings" and set the Accounting Isolation drop-down to "Project" or "Matter" instead of Firm Default or Client.
- Note: this is a required step, to ensure that invoicing/accounting for each party is kept separate.
- Now create a project/matter for each individual party, under this main client profile.
- You'll need to set up the billing contact/address for each party individually. To do that, open one party's specific project/matter and click on the blue "Edit" button in the upper right corner of this screen.
- Once you've clicked "Edit" on that page, you'll need to:
- Update the "Email" field within the project/matter details tab - to display the email for that specific party.
- Click on the "Invoice Presets" tab and remove the check-mark from the "Use Client Defaults" box on the top left.
- Type this party's name in the "Invoice ATTN:" field. (Note: You'll need to be sure that your invoice template settings are set to display the ATTN: line in your client's header info.)
- Click the "Other" radio button, under the "Bill To" section of these settings, and type that party's address/contact information into those fields.
- Then click "Save".
- Enter time/expense entries under the first party's project/matter, and pull them into a pre-bill.
- Finalize this bill and print/email it to the first party.
- Go back into this invoice, open each individual time/expense entry, and click on "Save & Duplicate" to create a copy of those entries.
- Change the client and project/matter drop-downs to the other client, make any additional changes needed to the entry, then click "Save and Close".
- Once all entries are duplicated under the second project/matter, create another invoice, finalize it, and print/email it to the second party.
- Apply payments to each individual invoice as you receive them, and the accounting records for each party (or project/matter) will be kept separate.
HIDING SPECIFIC INFORMATION FOR ONE/BOTH INVOICES:
If you're billing for insurance (or other sensitive matters), and you need to hide certain detailed information on the invoice from one/both parties, you may want to use the "Invoice Summary" feature.
Please click the link below, to check out our step-by-step tutorial for that process:
How do I make an Invoice Summary?