The eBillity Trust Accounting feature lets you set up a place to keep track of money your manage on behalf of a client. See a demo of how trust accounting works in this video:
- Go to the "Accounting" Tab
- Go to the "Trust Accounting" Sub Tab. There are two tabs on this page: "Trust Accounts" and "Bank Accounts. See how to use each below:
The “Trust Accounts” Tab
Here are the steps to set up a new trust account in the eBillity system:
- Click “Add New Trust Account” button. A new window will pop-up.
- Fill in the “Account Name.”
- Select the Client in the drop-down menu.
- Determine “Usage.” Click a button to select whether the new trust account should be 1) assigned to a client in general or, 2) to a Client’s selected project or matter.
- Select the Bank Account in the drop-down menu. If you haven’t yet created a bank account to associate with this trust account, you can add a new bank account by selecting “<<Add New>>” in the drop-down menu.
- Opening Balance: If you want to start the new trust account with an opening balance, you can enter it here (you don’t have to in order to set up the trust account though).
- Click “Save” and the Trust Accounting List Page will show up with your newest Trust Account at the top of the list.
To record debit or credit transactions for the new trust, highlight the item row in the list, and click on the down arrow to the far right of the row. A drop-down list of actions will appear:
- Click “View Entries” to see what is going on with the account (if no activity has happened in the account, the list will be empty)
- Click “Manage Trust Account” to see details of the account
- Click “Deposit” to record new funds added to the account. A new window will appear with fields to enter deposit (credit) details.
- Click “Disbursement” to note payments made from the account. A new window will appear with fields to enter disbursement (debit) details.
- Click “Transfer” to move funds from a Client’s trust account to another of their accounts. A new window will appear for you to input details of the transfer, and the new balances for both accounts will update in the system.
Your law firm can pay itself from a Client’s trust account. Here’s how:
- First, make sure there is a positive balance in the trust account. If you need to record a deposit, highlight the trust account row in the list, click the down arrow to the right of the row, and select “Deposit” in the drop-down list of actions.
- Enter deposit details in the new window that appears. Click the ‘Save” button.
- You will get a message confirming the deposit: “Trust Deposit has been made successfully.”
- Next, confirm the client has an outstanding invoice. If the client has a finalized invoice, you can take money from their trust account to pay it.
- Go to the “Accounting” Tab, “Payment” Sub Tab, and click to “Add New Payment.” A new screen will appear.
- Select the Client’s name in the drop-down menu.
- Enter the amount of the payment (to come from the trust account) in the “Payment Amount” field.
- You can either “auto-apply” a payment (in which case the payment is automatically applied to the oldest outstanding invoice first) or you can manually allocate the payment to any outstanding invoice.
- In the “Payment” area on the screen, select “Trust Account” in the Payment Method drop-down menu.
- Select which trust account the payment should come from.
- “Save” the payment. When you do this the balance of the trust account will automatically update to reflect the payment.
Note: When you run a Trust Account Report (Dashboard > Reports > Trust Account), it will show you all the money in each back account broken down by Client. So, for example, you’d be able to see $1MM in your New York bank account, and that $500K belongs to Client Kristin and $500K belongs to Client George.
Note: a Client can have one “General” trust account, and additional trust accounts for each Project or Matter.
The “Bank Accounts” Tab
- Click the “Add New Bank Account” button to enter the details of a new bank account.
- A new window will appear. Click the “Save” button after you enter the details of the account. It will now show up in the list on the “Bank Accounts” Tab.
- This bank account will now show up as an option to associate with any new Trust Accounts you create.
- You can search for a specific bank account among those that show up in the list on this tab – just click the button to expand the “Search Bank Accounts” Menu. Enter the name of the Bank in the field and click “Search.”
- You can also perform actions related to any bank account in the list. Highlight the row of the bank account, and click the down arrow to the right of the column. From here you can view “Activities” in the account or you can “Edit Bank Account” details.