Centerbase manages trust accounting by matter, offering the ability to create multiple trusts for a single matter. The Trust Account Center is a Centerbase action URL and can be placed anywhere in the navigation bar using the navigation bar manger in the system settings. It will typically be placed in the Billing tab. The Trust Account Center shows all transactions in/out of trust and can be filtered by Client or Matter.
Nearly all trust related transactions can be initiated from the Trust Account page including:
- Deposit Funds: Creates a credit transaction on the trust account. Users must input the matter and trust account to deposit into.
- Apply to Bill: Initiate a debit from the trust account to pay a bill. This creates 1 transaction out of the designated trust account and a payment to the chosen bill. The Trust Account must be selected from the Type drop-down menu. Funds may only be applied to bills for the matter that the trust account belongs.
- Disburse: Creates a debit transaction from the trust account. This transaction is intended for payments to third parties.
- Refund: Like a disburse transaction, creates debit transaction from the trust account. This transaction is intended to return trust funds to the client.
- Transfer: Creates a debit transaction from one trust account and a credit transaction into another to move money between accounts.
Since trust accounts are managed at the Matter level, users should navigate to the matter record to change any settings. Creating a matter also creates a corresponding trust account. While in edit mode on the matter record, select the Trust tab to see a listing of the associated trust accounts.
Trust accounts are automatically named to match the matter name, but clicking on the trust account opens a dialogue allowing the user to edit it. From here users can set account specific settings that override the default settings. See Appendix A.1.5 for Replenishment Level and Minimum Balance setting definitions.
Not all trust accounts should show on every bill, so Centerbase allows certain accounts to be hidden from the bill. Generally, the Show on Bill checkbox should be checked, but there are cases where it should be hidden until a certain point in the case.
Upon bill posting, Centerbase can automatically create an Apply to Bill debit transaction from trust to pay the bill. The Billing tab on the matter provides a drop-down menu for the user to select which trust account (if any) are used to automatically pay bills. If this setting is turned on and the account has funds available, then the pre-bill will show a line item in both the Payments section of the invoice and the Trust Account section of the bill for Auto-applied Trust Payment. The transaction is not actually created until the invoice is posted. The verbiage to display on the bill is available as a setting in the advanced billing settings area.