Payment Information Entry (1)
Starting at the top of the dialogue, we first enter information about the payment. Entering the Client filters the Matter lookup to only show those matters associated with that client. Choosing a matter will filter section 2 to only show bills associated with that matter. Centerbase also allows the user to select All Matters which shows all open bills for any matter associated with the selected client.
The first date setting applies to the payment and is used by the payments report (only), which is useful for reconciling bank deposits. Since Centerbase allows a payment to be distributed to bills on different dates, the payment date is not used for any other standard reports.
Distributing the Payment (2)
Once the payment information is filled out, the user may check the top checkbox in Section 2, to auto-distribute the entire amount. Centerbase pays the oldest bill first, then works to the more recent bills until there is either no more money to distribute or bills with open balances. Alternatively, users may manually distribute the amount to each bill by checking the corresponding box and adjusting the distribution amount as necessary.
Payment Distribution Date (3)
The payment distribution date has been removed in the latest version of Centerbase. To apply distributions with dates that differ from the payment, leave all or part of the payment unapplied and create a new payment by applying the unallocated with a different date.
The column shown in section 4 allows the user to change how the payment distribution allocates to fees and expenses on the bill. Users may edit allocations until the Closing Date has passed (see section 2.1 on system settings). Clicking the edit button for a payment distribution will open another dialogue providing details on how the distribution is allocated.
The default will be to auto-allocate (do not have to click the Allocation Edit button for auto-allocation), which will pay off expenses then fees. Allocations are applied proportionally to the value of the expense code or timekeeper, until the amoujt is fully allocated. In this case, the balance of the expenses is $0 (as they are marked non-billabel), so all of the allocations apply to John and Rob’s time evenly based on how much they worked on that bill.
Unapplied Amounts (5)
If there is any money left over from the payment that could not be applied to a bill, then the final balance will show in section 5 as an Unapplied amount. This money may be applied to the client, matter or a trust account. Moving the money to the client allows that balance to be applied to any open bill for that client. Applying the balance to the matter only allows the amount to be applied to open bills for that matter. Transferring to trust creates a trust deposit, moving that money directly into trust. If there are multiple trust accounts for the matter, then a trust account must be selected. Amounts can be split into multiple line items.