Matter Metrics (Matter Budgets)
You can set budgets to track expected hours, fees, and expenses versus actual. Once activated, you can set budgets for each of your matters on a monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis. These track total hours, fees, and expenses and can also be set to track based on Timekeeper drop-down fields. You have the option to view the budget on the matter or through a report.
Enabling Matter Metrics
You can set up Matter Metrics in the System Settings > Billing > Matter Metrics.
Once you check the box for “Enable Budgeting on Matters?”, a list of settings will appear. There are a number of different settings that can be changed to customize what metric values can be saved and calculated for. Keep in mind that these settings apply to all matter metrics for all matters and that changing and saving some settings may cause existing Matter Metric values to be altered or deleted.
Enable budgeting on Matters?: Turns Matter Metrics for matters on/off. While on, there will be a tab on all matters for Matter Metrics.
User Lookup Filter: The User Lookup Filter setting simply stores a user field on a matter that can be used for filtering in Matter Metric Custom Reports (e.g. filtering budgets based on the Matter’s Responsible Attorney)
Date Range Type: This setting defines what type of periods Matter Metrics will be broken down into (either Monthly, Quarterly, or Yearly)
Number of Generated on Creation: This setting defines how many periods will be generated automatically when a new Matter is created. This will begin in the period that the Matter’s open date falls in, and then create budgets for the subsequent periods. This has no effect on matters already in the system.
Separator Subject and Field: The Separator Subject / Separator Field are used to specify what the Additional Details are, where the Separator Subject is some lookup field on a Matter and the Separator Field is some dropdown field on that Subject. This can be read as “Billable Hours where the Matter’s Timekeeper’s Reporting Category is ‘Associate’”. Currently, the only option for Subject is “Timekeeper” and the only options for Field are “Reporting Category” and “LEDES Classifications Code” both of these are set on the timekeeper’s user information is in system settings.
Billing Hours/Fees/Billing Expenses Details: Matter Metrics are divided into three groups Billing Hours, Fees, and Billing Expenses. Each group can have its own detail setting. So, you can look at Billing Hours by each Reporting Category, but only have a total for Billing Fees.
Include Total: The “Include Total” checkbox will allow for budgeting and calculation of all Billable Hours, Fees, or Expenses for a specific matter in a specific period.
Include Other: The “Include Other” checkbox will cause calculations to be done and then displayed for both budgeted and actual values. This is simply calculated as the Total [Billable Hours, Fees, or Expenses] minus the sum of all its “Additional Details” for budgeted or actual values. Note that this “Include Other” box can only be checked when the “Include Total” box is checked and at least one “Additional Detail” has been added.
Additional Details: Each box or entry in an “Additional Details” box can be thought of as a new column in a Matter’s report. In the image above there would be a Billing Hours columns for Total Hours, Partner hours, Associate hours, and Paralegal hours. There would be Fees columns for Total fees, Associate fees, and other fees. And there would be only a totals column for Billing Expenses.
Note: Since Centerbase currently only supports the separator subject of Timekeeper and not all expense entries have a timekeeper entering anything into the Additional Details section of for Billing Expenses can cause an error to be thrown and the matter metric to not work.
Matter Metrics on the Matters
To view and edit Matter Metrics for a specific Matter, navigate to the Item Details page for that Matter, and click on the “Matter Metrics” tab. Note that this tab will only appear if matter budgeting has been enabled and if the user has permission to access Matter Metrics.
If the selected Matter has no existing Matter Metrics, then a new Matter Metric can be added by clicking the “Add Budget” button. Doing so will open up a dialog prompting for a period and a year (or just for a year if the period type is yearly). This auto-populates to the current period. After clicking “OK”, an empty Matter Metric will be added for the specified period. The values for this budget can then be edited by clicking on the desired cell.
Additional Matter Metrics can be added by clicking the “Add Row” button beneath the grid, and a Matter Metric can be deleted by clicking the red icon on its row.
Clicking the “Save” button will save the changes made, and clicking the “Close” button will reopen the Detail View. This will display information about budgeted vs. actual values for each of the details specified in the Matter Metric system settings.
When there is at least one existing Matter Metric for a matter, clicking the “Edit” button will open the Edit View, allowing the budget values to be changed. Additional Matter Metrics can be added by clicking the “Add Row” button beneath the grid, and a Matter Metric can be deleted by clicking the red icon on its row.
Clicking the “Save” button will save the changes made and change to display information about budgeted vs. actual values for each of the details specified in the Matter Metric system settings.
Clicking the “Close” button will return you to the Matter Details Tab. The “Download Excel” button allows you to download the data of this grid.
Matter Metrics (Timekeepers Budgets)
You can set a budget for individual timekeepers across all of their work in Centerbase. You can budget by Billable hours, billable value, billed hours, billed fees, and fees received.
Turning on Matter Metrics for Timekeepers
You can set up Matter Metrics in System Setting > Billing > Matter Metrics > Timekeepers. Begin by checking the box next to “Enable budgeting on Timekeepers?” this will make the other setting visible.
There are 6 settings here: “Date Range Type” is what period the budget will be over, Yearly, Quarterly, or Monthly. The other 5 settings are which columns to include. Billable hours, billable value (billable hour times rate), Billed Hours, Billed Fees, Fees Received.
Setting budgets on timekeepers
Timekeeper Metrics are set by individual timekeepers by going to the “Users” page on the Navbar and selecting the user you want to create/update a budget for. There will be a tab “Matter Metrics” from here you can add a new budget or edit an existing one. If needed, add "Users" to the Navbar under System Settings > Navigation Bar. Users are an Item List.
Matter Metrics Settings: System Settings > Billing > Matter Metrics.
Matter Metrics (Matters): Matters > [Choose your matter] > Matter Metrics Tab
Matter Metrics (Timekeepers): Users > [Choose Your Matter] > Matter Metrics Tab