What's New in our June 2020 Release
The Centerbase June 2020 release is our biggest ever! Elements of this release have been in the works since September of 2019, and we are excited to finally announce the release and general availability of a tremendous number of major new features, enhancements, and performance improvements. The purpose of this article is to provide a summary the changes, and provide links to learn more about each updates details.
Major New Features in this Release Include:
Electronic Pre-bill Approval
Electronic Pre-Bill approval is a new, optional subscription feature that allow attorneys and timekeepers to review, edit, approve, and submit bills right inside of Centerbase. No printing, paper, or pens required. This new feature enables remote processes to run much more smoothly. Some of the features include:
- Make inline edits
View all inline markups made to a bill by a previous approver and highlight changes made.
- Create a single or multiple step approval process
Flow a pre-bill up the approval chain, moving a single bill from one person to the next once it’s been approved
- Track every change
Keep electronic records of attorney changes to a pre-bill
- Make your billing team smile
Relieve pressure on your billing team by having the attorneys make mark-ups directly to the bill
Centerbase now includes a client portal to allow you to share bills, documents, and appointments with your clients. Each matter will have its own portal that you can choose to turn on or off and will be accessible by invitation only. Once the portal is active you can chose to share activities, documents and bills with the client, you can even set the system to automatically share new bills when they are posted. The client will be able to access their portal to view the the shared records, see their current balance and even pay their bill. If you have multiple matter for the same client they will have the option to switch between their matters easily on the portal.
New iOS and Android Converged Mobile App
Centerbase is releasing a new Android / iOS converged mobile app. Our previous converged app for initially had only mobile timekeeping. Now we have added the Centerbase calendar that is fully synced to the calendar on the web. You also now have access to all record types on the app. Want to look up a client's phone number or email? Just search from them under clients. You can even text, call, or email the client right from the app.
Automated Time Capture
With the new app you can call, text, and email your clients right from the app. With Automated Time Capture the mobile app will capture that event and save it as a billable event in Centerbase. for texts and emails you can set a default time to charge per text and for calls the app will start a timer when you make the call and stop it when you end the call so you can bill for exactly how long you were on the phone for. In either case the mobile app will create a billable event that you can choose to turn into a billing entry or not.
Centerbase is adding non-trust retainer accounts to your matters. Retainers in Centerbase are now a way to accept pre-payments from your clients, and leave the funds in your operating account, and easily keep track of balances and transactions on the matter, and even ask for replenishment on your bills. In Centerbase this works by mimicking some of the functions of trust accounts while allowing the retainer funds to be left in your operating account(s). Paying to a retainer or from a retainer will work largely the same as it does for trust accounts except it will not require pending transactions to move the funds between trust and opering. For those currently using Matter pre-payments to mimic a retainer, this will make managing and tracking retainers much easier than before.
New Version of Outlook, Word Add-ins
With this new release, we have new versions of the Outlook and Word add-ins. we have made several major improvements as well as many smaller tweaks to help performance and usability.
In the new Outlook add-in, you will now be able to navigate our file system when attaching an email and the email will save to that location on the web. Emails will still be available in the emails tab but now you can also save them to a specific location for easier management. For best performance, we suggest you download and install the new add-ins as soon as possible.
Update to Reminders for All-Day Appointments
Before when you set a reminder for an all-day appointment it would be set to some amount of time before midnight on the day of the event. Now you can set what time to set your reminders by. This will allow you to have reminder pop ups and emails be sent at a time that is more effective for your firm. This is a system-wide setting found in System Settings > System Configuration > Advanced Configuration > Calendar > Default Reminder Time for all day events.
Added new CB Account filter on various custom reports
We added a new filter option for accounting reports "AccountsDropdown" this new filter will automatically pull the list of accounts from your chart of accounts without having to specify every account that you want to filter by. For anyone making reports or with a large number of accounts this will save a lot of time when building and using accounting reports.
Download Global Search Results
You can now download all of the results of a global search into one excel workbook. Each record type will be on its own tab with whichever columns you chose to show.
Security By Timekeeper for Time Entries
You now of the option to set your site to use the timekeeper’s default record security instead of the creator’s default. What this means is that if your firm has paralegals, secretaries, or legal assistants entering time for associate lawyers or partners those time entries can now use the lawyer’s or partner’s default record security so you only have to worry about who should have access to each user’s time entries and not worry about who is creating the entries. This feature will also update the record security if you change the timekeeper if it was not set correctly the first time. Two notes, the creator remains the owner of the time entry and retains full access to it. Two, this only applies to time entries; expense entries and other record types are not affected by this feature.
Edit Record Security on Records in Dialogs
There are many records in Centerbase that are only viewed in dialog boxes, Billing Entries, Payments, Bank Deposits to name a few. There is now a padlock icon next to the help button in the top right of each of these dialogs that will allow you to access the security settings for that record. This will only be available on existing records so you won’t see it while creating a new record.
Customize applied payments when posting a Bill
Now when posting a single bill you can customize how much trust and prepayments are applied to it. You can decide how much to apply from Matter’s pre-payments and pre-credits, the Client’s pre-payments and pre-credits, and any trust accounts on the matter. There will only be a line the pre-payments if there is money in a pre-payment for that matter or client.
Set Matter field on Tasks from Taskframe
You now have the option to link a matter to a Taskframe task! This will allow those tasks to be viewable from the matters and easily found in an advance search.
Limit the Available Expense Entry Accounts
You can limit which accounts are in the Charge Account drop-down on expense entries. Whether you want to limit the options users have when entering their own expenses or just wanting to hide accounts that are never charged this setting will help clean things up. This setting is in System Settings > Accounting > General > Available Expense Entry Accounts. Like many options in Centerbase, there is a permission to bypass this and see all of the accounts all of the time. That is under the accounting permissions “Show All Accounts on Expense Entry Form”
- Improved performance across the board
- Improved loading of Bills with a large number of line items, by adding paging controls
- Removed discrepancy between opening Record List and refreshing it
- Improved sorting on Online Banking grids, dates now sort as dates and not as text
- Improved search results that include special characters or “noise words” (ex. and, to, the, for)
- Increased consistency of printed version of the Profit and Loss Report
- Fixed issue where Payments from Trust created through LawPay would not show in Pending Operating to Trust
- Changed “Set System Search Settings” to also control whether a User can edit which Records get included in a Conflict Check
- fixed issue where a bill could not be viewed if another bill for that matter had a non-integer Invoice Number
- Fixed issue with the “Use Last Form Layout” setting that would cause errors if the last used layout had been deleted.
- Added various validation to Mass Editing Records from the “Actions” dropdown
- Updated account register to show payee, ref num, and memo for more Transactions
- Fixes and improvements to Time Entry Approval, now require edit permission to approve, hold, or revoke.
- Changed how ‘Today’s Tasks’ list is made to exclude Taskframe cards without a Due Date
- Fixed issue where Update Commands on Workflows would not change all parts of an Address Field correctly
- Fixed an issue where a Check could be voided even if linked to a reconciled Trust Transaction
- Fixed issue with some grids, where dropdowns within them would be hidden past the point of scrolling
- Fixed an issue where reversing an unapplied payment wouldn't properly clear out the unapplied balance of the original
- Improved Plaid (Online Banking) Balance retrieval to update more often, as well as show both the Current Balance and Available Balance, when possible.
- Updated Allocations dialog to correctly reflect Allocations to new Project and Subscription Bills
- Fixed issue where choosing “Save & New” when writing a check would not correctly reset some options