R040501: Fixing An Incorrect Retainer Balance


RTG Bills includes a report called Verify Retainer Balance. The report checks that the balance in each retainer account is correct by comparing it to the transactions for the retainer account. It reports any inconsistencies as bad accounts.

A bad account can be caused in two ways:

  1. Problem 1
    A transaction was marked as "billed" but the retainer balance was not updated to reflect it. This can occur if the computer crashes while you are printing a bill.

  2. Problem 2
    A transaction is missing from the database. This is very rare. It could be caused by hardware or software problems (outside of RTG Bills) that corrupt the data on the disk.

You have Problem 1 if the balance shown on the Retainer Ledger is correct.

The program offered here will adjust the retainer balance to be consistent with the transactions. That solves Problem 1. However, if you have Problem 2, you will need to use this program first, then figure out what transactions are missing and re-enter them.



The program offered here is only designed to work with RTG Bills and RTG Timer Version 2.17 through 2.26. If you have a lower-numbered version, you need to upgrade to the current version. If you have Version 2.27 or above, go here.



  1. Back up your data. We recommend using File > Backup in RTG Bills. If anything goes wrong, you can restore your data using File > Restore From Backup.

  2. Start RTG Bills and choose:

    File > Update > Yes > Check The Internet For Updates

  3. Ignore the list of updates. Click the Other button.

    If you don't see a button labeled Other, then you need a newer version of RTG Update: RTG Backup, RTG Restore, and RTG Update.

  4. You should see a window entitled Enter An Update Number. In the box, type the number 449. Click OK.

  5. You should now see that Update number 449 has been added to the list of updates. It should have a checkmark next to it. Click Install to install this update.

  6. If the update is successful, the program will tell you that one update was applied. Click OK, Close, and Close again.

  7. Start RTG Bills again. Choose File > Tools from the menu. You should see Fix Retainer Balance in the list of tools. Select it and click OK. The program should appear, with the title RTG Bills - Fix Retainer Balance.

  8. In the Fix One Retainer frame, enter the Matter Number. If the bad account is a client-level retainer, check the box. Enter the Account Number, which is usually 1 if you have only one retainer account for this matter (or client). Click the Fix It button. The program will adjust the retainer account balance to correspond to the transactions for the account. Repeat for other retainer accounts as required.

  9. Choose File > Exit to leave the program.

At this point, the retainer accounts you fixed should no longer appear as bad accounts on the Verify Retainer Balance report.

The program creates a log file as it works. The log file is the file fixret.log, inside the RTG Bills data folder. If you have any problems with the program, send the log file to RTG as an e-mail attachment.

Questions about this procedure should be directed to RTG Support.


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