R060101: Skip Zero Balance Bills


RTG Bills V2.14 introduced the ability to suppress the printing of bills with a zero balance and no new fees or expenses. Typically this would be a bill that shows the previous balance and a payment that pays the balance in full.

Unfortunately, this option causes problems in Versions 2.14 and 2.15. One problem was the appearance of this error:

Error generating bills
Could not start transaction; too many transactions already nested.
This error was fixed in RTG Bills V2.15.

However, there is another error that causes incorrect transactions to be stored in the database. Because of this error, you should not use this feature in RTG Bills V2.14 and V2.15.

Both errors are fixed in RTG Bills V2.16.



To prevent errors in the database, turn off the feature to suppress the printing of zero balance bills. From the RTG Bills menu, choose:

Bills > Bills > For Matters > Options
Uncheck the box in the Skip Bills frame. Click Close. This setting will stay in effect, so you only need to do this once.


Sample Matter

We will illustrate the problem with an example of a Matter Ledger.

Matter Ledger                    01/03/06                            Page 1

Date      Transaction Type                     Transaction       Balance
(Item)    Description                              Amounts

12/06/05  Bill 8920                       Fee:    1,837.50      1,837.50
(8920)                                    Exp:        0.00          0.00
                                        Total:    1,837.50      1,837.50

12/27/05  Payment                       Total:    1,837.50 CR
(9023)    Payment - Thank you.

01/03/06  Payment Used (on Bill 9024)     Fee:    1,837.50 CR       0.00
(9025)                                    Exp:        0.00          0.00
                                        Total:    1,837.50 CR       0.00

01/03/06  Bill 9024                       Fee:        0.00          0.00
(9024)                                    Exp:        0.00          0.00
                                        Total:        0.00          0.00

Totals for Matter 100-1                          Fees Due:          0.00
                                             Expenses Due:          0.00
                                                Total Due:          0.00

The transactions for the previous matter do not match the matter record.
Please run the Verify Matter Balance report.


At first glance, the Matter Ledger appears to be correct. There was a balance due of $1,837.50 after bill 8920. A payment was received on 12/27 for the full amount. When the next bill was printed (bill 9024), the payment was used to reduce the balance to zero. The bill had no new fees or expenses, so the amount due is now zero.

Of course, the warning message indicates that something is wrong. A much more subtle indication is that the payment, item 9023, does not indicate that it appeared on bill 9024. Normally it should say, Payment (on Bill 9024).

What has happened here is that bill 9024 was skipped because it would have a zero balance and no new fees or expenses. RTG Bills never printed the bill, yet it created two transactions, 9024 (the bill) and 9025 (the payment used), which it should not have done.



Most likely, your matters will be similar to this example. There will be a payment which did not appear on the next bill shown, as it normally should have, because that bill was never actually printed.

Several steps are required to fix the problem:

  1. Confirm that the Matter Ledger shows the correct balance (Total Due) for the matter.

  2. Cancel bill 9024, which also cancels item 9025. You may have other "zero balance" bills that you need to cancel.

  3. Turn off the "skip zero bills" option, as described earlier, if you have not already done so.

  4. Fix the matter balance as described in article R021004. Since the Matter Ledger is correct, this is Problem 1 (as explained in that article), so the program offered there can fix the error.

  5. Print the bill. This time, the Matter Ledger will be correct.

Questions about this procedure should be directed to RTG Support.


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