Changes in this version
- Change A Matter Number
You can change a matter number at any time. All transactions for the matter are corrected to show the new matter number. This feature was previously available as a standalone utility. Now it is a menu item: File, Change A Matter Number.
- Update Rates
The new menu item Edit, Update Rates lets you change unbilled hourly rate transactions to use the current rates. This is useful if you change your billing rates and you want transactions you have already entered to reflect the new rates.
- Hide Billing Rates
You can check a box in RTG Bills which causes RTG Timer to stop displaying billing rates. When you enter an hourly rate transaction in RTG Timer, you will not see the billing rate or the currency amounts. This works both on a network and for standalone operation of RTG Timer.
- Cancel More Bills
You can now cancel the most recent bill that has not already been canceled. For example, let's say that bills numbered 110, 120, and 130 have been printed for the same matter. Previously you could cancel bill 130, but you could not cancel 110 or 120. Now, after you cancel bill 130, you can cancel bill 120 and, after that, you can cancel bill 110 as well.
Bills must be canceled in reverse order, most recent first. This rule insures the consistency of the data. If you could cancel bill 120 without canceling bill 130, the previous balance on bill 130 would be wrong. To prevent this, you must cancel bill 130 before you can cancel bill 120.
- New Button For New Matters
Click the Matters button and you'll see that the Enter A Matter Number window has a New button to create a new matter.
When you click the New button, you must choose a client, since every new matter must belong to a client. Then you can enter the case number for the new matter.
Although there are several other ways to create a matter, this new method may be the most intuitive, since it seems natural to click the Matters button first when you want to create a new matter.
- Activity To Date
The total charges and payments to date for a matter now appear on the prebill. As an option, you can also show this information on the bill itself.
- Bill Format Options
A Letterhead Design window has been added to the bill formatter. Previously the entire firm name and address always printed with one font. A custom bill format was required for more complex formatting. Now you can specify the font face, size, and position for each individual line. For example, you can have the firm name and address centered and, below that, partner names on the left margin and phone numbers on the right margin. Your letterhead design can also include a graphic image in GIF or JPG format.
More about letterhead design
There are other new options for the bill formats. As noted above, you can show the charges and payments to date for the matter. Also, you can add "Re:" before the matter description and you can omit the matter number.
- Import Expenses From QuickBooks
If you use QuickBooks to record expenses paid on behalf of clients, you can import this information into RTG Bills so you don't have to enter the same information twice.
- Tabbed Dialog For Matters
A new tabbed dialog box is used for editing matter information. Previously, two separate windows were needed to accommodate all the settings for a matter, and no room was available for new items. Now we have room to add more information for each matter, such as the Fee and Expense Thresholds and the Matter Notes (described below).
- Fee And Expense Thresholds
You don't want to send a bill for a $2 telephone expense? Enter a threshold amount and the expenses will be held until they reach that amount. There are separate thresholds for fees and expenses, or you can set a total threshold so that fees and expenses added together must reach the specified amount.
- Matter Notes
You can enter any text you want in this box and it will be stored with the matter. The notes appear on the Matter List and also on the prebills.
- More Shorthand Codes
You can have up to 300 shorthand codes. The previous limit was 100.
- Recurring Charges
A recurring charge, also called a periodic charge, is a fixed amount that you want billed to a matter on a regular schedule. RTG Bills can schedule the charge to be billed once a month, once a quarter, twice a year (every six months), or once a year.
- Improved Multi-User Operation
Fewer conflicts will occur when more than one person is using RTG Bills. For example, you can print a bill for one matter while other people are editing transactions for different matters. You can even print a bill for a matter while another person is entering new fees and expenses for the same matter.
How to get
- If you haven't purchased RTG Bills...
Complete ordering information is on the Orders page.
- If you have RTG Bills Version 2...
See Upgrading RTG Bills.
- Client Cover Pages
The Client Cover Page formats are bill format 246 (to show new charges) and bill format 247 (to show amounts due). These formats can be customized in RTG Bills V2.05, and they can include your letterhead design.
However, if you upgrade to RTG Bills V2.05 from an earlier version, these two formats will be marked as "customized" and RTG Bills will not be able to change them.
To allow changes to the Client Cover Pages from within RTG Bills V2.05, delete the two files, bill246.rtg and bill247.rtg. Then choose Setup, Bill Formats in RTG Bills and edit formats 246 and 247 to create the formats you want. Make sure that you Save the new formats.
- RTG Timer Transactions
Fees and expenses entered into RTG Timer Version 2.05 and released directly to RTG Bills are defective. They will cause an "Invalid use of Null" error in RTG Bills.
The problem does not occur if RTG Timer is used standalone (on a separate computer from RTG Bills and with no network connection). This problem is fixed in Version 2.06.
- Matter Notes
When Version 2.05 upgrades the database, it adds the Matter Notes field but does not properly initialize its value. This does not cause any problems, but when you run the Fix Database program you will notice that it reports many "bad" matters.