Previous  Next  Home  Search

Matter Ledger vs. Matter Aging

Q: Why do the totals on the Matter Ledger report differ from the totals on the Matter Aging report?

A: The differences between these two reports result from the different way that unapplied payments are treated.

The short explanation: The fees, expenses, late charges, and taxes on the Matter Aging report have been reduced by any unapplied payments, but the corresponding amounts due on the Matter Ledger report have not.

If you take the Grand Total on the Matter Aging report and subtract any overpayments shown there, that number should agree with the Total Due on the Matter Ledger.

A detailed explanation follows.

When you enter a payment with Automatic Allocation checked, RTG Bills allocates the payment to fees, expenses, late charges, and taxes when the payment appears on a bill.  Until then, it is an unapplied payment.

You can see how this works by looking at the Matter Ledger.  When a payment is entered with Automatic Allocation, it appears on the Matter Ledger as a Payment transaction.  The total amount is shown, but it is not broken down into fees, expenses, late charges, and taxes.  Also, it does not change the Balance column.

When the payment appears on a bill, the Matter Ledger shows a Payment Used transaction and it shows the allocation to fees, expenses, late charges, and taxes.  Also, the Balance is reduced.

When a Matter Ledger is printed before an unapplied payment is used on a bill, the amounts due for that matter are added to give a subtotal, then the unapplied payments are subtracted to give the Total Due.  The individual amounts due (fees, expenses, late charges, taxes) are not reduced because the allocation is not yet known.

The Grand Totals on the Matter Ledger also show a subtotal and the unapplied payments subtracted from that to give the Total Due.

The Matter Aging report, however, is different.  Unapplied payments are used to reduce the balance for each matter.  Although the allocation is not certain, RTG Bills does the allocation when the report is printed, assuming it will be unchanged when the next bill is printed.  (That might be wrong if, for example, you enter a credit adjustment before printing the bill.)  Therefore, on the Matter Aging report, the individual totals for each matter have already been reduced by the unapplied payments.

Suppose a matter has a balance due and you have received a payment for that amount.  The Matter Aging report applies the payment and finds a balance due of zero.  That matter will not appear on the Matter Aging report, because the report only includes matters with a balance due.

If a partial payment has been received, it is applied to the balance due.  The matter appears on the Matter Aging report and its totals are reduced by the payment.

If the client has paid more than they owed, the excess appears as an overpayment on the Matter Aging report.  There is no way to allocate such an amount.  It appears with a CR after it to show it is negative.  When it is subtracted from the total on the Matter Aging report, the result should be the same as the Matter Ledger's Total Due.  (Of course, that assumes you are including the same matters in both reports.  Choose All Matters and either do or do not check Include Closed Matters for both reports.)