Q: Why is there a difference between the fees collected on the report Fees Billed and Collected by Matter and the fees on the report Fees Billed and Collected by Area?
A: The Fees Billed and Collected by Area report includes all payments within the date range. Payments that have not appeared on a bill are allocated based on the balance due on the matter.
That isn't true for the "by matter" billed and collected reports. A payment that has not appeared on a bill will be included in the "unapplied payments" total. Therefore, the "by area" reports will show a larger "collected" total.
The issue here is this: How do you know what portion of a payment is for fees?
If the payment was entered with Automatic Allocation, RTG Bills will determine the fee portion at the time a bill is generated. Before that, RTG Bills can't be certain. So the "by matter" reports don't assume anything. They just add the payment to the unapplied payments total.
The "by area" reports assume that the fee portion of the payment can be determined by looking at the matter balance at the time of the report and using the payment to pay taxes, late charges, expenses, and fees (in that order). This may not be exactly correct. The correct calculation is more complicated and cannot be definite until the bill is printed.