January 1998

New Version Of RTG Bills Released

Version 1.17 of RTG Bills, our legal time and billing software for Windows, is now available. We like to say that RTG Bills combines the ease-of-use of Windows with the power and reliability of a relational database. Designed for small law firms and sole practitioners, RTG Bills costs only $50.

New Features

Here are some of the features we've added for this release:

1. You can hide a client so it doesn't appear in the on-screen client list. This is useful for inactive clients that cannot be deleted because they have matters. (By design, matters cannot be deleted for one year after they are closed, to ensure that year-end totals on reports are correct.)

2. Entry of payments is improved. In previous versions, RTG Bills could only allocate the amount of a payment to fees and expenses based on the balance due for the matter. But what if you receive a payment in advance of sending a bill for that amount? When that happens, RTG Bills will now try to allocate the payment to fees and expenses based on the unbilled transactions for the matter.

3. Each matter can now have a separate mailing address. Sometimes all the matters for a client have the same mailing address except for the "attention" line. You can click a button to copy the client address to the matter address and then add the attention line. When you create a bill format, you can choose whether to print the client address or the matter address on the bill.

4. Each matter can have a "matter reference" which can store additional information about the matter, such as a claim number. If you wish, the bill format can put the matter reference field on the bill instead of the matter name.

5. When you are picking a matter from the list of matters for a client, you can view the list in alphabetical order by matter abbreviation. This is helpful when one client has many matters. If you prefer, you can see the list of matters in numerical order as before. (Previously only the client list gave a choice of alphabetical order or numerical order.)

6. After you print the bills, you can print a copy of the bills to a disk file. This is useful for clients who request a copy of their bills on a disk. You could also use this feature to e-mail bills to a client. Another possible use for this feature is to keep a copy of the bills on your computer in case a client wants to see an old bill. (RTG Bills can only reprint the most recent bill sent to a client.)

7. A new report, Task Summary by Matter, makes use of task codes. Task codes can be used as a way to categorize your work. As before, the use of task codes is optional. You can turn on task codes for individual matters or for all matters.

8. When you import transactions into RTG Bills from RTG Timer, the total number of transactions is displayed.

9. As before, deposits in Quicken can be imported as payments into RTG Bills, and RTG Bills automatically allocates the payment amount to fees and expenses. Now, if you don't want this automatic allocation, you can use a "split" in Quicken to specify separate fee and expense amounts. For example, the memo #9104-1F tells RTG Bills to apply the dollar amount only to the fees ("F") due for matter 9104-1.

10. RTG Bills can now create a list of client addresses and separate lists of clients, matters, and codes in disk files. The command File, Export, To Comma-Delimited writes the lists in comma-delimited text format, which can be read by many other programs. For example, the client addresses can be read by Corel WordPerfect or Microsoft Word and they can be used to print labels or they can be merged with a form letter.

Upgrades Are Available

If you have a previous version of RTG Bills and RTG Timer, you can upgrade to Version 1.17 quite easily. You have two options: a free upgrade from our Web site,


or a new set of disks for $15 by mail.

If you want to use the free upgrade, you must have Version 1.15 running now. If you are using Version 1.14, you will have to upgrade to Version 1.15 first and then to 1.17. Complete instructions for each upgrade are on our Web site.

If you decide to order disks by mail, you will get the complete program, not just an upgrade. One advantage is that you can install Version 1.17 regardless of the version you currently have running.

It is also convenient to have the complete program on disks in case you ever have to re-install the software, perhaps after a hard disk crash. While we recommend that you make a backup of the program if you have a high-capacity storage device like a tape drive or a Zip drive, we realize that not everyone does this. We certainly hope you are making regular backups of the RTG Bills data!

Free Demo On The Web

You can download a free demonstration version of RTG Bills and RTG Timer from our Web site. The demo contains nearly-complete versions of the actual programs, but the number of clients you can enter is limited. A few non-essential features were omitted to keep the demo as small as possible.

Using the demo, you can enter timekeepers, hourly rates, clients, and matters. You can enter fees, expenses, and payments. You can even try different bill formats and print bills. When you install the complete program, you can keep all of this data and just enter the rest of your clients and their matters.

Free Zip Compression Software

A "zip" file is a file which contains one or more files which have been reduced in size to save storage space or to save transmission time over a modem connection. The files are restored to their original names and sizes when you "unzip" the zip file.

The zip format was created by PKWARE, which sells PKZIP to create zip files. Their latest version, PKZIP 2.60 for Windows, is compatible with Windows 95, Windows NT, and Windows 3.1.

We recently learned of the existence of free software which performs most of the same functions as PKZIP. The Info-ZIP group has created ZIP and UNZIP for DOS (or the DOS box of Windows), plus WiZ for Windows. There are versions for many other computers as well.
[We currently recommend 7-Zip instead.]

RTG Bills and RTG Timer are trademarks of RTG Data Systems. Other company and product names may be trademarks of the companies with which they are associated.

Back to the RTG News page