Known Problems in RTG Bills
No software is perfect. When problems are found in RTG Bills or RTG Timer, they are reported here.
Each problem is listed under the version of the software where it was first reported. In some instances, the problem may have affected previous versions.
In general, you can expect that each version fixes all of the problems reported for the previous version. We encourage you to use the latest version of RTG Bills and RTG Timer at
To make suggestions for improvements, or to report problems, send a message to RTG
- Fee & expense entry window disappears when minimized
A few users have reported that when the RTG Timer fee and expense entry window is minimized, it disappears rather than being represented by a small window sitting on the taskbar. A workaround is here.
The following RTG Bills problems are fixed by update 499, which installs RTG Bills V2.27e. The following RTG Timer problems are fixed by update 496, which installs RTG Timer V2.27d.
- Icon disappears from taskbar
When the main menu of RTG Bills or RTG Timer is hidden, the icon disappears from the taskbar.
- Bills disappears
Using the List button to choose a bill format for a matter causes RTG Bills to disappear completely.
- Timer disappears
Using the List button to choose a task code for an item causes RTG Timer to disappear completely.
- Bills for responsible timekeeper
A problem can occur when you print bills for one Responsible Timekeeper (Bills > Bills > For Timekeepers). A client-level retainer deposit may cause a bill to print for a matter with a different Responsible Timekeeper, and that bill will not include the transactions for the matter.
- Order of transactions within a date
For fees and expenses, the order of transactions within a date is determined by the Sequence Number, which follows the order of entry but can be changed to rearrange the order. However, for payments, adjustments, and retainer transactions, the order was unspecified. Now it is the order of entry.
- Incorrect amounts on bills with matter discount
The Matter Discount feature, which applies a discount to hourly fees, causes incorrect fee subtotals to appear on the bill. The total fee amount will be correct. The problem does not occur when a single bill is printed.
The following problems are fixed in RTG Bills V2.27f.
- Show as discount lost on released fees
When RTG Timer releases fees directly to RTG Bills, the Show as discount checkbox is not copied.
- Show as discount lost on Cancel
If you edit a fee that has Show as discount already checked, and you click the W button (Write down hours) followed by Cancel, the check mark is removed. This occurs in both Bills and Timer.
The following problems are fixed in RTG Bills V2.27g.
- File > Update not working
Changes at the server end caused RTG Update to be unable to communicate with the server. A new version of RTG Update is now included in the installer to fix this problem.
- Communicate with RTG Timer Online
The problem that caused RTG Update to stop working also affected communication between RTG Bills and RTG Timer Online. Fixed.
- Error in Fee Summary by Responsible Timekeeper report
This report did not give the correct results when one timekeeper was chosen. Fixed.
The following problem is fixed in V2.27h.
- Client abbreviations in RTG Timer
When RTG Timer imported RTG Bills data from a file, the client abbreviation was limited to 10 characters. Now the full 20 characters are imported.
The following problem is fixed in V2.27i.
- Split bills not sent
Using Bills > Reprint As PDF, bills for split bill matters that are set to be emailed to clients may not be sent. The problem is described in detail here.
- Task Summary & Activity Summary reports
These reports, by Matter and also by Date, were not working correctly. The problems are fixed by update 448.
- Error in attorney summary
A single attorney may appear in the attorney summary twice with the same billing rate. The cause is a rounding error when a matter discount is changed and the billing rates of unbilled hourly fees are updated. This problem is fixed by update 457, which installs RTG Bills V2.26b. (Update 457 replaces update 453, which installed RTG Bills V2.26a.)
- Run-time error
If you try to create a new payment transaction with a valid client number but a non-existent case number, a run-time error occurs. This is fixed by update 457, which installs RTG Bills V2.26b.
- Sequence number error
Both RTG Bills and RTG Timer create sequence numbers that are limited to 8 digits. The correct numbers should be 9 digits. This is fixed by update 457 for RTG Bills and update 458 for RTG Timer. Both programs are updated to Version 2.26b.
- Installation error
The Data Location entered during the installation of Bills or Timer may not be read correctly by the program, resulting in an error message that says the database cannot be found. However, then you can enter the correct location and it will be saved properly.
- QuickBooks import update
RTG Bills can import expenses from QuickBooks. Recent versions of QuickBooks create a CSV file, not the PRN file expected by RTG Bills. This problem is fixed by update 421.
- Standard matter is not used
Only the Supervisor can set the standard matter. The standard matter was not being used by any other users. This problem is fixed by update 418, which installs RTG Bills V2.25a.
- Error in split bills
Split bills that include both split and unsplit items (which are entered directly into a secondary matter) are not created correctly. To avoid this problem, do not put unsplit items on a split bill. This will be fixed in the next version.
- Retainers applied not shown on consolidated bill
On a consolidated bill, retainers applied are not shown in the Retainer section of the bill after the first matter on the bill. The Show Retainer Applied checkbox in the bill format is ignored for matters after the first one. This problem is fixed by update 427.
- Warning about missing image file for envelopes
You may see a warning that the image file was not found for envelopes even if the Print Image checkbox on the Envelope Setup window is not checked. This problem is fixed by update 428.
- Error in Retainer Ledger by Group
The report does not show client-level retainer transactions. This will be fixed in the next version.
- Payments-to-date is wrong
The payments-to-date total on bills and prebills includes payments dated after the payment/adjustment cutoff date. This is incorrect. It will be fixed in the next version.
- Uncollected amount wrong on reports
The Realization: Fees Collected reports (both Detail and Summary) will show an incorrect total for uncollected fees if a retainer is applied that exceeds the amount of the bill on which it appears. The Uncollected Bills report has a similar problem. The reports are fixed by update 434.
- Custom reports not backed up
The backup created by RTG Bills and RTG Timer, File > Backup, does not include custom reports. Custom reports are numbered 901-999 in RTG Bills and 801-899 in RTG Timer. This will be fixed in the next version.
- Wrong format for Client/Matter Check
The format for this report is not correct. To fix it, install update 361.
- Updates incorrectly marked as hidden
The version of RTG Update that is installed with RTG Bills V2.23d will incorrectly mark all updates as hidden rather than installed. The updates are installed correctly, however, so this is not a serious problem. To fix it, use update 362 to install RTG Update V2.28.
- Cannot view a bill
An "invalid use of null" error occurs if you try to view a bill that has a blank description, which occurs if the bill was created by an older version of RTG Bills. To fix the problem, use update 365 to install View A Bill V2.23a.
- Cannot change date
You cannot change the date of a fee or expense item that has a Status of Hold. To work around this problem, change the Status to Bill and click Save. Edit the item again, change the date, then change the Status back to Hold. This will be fixed in the next version.
- Error in Hours and Expenses reports
Hours and Expenses by Matter and Hours and Expenses by Timekeeper show the wrong number of hours on the first item after a total. The problem is fixed in a new version of the Custom Reports package, which is update 380.
- Aged Balance appears with all zeros
The Aged Balance section of the bill should only appear when there are non-zero amounts, but often it appears with all zeros. This will be fixed in the next version.
- Run-time error '3021" in RTG Bills
If you enter a payment with a non-existent matter number and click Save, this error occurs. This will be fixed in the next version.
- Consolidated bill formatting error
If a consolidated bill is followed by matters for a client whose bills should not be consolidated, bills after the first one are not printed correctly. The bills are printed on separate pages, as they should be, but they do not show the first-page header.
To work around this problem, print each consolidated bill separately. This will be fixed in the next version.
- RTG Viewer cannot edit an item after a page boundary
The first item after a page boundary cannot be edited by double-clicking the item. Also, if an item crosses a page boundary, the part on the next page cannot be double-clicked to edit the item. This will be fixed in the next version.
The problems listed below are fixed by installing RTG Bills V2.23d
- Split bill not reprinted
If one matter in a split bill has a zero percentage for both fees and expenses, then the bill for that matter is not recorded properly. As a result, asking RTG Bills to reprint the primary matter does not reprint that bill as it should. Also, canceling the primary matter does not cancel that bill. In both cases, specifying One Matter and entering the matter number will perform the operation successfully.
- Can't find matter for bill NNN
This error occurs if you cancel a consolidated bill after the matter number of one of the matters on the bill was changed. The reason is that the historical bills for consolidated bills are not changed properly when you change a matter number (Edit > Change Matter Number).
- Missing client name not reported
The Matter Check report fails to report a missing client name or client abbreviation if the client has no matters. The report is replaced by the Client/Matter Check report in RTG Bills V2.23c.
- Cannot send email with SSL/TLS
If a mail server (i.e., SMTP server) requires an SSL or TLS connection for sending mail, RTG Bills could not connect to it. A workaround is provided in RTG Bills V2.23c. Specifying a special port allows the connection: 250 for port 25 and SSL, 4650 for port 465 and SSL, and 5870 for port 587 and STARTTLS. For example, Gmail users can use the Gmail SMTP server, smtp.gmail.com, by entering port number 4650.
- Error message when printing bills
An error message that refers to KillConsRec may occur when you print bills. The problem may arise if you use a bill format that specifies consolidated bills and you also choose the option to skip bills with a zero balance and no new fees or expenses.
In spite of the error message, the bills are created properly.
- Wrong order when reprinting bills
When you reprint bills, they always print in matter number order. They should print in the order specified here: Bills > Bills > For Matters > Options. This also affects printing bills initially if you specify more than one copy. Only the first copy is printed in the correct order.
- Incorrect display at 120 dpi
RTG Bills was designed for the normal Windows display of 96 dots per inch (dpi). If you change the Windows setting to 120 dpi, some windows in RTG Bills do not display correctly. The About RTG Bills window is wrong, and many other windows show labels that are "wrapped" to a second line, making them illegible.
- Cannot export five-character codes
RTG Bills and RTG Timer V2.23 can accept five-character shorthand codes. However, a five-character code will not be exported to RTG Timer Online from Bills or Timer. An error message will say that the code is invalid.
- Errors emailing bills
RTG Mail, which is used to email bills to clients, contains serious errors that may cause clients to receive their own bills plus those of other clients. The problem is fixed by RTG Mail V1.10, which can be installed with update 360 or by installing RTG Bills V2.23d.
- Fees collected realization reports
These two reports (detailed and summary) may cause an error, SaveCredit amount . . . is not negative. The problem is fixed by a new version of RTG Reports, upgrade 324.
- Error in allocating fees to timekeepers
The fee allocation reports may not properly allocate fees to timekeepers when there is a previous balance and the next bill has both additional fees and an auto payment. The problem is fixed in the next version of RTG Reports.
- Run-time error '402' in RTG Timer
This error occurs if you are editing an hourly rate transaction in the RTG Viewer and you click the Mini button. In the next version of RTG Timer, the Mini button does not appear in this situation.
All of the problems listed below were fixed by an update to RTG Bills and RTG Timer V2.22c.
- RTG Timer help file
The RTG Timer help file had some errors.
- Updated price list
California sales tax increased on April 1, 2009.
- Two-column Billing Summary
If you choose two amount columns for the Billing Summary, the bill format is written incorrectly. It causes the following error message: RunPgm: illegal item=2248.
- Consolidated bills
Two bills for different clients may be printed on the same page if you are using a consolidated bills format (a new feature in RTG Bills V2.21) and you have chosen to skip bills for matters with a zero balance and no new fees or expenses.
- Client Cover Pages
If you print the Client Cover Page for the same client and cutoff date more than once, the historical Client Cover Pages feature will print all of them, not just the most recent one as it should.
- Run-time error '6': Overflow
This error may occur when you print certain reports, including the Matter Ledger and the Matter Aging report.
- Bill format error in section 20
Certain bill format choices create a section of the bill format that is longer than the maximum size allowed, although the error message does not explain this.
- Type mismatch generating a bill
If the bill format specifies a PayPal payment link and the matter has a credit balance, a Type mismatch error occurs and the bill cannot be created.
- Fee allocation error
RTG Reports contains several fee allocation reports: Fees Billed and Collected by Matter, Summary of Fees Billed and Collected, and Total Fees Billed and Collected. An error in the calculations for these reports occurs if a payment (using automatic allocation) is received on the same day that a bill is printed for the matter. The payment is not allocated to the timekeepers.
Another error causes the unapplied payments total to be incorrect when late charges and taxes are involved.
Both problems are fixed in RTG Reports V2.21a (upgrade 295).
- Missing report
The Matter Ledger by Date report was not included in the installation file. The problem is fixed by installing upgrade 297.
- Client reminders
Client reminders are not printed for closed matters. This will be fixed in the next version.
- Standalone operation of RTG Timer
Upon startup, when disconnected from a network, RTG Timer displays an error message (Bad file name or number) and exits if it was set to access the RTG Bills database on the network. It starts normally when connected to the network.
The correct behavior in this situation is to display a message that the RTG Bills database cannot be accessed and that the local RTG Timer database will be used instead. This allows RTG Timer to be used either connected to the network or disconnected from the network without changing any settings.
The problem will be fixed in the next version of RTG Timer.
- RTG Reports error
Each version of RTG Bills requires a matching version of RTG Reports. If you upgrade to RTG Bills V2.20 but fail to upgrade RTG Reports, you will see a confusing series of messages instead of the correct message. (The correct message would say that the versions don't match.) Install the new RTG Reports to fix the problem.
- Wrong database version
If you start RTG Bills V2.20 after the database has been upgraded to a later version, a message says that you have the wrong database version for this program version, which is correct. But when you click OK, you are asked if you want to start RTG Upgrade. That shouldn't happen, because RTG Upgrade is no longer used for version upgrades. Instead, you should download the latest version and obtain a license key for it.
- RTG Bills Import
This program imports fees and expenses from other software into RTG Bills. The original release for RTG Bills V2.20 (upgrade 273) was missing the fields that make it possible to import fixed fees and expenses. That is fixed with a new release (upgrade 282).
- Duplicate lines in Attorney Summary
The Attorney Summary may show two lines for the same timekeeper and rate, in both the prebills and bills, when a matter discount is used.
Although this problem appears in RTG Bills, it is actually caused by a bug in RTG Timer. Under certain circumstances, when a matter discount is in effect, RTG Timer does not round the hourly rate to two decimal places as it should. A rate of $175 per hour, for example, may be stored as $174.9975. When it is displayed, the rate will be rounded properly. But when RTG Bills creates the Attorney Summary, it sees the unrounded rate as different from the correctly-rounded rate, so it creates two different lines in the summary.
You can ignore this problem if your bills do not include the Attorney Summary, or if you do not use matter discounts.
If you do include the Attorney Summary and you see duplicate lines on the bills, you can fix the transactions in RTG Bills with the program described here: Fix Bills or Timer Database. In that program, choose File > Fix Fees and Expenses to properly round the hourly rates.
This problem will be fixed in the next version of RTG Timer.
- Taskbar corruption in Windows Vista
Due to a bug in Windows Vista, the taskbar may become corrupted when RTG Timer is running. The solution is to install an update from Microsoft that fixes Vista. Read more.
- Run-time error '380'
If you click the Codes button while entering a fee or expense, you will get this error if there are no shorthand codes. This will be fixed in the next version of RTG Bills and RTG Timer. A workaround is to enter at least one shorthand code.
- Dollar sign on prebills
The Timekeeper Summary on the prebills shows a dollar sign even when the currency symbol is changed to another character. This is an error in the prebill formats, which will be fixed in the next version.
A workaround is to edit the prebill formats (formats 249 and 250) with Layout to change the dollar sign (label 32) to the desired currency symbol.
- Cannot restore deleted matter
In some circumstances, RTG Bills says that it cannot restore a deleted matter because it does not belong to the client. While this can be true if you deleted the client and re-used the matter number (always a bad idea), it may also happen when the client has not changed.
This will be fixed in the next version of RTG Bills. Until then, do not delete a matter if there is any chance that you will want to restore it. In fact, it is our recommendation that you never delete an actual matter that you have worked on, because deleted matters are not included in report totals.
If you have a matter that you need to restore but RTG Bills says it is the wrong client, contact RTG and we can help you restore it.
- Split fee totals do not show attorney summary
For split bills, the attorney summary does not appear even if the bill format says it should. This is an error in the bill format and it will be fixed in the next version.
- Split fee totals show incorrect total hours with item discounts
Item discounts cause the Hours Reported to appear with a fee instead of the Hours To Bill. If the item discount feature is used on a split bill, the total hours will be incorrect. This is also an error in the bill format and it will be fixed in the next version.