Split Billing: Overview

Modified on Thu, 27 Jul 2023 at 11:32 AM

Faster Lawcademy: Video Tutorial 6.4.5
The following is a video tutorial.  For the best experience, click the "Full Screen" button while watching this video.


This video will show you how to use the split billing feature in Faster Suite. Before proceeding with split billing for a customer, we recommend disabling automatic time rounding in Clio. Failure to do so may overbill clients. I’ll explain why later in the video.

If you have multiple clients that each want to pay a portion of the bill, Faster Suite can accomplish this by tracking time on a parent matter, then splitting the activities to any number of child matters.

To get started, first create a “Parent” matter in Clio. This is the matter where you’ll log all time and expenses. When creating the parent matter, it’s recommended that you end the description with (PARENT) so you can easily distinguish from the other matters you’ll be creating.

Next create a contact in Clio for each person receiving the bill, then create a child matter for each with the same description as the parent matter. Be sure to include (CHILD) at the end of the matter description so we know that these are related to the parent matter.

For example, I have a client, Aaron Aardvark, that was in a motor vehicle accident. His children will be splitting the bill; Adam Aardvark and Ava Aardvark. I will create a matter for Aaron Aardvark called “Vehicle Accident (PARENT)”. I have also added two new Clio Contacts, Adam Aardvark and Ava Aardvark. For each of them, I will create a matter called “Vehicle Accident (CHILD)”. I’ll skip ahead a bit so we can speed things along.

After creating the parent and all the child matters needed, you will track your time and expenses normally on the parent matter. When it is time to bill the client, it’s time to use Faster Suite’s Split Billing tool. To get there, click on New, then click Split Billing, then select Configure from the menu below.

The “Configure Split Billing” window comes up. Here is where you will select the parent matter that contains the time we want to split. Then click Next.

This screen is where we will select the child matters that the billing activity should be split to. First, select how to split billable time in the drop-down menu. The first option is Actual time. If you only worked for only two minutes on an item, two minutes of time will be split. The second item is Rounded time, which uses Clio’s time rounding settings. If bill rounding is enabled and set to round to a tenth of an hour, then your two minutes will be rounded up to six before splitting the entry. The third item is Bill rate, which splits your hourly rate instead of your time.

After we select how to split our time entries, we’ll configure our child matters. I’ll select Adam and Ava’s matters. I can easily do this by searching for either the client or matter name. Then I will enter a percentage of their share. It is important to note that these do not need to total one hundred percent. If I’m giving my client a ten percent discount on my time, the time column should total ninety percent. Once your split time preference is set and you’ve selected the clients to whom the bill should be split, click Next.

If the PARENT matter will need to retain a percentage of the time and expense entries, include the PARENT matter in the split billing configuration with corresponding percentages. 
The split billing preferences are now set. If they need to be changed later, just rerun the configure tool.

Now we’ll add some expense items and billable time to the parent matter in Clio. I’ll add eight minutes at my default rate of three-hundred dollars per hour and a fifty-dollar expense for outside printing. Now I’m ready to bill my client. To begin the split, click New, then Split billing, then Execute from the menu below. This window will list all of the billable items for any matter that is configured in Split Billing. We can select activities for splitting individually or we can select the box at the top of the column to select them all for splitting. When you’ve made your selections, click Split. Faster Suite will take a moment to work with Clio on splitting the bill to the different matters.

Here is where Clio’s time rounding may overbill your clients If you selected either of the time-splitting options mentioned earlier. For example, the eight minutes I added will be split into four minutes for each person paying the bill. Clio’s time-rounding feature will round this up to six minutes per person. To avoid this, disable time rounding in Clio or split the bill rate instead of the time.

Depending on your firm’s billing practices, you may choose to disable time rounding in Clio. To do so, visit Clio and pick Settings from the left side, then click Billing. Under the heading “Time Rounding”, uncheck the box that says Enable time rounding.

Let’s check the work in Clio. When we get to one of the “Child” matters, we should see the four minutes of my time they are responsible for and their half of the expenses. This process can be repeated as many times as necessary during the ongoing work for the client.

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