Faster Time: Batch Billing and Time Rounding

Modified on Thu, 18 May 2023 at 05:55 PM

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Batch Billing

Batch Billing refers to how Faster Time batches multiple activities together into one time entry.  This is a very useful feature to keep your bills clean and simple by avoiding unnecessarily separate time entries for multiple partial activities that are all related to the same main activity.

Let’s look at an example:

We'll pretend I have four email activities that each lasted two minutes and two document activities that each lasted 15 minutes in my Work Report.  I have Clio configured to round time entries to the nearest .1 hours, so if I were to create these entries manually and separately through Clio, each email would round to .1 hours and each document entry would round to .3 hours for a total of 1 hour.

However, if I batched them together with Faster Time, I would end up with one time entry for 38 minutes.  Clio’s rounding rules will still apply once the time entry has been saved, but my 38 minute entry will round to .7 hours and I will have effectively lost almost a third of my billable time for this work.

Configuring Minimum and Rounding Settings

Let’s open up Faster Time’s settings by going to Faster Suite on the Faster Ribbon, selecting the settings wheel, then going to Revenue Generation on the left and Time Recovery across the top.

We’ll see that each application tracked by Faster Time has a pencil icon next to its name, indicating that we can configure defaults for each application separately.

You can configure your settings however you would like, but for this example let’s assume that I want to round Word documents to the nearest .1 hours, but emails I would like to round the total time to the nearest .1 hours instead of rounding each email.  In this case, we can click the pencil icon next to Microsoft Word to open our default configuration window.

In the middle on the left, we can see two customizable fields called Minimum and Round To, and these fields each work a little bit differently.

Minimum Time Settings

Minimum will round any entry for this application type to the amount we input here only if the actual time is less than the amount we enter.  If the activity takes longer than the time we enter here, it will not be modified by this setting.

If my firm bills a minimum of .2 hours for all Word documents, we can select 12 minutes here to have any Word document activity bill at least .2 hours.  In this example, my firm doesn’t have a minimum time to bill so I would leave this field blank.

Time Rounding Settings

Round To will always round up to the next multiple of the time we enter.  In this example, my firm bills in multiples of .1 hours, so I would select 6 minutes for this field.

Once we enter this information we can click Save on the Time Entry Defaults window, and since we don’t want to round Outlook entries, we can also just hit Save and Close on the settings window.

How Settings are Applied

Now let’s think about how our Work Report has changed how it will bill.

If we select the two Word document activities and click Bill Items in Batch, we would see that each entry has been rounded from 15 minutes to 18 minutes before being batched together and we get a total of 36 minutes instead of 30 minutes.

If we add in our email entries, we would add 8 minutes and get a total of 44 minutes since the emails don’t have a rounding setting configured.  This time entry will still round in Clio after it’s saved to 48 minutes or .8 hours.

By configuring these settings appropriately for all the applications we use we can make sure that we don’t bill any more or less than we normally would when using Faster Time.

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