Many firms require the ability to receive client funds prior to starting work (in the operating account in addition to the Trust Account). Actionstep’s General Retainer functionality makes receiving funds, paying invoices, transferring funds between matters, and refunding retainers simple yet customizable to suit the specific needs of your firm.
Note: General retainers do not work with the QuickBooks Online or Xero integrations.
Setting up general retainers before connecting to QuickBooks will prevent the connection.
Receiving funds into General Retainer
Following the navigation above launches the Receive funds screen.
If you would like to pay existing invoices while receiving funds, check the boxes corresponding to the invoices you would like to pay. If not, leave all boxes unchecked. If the amount being received exceeds the amount that is allocated to invoices, you will see an info box prompting you to choose what you would like to do with those unallocated funds. Here, you can choose to allocate them to the retainer.
Finally, save to allocate funds to the selected matter’s General Retainer balance.
Payment of bills using General Retainers
When a matter is selected, all outstanding invoices for that matter will populate the invoice list. They will be checked by default.
To use General Retainer funds to pay the invoices, select General Retainer in the Payment Source dropdown. This will show the available amount and allow you to apply the funds against the invoices.
The General Retainer payment source is only available when the selected matter has outstanding invoices and a General Retainer balance.
General Retainer Matter Transfers
Funds held in General Retainer can be transferred between matters to pay other bills for matters for the same client by selecting the transfer button on the General Retainer screen within a matter.
Funds held in General Retainer for a matter can be transferred to other matters. To do this, select the from matter and enter the transfer amount. Next, select the matter to which you’d like to transfer the funds in the Transfer to column of the matter list. To distribute funds between multiple matters, select the +Add row button and select additional matters. Save to apply transfer.
Retainer transfers can be viewed/edited/deleted from the General retainer screen in a matter.
Refunding General Retainers
Sometimes a portion of the general retainer is unused, and you will want to reimburse the client.