Most law firms will send their client's monthly invoices. LawVu streamlines this process by enabling you to select a client, then simply drag and drop all their invoices at once.
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As with any financial process, invoicing can be a sensitive issue, so the person uploading the invoices will need to have the appropriate permission. An “Organization Administrator” must set this permission.
1 - To set the permission, the administrator needs to find the appropriate person in the “Directory” (look for the address book icon on the left-hand side) or within “User Management” in Settings.
2 - Click on a name to display that user's profile card.
3- Click the “Edit” button in the popup.
4 -Select the “Permissions” tab from the left-hand menu. Check the box next to “Invoice management” to enable this permission.
Your 'clients' area
To get started with invoicing, just navigate to the 'Clients' area in your LawVu account. Then select the client that you want to work with from the list on the 'Clients' dashboard.
Here's an example with a fictional client named 'AMC Building':
Once you've selected a client you'll be able to see an 'Invoices' menu where you can upload the new invoices.
To facilitate the easy uploading of invoices in bulk, LawVu uses the concept of “Batches.” Rather than upload invoices one by one, you simply create a new “Batch” and upload as many invoices as you need in one go.
1 - From the “Client” view, click on “Invoices” under the client name and then on “+New batch” in the top-right corner.
From this view, you can drag and drop files or click to upload invoices.
Invoices uploaded to LawVu can be either LEDES or PDF format. LEDES XML 2.0 is the preferred format. Other Ledes file formats will be supported in the future.
Uploading PDF Invoices
Once the files are uploaded, a window will pop up that gives you a preview of the first invoice. Each invoice requires to be linked to a relevant matter, an amount, and invoice and due dates. Note: the invoice and due dates will automatically be carried over to the remaining invoices in the same upload but you can override these if you need to.
When you are done with the first invoice, click “Next” to assign and complete the details for the other invoices in this batch.
Once the last invoice is complete, the preview window will close, and you will see a grid view showing you a breakdown of the invoices in the batch.
The batch is automatically saved as a draft, so you can come back to it later if you need to.
Note: A 3rd party invoice is essentially a “pass-through” invoice. It is an invoice that has been provided to your law firm from another party and is passed along to your client. It is generally agreed to with your client and does not impact the forecast/budget.
Uploading LEDES Invoices (E-billing)
A LEDES file is a machine-readable file that is exported from a legal practice management system. LEDES files display invoice data in a specific order and format, so having drag and dropped a LEDES file into a new batch, LawVu will use that data to generate the corresponding PDF invoices.
Once these have been generated, the next step of copying the data into the fields on the left is much the same as when uploading PDF invoices. However, due to the data embedded in a LEDES file, many of these data fields will already be populated.
Link to Matters
For both types of invoice formats, it is imperative that each invoice be linked to the relevant matter.
LEDES files can use the “Matter Manager reference field” to automatically populate the Matter field, though if this field has not been used, then you will be required to link them manually. Simply click into the “Matter” field to search for and select the relevant matter.
You then need to work your way through the various fields and match them to the relevant details. Each invoice requires a link to the relevant matter, an amount, and an issue and due date. Once you have completed those fields - hit 'Next' - to continue to the next invoice in the batch.
If the matter has a forecast/budget set - then you'll see a simple graph showing the amount of the actual spend vs the forecast. If the invoice has exceeded the forecast then it may not be able to be submitted depending on the rules set by the client - in which case you'll need to contact the client and work through that.
Here's a screenshot of an invoice being completed.
Once you've completed the invoice - click the 'Next' button to advance to the next invoice - and when you reach the last invoice click the 'Done' button.
Reviewing the batch
Once the last invoice has been completed the preview window will close and you'll see a grid view showing you the same details as well as a breakdown of the invoices in the batch.
The batch is automatically saved as a 'draft' so you can come back to it later if you need to.
Note: all of the 'draft' batches are shown at the start of this process when you click the 'Invoices' tab. You can click into a draft batch and post it or delete it at any time.
Post an Invoice batch
To post the batch, click the “Post batch” button. The invoices are now saved against your client's matters, and they will receive a notification prompting them to review and pay.
Please note that once the batch is posted, no further changes can be made to the invoices.
The most common error encountered when entering invoices is not being able to find the matter in the search bar.
In this situation, you should contact your administrator at the client end, and ensure that someone from your firm has been added to the matter in LawVu. If someone at the client end adds a member of your firm to the matter in question, then anyone at your firm with the Global Invoice permission will be able to add invoices against it.
Remember, while your firm may be working on a matter externally for your client, as far as LawVu is concerned, a matter will exclusively belong to the client if it doesn't have anyone assigned to it from your organization, and it won't appear in your searches.