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Matter Balance Summary Report - Manage Clio IOLTA Balances

Matter Balance Summary Report - Manage Clio IOLTA Balances
Matter Balance Summary Report - Manage Clio IOLTA Balances
Written by
Paul W Carlson, CPA
Published on
Dec 12, 2023

Paul W. Carlson, CPA (00:01):

Hi, this is Paul Carlson, CPA with Law Firm Velocity. This video we're looking at the matter balance summary report from Clio. This report can be used as a quick snapshot of client trust balances and WIP and AR. That's just kind of a quick summary of the overall firm. We more often see this tool used as a way to control and manage client trust account balances on an ongoing basis.


Let's take a look at some of the results we can get from the report. Client B has $15,000 in trust and they have $4,800 of unbilled work, so some services, some expenses, but the client owes the firm $4,900 that has not been billed. What we do is we calculate an overall balance, so we take total in trust minus AR minus WIP to calculate how much advanced money does the firm have on hand. For this matter, we have a little over $10,000 of advanced funds that we can use to provide future services. If this client isn't going to need more than $10,000 worth of work over the next couple of weeks, this client is fine and we don't need to request additional trust money.


This client, client A, has 4,000 in trust, have nearly $3,000 in AR that we haven't pulled out of trust yet but we need to do that, and we also have $5,000 in services that have not been billed. When we calculate trust minus receivables minus unbilled work, we have a client balance of negative $3,800. What this tells us is at this point, even though the client has $4,000 in trust, the client owes us an additional $3,800. At this point, the firm needs to go back to the client and request additional trust funds. If the trust funds are not forthcoming, we need to think about disengaging and stopping work within ethics rules.


The process we like to see firms do is run one version of this report every week for each responsible attorney, then the office manager will add this column and add the formulas, and then the office manager will add a column with notes on what needs to happen with that matter and whether or not the attorney can keep working for the client. Let's jump over to Clio and click the boxes needed for this report.


Go into Clio reports, it's a matter balance summary report. We can run it for all attorneys or we can just run it for responsible attorneys, so our example is doing it for all. The firm has multiple responsible attorneys. You run this once for each attorney, format the report and send it out to each attorney. The dates are all the same. The key trick here is to turn on the trust account balances, and we want to push this over to Excel so we go with CSV. All right.


Once the report opens in Excel, after being exported as a CSV, we need to quickly resize the columns. This total is a total of work in progress and expenses in progress that we need to add the overall client balance column. The formula for that is you go equal trust account minus accounts receivable minus WIP minus expenses, and then to copy that down, we highlight the cell, we grab this little box in the corner and drag it down. Then we can format everything so we have pretty numbers. From here, we can see that we have a couple of matters that are well-funded and we have a couple of matters that have deficits and require attention. Now with that, that's a quick overview of how we use the matter balance summary report. Thanks.