Paul W. Carlson, CPA (00:00):
Hey, this is Paul Carlson, CPA, with Law Firm Velocity. This video is going to be an overview of the payment plan process from within my case. So payment plans are useful for business to consumer law firms, so probably most common is criminal defense firms. We're going to represent a client, the fee's $3,000, and we need payments over the next three months. We're going to collect a thousand dollars a month for each of the next three months. Sometimes you'll see this in bankruptcy firms as well that we're just trying to have a prepaid flat fee and we want to give the client an option to pay over the next couple of months. What becomes a real bugger with these types of programs is keeping track of those payment statuses. Like the client agrees to pay $3,000. We need to keep track of the status of those payment plans.
Some of the tools actually have big holes in them that you can set up a payment plan that says the client agrees to pay next three months. If they miss payment two, the system just ignores it and unless you're really monitoring it manually through some other process, you just don't know if those payments are made or not. So what we have is we have my case invoice for a $3,000 flat fee and we've turned on a payment plan option to where we can see the installments due on this invoice that we had a payment due July 1st, August 1st, and September 1st, and so this client is on track, that they are current with the payments have been due and that they owe another payment on September 1st. Today's August 17th, so we're two weeks before that payment deadline. So this makes sense. So the trick with this is some sort of reporting system to make sure with the status of everything.
So here's my case accounts receivable report. And here, we have the payment plan invoice we were just looking at. It's $3,000 total. We've received 2,000 and we have $1,000 due. And it shows that the due date is September 1st. If we go back and look at the invoice, the invoice actually was dated July 1st. So it was actually doing these due dates correctly based on when the payment is due. It's not the overall invoice due date. Here we have another payment plan for $6,000 that they're behind, that this client has missed their July payment and their August payment. So this gives us a snapshot of total accounts receivable. Then we go into the aging. This screen shows us only the payment plans that are past due, so this screen we have client A, who's on path. So they appear in the total amount due from clients.
The aging screen, this is set to show everyone who's overdue. Well, that client A is not overdue, so they do not appear on this screen, that it's just the client B, who's two months behind on their payments. And so we get this nice snapshot that we know who to follow up with. And then there's also this payment plan screen. This lists the status of all the payment plans, and so here we can see a duplicate status of what we saw on the prior screen. And if you're one for charts, we can see charts and it's going to start forecasting our payments that the firm is going to collect over the next 30 days. So that can be handy for forecasting cash.
The other nice thing about using the payment plan that's integrated with my case is this is the client portal for client A. And so from here they can log in and see their flat fee invoice payments and it shows their next payment due. So the clients actually get a nice summary from their portal as well. So this looks like it's working. The control that we would provide through the accounting system is these payment plans. Let's go back to this accounts receivable report. We would want to ensure that this total invoice amount is brought over into the accounting system. And then as each payment is received in the accounting system, we're going to mark those payments against the invoice. So over in the accounting system, it's going to show there's a $3,000 invoice and we're going to have the detail with the $2,000 payments and it's going to show the thousand dollars due.
Now, what that does is the accounting system is going to tie back to the activity that actually happened at the bank. And it's a confirmation that these values are correct. So if my case ever had a hiccup and it marked something as paid when we actually did not receive the payment from the client, we would have an error over the accounting system where it's going to be a mismatch and we would follow up and say, hey, accounting says we have this balance, my case has this other balance. We need to research this to make sure we receive those funds. So that provides the control of that accuracy. The other thing we wanted to look at is we click into the invoice. So say this one and there's this button here that we can send a reminder. So that's probably best from this client has passed due. We could click in and we can send them a reminder and it's going to say, this person has received a reminder.
You can click send them a reminder again, and it can show you just sent a reminder 10 seconds ago, you probably shouldn't send them another reminder. So it gives us at least one touch history. And there's also a functionality of automatic reminders. And so we have not tested this, but this would be useful to try as a next step that do these reminders really work for the payment plans? Will they receive a note seven days before the payment plan is due, another note when it's due, and then seven days past the due date? So we could actually have my case help to send the advance notice before it's due, and then we could also go in and just monitor process to make sure we're collecting those payments. And with that, that's a quick overview of the my case payment plans. Thanks.