Maximize the efficiency of the Abacus Billing functionality inside AbacusLaw by utilizing Abacus Payment Exchange (APX) to process your client payments, both from credit cards and ACH transactions, and get paid faster.

 

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Hello everyone, and welcome to today's free training Thursday. I have here with me today Patty Lafferty, and she'll be teaching us how to collect client credit card payments using Abacus Payment Xchange. If you have any questions, you can type them into the sidebar, and we will get to them at the end.

I'll turn it over to Perri now.

Thank you, thank you. And welcome, everybody. Yes, my name is Perri Lafferty, and I'm going to walk through Abacus Accounting today, and show you how the APX works within the program.

First of all of course, we want to make sure that you have submitted your options to use this credit card. The APX is the Abacus Payment Xchange. Within the program, you can access this by coming over under the file button all the way up in the left hand corner. Then we go into setup and into company preferences. Here on the credit card info tab, when it pops up, you will have the ability to sign up for APX.

If you don't see this or any other options going on, you can always get to the APX submission form on the Abacus Next website, so that's www.abacusnext.com/apx.

And that will then be submitted, and you should hear back within a couple of days, I believe it is. So that information actually is contained in a webinar that we've held in the past, that you should be able to access from the website as well, because there's a copy of all our webinars on there.

But today is all about, how do we actually use it once we are okayed to start using it. Basically here in the credit card setup tab, this is where you're going to come in and your processor is the Abacus Payment Xchange of course, they make sure that is the option that has been chosen. And then down here, this is relative to your chart of account. You may not be using the same account numbers that I have shown here, because I play with my chart of account numbers all the time in my Abacus accounting training. So I switch them out every now and again.

But you want to make sure these are the account numbers that you want to be using, and of course we hit done. Then you'll see the message that everything's updated successfully, and everybody may already know about company preferences, just a little sidebar that anything you come in here and change, this little file sits in the background.

So we always need to reboot Abacus billing and accounting for the new changes to take effect. And that's just program-wide, anything on any of these tabs that is changed, when you hit done you get this message and you want to hit okay. Exit out, come back in, and then the changes are saved permanently.

Okay. So let's say that that part has been set up, we've been approved, we can't wait to get out there and start using this. What do we do next? We are going to come under matters, and we are going to go to the relative matter screen. The matter maintenance screen. For each matter, whose credit card you have. So I'm going to come in here and use my Abacus APX client, I set him up special today. And of course this information will all be filled out. It's coming over from Abacus Law, just like normal. We enter our names there, we enter our matters there, we do the linking of the bill to there. As everybody knows how to use this.

And when you come over here you're going to have this credit card info tab. So this is where you come and actually you're going to fill out this information. The two things to note here across the top are these two checkboxes. We want to be sure that they are checked. If you do not check this second box here that's referring to billing payments, the system will not know to go out and actually collect the money at the time of posting bill. So you want to make sure both are checked. And of course you're going to come down here and you're going to add in the client information about their credit card.

When you click on add, you're going to get something that looks like this, and this is where you enter their information, Abacus stores it. It is all encrypted, very securely, because we are working with lawyers of course. So we make sure that that information is saved within the system.

Now, that's pretty much it. If you happen to have a secondary card, you could set that up and make one primary and one secondary, if you would like. In other words, if the client has a little trouble with their credit cards, you may want to have two on file. That will work, and that is all you have to do at the matter level.

Okay. So after that's been set up, that's a one-time thing. So that's good, unless of course their credit card numbers change, then we have to go back in and alter that a little bit. But now, during the month, life is happening, time's being input into your system, costs are being input into the system, and now the magic day comes that we're actually going to process bills.

So of course we come in, and you can run your pre-bills if you want, nothing's changed there. And you run your actual bills. So I'm going to go ahead and open this up, and go ahead and put in my guy so we can see he has a bill being processed. And this is our Abacus APX client here of course. Everybody knows you can just simply start typing the name in and it will narrow it down for you. There we go.

So there he is. Add as many as you need here for all your matters you want to build at this time. And of course, we add to billing, run.

Now, at this point, the bill is being generated, I'm just going to open it up so we can see it. You either preview it, print it, email it, whatever you're doing here. And basically the system's here, it's showing our bill, everything looks good. On page 2 it's letting the client know that the credit card on file will be charged.

So far so good. Nothing really special here, close this. So after I've processed my bill and everything is fine, it's time to post that bill. And this is when the magic happens. Okay? Upon posting bills is when Abacus will go out and ping that credit card. In other words, charge that credit card number, and transfer the money into your firm's account.

So when we come in here to post our bills, there it is. You simply take it and post it, and of course our posting date, everybody's aware of this, this is all for productivity stuff. There we go. And what has happened, is Abacus, like I say, processes that through. The APX processes that through, and you will see in your payment received, you will see an entry in here that Abacus has processed the payment and it's writing for you to post this into your operating account, if this is of course being done for operating.

So there it is right there, it's telling us this was charged to a Visa account, using the automatic credit card, or ACH if you set that up. So we know exactly how that was done. And now we just post this like normal. So we can select it, and of course post it on the day that the entry is going into the bank.

Alright, so we have our little posting date. We say yes or we fix it, if it's another day. I believe Abacus takes anywhere from one to two days to process the money and transfer it into your account. But you really should check online with the details from the APX to know all of that. I believe the fee here again, don't take it from my mouth, but let's check online at the AbacusNext.com/APX to be sure we have all the details. I believe the fee is three percent of the amount of the client's bill.

Now, we do have a report, a couple different reports that you can access to see what's been going on there. They're under billing, they're in the billing report. The first one I want to show you is the credit card activity report, all the reports in Abacus pretty much run from a date range. So you enter your start date and your end date, what you want to see, and hit preview. And obviously I've played with this a little bit in the past in other months, but this basically down here, I'll make this a little bit bigger so perhaps we can see it better.

Down here, at the bottom, is where we just processed our general matter right there. So that one went through, it tells us it was approved, it gives us the dollar amount, and obviously these are sorted by date. But this is a lovely report to have. And everybody knows this isn't a real system here, I'm not a real law firm. So this other report I'm going to show you is not going to have information, but this should be filled out on your end as well.

So this is the credit card ACH billing statement, and yours will be listed, because I am not real here. This is my alias if you will, so it hasn't been set up with the Abacus company.

Alright, so. Those are two reports that can be generated. Also, what if we ran the credit card, or we put that information in, and then we decide oops, we should not have done it? Either the client says "Please don't do that," or for some reason we chose the wrong person, these things happen. How do we back that out? How do we void that transaction?

Well, that's actually done over here under matters. We go to our matter billing activity, I'm sure y'all are very familiar with this. Of course. We look up our person, because I can't remember one number from another. There we go.

And there's a button down here for void. So you can see my payment came through, it was four different categories as far as the difference of the fee, the hard cost and soft cost. All I have to do is click on one of these, and the void option comes up and this will actually void all of the transaction, the full transaction. You don't have to void three times to void each one. This was the entire payment, so it will void the entire payment, and it pretty much tells you that.

Alright, let you know it broke it down into three. And there you go. So now, when we hit refresh, we can see that the transaction was voided, and there are the entries there that actually void it and let you know the credit card payment was voided.

So that's taking it past actually processing it. You do not obviously need to void the transactions, only if necessary. So in essence, you're really just making sure the matter is set up. And after you post your ills, you will see the payments sitting in the operating account.

Now, you may ask, "Well, can't this work for trust as well?" Well yes it can. And if you are looking to charge a client's credit card to have money placed into their trust account with you, we simply come in and do a trust deposit. Now, in case the question pops up: the fee that is part of the dollar for trust, it is not taken from the trust account. The fee that is charged for APX always comes out of the operating account.

So what do we do here to put in a trust deposit? We simply click on add, formatter. There we go. It knows which trust account, if you do have multiple, which trust account we're dealing with. Put in the dollar amount, and if you want it to go through the credit card, you just click this box, you come here, and we can put in the phrase, and all we're doing here is simply posting it, and it will do the same thing.

It will go out and charge that credit card and put the money into your firm's trust account. Posting date, obviously is important. And there we go. So that's really it as far as manipulation inside the billing program to make the APX work. If we have any questions, I'm happy to answer them. It looks like we might, let me see if I can open this little guy up to see any questions we may have.

Okay. Can the payment be directed ... let me see if I can expand this a little bit. Can the payment be directed and posted directly into trust accounts if a new client wants to make a new deposit to the firm trust, using a credit card, can that be done via APX?

Yes. When you're setting it up, you let Abacus know which operating account you'll be using, which trust account you'll be using, and the information obviously is then used when those items are posted. That's when the transaction happens, and it puts them in the account that you've designated on your setup screen and company preferences.

Q&A

And I can't really read these well, because they're all scrunched together. Could you possibly read any other questions that are in there for me?

Yes. Just give me one second.

I can't seem to expand that part of my screen.

Yeah no problem, let me just pop this out.

Okay, I think we're asking, can the payment be automatically directed to trust? That is going to be in your setup in Abacus. So when you are setting that up, make sure you choose your trust account, and not the operating account, if you don't want the money directed into operating.

What about transferring from trust to operating?

Well, we do have the function within billing that you can use trust money to transfer over automatically during the billing process. That can still be accomplished, but you're going to want to request the trust money before billing is done, because it does not handle both a credit card transfer and the trust transfer at the same time.

So in other words, I would request my trust deposit, then go do my billing, so that the money is available in the account to be transferred during the billing process. So I could read that one.

Alright. So the next one I'm seeing here is, can you edit credit card information when it's saved?

Yes. Once it's saved you can go back into the matter, open up that credit card information, edit it out, because let's say they do change credit cards or something like that, and then just make sure you hit save when you're done on the screen, and then that will then be registered as their credit card, and the other one will be deleted from the file.

Does APX take care of all PCI compliance requirements?

Definitely. And I'm going to refer back to that webinar that we previously held where Andrew Cummings goes through all of the details of the requirements, and how Abacus addresses them all. I've actually sat through that a couple of times, so I'm confident that yes, we do. But like I say, please go to the AbacusNext.com/APX to get to that part of our website and feel free to go through.

Also, there's a phone number there to be able to call and talk directly to the APX people. I happen to have that here. It's 888-633-9668. And you can always submit questions to webinars, at AbacusNext.com. They will go to Emma and she will disperse them out and get answers for you for any questions. Not just on APX. Any topics that you might have.

And I believe also, you were going to mention that we get topics from you guys to have for these free training Thursdays. So if you want to submit something there, not to go off topic, but if you come up with an idea you'd like to see us walk through with one of these free training Fridays, we're happy to do so. I'm getting the requests from you guys.

Absolutely. We definitely do love to hear the feedback of those attendees. And we'll look into any suggestions that you have when you send the topic to webinars@abacusnext.com.

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