Tech Decoder

Welcome to the Tech Decoder Blog. We will help you make sense of the features in Abacus solutions and keep you informed about development activity.

We've been busy adding new features to our products, and we're so excited to share the newest addition to Abacus Accounting: Statements of Accounts.

It is important for you to understand the difference between a statement of account and an invoice and how to use Statements of Accounts in your daily practice.

Statement of Account vs. Invoice - What's What?

An invoice (or bill) is a list of the charges a client or matter has incurred during the billing period, and (in some cases) amounts due from previous unpaid invoices. Invoices show what is owed to you and your firm, including both current charges and unpaid past charges. But invoices leave us in a tricky situation: while they are great when you have new charges, but what do you send when there is no activity on the account? What do you send when there was no recent billable activity, but you want to send the client their account status? Statements of Account fill this need.

A Statement of Account is now generated for a matter (automatically) in place of invoices when there are no new charges for the matter in the billing cycle. The Statement of Account shows the outstanding balance and the details of the unpaid invoices (if there are any). It also shows any payment or trust activity since the last invoice. Like invoices, Statements of Account are stored in the matter’s Bills folder (..Abacus\Bills\Data01\Matter-#).

Statements of Account for a matter can be viewed from the Matter Billing Details window (Billing > Matter Billing Activity) by clicking Show Bills. Notice that the ID numbers for statements of account are prefixed with “Stmt_” to help distinguish them from invoices.

Here is an example of a statement of account as the client might see it:

And one more thing. An option to show or hide the details of the unpaid invoices has been added to the Billing Format Code Maintenance window's Format Options tab. This option only applies to Statements of Account.

Statements of account are another way we are trying to improve your communications to your clients.

By: Susan Haworth

Susan is a technical writer at Abacus. She has been translating technical concepts for non-technical people for almost 20 years. When she is not discussing features with the Abacus programmers, you will find her out biking, walking the dogs, or arguing with her teenage children. She lives in High Point, North Carolina.