Trust accounting with BillQuick and SBA


M

Matt

Howdy.

I know this is an SBA group, but I couldn't find anywhere else to post this
question, so here goes.

BillQuick heavily promotes its integration with SBA. However, it isn't
clear to me how the two products together track project retainers that must
be deposited to a single lawyer's trust account. Has anyone else addressed
this issue?

FWIW I already own SBA and am shopping for a time and billing package for a
new law firm. If I can't use BillQuick, I'll probably not use SBA and just
buy an all-in-one application like PC Law.

Thanks,

Matt
 
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C

Chris Schatte

Hi Matt,
Unrelated to Bill Quick, but we have two 3rd party programs we use with SBA.
ESC Scheduling and WinEstimator. Both products read our database and
integrate well. As an example, in our scheduling software addon we can create
invoices with products, services and employee time in SBA. As well, ESC has
its own reports specific to the software.
Each had a trial before we purchased. Both have helped us extend SBA 2006 sp2.
 
S

shafat.qazi

Matt:

BillQuick handles trust fund accounting by allowing you to deposit
funds from clients as retainers and then apply them to future time and
expenses. The amount you collect as retainers or trust fund is recorded
as a liability and then it will debit/creit the account and do the
reverse to the AR account.

BillQuick and SBA is a perfect solution for legal, architectural,
engineering, IT and other similar professional services firms. Go for
it.

Shafat
 
M

Matt

Shafat:

Are you referring to BillQuick's *client* retainer or its *project*
retainer? My assumption so far (and I think BillQuick's as I have
investigate this with them) is that the project retainer functionality would
be used.

I am told by BillQuick that there is a problem directing deposits
(frequently called retainers) to a *single* trust account as is necessary for
a legal practice. (Interest on client funds must be paid to a trust that is
used for charitable purposes, hence my need for a single trust account.)
There seems to be something distinctively wrong with SBA in this regard.

According to BillQuick technical support, "Project Retainers go to SBA and
show up as a credit in A/R. SBA does not allow you to create an account to
funnel retainers into or to place a retainer into the account after the fact.
This is a limitation of SBA not BillQuick." BillQuick further explained that
"SBA handles Retainer accounts differently than does QuickBooks."

Can you shed any additional light on this for me?

Thank you for your help,

Matt
 
M

Matt

Chris:

Howdy! Sorry for the delay but apparently the "notify me of replies"
feature isn't working in my newsgroup browser.

Thank you for your comments. I am encouraged to know that the basic
integration works well.

In my case, basic integration doesn't appear to be the problem. I have
found at least two time and billing packages (BillQuick and TimeMatters) that
integrate to some degree with SBA. The problem for lawyers appears to be the
need to track funds from multiple clients that all get deposited into a
single trust account. Both Lexis/Nexis (owners of TimeMatters) and BillQuick
have highlighted distinctions in the way their products integrate with SBA
versus QuickBooks on this point.

I actually bought a product called PC Law that purports to offer complete
trust accounting but have experienced with it the kind of bugs that scare one
off in short order.

Matt
 
C

Chris Schatte

Matt,
Actually the way you phrased your response leads me to the conclusion that
there is an integration problem. In our case, part of our business is
service. One of our addins reads and posts time and materials to the correct
accounts.
 
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M

Matt

Chris:

Yes, I believe it is at least partly an integration issue.

It is important from an ethical standpoint that unearned client funds
received by a lawyer not show up in the lawyer's financials (apart from the
trust account) because they do not belong to the lawyer. And most lawyers do
not maintain separate trust funds for each client. This type of scenario is
apparently not supported by the integration that currently exists between
BillQuick and SBA (and TimeMatters/BillingMatters and SBA, for that matter).

I'm a pretty loyal Microsoft customer, but the company should take note of
this issue. I have obtained a customer reference number so that I can return
my copy of Office with SBA. I'll buy a cheaper edition of Office and stick
with an all-in-one legal package.

Matt
 
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C

Chris Schatte

Matt,
Understand completely. The Isv's that provide products that work with SBA in
its current form and fuctionality, as well, the Microsoft Team for SBA do
listen to this and the developement forum. Suggestions for SBA (numerical)
have been implemented since the release as service packs.
For future versions or sp's the more suggestions = better product. From my
experience, these forums (and others) have influenced the developement of SBA
to date and beyond.
 

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