Making Time Entries on Client Ledgers

(NB: This subject is only applicable to those users who are licensed for making time entries)

One off Entry Mode or Time Entry Mode

The main C-Law screen has a Mode Selection box where it is possible to define what happens when you select a client matter. This is normally found above the main listing and appears like this:-

In the above example C-Law has been set up for the operator to make a run of time entries. With the "Time entry" button selected as shown above, whenever the operator selects a client matter from the entry box or from the main listing the time entry screen will appear straightaway for the user to compose and record the desired time entry. This makes entering time quicker than going through the summary screen using the "Display Details" mode.

The other alternatives are to "Display Details" or to make an "Account Entry".  The latter is self explanatory and is not relevant for time entries. The "Display Details" mode allows a summary screen to be displayed whenever a client matter is selected showing the status and situation - eg: balances and amounts outstanding on accounts and time. From this screen a time entry can be made by the user by clicking on the "Make Time Entry" button or by pressing the letter M on the keyboard - although if the user is using the "Simple Selection Screen" to select accounts (which mimics the older DOS version of C-Law) (see keyboard operation page) the correct button to press is "T" just as in the DOS version.

The Client Matter summary screen

It is possible to view the time entries on screen and not make an entry by clicking on the "Inspect" button in the Time Recording section or in the NON simple screen select by pressing the T button. In the simple screen selection system if you want to look at time entries it will be necessary to use the Mouse to click the "Inspect" button as pressing T will send you straight to the time entry screen.

If you choose to make a time entry the time entry screen will appear rather like the screen shown below. (This is only an example and yours will be different and will probably have different worktypes).

This screen has been set up to display the users "Worktypes" with the available shortcut "F" key to enable the worktype to quickly selected from the keyboard.

Note that the actual list of worktypes will be different and individual to each firm so the above will almost certainly appear slightly different on your screens.

Selecting the worktype

There are several methods and the user can choose the one that best suits.

A. Keyboard

(1)  Using F key

In the example above pressing F8 would put "ATTENDANCE" in the box as the worktype and is probably the quickest way when using the keyboard to enter the worktype.

(If the Worktype begins with "Sh" then the Shift key has to be used with the appropriate F key. "Ct" means the control key has to be used and "At" means the Alt key has to be used to select)

(2)  Typing

In the above example typing the initial letters of the worktype in the worktype box ATT and then the Enter key would insert "ATTENDANCE". If there are worktype names which start similarly then sufficient needs to be typed to identify the worktype uniquely before pressing the Enter key. Or the whole worktype can simply be typed.

(3)  Running down list

Pressing the DOWN key on the keyboard (the down arrow) will cycle the worktype selection box through the various possible worktypes one after another and pressing Enter will select it

B. Mouse

Clicking the Down arrow beside the Worktype field with the mouse pointer will display a drop down list from which the worktype can be selected by finding it. Then put the mouse on the next field requiring entry and click the mouse to select that field and proceed with the entry.

In this example the "Attendance" worktype has been selected.

The Date field

If using the keyboard then after selecting the worktype the "focus" will pass to the date field. The date prompted is todays date but you can select another date by changing it either by typing the date over the existing one or by clicking the up or down arrows.

The Time Field

Using the keyboard after pressing Enter on the date field the focus now passes to the time field where the time is entered by typing the number of 6 minute units or by clicking the up or down arrows. The hours and minutes fields can also be used and on systems set to record time in Units the nearest unit to the time entered will be automatically selected.

However if the word "ITEM" appears in the time field it means that a "per item" charge rate has been set up for this worktype in the Charge Rates and you cannot enter a time as this is not relevant for item charges.

The effect of the time entered appears in the "Cost" and "New Total" fields as you add the time.

If you wish for some reaon to contra off time you need to put a MINUS SIGN in front of the time you enter which will result in the time being deducted when the entry is made and confirmed.

The Optional Fields

Pressing enter on the keyboard after entering time (if needed) will cause the "Add Entry?" dialogue to appear.

You can then add the entry if OK just by pressing "Y" or pressing the Enter key.

However in some cases you may want to adjust the charge rate displayed or the fee earner or more rarely the work category.

The Charge Rate field

This field shows the hourly rate and is normally filled automatically from the rates stored in the charge rate field (accessible from Cashier Settings) and is for the chosen Worktype, Category and Fee Earner. Changing the worktype or the Fee Earner or Category may therefore result in the displayed rate changing.  This will in turn change the "Cost" or "New Total" fields if the time has already been selected.

You can enter a "one off" charge rate for any entry if so desired. You will need to oput the hourly rate to two decimal places (but with no decimal point) in the Charge Rate field.

The Category and Fee Earner fields

These are self explanatory and can be changed if desired on a "one off" basis for any individual entry. On the "C-Law Executive" time entry screen system (an optional extra for C-Law 2005 to allow time to be entered on another workstation simultaneously or separately from the cashier) the fee earner is prompted automatically from the fee earner for which the Executive screen has been logged on. On the cashier screen this feature does not operate as there is no facility for setting the fee earner prior to a run of entries. On Executive screens it is also possible to use the mouse to select the worktpe just by pointing and clicking on the worktype name with the mouse. This feature does not currently operate on the Cashier entry screen.

Adding the entry

When using the keyboard pressing the Enter key on the time field causes the "add Entry" dialogue to appear

Then you can press the enter key (or the Y key) to have the entry added to the list.

If using the mouse to construct an entry you will not get the "Add Entry" prompt and you will need to click the button titled "ADD ENTRY".

The entry then appears in the entry listing

Note that the entry is not at this stage saved, so if you make a mistake you can thereafter jettison the entry (and any others made on this client matter at the entry screen in this session) by clicking the "Quit and Abort" button. Then you will be told that one or more entries have been made and you can press the N key (or click No) to stop the entry(ies) being saved and then click "Y" at the "Is it OK to quit" prompt.

Duplicating an entry

Sometimes you may wish to make another entry which is exactly the same (eg Telephone In or Out or Letter Out etc) as the previous one. In this case after adding the entry to the list you can simply click the "Add Entry" button again and the last entry will be duplicated. Or if only slightly different you can change the fields needed and then click the Add Entry button again.

Clearing fields and composing a new entry

After adding an entry to the list you may want to compose another entry on the same matter to add to the list but do not wish to simply duplicate the last entry. You can simply use the mouse to compose the new fields as required but if using the keyboard or mouse and you want to clear the fields to enable you to start composing another time entry from scratch you need to hold down the CTRL key and press the HOME key.

Confirming the Entry Listing

When the entries in the list are ok and you have finished with entries for this matter you need to click the button "SAVE ENTRIES AND QUIT". This will save the entries to the disk and return you so you can select another matter or proceed with what you were doing before making the time entry.

Aborting and not saving entries added to the Entry Listing

Click the "Quit and Abort" button. Then you will be told that one or more entries have been made and you can press the N key (or click No) to stop the entry(ies) being saved and then click "Y" at the "Is it OK to quit" prompt. If you want to restart entries on the same client matter you will need to click "Make a Time Entry" again or Press "M" or "T" as appropriate to return to the make time entry window.

Charge Rate and Worktypes Setting Up

You need to be logged on as a Cashier and go to the Cashier drop down men item on the main page and select "Settings" and then you can select either TimeRec Worktypes or Chargeout Rates.

The chargeout rate screen shows a spreadsheet similar to this:-

If need be click the View Menu item and select "Full Screen" which will make it easier to see the whole spreadsheet.

Clicking the Column Size + or Column Size Minus buttons will make the spreadsheet spacing expand or contract for ease of entry or viewing.

One screen per fee earner

It should be noted that there is a similar screen for each fee earner listed.

Entering up the rates

You need to enter the time in hourly rates to two decimal places with a space but no decimal point. So for example "125 50" would be £125.50 per hour. If you wish to enter a unit charge ie: a charge independent of time (eg: Letters in or short telephones) you should put a minus in front of the rate which is entered for each unit. So putting -12 50 would mean that the system would assume that for each unit a charge of £12.50 was to be made.

If you want to alter all the rates in a column or a row together (avoids a lot of typing where appropriate) you can click the "Edit" drop down menu item and select whether you want to edit individual cells or columns or rows. If you choose row or column then the whole row or column will be changed. WARNING use with care and it is suggested you may want to save any other changes or entries made before doing this in case you make wholesale changes you had not expected!

The File menu allows you to printout the charge rates fields or to send them to the Windows Clipboard for pasting elswhere.

Copying to another fee earners spreadsheet

Once you have done one fee earner you can copy these rates to another if this will be easier than setting it all up again for the other fee earner(s). Click COPY and then select the fee earner whose rates you want to overwrite by using the fee earner selection and then click the PASTE button to copy the other fee earner's rates over.

The Worktypes (that appear across the top of the Chargeout Rate Spreadsheet) are set up on the Worktype Listing setup screen also obtainable from the Settings section in the Cashier drop down menu on the main screen. The method of using this screen is similar to that for adding or changing fee earners and work categories.



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