If you’re a lawyer or other legal professional, you probably have a lot of questions about how to charge clients for your work.
The truth is that billing isn’t always straightforward, but there are ways to make it easier.
One way is to use invoice appendices!
Invoice appendices are like the appendixes in an article (you know: those sections at the end with all sorts of interesting information).
They’re not required and often get skipped over by clients and others who read them, but they’re still useful: they can help clarify some details about your projects that might otherwise be confusing on an invoice alone.
In this guide, we’ll break down four different kinds of invoice appendices so you can decide which one works best for your practice.
1. Service Report Appendix
A service report appendix is a document that further explains the services provided on an invoice.
This can be useful if you want to provide more details about a particular project or bill, or if you have additional information that is relevant to the invoice but not directly related.
Use a Service Report Appendix for:
- Detailed Information on Services
If there are specific details that relate to your legal services, it may be helpful to include them in this appendix.
For example, if you have written an agreement for a client and need to attach it as part of your invoice, then this would be appropriate for inclusion in an appendix file with their invoices.
2. Project Summary Appendix
The project summary appendix is a one-page document that summarizes all of the work that was done on a project.
- Brief description of the project
- Summary of deliverables, if applicable (for example, final report)
- Summary of costs and expenses incurred during the engagement, including miscellaneous items such as travel and hotel costs.
Please note that this section should not contain any client billing details nor should it include any confidential information regarding clients or their finances.
- A table containing time billed against each task listed in item 2 above. The table should clearly indicate which tasks have been billed at a flat rate and which ones have been billed by the hour/day/week.
3. Billing Appendix
The Billing Appendix is a detailed breakdown of the time spent on each task, client or project.
This appendix also includes a break down of how much time was spent on each phase of a project (for example, discovery and research).
The billing appendix may be required by your firm’s clients depending on your agreement with them.
4. Time Entry and Explanation Appendix
Time entry and explanation appendixes are often attached to invoices for legal services.
These appendices contain the time entries used to calculate the billing rate, as well as any additional information that explains how or why the attorneys were able to complete their work in the time they did.
The time entry appendix contains details about what tasks were performed, who performed those tasks, and when they were completed.
This information can help clients understand more about how an attorney spent his or her time on a particular case and provide additional transparency into your billing policy.
The explanation appendix provides more information about why a particular task took longer than expected —which is important if you’re billing by the hour—or any other data that may be relevant to understanding how long it took an attorney to complete certain tasks in relation to other matters on that day/week/month etc., such as unexpected client meetings or new assignments from another department within your firm which might take precedence over billing-related activities (and thus slow down progress).
Appendices are a great way to provide more information about your legal services.
They can be especially useful when it comes to billing, but they can also be helpful in other ways.
For example, the Service Report appendix can provide information on what work was done and how much time it took; the Project Summary appendix can show how much money each project made or lost; and so on.
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