Introduction to Budgets

This article is applicable to AdvoLogix Fall 2020 (v1.108.x) release onward. 

AdvoLogix provides multiple approaches to the new budgeting. Each approach represents a finer degree of analysis and requires an incremental level of effort and planning. Organizations may choose to implement any of the budgeting options (basic, timekeeper based, or phase based) organization wide or on a matter-by-matter or account-by-account basis. 

AdvoLogix supports building the budgets that best suits the legal practice of your organization, with support for building your budgets bottom-up or top-down.

Basic Budget (Matter-Based Only)

The simplest budget may be sufficient when budgeting requirements do not rise to the level of UTBMS or date-based budgeting. Basic budgeting is accomplished by entering budget amounts directly on the matter itself. Subsequently over time, the actual fees and expenses are automatically tracked for the matter allowing business processes, reports, dashboards and other metrics the ability to act on and reflect the budget elements.

Implementing Basic Budget

Enter the following budget amounts (fees, expenses, etc) for each matter. Over time, compare the manually entered budget amounts to the actual total amounts calculated by the system.

The following matter data entry elements are entered directly onto the matter:

  • Fee Budget - Expected fees for the life of the matter (currency).
  • Expense Budget - Expected expenses for the life of the matter (currency).
  • Budget - Total expected expenses and fees for the life of the matter (currency).
  • Allocated Time - Expected number of hours tracked for the life of the matter (numeric).

The following data elements are automatically tallied by AdvoLogix:

  • Total Expenses - Actual current total expenses (currency).
  • Total Time Amount - Actual current total fees (currency).
  • Total Time - Actual total number of hours tracked hours.

The basic matter budget will be overwritten automatically by rolled up computations as we define simple, summary or detailed budgets.

Simple Budget

The simplest budget may be sufficient when budgeting requirements do not rise to the level of UTBMS or date-based budgeting. Basic budgeting is accomplished by entering budget amounts directly onto the matter. Subsequently over time, the actual fees and expenses are automatically tracked for the matter allowing business processes, reports, dashboards and other metrics the ability to act on and reflect the budget elements.

Implementing Simple Budget

Simple budgets are implemented by adding budget records to the matter’s budget related list. The related list is designed to accommodate multiple budgets for a single matter. Each budget can be assigned a time period and/or external resources. As budgets are created, AdvoLogix automatically totals the individual budget amounts at the matter level.

The following fields on the related matter budget are applicable for budgets:

  • Fee Budget - Expected fees for the specified time period (currency).
  • Expense Budget - Expected expenses for the specified time period (currency).
  • Start Date - Start of the period for with this budget applies.
  • End Date - End of the period for with this budget applies.
  • UTBMS Code Set - Optionally build your budget around UTBMS Codes. This enables you to build your budget details using a UTBMS Code based allocation of budget detail.
  • Vendor - Optionally assign the budget to an external resource provider.

Intermediate Summary Budget

Summary budgets are an intermediate approach to budgeting. This approach is best suited for budgeting within specific date periods or when budgeting external resources. Summary budgeting is also applicable when there is a need to allocate budgets based on different phases (UTBMS Phases) of legal practice that a matter goes through in its life span.

Implementing Intermediate Summary Budget

Summary budgets are built upon the simple budgets that one would have created earlier or by building one from the Matter’s Budgets related list. Defining budget summary items or adding details to your budget will convert the budget to a summary budget. 

The following fields are applicable for the related summary budget item:

  • Quantity - Expected quantity or hours for the specified time period (number).
  • Rate - Expected rate for the specified time period (currency).
  • Timekeeper - A resource which you are allocating budget for.
  • UTBMS Code - A code or phase to which you are allocating budget for.
  • Start Date - Optionally mark your budget details with the start of the period.
  • End Date - Optionally mark your budget details with the end of the period.

When adding summary details to your budgets, AdvoLogix will take over the management of the budget fields on the budget record. The following budget fields will be automatically calculated:

  • Fee Budget - Expected fees for the specified time period (currency).
  • Expense Budget - Expected expenses for the specified time period (currency).

Detailed Line Item Budget

Line item budgeting allows organizations to budget at the finest level of detail available. As with the summary budgeting approach, line item budgets can also be created for a specific date period or UTBMS level. The exception between summary and line item budgeting comes from the ability of the latter to allocate budgets at the UTBMS or timekeeper level. This level of detail provides granular control and insights with ability to distribute budgets along multiple phases of legal matters.

Implementing Detailed Line Item Budget

Detailed budgets are built upon the summary budgets that one would have created earlier or by building one from the matter’s budget related list. With more granular control over budget allocations, we can allocate budget for resources or specific legal activities (UTBMS) that may be summarized by phases collectively.

The following fields are applicable for the related detail budget item:

  • Quantity - Expected quantity or hours for the specified time period (number).
  • Rate - Expected rate for the specified time period (currency).
  • Timekeeper - A resource which you are allocating budget for.
  • UTBMS Code - A code or phase to which you are allocating budget for.
  • Start Date - Optionally mark your budget details with the start of the period.
  • End Date - Optionally mark your budget details with the end of the period.

When adding detailed budget items to your summary budgets, AdvoLogix will take over the management of the budget fields on the summary budget record. The following summary budget fields will be automatically calculated:

  • Quantity - Expected quantity or hours for the specified time period (number).
  • Total - Expected fee/expenses for the specified time period (currency).
  • Rate - Will be automatically emptied for parent detail when sub-details are added to a budget detail.