Introduction to Matter Budgets

AdvoLogix provides three general approaches to Matter 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, summary, or line item) organization wide or on a matter-by-matter basis.

1. Basic Budget (simplest)

Basic matter budgeting 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. 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 Budgeting

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 on 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.

2. Summary Budget (intermediate)

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 detailed budgeting is not required at the UTBMS or timekeeper level. These budgets are typically used for fees and expenses but may optionally be used to anticipate human resources allocations for the specified budget period.

Implementing Summary Budgeting

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

Fee and Expense Summary Budgeting

The following fields on the related Matter Budget are applicable for Fee and Expense Budgets:

  • Fee Budget: expected fees for the specified time period (currency).
  • Expense Budget: expected expenses for the specified time period (currency).
  • Start Month/Year: start of the period for with this budget applies.
  • End Month/Year: end of the period for with this budget applies.
  • Firm: optionally assign the budget to an external resource provider.

When using the Matter Budget related list to create Budgets, AdvoLogix will take over the management of the budget fields on the matter record. The following matter fields will be automatically calculated by AdvoLogix:

  • Fee Budget
  • Expense Budget
  • Budget

Resource Based Summary Budgeting

The following fields on the related Matter Budget are applicable for Fee and Expense Budgets:

  • Allocated Time: expected time for the specified time period (in hours).
  • Start Month/Year: start of the period for with this budget applies.
  • End Month/Year: end of the period for with this budget applies.
  • Firm: optionally assign the budget to an external resource provider.

When using the Matter Budget related list to create Budgets, AdvoLogix will take over the management of the budget fields on the matter record. The following matter field will be automatically calculated by AdvoLogix:

  • Total Time

3. Line Item Budget (detailed)

Line item budgeting allows organizations to budget at the finest level of detail available. As with the summary budgeting approach, line item budgets are also created for specific date periods. The exception between summary and line item budgeting comes from the ability of the latter to allocate budgets at the UTBMS (Fee and Expense) or timekeeper (Resource) level. This level of detail provides granular control and insights. 

When using Fee and Expense Line Item budgeting consider incorporating the Budget vs Actual visualization. This visualization can be displayed in context with the matter and compares the matter's budget with the actual fees and expenses.

Implementing Line Item Budgeting

Similar to summary budgeting, line item budgeting is also implemented by adding Budget records to the Matter Budgets related list. The related list is designed to accommodate multiple budgets for a single matter. Each budget is assigned a time period and/or external resources. As budgets are created, AdvoLogix automatically totals the individual budget amounts at the matter level.

3.1. Fee and Expense Line Item Budgeting

Within the budget dialog, add a line item for each UTBMS code your organization wishes to track within the budget. Each line item will be for a Fee based or Expense based UTBMS code. Expense based UTBMS codes must start with an E.

The following fields on the related Matter Budget are applicable for Fee and Expense budgets:

  • Start Month/Year: start of the period for with this budget applies.
  • End Month/Year: end of the period for with this budget applies.
  • Firm: optionally assign the budget to an external resource provider.

When using line item budgets, AdvoLogix will take over the management of the budget amount fields and the the related budget fields on the matter record.

The following related budget record fields will be automatically calculated by AdvoLogix:

  • Fee Budget
  • Expense Budget

Likewise, the following matter fields will be automatically calculated by AdvoLogix:

  • Fee Budget
  • Expense Budget
  • Budget

3.2. Resource Line Item Budgeting

Within the budget dialog, add a line item for each Timekeeper your organization wishes to establish resource allocation within the budget. Each line item will be for an individual timekeeper.

The following fields on the related Matter Budget are applicable for Resource budgets:

  • Start Month/Year: start of the period for with this budget applies.
  • End Month/Year: end of the period for with this budget applies.
  • Firm: optionally assign the budget to an external resource provider.

When using line item budgets, AdvoLogix will take over the management of the budget amount fields and the the related budget fields on the matter record. 

The following related budget record fields will be automatically calculated by AdvoLogix:

  • Allocated Time

Likewise, the following Matter fields will be automatically calculated by AdvoLogix:

  • Total Time