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Expenses are one of two types of billable or non-billable activities that form a bill. Time entries are the other type of activity. Expenses can be further broken down into hard costs and soft costs.

Hard cost expenses are charges incurred on behalf of a client that require direct payment to a vendor. These expenses are often always reimbursed by clients either throughout a matter or when billed at the very end. Examples of hard costs are things like court filing fees or mediation fees.

Soft cost expenses are more indirect costs related to a matter, like photocopy charges or the phone bills. These expenses are charged to the client as well, but a direct payment is not made to a separate vendor or service provider.

Tip: Firms using LEDES billing can enable UTBMS codes for time and expense entries.

Enable hard and soft cost expenses

If your firm differentiates between hard and soft cost expenses, you can enable this feature for activities in Clio Manage. Examples of hard costs can include court filing fees, lab fees, and witness fees. Examples of soft costs include photocopies, postage costs, and data storage to name a few.

  1. Go to Settings > Billing > Expenses.
  2. Check the box for Enable recording of soft and hard costs for reimbursable expenses.
  3. Click Save expenses settings.


Add new expenses

You can create a new expense entry in the main Activities page in Clio Manage, the Activities page within a matter, and from the global Create new button on the top right of your Clio Manage screen.

Note: You can use up to four decimal places to accommodate fractions of cents for soft costs only. Other areas on Clio may display the rate rounded to two decimal points, but the actual rate is not affected. You cannot enter a rate beyond two decimal points for a Quick bill though.
  1. In Activities, click New expense. From the global Create new, click Expense entry.
  2. If you previously enabled hard and soft cost expenses, select Hard cost or Soft cost.
    • If you select Hard cost, you can also record a prepaid amount. Just check the Part prepaid or prepaid box below Prepayment and then enter the value in the new field. You can enter any value up to the total value of the disbursement. 
  3. Under Expense category, select a category that you previously created. This will auto-populate some fields. Learn more about expense categories here.
  4. Optional: If you enabled UTBMS codes, you can select the relevant code under UTBMS expense code. UTBMS codes stands for a uniform task-based management system, which essentially means they’re used to standardize categories across a firm to make for more efficient analysis and billing.
  5. Under Tax rate, choose how you want tax to be applied to this expense. 
    • You can choose to not apply any tax or apply your primary tax, your secondary tax, or both your primary and secondary tax rates. Learn more about setting up tax rates here.
    • If you select Use tax applied to invoice or if you do not select any option, the expense will inherit the tax setting chosen when generating a bill. 
  6. Complete the remaining fields.
    • When entering the date, you can select a past, current, or future date.
  7. Click Save entry. Save and create another will save this expense entry and populate another expense entry modal. Save and duplicate will save this expense entry and populate another expense entry modal with the same information.


Create non-billable expenses

By default, expenses marked as non-billable will not appear on a generated bill because they are set to $0. If you need to show a non-billable expense on a bill, you can do so easily when creating the expense entry. By showing non-billable expenses on a bill, you can bill more accurately for non-billable activities, report on non-billable time using the "matter productivity by user" report, and show your clients extra value invested in their case. 

Important: If you mark an activity as non-billable and choose to show it on the bill, it can only be shown when generating the bill using bulk billing (the New bills button in the Billing tab). The activity will not show on the bill invoice if you generate a Quick Bill. 

  1. Create a new expense entry or edit an existing expense entry.
  2. Check the box for Non-billable to not charge for the expense. 
  3. Check the box for Show this entry on the bill to show the expense entry on the bill at a $0 rate.
  4. Complete the remaining details and then click Save entry.


Duplicate expenses

You can duplicate an expense activity from the main Activities page in Clio Manage or from the Activities subtab within a matter. 

Note: If an activity has been generated on a bill, the duplicate button will appear next to the time entry.
  1. Go to Activities and find the expense you want to duplicate.
  2. Click the down arrow next to Edit and select Duplicate.
  3. Make any necessary changes and then select Save entry.


Edit expenses

You can edit an unbilled expense from the main Activities page in Clio Manage or from the Activities subtab within a matter.

  1. Go to Activities.
  2. Find the activity you want to edit and click Edit.
  3. Make any necessary changes and then select Save entry.


Delete expenses

You can delete an unbilled expense from the main Activities page in Clio Manage or from the Activities subtab within a matter. All users can delete expenses one at a time, but administrators can delete expenses in bulk.

You can track deleted expenses in the Recovery bin, from a matter's timeline, and from the Firm Feed. Deleted items will remain in the Recovery Bin for six months. It is possible to recover deleted items, but Clio does not guarantee that the lost data can be recovered. The best practice is to ensure the item is not needed before deleting it, with the recovery bin available as a failsafe. 

Delete a single expenseDelete in bulkRecover deleted activity
  1. Go to Activities.
  2. Check the box next to the expense you want to delete.
  3. Click Delete.
  4. When the warning prompt appears, select Delete entry.


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