Matter numbers are used to differentiate between individual matters for the same client, and are enabled in the Maintenance – Global Settings.
Matter numbers enable you to group multiple matters for the same client on reports and on bills. You can also replicate common information such as addresses and telephone numbers when adding a new matter for an existing client. Client numbers can be up to 9 characters/digits long, and matter numbers are 3 characters/digits long.
Matters are optional. If you usually open a new file for each job your firm works on, you may prefer not to use matters. If you usually perform work for the same client more than once, you may prefer to use matters.
Example with matter numbers:
1275001 – Roberts, Ellen: Mortgage, first
1276001 – Young, Ben: Matrimonial
1275002 – Roberts, Ellen: Mortgage, second
Example without matter numbers:
1275 – Roberts, Ellen: Mortgage, first
1276 – Young, Ben: Matrimonial
1277 – Roberts, Ellen: Mortgage, second
Notice that Ellen Roberts has two separate matters. In the “With matter numbers” example, her client number does not change, but her 3-digit matter number shows the number of her first matter and the number of her second matter. The next time your firm does work for her, her number will be 1275003 – her original number plus 003 indicating it is the third matter opened for her.
You can use any numbering system that suits your requirements. Client/matter numbers can be alphanumeric and up to 12 characters/digits long. Numbers sort before letters on reports printed numerically.
You can also generate client/matter numbers automatically when opening new files. If you want to use automatic numbering, you do not need to list your client/matter numbers.