Getting started with CounselGO - how to obtain access and start submitting invoices
What is CounselGO?
CounselGO is a portal for submitting and tracking invoices submitted to vendor's clients who are using SimpleLegal to manage their e-Billing and legal matters. CounselGO also helps track the matters that are referred to vendors by clients, and also delivers invoices to clients in a manner that makes the tracking, review, approval, and processing of invoices efficient.
Getting an Account
As a vendor, to request access to CounselGO, please contact your client directly and they are able to create the CounselGO account. After the account is created, the vendor will receive a registration email to setup their password.
Adding a Client
If a vendor is already set up with a CounselGO account and needs to bill additional clients, the process is the same as above. However after the client creates the CounselGO account, a new registration email is not sent and instead, the new client will appear on the vendor's client list within CounselGO.
Submitting Standard LEDES Formatted Invoices
(https://ledes.org/) Formats 1998B and 1998BI are supported.
- As a general rule, please use the standard LEDES format for producing invoices for clients using SimpleLegal if that option is available. There are a number of advantages, including ease of processing for approval and payment.
Select New Invoice, followed by I have LEDES files on the following screen.
On the next screen titled: Upload Files, drag and drop one or more LEDES invoices or add them by selecting Choose Files. Additionally, if there are PDF copies of the invoices and the file name of the PDF includes the matching invoice number, these can be added at the same time as well. CounselGO will use the invoice numbers in the file names to match the PDF to the invoice which saves an extra step.
Select Next, Validate Invoices to load the invoice information.
Get an Error? Please refer to the Common LEDES Validation Errors in the FAQ section of this document or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
Next, the Review portion of the invoice submission step will appear. With the validated LEDES invoice(s) loaded, additional attachments can be added here (if not already done during the upload step), change the currency, enter a matter name, or add notes. Please make sure to read the section in this document regarding Matters. A common issue that delays the processing of invoices is that the correct matter has not been entered or selected.
Please review the information before selecting Submit. Errors on invoices generally require that the client reject the invoice and then request that it be submitted again correctly.
Also, many clients require that a PDF copy of the invoice also be attached in addition to the LEDES file during this process. Please confirm billing guidelines with clients before invoicing as all clients have different billing requirements.
Submitting Non-LEDES PDF invoices
LEDES files are encouraged for many reasons including ease of processing and payment. If submitting in the standard LEDES format is not an option, invoice PDF files can be submitted as well.
To submit a non-LEDES invoice, select New Invoice at the top of the screen followed by I don’t have LEDES files on the following screen.
After selecting the option to add a new invoice without a LEDES file, in the top panel, enter in invoice details:
- Invoice Number
- Invoice Description
- Invoice Date
- Billing Period Dates
- Additional Notes/Comments
- Add Attachments
- Select Client Matter...: This is the list of assigned matters. Select the matter from the dropdown or begin typing the Client Matter ID or matter name to have the matter appear. Select Other if a referred Client Matter ID is not required.
- Firm Matter ID (optional): This is the vendor's matter ID.
- + Line Item: Select to begin filling in the line item information.
Along with selecting the line item type (Flat Fee, Hourly Fee or Expense) and the units and amounts, enter in optional information for Expense, Activity and Task Codes.
- Type: Select the line item billing type (hourly fee, expense, flat fee, adjustment, tax).
- Date: Input the line item date.
- Description of Services: The description of the work done for this line item.
- Units/Hrs: Enter the # of units (for expenses, flat fees, hours, etc.) Note: SimpleLegal will perform the calculation of (Units/Hours x Cost/Rate) to determine the Line Total. The amount is automatically calculated and the total cannot be input manually. If the total for a flat fee or fixed cost needs to be ensured, then input '1' as the unit and amount for Cost/Rate.
- Cost/Rate: Input the line item cost or hourly rate here. Again, this number will be multiplied by the units/hours to generate the line total.
- Taxable: If the invoice includes tax, select Taxable and enter in the Tax Rate and Tax Type.
Select Save and Add Another to continue adding line items or select Save if there are no more line items that need to be added.
After all of the line items have been added, please review and select Submit To Client.
Please note: Once an invoice has been submitted, the invoice cannot be recalled. Please reach out to your client to reject the invoice so that the revised invoice may be submitted.
To add a timekeeper, select Timekeepers from the left navigation bar.
If the client has enabled the ability for its vendors to submit timekeepers to them, there are 2 tabs:
- Submitted to Client - Timekeeper rates that have been submitted to the client. Rates can be pending (approval), approved, or rejected.
- Law Firm Internal - Timekeeper rates that have not been submitted to the client and reside only in CounselGO.
If the client does not allow vendors to submit timekeepers, only the Law Firm Internal tab is seen.
To upload any timekeepers, select the Submitted to Client tab, then Download Template.
Review any instructional text from the client. Fill in the timekeeper data in the .csv file and select Submit.
The client will be notified of the submission, and they will then review and approve or reject the timekeepers.
To add any Law Firm Internal timekeepers, select New Timekeeper and enter in the timekeeper details.
When creating an invoice without using a LEDES file, when there is an hourly line item, the list of timekeepers in the drop down will include all approved and pending timekeepers submitted to your client as well as any Law Firm Internal timekeepers.
If there are rates with the same ID, the one with the most current effective date will be listed.
How to submit invoices in LEDES format - general walkthrough video
How to submit invoices in PDF format - general walkthrough video
Why won't my LEDES invoice load or validate in CounselGO?
Common issues with LEDES files include
- missing header identifier row ( LEDES1998B or LEDES98BI )
- missing or extra columns ( 24 columns for LEDES1998B and 51 columns for LEDES98BI )
- missing brackets at the end of each line of the file ( should always be  )
- incorrect field delimiters ( should always be pipe delimited | )
- unrecognized or non-ASCII characters
How do I load and update timekeepers and associated rates for my client?
Currently, this is done by our team at SimpleLegal. Please contact email@example.com for the appropriate .csv form to add timekeepers and rates for the client to review. This is a self-service feature that will be added to CounselGO in the future. After the file is loaded by the Support Team, the client can review and approve.
Why hasn't my invoice been paid yet?
The first action should be to contact the client and request a status of any unpaid invoice. If there appears to be an error or issue with the invoice, please contact the Support Team at firstname.lastname@example.org along with the invoice number(s) and the Support Team can investigate further.
Please contact email@example.com for any other questions and we are happy to help.