Billing for Civil Litigation

Auto:Time is an extremely powerful feature for Civil Litigation Law firms since it automatically records your activity in Smokeball, compiles all your activities, and creates a time entry ready to review and bill through Smokeball Billing. Auto:Time can also provide matter profitability information.

Since Auto:Time already tracks time spent on calendar events, documents drafted and reviewed, emails sent, received, or reviewed, etc., you can focus more on servicing your clients than remembering to manually log every activity you are doing in Smokeball. This means less time trying to remember everything you did or spending extra time on evenings and weekends going back and logging time.

How to utilize Auto:Time for Civil Litigation Law Firms

Default Billing Rate

Activities Smokeball Does Not Track

Changing Rates Per Matter

Tracking Expenses

Edit Time Entries

Performance Reporting under Matter Insights

1. Set up your default billing rate and make sure to "mark my time entries as billable" under the billing tab in Staff and Users.

  • When calculating the annual cost, take into account all expenses including rent, salary, and other bills. If unsure, try adding 10-15% to salary as a starting point.
  • Smokeball will track all your Smokeball activity (documents, emails, calendar events, etc.) in Activity Intelligence and create billable entries for invoices in Smokeball Billing. To learn more on how time is tracked, review the Activity Intelligence articles.


2. There may be some activities Smokeball does not track like reviewing printed out documents, researching in law books and anything else done outside of Smokeball.

  • Add an activity in Activity Intelligence for any activity not captured by Smokeball already. You can add activities on the mobile app as well.
  • The activity will be captured by Auto:Time and added to your daily entry.


3. If your rate changes on a matter- by-matter basis, you can override your default hourly rate on a matter basis under the billing tab in matter info. You can also override default rates for specific staff members on each matter as well.


4. Manually enter and track expenses on the Time & Expenses tab of the matter.


5. Time entries will be automatically tracked daily and added to the Time & Expenses tab.


6. Performance Reporting under Matter Insights will show you matter profitability based on activities completed or time spent.  This option is only available to Firm Owners.  Ask your account manager about this if you don’t see the Matter Insights tab and think you should.

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