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Automatic Matter Numbering in Time Matters

Interesting how questions at Time Matters Boot Camp tend to run in streaks.  Several months went by without this question being asked.  Then, it was asked in both Minneapolis and Boston.

Can Time Matters automatically assign a Matter number?

Yes.  Time Matters can automatically assign a Matter number whenever a new Matter is added.  This feature is setup under the File, Setup, General, Program Level menu.  In Program Level Settings, select Forms, Matters, then Form Options.  The resulting screen provides a number fo options related to Matter naming and numbering.

Time Matters Matter Form Options

Time Matters Matter Form Options

One option that can be set are the ability to perform a duplicate check of the Matter name, number or both.  You can also configure automatic numbering using several formulas.  The formula I have chosen in my example is YY-#### and the next number I have set is 399.  This means that the next file I add would be number 08-0399. One thing to keep in mind about this number is that you may want to reset your number to 1 on January 1st of each year.  Some firms prefer their matter numbering to reflect the number of files opened in a given year.  Others do not reset the Matter number so that the number reflects the total number of files opened.

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3 Responses

  1. Ben Northway says:

    What advantage is there to using matter or contact record numbers?

  2. Jeff Krause says:

    Good to hear from you Ben. I have seen firms use contact and matter numbers for a variety of reasons. Some use the numbers simply for filing purposes. Others use the number or some sort of alpha code for a specific reason. Perhaps, it denotes the attorney or the department. Many firms use the numbering sequence I showed in this post. In this case the first two numbers tell them the year the file was opened while the rest of the numbers tell them how many files were opened that year. I suppose the advantage of a number system depends on the reason for it.

  3. Nerino Petro says:

    Another use is in firms where their time, billing and accounting packages use a unique alphanumeric identification number billing system. In these instances, the carry that ID number over to the actual files so that they can be referenced not only by the more traditional file name i.e. Jone, Tom RE: Purchase of 1111 Anywhere Street, but also by their billing system identification as well. With the ability to also include the year in the file number, some firms use it to track the year the file was opened as well how many files have been opened that year.

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