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Budget Requests

If you are using the e-billing features of Collaborati Spend Management (CSM), you can send budget requests to vendors for approval. Each combination of vendor and project (a Matter or Dispute) uses one budget request. The cost estimates for an approved budget post to the appropriate Account records for that project.

After a vendor receives a budget request and enters their cost estimates, they submit the request back to you, the client. When CSM receives the budget request, it can go through an approval workflow, much like invoice approvals do. Instructions for handling workflow are found in Workflow.

Depending on your CSM configuration, TeamConnect can automatically generate and send budget requests to vendors when activating the accounts for a matter. See the CSM Administration Guide for this configuration process.

You create budget requests manually or you receive them from Collaborati. If you receive them from Collaborati, see Budget Requests Created by Vendors for more information. If you create budget requests manually, refer to the following flowchart.

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You can access budget requests from several locations in TeamConnect:

  • CSM Settings
  • A portal pane in your home page
  • A Matter or project record
  • A Vendor record
  • Pending approvals
  • Budgets Requests link under Finance

Creating a Budget Request

Budget requests are often created automatically, but you can create them manually if necessary.

See the Collaborati Spend Management Configuration Guide for information about the settings that affect automatic budget request creation.

To create a new budget request

  1. Select one of the following options:
    • On the Budget Requests page, click the New button.
    • Click the New Budget Request link from the CSM Settings page or from a Vendor record page.
  2. Complete the general fields. See Budget Request Fields table for field information.
  3. Enter the amounts you want to allocate for the account in the Starting Amount column.
  4. After you complete the general fields, click Save.
    The budget names information in a new budget request does not become editable until the general information is saved.

Finally, the Notes field allows you to enter instructions or comments that will be visible to you and the vendor.

Budget Request Field Descriptions

The tables below contains Budget Request field descriptions. The fields that you see may vary based on your system settings and assigned rights.

Budget Request Fields

Field

Description

Name

Assign a name to this request. It is helpful to have matter identification as part of the name, and to use a name that will be familiar to the vendor.

Vendor

Choose a vendor for the request. (If you clicked the New Budget Request from a Vendor record page, this field is pre-populated for you.) Auto- suggest and search features are available for this field.

Matter

Choose a matter for the request. (If you clicked the New Budget Request from a Matter record page, this field is pre-populated for you.) Auto-suggest and search features are available for this field.

Request Date

Type in a date value, or click the calendar icon to use the date picker.

Due Date

Type in a date value, or click the calendar icon to use the date picker.

Status

This field is not editable. The initial status for all new budget requests is Not Submitted.

Submitting a New Budget Request

Budget requests are submitted by changing the phase of the request to Submit. The request will be sent to the vendor during the next synchronization performed by Collaborati Spend Management.

Budget Requests Created by Vendors

Under some conditions, vendors using Collaborati are allowed to rebudget a matter-to create a new budget request for the matter. Although uncommon, it is possible that the vendor is doing a rebudget process at the same time that you are creating a budget request for the same matter. This conflict will be detected during synchronization, and handled as follows:

  • If you have created a budget request, but have not submitted it, the vendor's budget request will take precedence over the one that you created. Your budget request will be changed to status "Cancelled".
  • If you have created a budget request and submitted it, yours will take precedence over the one that the vendor just created. The vendor's budget request will be changed to status "Cancelled". Your budget request will appear in Collaborati.
  • If you recently deleted one or more matter accounts, those accounts will be removed from any vendor-created budget request during synchronization. The budget request itself will remain open.

Editing a Budget Request

A budget request can be edited when its status is Not Submitted or Pending Approval

Vendor and Matter cannot be edited after the request is created.

Name and Request Date can only be edited if the phase is Not Submitted.

Adjusting Budget Requests

The Budget Account section lets you make changes to budget requests while in the workflow process.

To adjust budget requests

  1. Open the appropriate budget request.
  2. In the left pane, click the Budget page.
  3. The Budget Accounts section displays all budget accounts associated with the matter that appears in the Matter field.
  4. Adjust budget amounts in the Starting Amount field.

You can only make changes to budget accounts if the budget request status is Not Submitted.

The Budget and Period columns are always visible, but the visibility of other columns in this section vary based on the status of the request, the stored value, and whether or not you are in edit mode. Additionally, the amounts in a field may shift to different field when you save the budget request.

Budget Accounts Section

Field

Description

Budget

The name of the budget account associated with the matter. This field is not editable.

Period

The period start and end date for this account. This field is not editable.

Starting Amount

The amount proposed by the client.

In edit mode, you can revise the information in this field if the current status is Not Submitted.

This field is always visible and is populated when a budget request is created automatically or manually.

Vendor Proposed

The amount proposed by the vendor in Collaborati. This field is not editable. This field is blank when a budget request is created automatically.

Previously Adjusted

The amount that may be adjusted by a user, only during workflow.

An amount may appear in this field if the status is Pending Approval and at least one budget account has a value for that field.

This field is not editable, and is blank when a budget request is created automatically.

Accepted Amount

The amount suggested by the client after the request is submitted. This amount overrides the current value.

If a budget request is in Approved status, this column always displays a value. This value may be from the Accepted AmountVendor Proposed, or Starting Amount column, depending on which of these columns displays a value.

This field is not editable, and is blank when a budget request is created automatically.

New Accepted

The new amount that is suggested by the client. This amount is saved to the Accepted Amount field after the request is submitted.

For a new budget request, this field is blank. If an amount is entered in this field, and you click Save, the following happens:

  • If the amount in the Accepted Amount field was saved by an approver other than the approver who is currently logged in, this amount moves into the Previous Adjusted Amount field.
  • The amount in the New Accepted field moves into the Accepted Amount field

In edit mode, you can revise the information in this field if the current status is Pending Approval.

Submitted, Approved, or Rejected Status

After a budget request is submitted, the following applies:

  • If the status is Submitted, only the Starting Amount column is visible.
  • If the status is Approved, only the Starting AmountVendor Proposed, and Accepted Amount columns are visible and accounts are adjusted.
  • If the status is Rejected, only the Accepted Amount column is visible. Final values are passed back to the Collaborati vendor.

Canceling a Budget Request

A budget request can have its phase changed to Cancel if its status is presently one of the following:

  • Submitted
  • Vendor Review
  • Pending Approval
  • Rejected
  • Error
    If a Submitted budget request is canceled, the status becomes Not Submitted.
    In all other cases, the status becomes Canceled.

Deleting a Budget Request

A budget request can be deleted if its status is presently one of the following:

  • Not Submitted
  • Approved [and Synchronized]
  • Canceled [and Synchronized]

Handling Budget Request Workflow

Budget requests that are returned from a vendor become pending approvals in workflow, in the same manner that invoices are subject to approval. For details about how to approve or reject a workflow item, see Workflow.

Workflow information about a budget request is available from the Workflow link while viewing a specific request. The request also has a Vendor Notes field that may contain comments from the vendor.

When you approve a budget request, the Current Budget amounts in the request are posted to the related Account records. When you reject a budget request, its status becomes Rejected, and the rejection is sent to the vendor during the next Collaborati Spend Management synchronization.

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