Onit Documentation

How-to Guide: Onit Accruals Collaboration via BillingPoint

by Michael Nadeau Updated on

Onit’s new Vendor Accrual Collaboration feature provides a more streamlined, collaborative, and user-friendly experience that seamlessly connects to BillingPoint. This guide provides a step-by-step overview of how to work with this accrual feature in Onit’s ELM platform. 

This feature requires an Onit services engagement; please connect with your Account Manager if you are interested in setting up the new accruals feature.  

NOTE: For documentation on the legacy ELM Standard Accrual Workflow, visit this link 

Getting Started: Implementation Settings

You’ll begin with Onit’s Matter Accruals feature in the implementation stage. Here, you’ll choose the default settings for all accrual requests that will go out to vendors going forward. For these settings, select the values that correspond to your most common use case. You can adjust accrual cadences for exceptional individual matters on a separate screen. More on that in the Requesting Accruals section.  

NOTE: These settings are the default for the corporation; however, if further customization is needed at the individual VATM level, contact your Onit implementation specialist. 

  1. Navigate to the ELM Configuration Settings panel and click on “Accrual Settings.”  

2. From there, you can access the "Accrual Settings" menu:

2. Select the Accrual Cadence. This is the frequency at which you will request accruals from vendors. You can choose None (if you do not want to collect on a standardized schedule), AnnualPeriodor Monthly

3. Select which type of Accrual Calendar your organization would like to employ. You have two options here: Fiscal (aligning to your organization’s fiscal calendar) and Calendar (aligning to the standard 12-month calendar). 

NOTE: You can only select Fiscal if you have your organization’s fiscal calendar integrated within Onit’s ELM solution. 

4. Customize the dates for your accruals. Note that even if your default is for an annual, period, or monthly accrual request, you still need to fill out dates for the other options. 

The reasoning for this? As stated before, you can tweak individual matters to change from the default settings and request a different cadence. For example, if your default is annual, but you have a certain high-volume, high-priority matter your organization would like to monitor more closely, you can change the setting to a per-period or per-month request. Setting up the defaults for those alternative settings here allows you to keep those future options open. Click here for more information on where to adjust the cadence settings.


  • For the annual option, select the day and month of the year on which you’d like to send the accrual request.  

  • For the period option, select the day and month of up to four separate times a year to request accruals. Note: if you’d like to select only three or two periods, put XXXX in the Period 4 and/or Period 3 Accrual Day and Month selections.  

  • For the monthly option, select what day of the month you’d like to send the accrual request: the options are the 1st, 15th, or the last day of the month. 

5. Fill in the number of weekdays for the Vendor Accrual Submission Window. This is the number of days vendors can provide the accrual values.

6. Fill in the number of weekdays you’d like for the Client Review Window. This is the length of time the client reviewers will have to review, edit, and approve the incoming accrual numbers. If you’d like to automatically approve incoming accrual numbers without a review, put this number at zero.

7. Adjust the Vendor Submission Window notifications. There are options for you to send three pre-set reminders to vendors requesting their accrual numbers. Fill in the days prior to the end of the Vendor Accrual Submission Window on which you’d like to send the reminders. For example, if you set the window for five days, you might want to send the first notification on day 1, the second on day 3, and the third on day 5. If you would like to send only two notifications or one notification to clients, fill in a “0” in the Third and/or Second submission window box.

8. Select who in your organization should be notified of updates to accruals. The default setting is for the matter manager within the organization to get the alerts; however, in the Additional Accrual Access Role Name, you can customize the name of the person’s role within your organization that can be alerted to the accrual process (paralegal, legal assistant, accrual manager, etc.) alongside the matter manager. 

NOTE: You do NOT have to set up an additional accrual access role. Additional access role will only gain access to the accruals for their Matter Manager's matters.

9. Select who should get the notifications of the submitted accruals; you have the option to select the Matter Manager, Accrual Admins, Both, or None. 

NOTE: You can define Accrual Admins as part of a User Group within System Administration. Accrual Admins will have access to all accruals, across all vendors.

Requesting Accruals

Requesting accruals from a vendor will occur during the Vendor Assignment to Matter (VATM) process. You can set up accrual requests at any time – either during initial setup or by clicking into an individual matter after creation. 

1. Create a new matter or click on a pre-existing individual matter on the ELM screen. 

2. Once you're in the matter, click "Assign Vendor" under the "More Actions" button. The VATM screen will pop up.

3. Click on the "Assign Vendor" link and fill in your vendor.

4. As soon as you assign the vendor to the project, you’ll have the option to click “Yes” or “No” on the “Require Accruals for Matter” button. If you click Yes, the Accrual Cadence will pop up. This will default to the setting (none, annual, period, or monthly) you picked out during implementation. If you want to pick a different cadence for this specific VATM, choose that option here. Your choice will pick up the cadence details from the implementation settings for the accrual request.

NOTE: There is a field on the Vendor record, "Require Accruals," that will dictate the default of the "Require Accruals for Matter field on the VATM form for each vendor.  

5. From there, click “Save.”

6. You’re all set to go! On the next accrual request date you have specified in settings, the vendor will receive an email that looks like this (and will also see the accrual request in their BillingPoint account):

Vendors will receive notifications per the timeline set in the Client Accrual settings until the Vendor Submission Window closes.   

Vendors will have an entire “Accruals” tab in BillingPoint to manage and submit their accruals; they can bulk-submit accrual values within a single accrual process through an accrual template. Vendors can also manually submit accrual values for a single matter at a time directly within BillingPoint.  

Reviewing Accruals

When the Vendor Submission Window ends, the designated client users will receive a notification that the Client Review Window is open. The Client Review Window is the length of time you’ll have to review and approve the accrual values sent in; that length of time is detailed in the implementation settings (more info on that in the Getting Started section).

From there, designated users can go to the Vendor Accrual Process application to view the accruals that were requested from that vendor. Access to accruals is limited to the matters the user has access to unless the user is an Accrual Admin. 

You have several different options within this screen:  

  • You can bulk approve the outstanding accruals by clicking the Approve All button. 
  • You can select individual accruals to approve by selecting the corresponding boxes to the left of individual matters and then clicking Approve Selected 

  • You can approve individual requests by clicking Approve under the “State” column.  

Users can adjust values in the Accrual Total section and provide text notes needed under the Client Comments section. If the vendor fails to submit an accrual value within the submission window, the client can provide a value on the vendor’s behalf during the Client Review Window.  

Comments from the vendor on individual accruals will show up under the Vendor Comments section. 

If there is an open Accrual Process for the selected cadence when the vendor is assigned, that matter will automatically be included in the existing Accrual Process.

NOTE: At the end of the designated Client Review Window, any Accrual Request record with a value (regardless of whether the value is marked as Approved) will be accepted.  

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