Welcome to HoudiniEsq! Below you will find the steps you should take before you begin entering data, OR you can watch the billing setup video here..
Once you have installed the application, if you are using Windows XP/Vista/7 click the Start menu and go to "Houdini Esq Windows" folder. Click "HoudiniEsq Login".
If you are a Mac user, open Safari and click the HoudiniEsq bookmark that was created.
In either OS, you can also access HoudiniEsq by opening your web browser of choice and entering the following link (or clicking it here): http://localhost/houdini/esq (or http://localhost:8080/houdini/esq if the previous link was unsuccessful).
Next, enter your User Name and Password. If you are a Solo/Free user, your login name will ALWAYS be firstname.lastname@example.org. Your password is whatever you specified in the install.
Once you have successfully logged in, you will be prompted to register the product. Please enter your name, the name of your firm, and your email address. You MUST specify a functional email address, preferably one that will not return email from unknown hosts. In addition, be sure and enter a valid firm name; failing to provide a proper name (eg putting in "trial") will result in the license not being approved or sent. Once you have submitted the registration, a license key will be sent to you to activate the product; please be patient as this process can take up to 24 hours.
Step 1 Enter Organizational Information
To start, we're going to enter some basic information about your organization. We can do this from within the Organization Manager. The Organization Manager is located in the Settings Ribbon under Organization Settings. You must have admin privileges for this menu item to appear, so be sure to be logged into an account with those privileges to proceed. The General tab of the Organization Manager is where you specify your firm's name, address, and phone numbers. You can also specify whether you will be using different billing addresses.
In addition, you will also want to add an Administrative Email Account. Make sure this account is NOT in use by any other staff members or Contact records. The other sections of this form are more advanced and are not needed at this time, but if you are interested in what purpose they serve you can review this article: Organizational Settings - Overview and General Tab
Fill out the information in the top portion of the form and click [save]. Then click over to the Billing tab, and click the Rate Types subtab.
Step 2 Set Matter Rate Types
Here, we can define out Matter Rate Types, or MRTs. Think of them as billing classifications for now. To make this step easier, we have provided some default values. For more information, feel free to click the following link: Entering Matter Rate Types & How Rates are Managed. The default values set are Discount, Base and Premium. You may rename or enter as many as you wish. Keep in mind that these are simply classifications. The actual rates for each Matter Rate Type must be entered by each Staff Member. Once defined, each Staff Member only need select the Matter Rate Type (e.g. Discount, Base, Premium, etc) and enter their Rate Amount.
Now we're ready to add information about your staff. Click over to the Staff Management header.
Step 3 Add Staff (Solo Excluded)
Here, we'll be able to split your organization up into Divisions and Staff Groups, as well as add new Staff to your roster if you have a multi-seat license. If you do not, feel free to skip this step. Click over to the Staff Members tab. To add a staff member, click the Plus icon at the bottom of the screen (illustrated above) to input each member. From here, you can define their login name and full name, as well as their division
Next we will be editing their information. Select a staff member you would like to edit and click the Edit (pencil) icon at the bottom of the screen.
Here, you will be able to define the user's password and access rules, as well as their case load, access to areas of the program and specializations which are important in Auto Assignment processes. You can also define their rates with the Staff Rates tab. For now, click [save] after entering relevant information, and click over to the Classifications tab on the Edit Organization Settings window.
Step 4 Define Event/Task Types
Events can have a Type also known as a record-sub-type. For example you may want to have Meeting, Document Review, Phone Call, Interview, etc. To do so, go to the Classifications tab and repeat the same instructions for adding Matter Rate Types, only do so this time for Types, Subtypes and Status Codes.
By defining Types for your Events you can add Custom Fields, Status Codes and Classification Codes for each.
Step 5 Define Contact Types
Contacts can have a Type. For example you may want to have Judges, Friends, and Opposing Party as Contact types. By defining Types for your Contacts you can add Custom Fields, Status Codes and Attributes for each.
Please note: A Contact should NEVER be marked as a Client as its type. A Contact and its assigned Type has nothing to do with how the Contact relates to your firm. A Contact type is nothing more than a classification for a particular Contact. Since technically a single Contact can be related to more than one Matter but have only one Contact type you shouldn't label ANY of your Contacts as Clients.
When you add a related Contact to a Matter it is at that time that you will specify what the Contact's relationship to the Matter (and therefore your firm) will be e.g. Co-Council, Co-Debtor, Client, Trustee, etc. Here is how to add a contact to a matter.
Step 6 Define Matter Types
Matters can have a Type assigned to them, as well as Sub-Types, Status Codes and optionally Attributes. For example you may want to have Personal Injury, Appeal, etc. To do so, go to the Classifications tab and repeat the same instructions for adding Matter Rate Types, only do so this time for Types, Subtypes and Status Codes.
By defining Types for your Matters you can add Custom Fields, Status Codes and Classification Codes for each.
Follow this link for part 2 in the Getting Started Series
For more information on HoudiniESQ, please click here.