09 Jan 2017

Top Trustee Resolutions (& How to Keep Them!)

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The New Year is traditionally a time to set goals for the year ahead. Want to be more efficient? Stay more on track with your tasks? Be more organized? Or, want to update your practice to be more productive? We’ve got you covered! Check out tips on keeping these top resolutions below!

1) Be More Efficient

One of the top resolutions many trustees (and assistants) make is to be more efficient. One way to do this is by more effectively tracking trustee fee payments in your software so that your practice is more profitable in the year ahead. Check out some tips on keeping this resolution below!

  1. Tracking Trustee Fee Payments
    Trustees who keep careful track of their fee payments in CaseLink are more likely to be reimbursed with any extra funds discovered by the district due to the easy tracking and reporting functions of the software. To easily track your Trustee Fees in CaseLink² or CaseLink Office, use the Batch Fee Update tool:
  • CaseLink² : Navigate to Tools > Batch Fee Update from the global menu at the top of the screen. The Batch Fee Update screen shows you a listing of all cases. At the bottom of the page, you will find two sums, “Totals” and “Amount Due,” which reflect the totals from all pages. Use the filters at the top of the screen to narrow the cases displayed and apply fee updates, which will update the amounts at the bottom. You can also keep track of partial fee payments using this tool so you can always stay on top of which payments have been applied. To learn more about Batch Fee Updates in CaseLink², check out the short video of the BMS University training session here
  • CaseLink Office: Navigate to Case Administration > Batch Fee Update from the global menu at the top of the screen. The Batch Fee Entry screen will appear which shows a list of all of your cases. To batch update cases, select the cases you would like to update, enter an Amount and Date Paid, and click “OK.” To filter the list, click “Set Filter” at the bottom of the screen.To learn more about Batch Fee Updates in CaseLink Office, check out the short video of the BMS University training session here

2) Stay On Track

As a bankruptcy trustee or assistant, it is imperative that you keep on top of all of the moving parts of your cases – especially bank reconciliations, as is mandated in the Chapter 7 Handbook. Here are some tips to easily stay on track of performing your bank reconciliations in CaseLink:

  1. Staying on Track of Bank Reconciliations
    The Chapter 7 Handbook states that trustees should perform bank reconciliations on a monthly basis. Save numerous hours of additional work with the Bank Reconciliation functions in CaseLink. Both CaseLink²  and CaseLink Office include a Bank Reconciliation feature:
  • CaseLink²: Navigate to Banking > Bank Reconciliation from the global menu at the top of the screen. The Bank Reconciliation screen has a tabbed interface that groups accounts into one of five options (Ready to Approve, Needs Attention, Ready to Approve – Older, Needs Attention – Older, and Opt Out) providing a systematic process for reconciling accounts. Click the “Select Action” dropdown on the top of any of these tabs to perform actions while working in the tab. To learn more about Bank Reconciliations in CaseLink², check out the BMS University training here
  • CaseLink Office: Navigate to Case Administration > Bank Reconciliation from the global menu at the top of the screen. The Bank Reconciliation wizard will pop up, leading you through a series of 4 steps:
    • Step 1: Bank Statement Date Selection
    • Step 2: Accounts Requiring Reconciliation
    • Step 3: Accounts Reconciled up to (Date selected in Step 1)
    • Step 4: Accounts Requiring your Attention
      To learn more about Bank Reconciliations in CaseLink Office, check out the BMS University training here

3) Stay Organized

In order to keep resolutions 1 and 2, it is important to stay organized so you can quickly and easily locate materials, etc. Stay organized by going paperless with a few tips below:

  1. Go Paperless
    With a paperless office, you can save on overhead costs by reducing the amount of paper and toner that you have to purchase, be able to better secure the PII in your cases, and find documents much easier through an electronic file system. Check out some tips to go paperless below!
  • Annotate PDFs electronically. Annotate PDFs electronically through BMS CaseLink² software or the Adobe Acrobat software, which allow you to annotate documents and save your annotations directly within the system. Learn how to annotate documents within Adobe hereTo learn how to annotate documents within CaseLink², navigate to HelpLink from within your software and search for “Case Documents.”
  • Conduct 341(a) meetings on your laptop. Did you know you can conduct 341(a) meetings with ease from a laptop without having to print multiple prep reports and debtor documents?
    • CaseLink²: In CaseLink², utilize the 341(a) View or 341(a) tab from the Case Information screen to access all of the case details you need in your 341(a) meetings. Not online? No problem! Simply do an offline export and upload information back into CaseLink² after the meeting when you’re back online. To learn how to use the 341(a) module in CaseLink², navigate to HelpLink from within your software and search for “341(a) View.”
    • CaseLink Office: In CaseLink Office, you can export all of the case information that you need onto your laptop’s hard drive for local use during your 341(a) meetings. To learn how to export to Lite, navigate to HelpLink from within your software and search for “Lite Export.”
  • Use DocLink to manage debtor documents. Communicate and collaborate with debtor attorneys and manage debtor documents with ease using DocLink by BMS! Learn more about DocLink here.

4) Update Your Practice

There are many ways to update your practice to be more productive in the new year, a few of which we have compiled below:

  1. Attend a Seminar. Seminars and conferences are great ways to expand your knowledge, learn from and network with experienced trustees and administrative professionals, and hear from distinguished speakers. It’s a great opportunity to get a new outlook on your profession (while experiencing a nice getaway!) Get a jumpstart on this resolution and register to attend the 2017 NABT Spring Seminar in Puerto Rico! Learn more and register here.
  2. Update to Cloud-based Software. The benefits of using cloud-based software are far-reaching – from increased accessibility and flexibility across your organization, to always having the most up-to-date features at your fingertips. The new cloud-based software from BMS, CaseLink², offers even more benefits – with intuitive navigation and simplified workflows to allow your efficiency and productivity to multiply exponentially in the Cloud.
  3. Attend BMS University Trainings. No time to attend a seminar? No worries! Get a better understanding of the broad uses of your BMS software, and benefit from in-depth explorations of industry issues, with the BMS University trainings on HelpLink! Access BMS University by navigating to HelpLink within your software and clicking on “BMS University” category from the homepage.
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