ACTIONSTEP - A CARBON PARTNER'S GUIDE TO THE BASICS

ACCESSING ACTIONSTEP

Go to:

OPENING A NEW MATTER

Complete a file opening form:

  • Go to www.carbon-platform.com and click the New Client Matter Form button within the LAUNCH section.

  • OR in Actionstep click:

    • More (top right)

    • Knowledgebase -> Contents

    • LAUNCH -> Open a new matter

  • Select the appropriate worktype.

  • Select whether the matter is for a brand new individual client, a brand new company client, or a new matter for an existing client.

  • If you’re unsure whether the client may already be existing, use the search box in the top right corner of Actionstep to search for their name first, or check with Partner Support.

  • Complete the form, entering as much information as possible.

  • Click Submit and wait for the Thank You page to appear.

  • Your matter will be processed by Partner Support within one working day and you will receive an email as soon as the file is open.

  • The Client will also receive an automated email welcoming them to Carbon, unless you choose to opt out via the file opening form.

TIME RECORDING

Once your file is open you are able to begin time recording. There are various ways to access time recording within Actionstep.
 

1. Via the clock

  • Click the clock icon located along the bottom toolbar of Actionstep. This icon remains visible as you navigate around Actionstep.

  • Click Create New Timer and the clock will begin recording
    immediately. There is no need to complete any further info
    at this point if you don’t want to.

  • You can pause the clock at any time by clicking on the
    clock icon and clicking the pause button.

  • When you are ready, click the clock icon and click Move
    To Timesheet.



     

  • This pops open the Edit Time Entry screen which
    you must fully complete.

  • Enter the matter either by entering the number,
    name of client or matter description.

  • The grey panel to the right displays any current
    matter financial data. (AR = Outstanding Aged Debt)

  • Your rate will be automatically calculated. Any
    special rates would have been added at matter
    opening if requested via your matter opening form,
    otherwise you will record at your default rate.

  • Click Save to post your time.
















     

2. Via the big green plus button

  • Click the big green plus button in the top right corner of Actionstep.

  • Click Time Entry.

  • Complete the Create Time entry form in full.

  • Click Save.
     

3. Via the Timesheet

  • Click Timesheet on the top main Actionstep
    toolbar.

  • This displays your time recorded for the day.

  • You can look at other days by clicking the
    weekdays along the top or by clicking the date
    and choosing another date.

  • Click the New Time Entry button to add a new
    time entry.

  • The Suggestions button will show you all the 
    activities you have completed within Actionstep and
    you can click on these to save them as new time
    entries if you wish.

In Actionstep you are able to edit your time entries up
until the point of invoicing. You can change the time
elapsed, Quickcode or Description, but you cannot delete your entry.

 

You are required to complete a WIP write off form if you wish to totally delete a time entry. This can be found here.

DISBURSEMENTS

Actionstep allows your to add your own disbursemesnts to your matters in the same way that you post a time recording entry. 

As soon as you incur a disbursement on a matter, regardless of whether we have an invoice for the disbursement or whether it has been paid yet, you must add it to the matter on Actionstep. We will then match your disbursement entry to the invoice once it has been received and will adjust the amount if necessary e.g. counsel’s fees where we are unsure of the exact cost.

  • Click the big green plus button

  • Choose Disbursement.

  • You may alter the date if you wish to. This
    must be the date the disbursement is
    incurred.

  • Enter or select the matter.

  • Choose the disbursement type from the
    drop down template options.

  • If the disbursement has already been paid
    by you, choose ‘Paid by Partner’ as the
    template.

  • Enter a further description in the main box.
    If the disbursement is anticipated please
    enter the word ‘Anticipated’ within the
    description box.

  • Leave Quantity as 1.

  • Leave Unit of Measure as Hour.

  • Enter the Unit Price. This is the overall total
    price.

  • Leave Income Account and VAT Code as
    these are automatically selected.

  • Click Save.








     




DOCUMENTS

  • Access your matter by entering either the client name, matter reference or matter description in the box in the top right corner of Actionstep.

  • Within the matter screen, click the Documents icon:

Click on any document and choose Open -> MSOffice to open the document on your local PC. You will be prompted with a CheckOut box. This is so that other users know you are working on the document if they also try to open it. Simply click Continue. If you make any changes you can simply click the Save button within Word to save your amendments. 

To create a new document click Generate.

  • Choose a template document e.g. Blank Letter to Client

  • Give your document a name, unless you’re happy with the default template name.

  • The destination folder is automatic depending on the template you have chosen. You may change this if you wish.

  • Choose what to do after the document is generated.

  • Click Generate.

 

You can double click on any document folder to view the documents within it.  

If you wish to import a document from outside of Actionstep, click on the
Upload button on the top left of the documents area screen:

Creating blank letters to Participants

  • Go in to the Parties icon on a matter. 

  • Find the party you wish to write to.

  • Click the little white square to the left of their name.

  • Then choose ‘Blank letter to selected participant’.

It really helps to have all the matter parties added to the matter so you can write to them like this. Feel free to add Matter Parties to the file yourselves if they are missing from the matter. Simply click 'Add a Participant' next to the participant type in the Parties Screen of a matter then click Create Contact if they are not already in the database. 

If you click Generate and select the Blank letter to participant, the letter will be generated but it will not have any address in the header as it will not know who to write to. 

TASKS

When a new matter is opened for you on Actionstep, certain tasks will automatically appear in your Task List. You will also be alerted within your Actionstep toolbar across the bottom of the screen. 

As soon as the matter is opened you will receive a Task Alert to:

  • Create and send the client a letter of engagement.

  • Send the client an update every 28 days.

Once a task is complete it must be marked as completed or it will remain in your task list forever. 

  • Click Tasks in the bottom toolbar of Actionstep.

  • Click the Task you have completed.

  • Untick the box if you do not wish to Time Record an entry for this Task.

  • Click Complete. 

  • You can also tick multiple tasks within the list and mark them as complete.

  • Another way to access your Tasks is via the Tasks button at the top of the Actionstep screen.

EMAIL INTEGRATION

For Windows Users:

  • Ensure you have downloaded and installed the Actionstep plugin for Windows which can be found here  https://www.actionstep.com/uk/integrations/microsoft-office-windows/

  • Once installed, the plugin will show itself within the Outlook program installed on your PC. 

  • When you open an email within Outlook you will see a toolbar located at the bottom of the email window.

  • The toolbar will query the Actionstep database and return a list of matters by comparing the sender and recipients in the message to the matter participants in Actionstep. If a match is not found you can do a quick search in the toobar for the matter using the client name, matter number or description.

  • A copy of the entire message (including attachments) will be saved to the matter within Actionstep in the Matter screen under the Email icon.

For Windows & Mac Users:

When composing an email enter the email address 'matternumber'@carbon.actionstep.com e.g. 94@carbon.actionstep.com in the Bcc field. This blind copies in the matter and automatically adds a copy of the email to the matter Email area within Actionstep.

















​SCRATCHPAD

On the home screen of Actionstep you will see your Scratchpad area at the top of the screen. This is a place for you to quickly save information and return to it at a later time. Scratchpad entries can be converted in to File Notes, Time Recording entries, Disbursements, Calendar events, Emails or Reminders, simply by clicking the green plus 'Smart Create' button next to the scratchpad entry.

You can also set Reminders against each Scratchpad entry to alert you via email or a screen pop up at a certain time. Simply click the Set Reminder option above the entry.

REQUESTING AN INVOICE

You can either request an invoice via the www.carbon-platform.com homepage or by clicking on the More -> Knowledgebase option at the top of the Actionstep screen and then choosing New Invoice. Please complete as much of the form as possible before submitting. 

The form will be received by Partner Support who will action your request. Please note that the invoice will be raised immediately and not in draft format, entering the credit control process straight away. The invoice will be sent to you by email and must be sent to the client as soon as possible.

PAYMENTS

Payments made can be viewed by clicking on the Matters option at the very top of the Actionstep screen and then selecting My MI -> My Matter Payments Today or Yesterday. All queries on payments should be made to Partner Support.  

MATTER CLOSURE

Go in to the matter within Actionstep and then click on the yellow File Closure tab just above the matter icons banner.

This opens the matter closure step form. Scroll down and 

complete Section 6 - a series of statements to which the answer

must be yes or the file cannot be closed. 

CALENDAR

You are able to synchronise your Office 365 calendar within actionstep and add Calendar appointments to your matters that will display within both Office 365 and Actionstep. 

  • On the Actionstep Homepage click the small green plus button within the Appointments box.

  • You will then be given the option of 3 different types of Calendar to create. 

  • Click Microsoft Office. 

  • Enter your Office 365 credentials.