Dec 162017
Very good billing program.
File MRBILL.ZIP from The Programmer’s Corner in
Category Databases and related files
Very good billing program.
File Name File Size Zip Size Zip Type
BILL.DOC 99200 29508 deflated
BILL.EXE 59808 40626 deflated
BILLADD.EXE 97306 55496 deflated
BILLAGE.TBC 11461 4882 deflated
BILLDATE.TBC 28340 11355 deflated
BILLEDG.TBC 29750 11443 deflated
BILLIN.TBC 45326 18542 deflated
BILLM.TBC 10779 4811 deflated
BILLMERG.TBC 6537 3169 deflated
BILLRPT.TBC 61087 22763 deflated
BILLRPTP.TBC 58762 22503 deflated
BILLS 128 30 deflated
BILLSET.TBC 23071 9158 deflated
BILLSORT.TBC 5387 2465 deflated
BILLSUB.TBC 14698 6624 deflated
BILLTRL.TBC 14700 6888 deflated
EXECUTE.DOC 984 451 deflated
LIST.COM 4224 2795 deflated
ORD 4 4 stored
PRINT.DOC 232 173 deflated
SAMPLE.ABV 5102 724 deflated
SAMPLE.ADD 512 274 deflated
SAMPLE.AGE 672 32 deflated
SAMPLE.HED 5355 718 deflated
SAMPLE.KEY 228 114 deflated
SAMPLE.LST 1015 296 deflated
SAMPLE.MG1 147 83 deflated
SAMPLE.MG2 152 24 deflated
SAMPLE.SUM 114 34 deflated
SAMPLE.TBL 2147 462 deflated
SAMPLE.TOT 640 179 deflated
SAMPLE0.CDE 580 130 deflated
SAMPLE1.CDE 579 129 deflated

Download File MRBILL.ZIP Here

Contents of the BILL.DOC file

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MR. BILL programs and manual copyright 1985, 1987 by David M. Alexander


MR. BILL is a Trade Mark of David M. Alexander

MS-DOS is a Trade Mark Of MicroSoft Inc.

This manual is copyrighted by David M. Alexander 1985, 1986

All of the programs beginning with the letters BILL and
referred to in this manual are copyrighted by David M. Alexander
1985. No part of this manual or these programs may be copied
without the written permission of David M. Alexander.



Print the manual through your wordprocessor
(WordStar, WordPerfect, PC-Write, etc) OR by typing:


Have continuous form paper in your printer (about 80 pages)




1A -- What MR. BILL Does ............... 1 - 2
1B -- Hardware Requirements ............ 3


2A -- General Rules For Using MR. BILL .. 4 - 7
2B -- Turning On Computer & Copying Disks 8 - 10
2C -- The Main Menu Explained .......... 11 -12


3A -- Setting Your Subtotal Categories .. 13 - 17
Billing Code File Name ------- 13
Picking Subtotal Categories -- 13

Derived Subtotal Categories -- 14
Plus & Minus Signs In Subtotal 14
Finance Charges -------------- 15
Discount Categories ---------- 15
Changing Subtotal Entries ---- 16
Ledger Card Headings --------- 16

3B -- Setting Billing Codes & Rates ..... 18 - 25
Three Letter Billing Codes --- 18
Fixing Typos ---------------- 19
What To Do When Rates Entered 19
Billing Category Headings ---- 19
Different Entry Styles ------- 20
Non Printing Headings -------- 20
Total Units To Left Of Heading 20
Heading Summary -------------- 21
Billing Rates ---------------- 21
Conversion Factor ------------ 22
Subtotal Category ------------ 22
Changing Codes & Rates ------- 23
Management Reports ----------- 23
Different Rate Schedules ----- 24
Printing List Of Rates & Codes 25
Order Charges Appear On Bill - 25


3C -- Entering Client Addresses ......... 26 - 32
Files Created ---------------- 26
Billing Name ----------------- 27
Copying An Address ----------- 27
Entering The Address --------- 28
Entering Regarding Line ------ 29


Entering A Previous Balance -- 29
Selecting Billing Rate Table - 29
Done With An Address --------- 29
Changing Addresses ----------- 30
Deleting Billing Name -------- 30
No Duplicate Billing Names --- 30
Scanning Addresses ----------- 30
Changing The Previous Balance 31
Printing Addresses ----------- 31
Rolodex tm Function ---------- 32


4A -- Entering Charges & Payments ....... 33 - 44
Printed Record Of Input ------ 33
New Or Old Report ------------ 34
File Name Of Billing Data ---- 34
Begin & End Report Dates ----- 35
Drive To Save Files ---------- 35
Entering Billing Name -------- 36
Fixing A Mistake ------------- 36
Entry Numbers ---------------- 37
Exiting When Done ------------ 37
Entering Billing Data -------- 37
Entering Date ---------------- 37
Entering Amount & Code ------- 39
Narrative Description -------- 40
Checking Previous Balance ---- 41
Checking RE Line ------------- 43
Help ------------------------- 43
Finished With Data Entry ----- 43
Summary ---------------------- 43

4B -- Preparing Bills & Reports ......... 45 - 53
Printing Bills To Disk File -- 45
Printing To Printer ---------- 45
Report In Date Order --------- 45
Audit Trail Of Entries ------- 46
Ledger Cards ----------------- 47
Management Reports ----------- 47
Ageing Reports --------------- 47
Other Reports ---------------- 48
Background On Reports -------- 48
All Bills Or Selected Bills? - 49
Headers & Footers ------------ 50
Drive To Save Bills ---------- 50
Sorting Your Entries --------- 50
Subtotals On Separate Page? -- 52
File Where Bills Saved ------- 52


4C -- Joining Small Files Into A Big One 54 - 56
Joining Several Files Together 54
Different People, One Bill --- 56


5A -- Bugs, Breakdowns & Troubleshooting 57 - 60
Questions I Have Been Asked:

Data Too Old, No Previous Bal? 57
How Do I Print It? ----------- 57
Can't Find Address File ------ 57
Put My Address On My Bill ---- 58
$'s Not Appearing On Bill ---- 58 & 59
How Do I Change "Total Hours"? 58
Error 67??? ------------------ 58
Non Printing Heading Printing 59
Bills Don't Print At Right Page 59
Can't Find My Billing Codes -- 60
Error 25? -- Error 72? ------- 60
String Space Corrupt? -------- 60
Error 63? What's That? ------ 60 & 60A

5B -- How It Works; What Can Go Wrong ... 61 - 67
Billin Module ---------------- 62
Narrative Descriptions ------- 62
Files Created By Mr. Bill ---- 63
Erasing An Entry ------------- 63
Report Dates ----------------- 64
Sorting Billing Names -------- 66
Sorting Billing Entries ------ 66
First Time User Messages ----- 67
About Color ------------------ 67
File Format For Programmers -- 67

5B -- Suggested Billing Techniques ...... 68 - 72



Before you do anything else, read this:

1) Print this manual. Let me repeat that: Print this Manual!

This manual is just like any other file that you print with your
word processor. If you have typed a letter to your mother with WordStar
or Word Perfect or MS Word or whatever and you have called it MOM.LTR
you know that you call up your word processor print menu, you tell
your word processor to print the file MOM.LTR and out comes your letter.

Okay, do the same thing except tell your word processor to print
the file BILL.DOC (shareware) or BILLMAN.UAL (registered user).
If you can't handle that, put continuous paper in your printer and
at the DOS prompt type:

A>COPY BILL.DOC LPT1: [return] or

If your printer prints a few pages and stops, you have possibly
encountered a DOS timeout error. Go to the subdirectory where you
have your DOS files and type:

C:\DOS>MODE LPT1: 132,,P [return]

This tells your printer to print lines up to 132 characters wide
(substitute 80 if you want a narrower line) and to ignore timeout
errors. Now the file should print all the way through. If it does not,
it is not a problem with MR. BILL! It is a problem with the way
your printer is connected to your computer.

2) Read the manual after you print it and BEFORE you run
Mr. Bill. Let me repeat that: READ THE MANUAL FIRST!!!!

3) If you have a hard disk, use it! Put all your Mr. Bill
programs in a BILL subdirectory and also put your data files in
the same subdirectory.

When you start, make your computer display which subdirectory
you are in with the Prompt command:

C>prompt $p$g [return]

Now, make a bill subdirectory:

C:\>md bill [return]


Now, go to the bill subdirectory:

C:\>cd \bill

Now, copy all your files from the floppy disks to your hard disk:

C:\BILL>copy A:*.* [return]

When done, put the next Mr. Bill disk into the A: drive
and copy it to the C: drive the same way.

If you want your data files in a separate subdirectory,
make a subdirectory called BILLDATA and use the DOS 3 SUBST
command (if you have DOS 3.0, 3.1 or 3.2) to assign the BILLDATA
subdirectory to the letter D: or E:. If you do that, you can tell
Mr. Bill that your data disk is drive D or E. Example:


Now, DOS will treat the BILLDATA subdirectory like a separate
drive D: and so will Mr. Bill.

4) Set up your subtotal categories; then set up your billing codes;
then enter your addresses. Mr. Bill will take you through these set
ups automatically. For some reason, some users immediately exit the
subtotal setup module without setting up any subtotal categories.
Then they try to immediately enter billing activities or even print
a bill. Of course that won't work.

You MUST first (a) set up your subtotal categories under your
chosen Billing Code Name (e.g. MYBILL), THEN (b) set up your billing
rates under your chosen Billing Code Name (again, the SAME name,
MYBILL) THEN (c) enter your addresses under your chosen Billing
Code Name (still the same name, MYBILL). Only now can you enter the
activities you want to bill for.

5) Make life easy for yourself --- enter your client names
as names, not numbers. Yes, you can enter your client identification
code for John Smith as 100456, but doesn't the code SMITH-J make
much more sense?

6) Again, make life easy for yourself. Don't print an
audit trail as you make your entries unless you really, really
need one right then and there. It's easy to print the audit trail
later from the Print menu (P on the Main Menu).

7) Be smart, print your bills to a disk file, then print
them to the printer from your word processor or DOS after you have
reviewed them in your word processor. Why print all that paper,
find your mistakes, fix your entries, then print all the paper
all over again? Find your mistakes on screen by looking at your
file of bills in your word processor, then fix the mistakes, then let
WordStar or PC Write or Textra or whatever print your bills to the
printer. For example, in WordStar, all you need to do is


Get into WordStar.
Press D to Display your file of bills.
File name to edit is JAN-87.BLS (or whatever).
Scroll through the file and make notes in SideKick or whatever
of any mistakes you will need to change in Mr. Bill.
^K^Q to quit the file.
X to exit to DOS.
Call up E on the Mr. Bill Main Menu.
Use FIX to make your changes.
B on the Mr. Bill Print Menu to print your bills to a disk file.
Get into WordStar.
Press P to print your bills.
File to print is JAN-87.BLS (or whatever).
Press Escape and WordStar will print your bills.

Folks, if you don't have a word processor, get one. Textra is
only $20 from Ann Arbor Software in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
PC-Write is $10 or less from shareware distributors. PFS
First Choice is only $100 and it includes word processing,
database, report generator, spread sheet and communications.
MicroPro Easy, Webster's New World Writer and PFS Professional
Write are all very good and very easy word processors and they
can be purchased at discount software outlets for about $100,
or less!

If your word processor ends the pages at different places than
Mr. Bill, you need to adjust your top and bottom margins. Mr.
Bill wants a top marin of five lines and a bottom margin of
no more than six lines.

Mr. Bill wants the word processor to break the page at line 55
or higher. This will insure that Mr. Bill will end the page
before your word processor does.

In this outline, I have talked about making subdirectories;
about copying files; about changing subdirectories; etc.


MD [make directory]
CD [change directory]

If you don't have some idea about how to use these
commands, stop right here, get out your DOS manual or
get a DOS primer from your local computer store and learn how
to use your machine. It is your responsibility to learn how to
use your computer.

- vii -

You wouldn't drive a car without knowing whether it takes
gasoline or diesel fuel or how to turn on the headlights or how
to read the gas or temperature gauges. Give your computer the same

One other point: If you insist upon using numbers instead
of names to designate your clients, at least put a letter as the
first character of the name, e.g. S10233 for John Smith and
A11345 for Bill Adams. Mr. Bill will sort up to 2000 activities
in a data file in one "in memory" pass. If you have more than
2000 activities in your data file, Mr. Bill breaks the file into
A's and B's and C's, etc. and sorts each letter in memory. If
you begin each client code as a number '1' (10233, 11345, 17642,
etc.) you will not be able to sort activity files with more
than 2000 entries because all entries will begin with the same
character, a '1'.

-------- !!IMPORTANT!! ERROR #67 -----

You MUST have a CONFIG.SYS, Repeat, you MUST have a CONFIG.SYS
file on your floppy boot disk or hard disk root directory with the line
FILES=20 [or greater]. If you don't, you will get an ERROR 67 when
you run the print module, TOO MANY FILES. FILES=20 in the config.sys
file tells DOS to allow 20 files to be open at one time. If you don't
have a config.sys file, create one like this:

^Z [press control Z then return]
1 file(s) copied

If you have a Leading Edge computer with a monochrome screen
or color card connected to a monochrome monitor, you may get a
"peculiar" display. Change the color setting as described later
in this manual to bright white (color 15) on a black background
(color 0).


Beginning with Ver. 3.24, billing codes can be from one to
seven characters long instead of a fixed three characters as in
prior versions of Mr. Bill. Thus, now the code for "fees" can
be FEES, "telephone" can be PHONE, "letters" can be LETTERS.

I have added a sample subtotal file, billing code file and add-
ress file called SAMPLE on the REPORT disk. Copy SAMPLE*.* from the


Report Disk to the disk you set up as your data disk. If you
want, when asked for your Billing Code file name, you can enter
SAMPLE and you can view the sample file. Note that the billing
code MINUTES in the file is set up to take your time in minutes.
It takes your entries and divides by 60 to translate them to hours.
All the other hourly entries in the sample file take time in tenths
of hours. This is to show you how you can set up the program to take
time in either minutes or tenths of hours. If you want, you can
modify the sample files for your own billing use. Note client
JONES-J uses rate table 1 while the rest of the clients use rate
table 0.


One major addition to Mr. Bill 3.26 is the ability
to print your own letterhead on the top of the first page of each
bill. If you run Mr. Bill without using this feature, it will
space down eight blank lines before printing the first line of
your customer address to the disk file of bills. Because your word
processor will provide for a top margin of four or five lines,
your customer address will appear in just the right place to appear

in the window of a #10 window envelope.

When printing bills directly to the printer, Mr. Bill will
normally print twelve blank lines before printing the first
line of the customer address. I use an HP LaserJet II and this
setting is perfect to put the customer address in the window
of a window envelope. If you use an impact printer, you can
adjust the top of the first page three to four lines above
the printhead and your customer address will appear in the
right place for the window in the envelope. This is because
the page length for a LaserJet is 62 lines while the page
length for a daisy wheel printer is 66 lines.

When you set up Mr. Bill you create a series of billing code
files which contain addresses, rates, work descriptions, ageing
data and the like. When you do this, you choose a billing code
file name. In this manual I use my billing code file name, DMA,
as an example. I have also included a sample billing code file
set called SAMPLE with these programs.

When it begins printing your bills to a disk file, Mr. Bill
will look for a file with your billing code file name and the
extention .LHF (Letter Head to a File). For example, DMA.LHF
or SAMPLE.LHF. When Mr. Bill prints directly to the printer it
looks for a file called DMA.LHP (Letter Head to Printer) or
SAMPLE.LHP if SAMPLE is your billing code file name. If it finds
one of these files, it prints the contents of the file to the top
of the first page of each bill.

Because Mr. Bill will print eight blank lines at the top of
each bill it puts in a disk file, DMA.LHF can have up to eight lines
of text which will print in your file of bills.


Because Mr. Bill will print twelve blank lines at the top
of each bill it prints directly to the printer, DMA.LHP can
have up to twelve lines of text which will be printed to
the top of each bill created on the printer.

If your .LH file contains less than the maximum number of
lines of text, Mr. Bill will fill out the top of the bill with
blank lines. If you want to position your letter head, you
can include lines of spaces above your letter head text and
Mr. Bill will print the lines of spaces, then print your text.

You can include WordStar "dot commands" in the .LHF file
and Mr. Bill will not count them in computing the number of lines
to print. For example, if you have five lines of dot commands
and five lines of text, Mr. Bill will still print all five lines
of text to your file as well as all five lines of dot commands.
It does this because it knows that WordStar will not print
the dot commands to the printer and that they will not take
up any room on the top of the actual printed bills. You can
have a maximum of eight lines of text and eight lines of dot
commands in the .LHF file.

Mr. Bill will not print dot commands to the printer. If
it encounters a line of text beginning with a period "." in
the .LHP file, Mr. Bill will not send that line to the printer
and it will not count that line toward your maximum of 12 lines
of text. You can have a maximum of twelve lines of text and
six lines of dot commands in a .LHP file.

For example, I have 18 point Times Roman and 12 point Times
Roman in my LaserJet. My DMA.LHF file looks like this

.ps ON [turn on proportional space]
.cw 18 [select 18 point type]
[blank line of spaces]
David M. Alexander
.cw 12 [select 12 point type]
Attorney At Law
2600 El Camino Real
Suite 506
Palo Alto, CA 94306
(415) 857-9233
.ps off [turn off proportional space]

Note: all dot commands are on their own line. Also note,
that 18 point type is larger than 12 point so my name has to
be shifted to the left to get it to print centered.

Mr. Bill will also print Escape codes to the file and to
your printer if you want to control the printer directly. For
example, The LaserJet uses an Escape(s3B to change from regular
Courier to boldface Courier.


If I wanted to print directly t the printer and have the
letterhead appear in Courier Bold the switch back to regular
printing, I would create a file DMA.LH that looks like this:

[blank line of spaces]
[blank line of spaces]
^[(s3B [switches printer to bold]
David M. Alexander
Attorney At Law
2600 El Camino Real
Suite 506
Palo Alto, CA 94306
(415) 857-9233
^[(s0B [switches back to normal print]

NOTE: the escape codes will also print a blank line on
your paper. If you want to avoid these blank lines, put the
escape code on the same line and directly in front of text.

It is also possible to access other LaserJet fonts
be prepared to spend a few hours with the HP manual to figure
out how to do it. One tip: proportional fonts treat "spaces"
very differently from characters. You will likely have to
enter an Escape(s0P to turn off proportional spacing, then
enter a lot of spaces to position your print in the center of
the page, then enter Escape(s1P on the same line and just in
front of the text to turn proportional spacing back on for
each line of text you want to center.

The .LHF and .LHP files must be ASCII files without
WordStar, WordPerfect or the like special format codes. If you
use WordStar, create the files with the N option at the main
menu. If your word processor is unable to create a pure ASCII
file, use the COPY CON: method shown above with regard to the
creation of the CONFIG.SYS file. If you use WordStar and you
want to put an escape code in the file, you first type a Control
P then you hold down the ALT key, and while holding it down
type 27 on the numeric keypad then let go of the alt key. You
should see a ^[ in the file which is the symbol for Escape.

If you are using the COPY CON: method, you don't need to
first press a Control P. Just hold down the ALT key, type 27
then let go of the Alt key. (ALT27ALT)

Once the codes are in the .LHP file, they will be sent to
the printer. For example, my old Okidata 92 turns on Double
Width printing with an ASCII 30 followed by ASCII 31. I opened
DMA.LHP in WordStar in the Non Document Mode. Then I typed a
control P immediately followed by ALT30ALT then Control P
followed by ALT31ALT. Then I typed my name. Then I typed
a control P followed by ALT30ALT to return to normal width
text. When I ran Mr. Bill and printed a bill directly to
the printer, my name printed double wide followed by the
address in single width type.


Again, you don't have to create these files for the program
to work. They are optional if you want your printer to print
your letterhead on the first page of each bill.


Error #7: Out of Memory. Your file was too big to fit into
the memory in your machine. This should not happen but if it
does, remove some memory resident programs and/or add more
memory to your computer.

Error #9: This may occur if a record in your billing data
file has been "trashed" by your system. If strange garbage
values get entered into one of the fields in the trashed record
they can be out of range of what the program expects to see and
thus may generate this error. If this happens go to your backup
copy of your billing data file.

Error #14: This is similar to Error #7 above.

Error #24: Device Time-out. Your computer has tried to send
data to a printer port and not received an acknowledgement within
the specified time. Try setting the DOS MODE command to ignore
time-out errors. MODE LPT1:132,,P Consult your DOS manual.

Error #25 or #27: Device Fault. This usually means that your
printer ran out of paper or out of ribbon or was turned off.
Essentially, it means that the printer told the computer that it
could not continue to function.

Error #57: Device I/O error. Again, a hardware problem has
occurred usually in connection with communication with either a
disk drive or a printer.

Error #61: Disk full. Delete some files to make more room
on the disk.

Error #63: This error occurs when some of your data in a disk
file has been trashed by your machine. The program expects to find
a particular value in a file and the value is instead a zero
because the record was damaged. This zero is unacceptable to the
program and it generates a "bad record number" error. Use the
back-up copy of your file.

Error #67: Too many files open. Again, this will occur
if you do not create a CONFIG.SYS file in the root directory
which file contains FILES=20 and BUFFERS=20.


If you ever get a message that important information has been
damaged in your data file, here is what has happened. The first
record in each data file, each .BIL file contains the record
number of the last record in use. If this field in the first


record is trashed by DOS, Mr. Bill will not know how long your
file is or where your data ends. If that happens, you can
repair the problem. Here is what you do:

1) do a dir on the data file to see how big it is. For
example, C:\BILL>DIR DEC87.BIL [return] may tell you that this
file is 9450 bytes long. Divide this number by 42, which is the
length of each record to find out that the file contains 225
billing entries.

2) call up BASICA or GW-BASIC and write the following
short BASIC program:

10 CLOSE #1:OPEN "R",#1,"C:DEC87.BIL",42
20 FIELD #1, 2 AS REXC$,8 AS DATX$,12 AS NAMX$,8 AS UNT$,
30 GET #1,1:LSET REXC$=MKI$(226)

RUN [return]

The file name in line 10 is the name of your damaged file.
In this example I used "C:DEC87.BIL". You would use whatever
your drive and file name are for the .BIL file which is damaged.
In line 30 I used the next record after the end of the file, that
is 225 + 1 = 226. If your file had 305 records (12810 bytes), then
you would use 306. This little program puts the right value back
into the destroyed field so that Mr. Bill can find the end of
your file again.

When the program is written as shown above, type RUN and
press return. The program will run, clear the screen and
return you to DOS. Now load BILL and call up the previously
damaged file. It should work.


Sec. 1 A Overview -- What MR BILL Does





You tell MR. BILL the work you did, the items you sold,
the costs you incurred and the credits you received and MR. BILL
prepares itemized invoices/bills on 8 1/2" by 11" paper.

You tell MR. BILL the addresses of your clients and cus-
tomers, any heading and footing message you want typed on the
bill, the dates of the billing period, any regarding line for
the customer, and MR. BILL will prepare a bill with the cus-
tomer's name and address, the proper dates, headings, re lines,
balance forward, finance charges, subtotals and balance due.

MR. BILL will prepare a report showing what items you
billed and what credits you received in date order for each day
in the billing period.

MR. BILL will prepare an ageing report for each of your
clients showing the total now owed and how much of that total
was due last month, the month before, the month before that and
prior to that. MR. BILL will also create your ledger cards.

MR. BILL will print an audit trail of all your billing
entries. It will also prepare a summary at the end of each set
of bills showing total previous balances, total credits in each
of 5 user selected subtotal categories, total finance charges,
total balances forward, total debits in each of four user
selected debit categories and total balances now owed.

MR. BILL allows you to set up nine "derived" subtotal
categories, i.e. if one of your debit categories is "Taxable
Sales" you can choose to multiply that total by 6% and create a
new subtotal category called "Sales Taxes" or you can multiply
"Settlement Checks Received" by -33% to create a subtotal cate-
gory called "Attorney's Contingent Fee". You can have 5 credit
categories and 5 derived credit categories plus 4 debit categ-
ories and 4 derived debit categories plus a finance charge
calculated on the "New Balance Forward".

MR. BILL will print your reports to the printer or to a
disk file. It will create bills for only some of your customer
or for all your customers. It will automatically forward the


Sec. 1 A Overview -- What MR BILL Does

old balance from last month's bills and will automatically re-
bill next month. It will print your summary of debits, credits
and balances due on the itemized bill or on a separate page. It
will show the charge for each item next to that entry or not
show the charge. It will accept narrative entries to display
any kind of type of charges and credits. You can print
messages on each bill of up to thirty lines for each date of the
billing period.

MR. BILL allows you to set your own charges and will add
together files of bills by different people at different rates
into one file for the creation of one integrated bill. It also
allows the combining of several months of data into one complete

MR. BILL allows you to charge different rates to different
clients for the same work; for example, you can automatically
charge Mr. Jones $50/hour and Mr. Smith $75/hour for the same
services. You have ten different rate structures simultaneously

MR. BILL works with client names or client numbers and
allows several bills at different addresses for one client. You
can have 1000 different billing addresses in one file and as many
different files as your disks will hold.

MR. BILL is intended for small to medium size businesses
and professional organizations including lawyers, accountants,
engineers and the like. You can use it to create invoices for
products or for time billing.

MR. BILL allows you to assign each type of work to one of
ten headings on a management report. Thus, you can create
reports showing total hours billed, unbilled time, total costs,

MR. BILL is not copy protected. It can be put on any disk
in your system and will use data files located on any disk in
your system.

Each entry takes up 42 bytes of disk space if no narrative
description is used. Each narrative takes up 64 additional
bytes of disk space. Each charge and each credit item is a
separage entry. Each billing file can have up to 16,000 entries
(depending on available RAM -- 256K should be enough).

MR. BILL can function like a Rolodex tm. You can get a
client's name, address, phone number and current balance
directly from the operating system in about 3-4 seconds on a
hard disk system without going through any menu's.

Turn to Section 5, Chapter B "OTHER USES FOR MR. BILL" for
examples of other things the program can do.


Sec. 1 B Overview -- Hardware Required


MS-DOS and two disk drives. 256K RAM Memory

If all of the MR. BILL programs are saved on one disk, they take
up about 430K bytes of disk storage. MR. BILL can be run without
all of the programs on the same disk.

MR. BILL consists of 14 separate programs called from the Main

You put MR. BILL into your computer, type BILL and press
return --- that's it.

Mr. Bill is compiled with Borland Turbo Basic. The main program,
"BILL", is an EXE file. So is the address module, BILLADD. The
rest of the modules are .TBC files, Turbo Basic Chain files. They
will be run from the Main Menu but cannot be called directly from
DOS. They are small, efficient and fast.


Sec. 2 A Getting Started -- General Rules



*** !!! IMPORTANT !!! ***

When you first get them, Your Mr. Bill disks should NOT,
repeat NOT have a file called DISKDRVE. If that file is on
your disks when you first get Mr. Bill (before you have run
it on your machine), delete DISKDRVE.

Mr. Bill will automatically create a custom DISKDRVE for
your system.

If you do not have a file called ORD on your disk when
you first get the disks, then use your word processor to create
a file called ORD on your #1 disk, the input disk. Put only the
number 1 in line one, column one of ORD, save the file, exit to
DOS and run BILL. ORD should be on your input disk when you first
get Mr. Bill. Mr. Bill will erase ORD automatically when it
is finished with it.

* * *


It is probably a good idea to make clear some basic
assumptions about how your computer works. I will put all of
them here so that I don't have to repeat them in each chapter
and so you won't have to re-read them in each chapter.

First: MR. BILL doesn't care if you type in UPPER CASE or
lower case. Except for the "Narrative Description" lines and
mailing addresses, MR. BILL automatically translates all lower
case entries to upper case. Therefore, all your file names,
your disk drive designations, Y's and N's for YES and NO, cate-
gory codes, customer names, everything except narrative descrip-
tions and street addresses are always converted to upper case.
If it is easier for you to type everything in lower case, please
feel free to do so.


Sec. 2 A Getting Started -- General Rules

Second: Throughout the manual I will tell you to press
certain keys and I will give examples of things to type. I will
give you these instructions by putting quotes around the word.
Don't type the quotes, just the letter or word inside them.

Third: The control key is usually at the lower left of
the keyboard and is often labeled "CTRL". The control key is
similar to a "shift" key. You know that if you press a key on a
typewriter, it will print a lower case letter. If you hold the
shift key down and at the same time press a key, it will type an
upper case letter.

The control key works the same way. If you hold it down
and at the same time press another key, the keyboard will send a
special code to the computer. If I want you to hold down the
control key and at the same time press a P, I will say: Type a
control "P". (Don't type the quotes, just the P).

MS-DOS uses certain conventions with control keys.
The backspace moves the cursor back one space and erases as it
backspaces. If you are typing an entry and you make a mistake,
press the backspace and it will move the cursor backwards and
erase things as it moves.

If you are in the middle of a program and you want to get
back to the operating system right away, you can press a control
"break". This is for emergencies ONLY. It may cause data loss.
Most of the programs offer you an easy way to return to
the program's menu where you can press X to eXit the program.
Usually, you need only keep pressing the return key until you
reach the menu which gives you the exit option. This is a
better way to get out, though a control Break will usually work.

If you don't have a word processing program and you want
to print your reports, you may press a control P when the A>
shows on the screen. From that time until you press a control P
a second time, everything which appears on your screen
will also be typed on your printer continuously. To pause the
print and halt the display, in other words to "freeze" things,
press a control S. Everything will halt until you press control
S again. BUT, the best way is to use your word processor, WordStar,
WordPerfect, or whatever, to print your reports.

DOS has something called a "Type" command. If you say
A>Type FILENAME then everything in the file called FILENAME will
appear on your screen. If you have also pressed a control P,
FILENAME will also be printed on your printer as it appears on
your screen. If your file called FILENAME is on the B drive,
then you will have to say: A>Type B:FILENAME. If you say:

everything in your file will be printed on your printer.


Sec. 2 A Getting Started -- General Rules

Fourth: To be "in MS-DOS" or "in the operating system"
means that the operating system is ready to take your commands.
You know it is ready because you will see the letter of the
drive the operating system is using and a pointy bracket called
a "prompt" on the screen. Don't try to figure this out except to
know that if you see: A> or B> or C>, etc or the like, then the
operating system is ready for you to give it a program name, like
BILL [Return] or a Type command or whatever.

Fifth: Every place in the program where you have to
answer a question and your answer will always be the same number
of characters, e.g. one character like a Y or an N or three
characters like your choice of billing codes, then those are
entered by just typing them. You don't have to press Return.
As soon as the proper number of characters has been typed, the
program will proceed automatically.

Sometimes, the number of characters you will type cannot
be known in advance by the program. For example, if you are
asked for a file name, that name could be anywhere from one to
eight characters long. In that case, you will have to type your
answer and then press Return to let the program know that you
have completed your entry and that it can now proceed.

Sixth: Filenames: MR. BILL allows you to pick your own
file names for your data files. It is usually helpful to pick a
name that describes your data. If you have a file of billing
data for the month of April 1987, then good file names would be
4-87 or APR87. Don't use slashes "/" or back slashes "\" or spaces
in the file name. DOS does not allow them to be part of file names.

The file name CANNOT be more than eight characters long
(ABCDEFGH) and it CANNOT have a decimal point in it. For
example ABC.DEF is not a legal file name in MR. BILL. You can't
do this because MR. BILL automatically puts the extension .BIL
after the name of every file of billing entries.

Seventh: MR. BILL sees all money charged, that is all
debit items, as positive numbers and all money received, that is
all payments to you, all credits for the benefit of the people
you are billing, as negative numbers. If you ever see a nega-
tive number as a dollar amount, that means that MR. BILL is
treating that entry as a credit to the client/customer.

Eighth: A few paragraphs ago I used the word "extension"
in connection with a file name. An "extension" is the three
characters following the decimal point on a file name. For
example the .DOC of WILL.DOC is an "extension" of the file

Last: When in doubt, press RETURN. Suppose you want to
work with a file but can't remember your file name. Type in a


Sec. 2 A Getting Started -- General Rules

garbage name in response to the file name question and press
return. MR. BILL will automatically display your list of files.
What if the file you want is not on the list? What do you do?
Press RETURN. In most of the modules, a return to a question
will "return" you to the previous question or to a menu which
will allow you to leave the module.

So, even though the question may not tell you that
pressing a return will return you to the previous question or to
a menu, it usually will. When in doubt, press RETURN.

MR. BILL is meant for small business and professionals. I
am a lawyer and I use MR. BILL to create itemized bills for my
clients. You may be a supply company and use MR. BILL to create
invoices for your customers. Instead of saying "client/custo-
mer" throughout this manual -- that's kind of long winded -- I
will settle on the word "client".

MR. BILL can be on any disk in your system and your data
can be on any disk in your system. If you want MR. BILL on your
D drive and your data on your F drive, well and good. But, for
the sake of ease of description, I will talk about MR. BILL
being on the A drive and the data files being on the B drive
for floppy systems and Mr. Bill program files and data files
being in the BILL subdirectory of the C: drive (C:\BILL>) for
hard disk users.

This is merely a convenient way to describe it. Please
understand that it does not have to be this way for you.


Sec. 2 B - Getting Started -- Copying The Program


Take a blank disk from your box of disks and "initialize"
it. This means you must run the "format" program which came
with your machine. If you don't know how to do this, read your
DOS manual about formatting disks.

Put Mr. Bill Disk #1 into the A drive and your new disk
into the B drive. Now, type:

A>copy A:*.* B:

Disk Number 1 will be used to set up your programs, to
enter billing data, to add and change addresses and billing
codes and rates, and to add files together. Repeat for disk #2.

Disk Number 2 will be used to write your bills to a disk
file, to the printer, to prepare ageing reports, to prepare
audit trails and to prepare a report of your charges in date

To use either disk just type BILL and press return.

Again, use disk #1 to input your data and disk #2 to
prepare your reports.

Okay, so much for the disk(s) holding your MR. BILL

Now you must format a new disk to hold your
data. This will be your data disk. Most people will put the
data disk into drive B.

Label the program disk(s) as "MR. BILL PROGRAM DISK (#1)
--DRIVE A" and in our example, the data disk as "MR. BILL DATA
DISK--DRIVE B". Note: your program disk does not have to go
into drive A. You can put your programs on any disk. Also,
your data disk does not have to go in drive B. You can choose
any drive as your data disk drive.


Sec. 2 B - Getting Started -- Copying The Program

So, although I use B as an example, you are free to
put your programs on any drive and you can designate any
drive as the drive to hold your data files. If you have a
hard disk, you should put everything on drive C.

In our example, we have the program disk in A and the data
disk in B.

To begin type A>BILL [Return].

If this is the very first time you have used MR. BILL it
will ask you what drive you want to hold your data disk. In our
example we will tell it B. If you use a hard disk, you would
probably tell it C. Mr. Bill will create the file DISKDRVE and
put the letter B or C into the file so that it can remember
which drive you chose.

MR. BILL will now give you a message about subtotal cate-
gories. If you press return, MR. BILL will automatically take
you to the module which allows you to set up your subtotal
categories. If you press X instead of Return, you will exit
to the operating system. The next time you type BILL you will
be shown the same message about subtotal categories.

Once you have set up your subtotal categories, you will
press M to return to the main menu. Now, MR. BILL will display
a second message about setting your billing codes and rates.
After you have done that and returned to the main menu, you will
get a message about entering your client addresses. After you
have done that, you will get a "farewell from MR. BILL" message
and will be shown the main menu.

WARNING: Always keep a backup of your data files. Disks
do have a habit of dying. If yours gets its directory damaged
it may not be salvageable. Every week, it would
be a good idea to copy your data files onto a backup disk.

IMPORTANT: if you are using a floppy disk machine, copy
the file DISKDRVE which Mr. Bill just created on your Disk #1
to your Mr. Bill program disk #2.

ALSO IMPORTANT: Mr. Bill looks at a file called ORD on
disk #1 to generate these startup messages. When it is done,
it erases ORD. If you want to run the start-up proceedure
again, go the Mr. Bill input disk #1 and type:

A>COPY CON: ORD [return]
1 [return]
^Z [control Z then return]


Sec. 2 C Getting Started & The Main Menu


The first thing you do to use MR. BILL is have your
program disk in the computer and the A> or C> showing the the
screen. Now you type BILL [return].

As soon as BILL.EXE has been loaded, you will be asked for
the name of the disk drive which you want to hold your data
disk. What is your data disk? MR. BILL saves all kinds of
files which it uses to prepare your bills. It has a file of
your billing codes, your client names and addresses, your aging
information, the dates of your reports, your list of subtotal
categories, etc. These are all kept on your data disk.

MR. BILL needs to know what drive will hold this data
disk. You can choose any drive between A and L. Let's assume
you choose the C drive. You will type the letter C in response
to this first question. MR. BILL will save this disk name in a
file called DISKDRVE.

NOTE: You MUST have DISKDRVE on every program disk. If
you split your programs up onto two floppy disks, be sure to
copy DISKDRVE onto to each and every program disk.

OK, now that you have given MR. BILL your data disk drive
location, MR. BILL will save it and won't ask for it again.

Next, MR. BILL will sign on with an introductory message
and will tell you that it will take you to the module used to

set up your billing subtotals. We will discuss this module in
the next chapter. You MUST set up your subtotals before you can
prepare any bills.

The next time you type BILL after setting up your
subtotals, MR. BILL will give you another message, telling you
that it will take you to the module used to set your billing
codes and rates. You MUST set up your billing codes and rates
before you can create any bills. Use the SAME NAME you used
when you set up your subtotals.

The next time you call MR. BILL after that, it will take
you to the module used to set up your client names and add-
resses. You MUST enter at least one client name and address
before you can create any bills. When you have done that, the
next time and every time thereafter that you type BILL, MR. BILL
will present you with the main menu. If you want MR. BILL to
go through this first time walk through routine again, open a file
on the program disk called ORD and put the number 1 into the file.



The Main Menu looks like this:

Copyright David M. Alexander, 1986, 1987 For This Program And
For ALL Programs Called From This Program

**** MAIN MENU ****

S To Set SUBTOTAL Categories
B To Set BILLING Codes
C To Add CLIENT/Customer Addresses

E To ENTER Billing Data

P To Go To The PRINT Menu
A To Prepare AGEING Report

M To MERGE Several Billing Files Into One

X To EXIT To The Operating System

When you want to enter, change, delete or look at your
Subtotal categories, type S and MR. BILL will call the module
BILLSUB. This is the first thing you do when you install Mr.

When you want to set, change, delete or look at your
billing codes and rates, type B to set the Billing codes. MR.
BILL will call up the module BILLSET. This is the second thing you
will do when you first install Mr. Bill

When you want to enter, change, delete or look at your
Customer names and addresses, type C and MR. BILL will call up
the module BILLADD. This is the third thing you will do when you
install Mr. Bill.

When you want to Enter, change or delete your charges and
credits, press E. MR. BILL will call up the BILLIN module
and ask for billing charges and credits.

When you want to create an Ageing report showing how long
each client has owed you money, type A and MR. BILL will call up

When you want to Merge several small files into one big
file, i.e. use the billing data from several people or several
months to create a consolidated bill, type M and MR. BILL will
call up the BILLMERG module.


Sec. 2 C Getting Started & The Main Menu

When you want to Print your bills or if you are unsure how
to print a hardcopy of your reports, press P and MR. BILL will
give you a menu offering these choices.

When you want to eXit to the operating system, press X
which will call up the A> or C> and put you back into MS-DOS.


Sec. 3 A - First Time Use -- Subtotal Categories


Key to press on the Main Menu: S

This is the module which allows you to create, display or
change a list of up to 9 different subtotal categories.


The first thing that MR. BILL will do after you press S to
set up your subtotal categories will be to ask you for the name
of the file where you will store your subtotal categories and
billing codes. This name can be up to seven characters long.
The modules in MR. BILL usually call this the billing code file.

Since you will use this name often, I suggest that the
shorter the name the better. A good choice for a name is your
initials. This keeps your billing code file separate from that
of others who might use the program. You can have as many
different files of billing codes as you please. Each file can
contain different rates and types of charges.

If you are John T. Smith you might want to call your file
JTS. Suppose you have an associate whose name is Mary J. Jones.
Hers could be MJJ. One thing you may not do: You may not use a
period in your billing category file name. You may not call it
JTS.XXX. MR. BILL will reject any suggested name that has a
period in it or which is longer than seven characters. And, No
Slashes (/) or back slashes (\) or SPACES in the name!


Now you will be asked to set up your subtotal categories.
What are they?

Everything you bill for and all credits you receive must
be assigned to a subtotal category. For example, a lawyer might
bill for FEES and COSTS. A doctor might bill for DRUGS, LAB
FEES, ORTHO APPLIANCES and TREATMENT. Each business has its own
categories that its charges fall into.

Also, each business has its own categories that credits
fall into. For example, a lawyer might show the following


Sec. 3 A - First Time Use -- Subtotal Categories

3RD PARTY (sheriff's levy), REFUNDS. A doctor might show:

MR. BILL assigns subtotal categories 1 through 5 to
credits. Any types of payments received should be assigned to
categories 1 to 5.

MR. BILL assigns subtotal categories 6 through 9 to
charges. Any charges made must be assigned to subtotal
categories 6 through 9.

For example, a lawyer might have the following subtotal

1. - Client Payments: (credit)
2. - Settlement Checks: (credit)
3. - 3rd Party Payments: (credit)
4. - Refunds/Bill Reduction: (credit)
5. - Payment To Trust: (credit)
6. + New Fees: (charge)
7. + New Costs: (charge)


Each of the subtotal categories can be multiplied by a
number to yield another category. For example, a lawyer might
multiply credit category #2, - SETTLEMENT CHECKS by -.33 to create
a derived subtotal category he would call + CONTINGENT FEES. A
business man might have a debit category #6 called + TAXABLE SALES
which he would multiply by .065 to create a new category called

Each of the nine subtotal categories can be multiplied by
any number between -100000 and +100000. Each of the results of
that multiplication can be given a heading and will be printed
as a subtotal category on the bill.


MR. BILL is set up to put plus, minus, and equals signs in
front the subtotal headings. You should consider making
your subtotal heading "Payments Received" as "- Payments Received:" and
making "New Fees" as "+ New Fees:". If done this way, your subtotals
will look like this:


Sec. 3 A - First Time Use -- Subtotal Categories

Previous Balance: $100.00
- Payments Received: $50.00

= New Balance Forward: $50.00

+ New Fees: $150.00
+ New Costs: $75.00

= BALANCE NOW DUE: $275.00

If you don't want the +'s and -'s, then start your subtotal
heading with two spaces, that is " New Fees" NOT "New Fees". This
is to shift the heading two places to the right to keep the
subtotals even with the beginning of the "Previous Balance:" line


MR. BILL has a tenth category which it allows --- "+ FINANCE
CHARGES". When a bill is created, the old balance is shown.
Next, all payments received since the last billing are sub-
tracted from the old balance. If there is still something
owing, it is called "= NEW BALANCE FORWARD". This amount will
be multiplied by any number you choose. The result of the
multiplication is a new subtotal category.

You may give this new category any heading you wish ---
"+ FINANCE CHARGES" or + LATE CHARGES or whatever. If you wish to
charge 1%/month as a finance charge and if you bill on a monthly
basis, you will enter .01 as the amount by which you want to
multiply the New Balance Forward.

If you have some clients whom you want to exempt from
finance charges, then, when you enter their names and addresses
a little later, make the first character of the "Regarding Line"
which will be printed on the bill a hyphen "-". For example, if
you have a client Mary Jones whom you do not want to be charged
a finance charge, make a "RE" line on her bill like this:

-RE: Business Advice

The hyphen tells Mr. Bill, not to charge her a finance charge.

If you don't want to change anyone a finance charge, just
leave the amount to multiply the new balance forward by as zero and
no one will be charged any finance charges. ($500 X 0% = $0)


Remember, items 1 through 5 are credit items. If you
multiply #1, PAYMENTS RECEIVED, by .05 you can call the
resulting category 5% DISCOUNT and the customer will receive a


Sec. 3 A - First Time Use -- Subtotal Categories

further credit of 5% of the payments made. If you multiply it
by -.05, you will create a resulting category which will debit
the customer by 5% of the payments made. This is because a
payment is seen as a negative number. If the payment is $100,
MR. BILL sees that as -100. -100 X -.05= $5. Since positive
numbers are charges, this would result in a $5 charge.

If you multiplied #6, + NEW PURCHASES, a debit subtotal, by
.05 you would create a new charge, i.e. 100 X .05=$5. On the
other hand if you multiplied #6., + NEW PURCHASES $100 by -.05
you would get 100 X -.05= -$5, that is a credit result. You
could call that 5% "- QUANTITY DISCOUNT".

You need not create any derived subtotals and you need not
charge a finance charge. This is completely optional.


When you have entered all the subtotal categories you
wish, you can view them and change them any way you like.

If your billing category file name is DMA, then this
program will save your subtotal categories on the data disk
under the file name DMA.LST. You can print out this file for a
list of your subtotal categories. MR. BILL will also create a
file on the data disk for its own use and call it DMA.TOT.
Don't do anything to DMA.TOT. That is for MR. BILL's use.

To create these subtotals, follow the menu directions.
MR. BILL will go through the subtotals one by one. Any time you
are finished entering your subtotal categories, type /// in
answer to the question asking you for the next subtotal cate-
gory. Type a return to skip ahead to the next category. If you
make a mistake don't worry. Go ahead and finish your list.
When you are done, MR. BILL will show you what you have typed
and give you the chance to change anything you like.

To make a change you need only type the number of the
subtotal which you want to change and MR. BILL will ask you for
the new entry for that subtotal category.


Mr. Bill will create your ledger cards for you, but this
will take up a good bit of disk space. Mr. Bill uses 114 bytes
for each client for each month shown on the ledger card. If you
create 100 bills a month then 100 x 12 months x 114 = 136,800
bytes to store your ledger card data. So, creating ledger cards
is optional.

Mr. Bill will ask you if you want to create/re-create
your ledger card headings. If you don't want Mr. Bill to
create your ledger cards, just type "N" for "NO". If you
type "Y", for yes, Mr. Bill will take up to ten of your


Sec. 3 A - First Time Use -- Subtotal Categories

subtotal headings for inclusion on your ledger card. If you
have set up more that ten subtotal headings, you will have to
delete some or not have Mr. Bill create your cards. Ten is
all there is room for.

If you later decide to change your subtotal headings, you
will have to allow Mr. Bill to create a new table of headings
so that it can print the new headings on the cards. The
creation of this new table will WIPE OUT all your existing
ledger card data. So, if you add or subtract headings, print
your ledger cards out, because Mr. Bill will proceed to start
fresh with the new headings on new, blank, cards.

If you decide you don't want Mr. Bill to create any
ledger cards for you, that's okay. You can change your mind
later, come back to the subtotal category module, press "D" to
display your subtotals, then, before you exit, Mr. Bill will
ask you again if you want to create these card headings. You
can now say yes with no harm done.

Sec. 3 B - First Time Use --Billing Categories


Letter To Press At Main Menu: B

When you press B at the Main Menu, MR. BILL calls up the
program which sets up, displays and changes your billing codes
and rates. This program will give you a menu of choices: D to
display your codes, S to set up your codes, C to change your
codes, M to go to the Main Menu and X to exit to the operating

The first time you use this module you will press S on
this menu for a first time Set Up of your billing codes and
rates. You will be asked for the name of the file you want to
use to hold your billing codes. This billing category file name
is the SAME NAME you gave when you set up your subtotal cate-
gories. In our example it is DMA.

Now you begin to make your list.

You will be asked five questions over and over again. MR.
BILL will want to know (1) the three character code for the
billing category, (2) the heading for the category, (3) the rate
you want to charge for that kind of work, (4) the "conversion
factor", and (5) the subtotal category that this item should be
shown under. There are sixty-five categories you can set.


Previous versions of Mr. Bill limited you to a three
character billing code. Starting with Version 3.24 your
billing code can be as little as one or as many as seven
characters. Don't mix letters and numbers in a code. That is,
X15 is a BAD billing code. Make it VWXYZ or XYZ or 15 or 12345
but DON'T make it X12345. It WON'T work correctly that way.

All codes for bills, that is charges you make against
the client, are one to seven letters or numbers long.
For example, a code for a charge for a telephone call
could be TEL or PHONE or T or TELEPHN. If you wanted to show
calls to the opposing attorney, you might use TTATN and for
calls to the client, TTCLNT. Whatever codes you
want. All codes for credits, that is payments for the benefit of
the client, MUST end with a slash (/). Whenever MR. BILL sees
a code that ends with a slash, for example 125 PAYMT/ or 125
SETLE/ or 125 REFND/, it knows that you have received $125 as
a payment or received $125 as a settlement amount or
credited $125 to the client as a refund paid to you.

Sec. 3 B - First Time Use --Billing Categories

You can use any codes you like. Payments don't have to be
PAYMT/. They can be XXXXXX/ or X/ if you like so long as you
keep to the convention of ending all codes for credits, for
money received for the client's benefit, as contrasted with
money charged, with a slash, that is a /. MR. BILL considers
all charges against the client to be positive numbers and all
credits to the client to be negative numbers.


If you make a typo while entering your billing codes and
rates, don't worry. For any one code, you can press "P" [return]
and you will be returned to the Previous question. If you have
finished the questions for any one code and then realize a mistake
in a previous entry, just go on and enter the rest of your
codes. When you are finished MR. BILL will display what you
typed in and allow you to change anything you like.


After you have entered all the codes you want to use, 20,
30, 40, 65 --- however many you want to use, you tell MR. BILL
that you are done entering your income and billing abbreviations
by typing /// in answer to the Billing Code? question. MR. BILL
knows that means you are done, for now at least. Don't worry,
you can come back later and enter more later if you want.


The second question (the first being the 1-7 letter code) is
what heading you want to give that item. For example, you might
give TEL the heading "Telephone Call(s)". You might give PY/ the
heading "PAYMENT RECEIVED -- THANK YOU". You will see a line in
the screen like this: X_____________ with the cursor indicated by
the mark at the beginning of the line. The line indicates how
long your heading can be -- (30 characters). Your heading does not
have to have words in it. If you want a blank heading, you
can enter several spaces for a heading. Headings can also be
in lower case. Press "P" [return] to go to the billing code question.


Numbers To The Left Of The Heading

If you want to have numbers printed in front of the headings
on the bill, for example, if your heading is Hours In
Conference, and you want the number of hours to print to the
left of the heading, then just enter the normal heading description,
namely, Hours In Conference. The same applies to categories
for the number of pages or the number of widgets. 2 CNF might
thus print as:


Sec. 3 B - First Time Use --Billing Categories

2.00 Hours In Conference $200

No Numbers To The Left Of The Heading

If you don't want a number to print to the left of the
heading, for example, payments or certain costs, then begin your
heading description with a '-' (hyphen). If you received $500 and
you didn't want the 500 to print to the left of the heading, you
would enter your heading as -Payment Received. Thus, when you
entered 500 py/ as a payment entry, it would print on the bill as

-Payment Received $500
500.00 Payment Received $500.

Thus, payments and these sorts of no leading number entries
would be entered with a hyphen (-) as the first character of the
heading description.


Don't Print The Heading At All

Sometimes you have types of charges which you don't
want to print on the invoice at all. For example, UNBILLED
TIME. Any heading that has a slash (/) as the first character
will not print on the bill at all.

have /UNBILLED TIME with a rate of 0 dollars. If you use the B
instead of the P option (explained below) and don't enter a date
or a narrative at the time of billing, then nothing will appear
on the bill. NOTE: the amount entered will be used in calculating
the total billed and can be included in management reports.
So, to create a category in which the heading line will not print
on the bill, make the first character in the heading a slash (/).


Printing "Total Hours:" At The Bottom Of The Bill

Some users want to be able to print 2 hours of this, 3 hours
of that, half an hour of something else, and then print:

Total Hours: 5.50

at the bottom of the bill. If you want to total "widgets"
instead of "Hours", use your word processor to do a global
search and replace on your file of bills, finding "Total Hours:"
and replacing it with "Total Widgets:" on each bill in your file.


Sec. 3 B - First Time Use --Billing Categories

So, many of you may want to total some of the units shown
on the bill, whether those units are hours, widgets, pages or
whatever. You have to do something to tell Mr. Bill that you
want the units in any particular category added together to get
this total. You do that by making the first character in the
heading a space.

Let's go over that again. Let's say that you want to add
all your hours together and show the total at the bottom of the
bill. Let's also say that you will be billing for Hours In
Conference, Hours In Research and Hours In Court. Okay. When
you create your headings, you type them as:

" Hours In Conference" NOT "Hours In Conference"
" Hours In Research" NOT "Hours In Research"
" Hours In Court" NOT "Hours In Court"

Notice that you made the first character of each heading
a blank space. That space tells Mr. Bill: "Take the number of units
for this category and add it all the units for all the other
categories that also begin with a space." Now, when you create
your bills, Mr. Bill will ask you if you want to show "Total
Hours" at the bottom of the bill. If you say, Yes, you do, then
Mr. Bill will take the total it has added up and print it at
the bottom of the bill.


A Regular heading prints units to the left of the heading and does
not add up the units to print as a total at the bottom of the bill.

A Heading beginning with a space, prints units to the left of the
heading AND adds those units up to be printed at the bottom
of the bill.

A Heading beginning with a hyphen does not print numbers to the
left of the heading and does not add up units at the bottom.

A Heading beginning with a slash does not print the heading at
all; it does not print numbers to the left; it does not add up
numbers on the bottom of the bill.


The third question asks for your rate. For example, if
you charge $15 for a phone call, then the rate would be 15 (No
Dollar Signs, please). If your code is COPY and your heading is
PAGES OF PHOTOCOPIES then your rate might be .10 or ten cents
per page. MR. BILL multiplies the number of units you enter
when you prepare your bills, e.g. 4 TEL (for four telephone
calls) times the rate (4 X 15) and comes up with a charge of
$60. 100 COPY means 100 copies at ten cents each or 100 X .10=


Sec. 3 B - First Time Use --Billing Categories

If you will be entering a dollar amount when you do your
bills, that is, 115 FIL for $115 for filing fees or 500 PY/ for
a $500 payment, then your rate will be 1. A rate of 1 passes
through whatever number you enter when you do your billing
entries as the amount to be charged in dollars. 1 X 115= $115.
1 X 500= $500. A rate of 0 always results in a zero charge.
500 x 0 = 0. Press "P" [return] to go to the Heading question.


The fourth question asks for a "conversion factor". This
is not as ominous as it sounds. If you want to have the bill
show "HOURS IN CONFERENCE" but you want to enter your time in
minutes, i.e. 37 CNF, then you want to convert the minutes you
enter into hours on the bill. The conversion factor is 60.

MR. BILL divides the units you enter by the conversion
factor and prints the result on the bill. 120 minutes divided
by a conversion factor of 60 yields 2 hours. If you consider
eight hours to be a working day, you might enter your time in
hours and use a conversion factor of 8. The bill would then
print out your charges in units of working days.

You must NOT consider the conversion factor when you
enter your rates. Suppose you want to enter your time in
minutes --- 5 minutes for this 10 minutes for that. That is
fine. Suppose you want the bill to show your time in hours.
Fine, select a conversion factor of 60 and your time will be
shown in hours. Suppose you charge $90 per hour. Enter your rate
as 90.

MR. BILL multiplies the units entered times the rate and THEN
divides by the conversion factor. So, 15 minutes divided by 60
times $90 per hour will yield a charge of $22.50. Thus, 15 CNF will
show as:


So, even if you enter your time in minutes, give your rate in
hours because your conversion factor converts the minutes to hours.
In summary, your billing entry is divided by your conversion factor
and multiplied by your billing rate. Press "P" [return] to go to
the previous Rate question.


The fifth question wants to know the subtotal category you
want this entry included in. For example, if subtotal category
number 1 is PAYMENTS RECEIVED, and if your code is PY/ for
PAYMENT RECEIVED, the subtotal category you want to enter for
the code PY/ is 1. If HOURS IN CONFERENCE is a fee charge and
subtotal category number 6 is NEW FEES CHARGED then the CNF code
would be included in subtotal category 6.


Sec. 3 B - First Time Use --Billing Categories

In other words, this question wants to know what subtotal
category you want this charge or credit assigned to. All charges
and credits must be assigned to one of the subtotal categories
that you set up. If you forget what they are, just press a ?
and they will be displayed on the screen.

MR. BILL allows you to print the dollar amount of the charge
on the bill or not as you desire. For example, 15 CNF could be
shown as:


For each and every billing code you can decide if you want
to print the charge for that service on the bill or leave the
charge blank.

In answer to the fifth question you say 1P to put the
entry into the first subtotal category and Print the dollar
amount of the charge to the right of the heading or
1B to put it into the first category and leave the charge Blank.
For the CNF example above, you would use 6P to put hours in
conference in subtotal category 6 and print the charges for that
item on the bill to the right of the heading or 6B to leave the
charge blank. Press "P" [no return needed] to go back to the
Conversion Factor question. This was the last of the five
questions. MR. BILL will now start over with question number
one, Billing Code.


Once you have entered as many charge and credit codes as
you like, you can view the list and change any entry you want.
If you wish to add more codes, then type C to change the next
avaliable code from an unused code to whatever you want to add.

When you are all done, MR. BILL will write your list
alphabetized by the category headings under the file name (in
our example): B:DMA.HED. MR. BILL will write your list alpha-
betized by the three letter codes in the file: B:DMA.ABV.


MR. BILL will allow you to assign each of your billing
codes to one of ten different management report headings.
Suppose you want to summarize all of your hourly entries to
determine how many hours you billed this month. You can assign
each of your codes that relates to hours to a Hours Worked
heading in the management report.


Sec. 3 B - First Time Use --Billing Categories

Also, suppose you entered a code called UNB for unbilled
time as a non printing entry. You could set the billing rate as
zero (so the bill would not reflect a charge for these hours).
Now every time you did work on a client and didn't charge for it,
you could enter, say 2.5 UNB or whatever the number of unbilled
hours was. You could assign this code to the heading
Unbilled Time in the management report. Now, when you run the
management report from the audit trail module, MR. BILL will
show the total of unbilled hours entered for the month.


You can have up to ten different rates for each type of
work. MR. BILL saves the basic rate, rate table 0 in memory,
and alternate rates, rate tables 1 through 9, in disk files on
your data disk. Thus your basic rates are saved, in our
example, in file DMA0.CDE and the alternate rates in DMA1.CDE
through DMA9.CDE.

When you set up your rates for the first time, they are
saved (for example) in DMA0.CDE. DON'T YOU PUT IN THE 0 (ZERO).
Mr. Bill will do that all on its own. Suppose you are charging
$100/hour for consulting. Suppose you have a special client whom you
want to give a break to and charge $50/hour for the same
consulting work. Maybe you have a third client whom you want to
charge $125/hour. Here is what you do:

First, enter your codes and rates for your general charges
of $100 per hour. Exit to the operating sustem and make a copy
of the file DMA0.CDE (or whatever you named your billing code
file) as DMA1.CDE. For example: C>COPY C:DMA0.CDE C:DMA1.CDE

Now, type BILL and press B to enter Billing Codes. Next,
press D to display your codes. Give DMA as the
billing code file name you want to work with. Now, you will
be asked which rate table, 0 through 9 you want to work with.

Since you have just created DMA1, press 1. Mr bill will
display your rates. You now enter the number of each
rate which you wish to change from $100/hour to $50/hour.
Press R to change the rate to $50/hour. DON'T CHANGE ANYTHING

Make a note on a piece of paper that 0 = $100/hour; 1 =
$50/hour. Repeat the proceedure for each additional rate table
you want to create up to DMA9.CDE. When you enter your addresses,
you will be able to enter a number from 0 through 9 for each
billing name. If you want to charge Tom Smith $50/hour and you
have set up rate table 1 as $50/hour, then enter a 1 as the
Tom Smith rate table. Now, when you enter charges for Tom,
Mr. Bill will automatically bill him at that rate without any
action at all on your part.


Sec. 3 B - First Time Use --Billing Categories


You can print these lists of codes and rates either by calling
up DMA.HED or DMA.ABV on your word processer and having it print
them or by printing these files through DOS.

If you print in DOS, your printer will print the list on one
continuous piece of paper. I suggest that you have a long piece
in the printer as the list will be 65 lines long.

MR. BILL will create for its own use the file DMA0.CDE
containing the codes and rates and DMA.TBL containing the
headings, subtotal categories and conversion factors. Don't mess
with these data files!


For any given date, the categories you choose will be
printed on your bills in the same order that you entered them
when you set up your list. That means that if the first cate-
gory that you entered was for "PHOTOCOPY EXPENSES" and the
second entry was for "HOURS IN CONFERENCE" and the third entry
was for "TELEPHONE CALLS" then when a bill is written, the first
entry for, say 11-1-86, will be "PHOTOCOPY EXPENSES", (if there
were any), the second for 11-1-86 will be "HOURS IN CONFERENCE"
and the third for 11-1-86 will be "TELEPHONE CALLS" and so
forth. NOTE: these headings don't have to be in all capitals.

If you want your categories to appear on your bill in
alphabetical order, then you must enter them in alphabetical

If you want your bill to show all your costs first then
all your fees, you must enter all your cost codes first, then
all your fee codes. In that way, each date billed will first
show the costs charged on that day, then all the fees charged on
that day.

If you want to see your codes in exactly the same order
that you entered them, type control P then type TYPE C:DMA.TBL
(or whatever name you used) and press return or have your word
processing program print out your file DMA.TBL which will be
found on your data disk.

IT. If you make any changes to it or even re-save through your
word processor, you may make it unusable by the program. If you
must edit it, use the "N" option in WordStar.



You start MR. BILL by typing:
A>BILL [return]

Your disk has a file called ORD with contains the number 1.
This starts the getting started "tutorial". You will be taken
to the following modules:

1) BILLSUB, to set up your (up to) nine subtotal categories
2) BILLSET, to set up your billing codes and rates
3) BILLADD, to enter your client/customer addresses

When these have been set up, Mr. Bill will erase ORD and
take you to the Main Menu. You can now press 'E' to enter your
charges and credits. After entering your billing data
(activities) you can press 'P' at the Main Menu to get
information about how to print your bills and reports.

Let Mr. Bill take you through the set-up modules, then
enter some data and print some bills. Play with it. Nothing you
do with Mr. Bill with erase your files or format your disks or
cause your machine to go up in smoke. Experiment with it, use it
and if you like it, send for the manual.

NOTE: When you set up your subtotal categories, you will
be asked for your billing code name. Use your initials or 'MYBILLS'
or 'RATES' or whatever you like.

When you set up your table of billing codes and rates
you will again be asked for your billing code name. Us the SAME
NAME, 'RATES' 'MYBILLS' 'DMA' whatever, but the same name as
you used when you set up your subtotals.

When you enter your addresses, you will be asked for your
billing code name. USE THE SAME NAME. Mr. Bill will tack an
extension onto the end of this name for different files: .CDE for
billing codes, .ADD for address files, .KEY for billing name key
files, etc. So, please, first set up your subtotals, second,
setup your billing codes and third set up your addresses and
use the same file name when you start each of these modules.


I gave a bit of thought to the question of color. Most
users have monochrome screens, though in a couple of years this
will change. Most of the color users are satisfied with white
letters on a dark blue screen. I could write a color installation
program then put code into each module to read the set up
file and set the chosen color. BUT, this would add another
program, another disk file, more user confusion and more code.
I have, however, made it possible for you to change the colors


which Mr. Bill uses. The default colors are white letters (the
foreground color) on a blue background. These colors can be changed
by placing the numbers of alternate colors in the DISKDRVE file.

Let me explain: Turbo Basic gives each color a number
according to the list below:

0=Black; 1=Blue; 2=Green; 3=Cyan; 4=Red; 5=Magenta
6=Brown; 7=White; 8=Gray; 9=Light Blue; 10=Light Green
11=Light Cyan; 12=Light Red; 13=Light Magenta 14=Yellow
15=Bright White;

Thus, Bright white letters on a blue background (the
default) would be 15 (bright white), 1 (blue);

Blue letters on a white background would be 1 (blue)
15 (bright white);

Red letters on a green background would be 4 (red), 2

You can add two lines of color numbers to your diskdrve
file to tell Mr. Bill that you want it to use the specified
colors instead of white letters on a blue background. For
example, if you wanted White letters on a Black background,
your DISKDRVE file would look like this:


Don't type in the information in the brackets. That is
just to explain the data to you. Here is how you could create
a diskdrve version to put green letters on a gray background:

1 file(s) copied



Again, don't type in the words in the brackets. They are
just to explain things to you. That is, you don't type the word
"return"; you press the return key. The control Z means that you
hold down the control key and press a Z at the same time.


If you are happy with white on blue, YOU DON'T HAVE TO DO


The above Table of Contents gives you an outline of what is
in the full MR. BILL manual. Users who register with me will get
a disk containing the full manual plus notification of updates
and some help if you call with a question.

To register, send me your name and address and $30. If you
use MR. BILL, I ask you to send me the $30 as part recompense for
the many hundreds of hours I have invested in the program.

Commercial users are strongly urged to pay the $30
if they use the program. If you haven't registered the program,
don't call with questions. I return all calls collect to
registered users.

If you like MR. BILL, you should consider trying CK tm, a
program I wrote to keep track of all the income and expenses in
my law practice including monthly and year to date reports for my
CPA. CK is also available from the people who sent you MR BILL.

Take care,

David M. Alexander

David M. Alexander
2600 El Camino Real #506
Palo Alto, CA 94306


 December 16, 2017  Add comments

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