We usually do a holdback for a final disbursement bill, which we don’t render until at least 30 days following the last action on the file. However, in cases where we need to bill for anticipated disbursements, we post a disbursement entry & then the equal negative entry. Then, when we generate the bill, we de-select the negative entry, so that the disbursement gets billed. Then, when payment comes in, that anticipated disbursement money gets posted instead as a credit to the matter to be used against the actual disbursements.
When we close the file (or do a final disbursement account), if there is a remaining credit on the file, we disburse that back to the client. If the disbursement costs were more, then we either do a final bill or write them off.