Author: ericbennetlawt1972

5 Jul

How to Accurately Bill for Your Time

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Billable hours are the life blood of any law firm. But for attorneys working on some projects, figuring out how to accurately bill their time can be a challenge. Some of them may guesstimate the actual number of hours they spent on a case while others use legal billing software. But all law firm billing software are not the same, so to ensure they get the most accurate one it’s necessary they do some research. There are a number of programs attorneys find very helpful for documenting their billable hours and making sure they accurately bill clients for the time spent working on their cases.

 

Legal Billing Software

With a little research it is relatively easy for an attorney to find legal billing software that works well. One such program is South Dakota Odyssey Case Management. This program is easy to use and gives the attorney all the necessary essentials for the law office to be able to track their billable hours spent working on specific projects. This can help to improve their bottom line by producing an accurate total of each staff member’s billable hours. This also benefits the clients by helping to ensure they do not overpay for the legal services they receive.

 

Use Detailed Billing Descriptions

In addition to using legal billing software, another way an attorney can ensure their billable hours are accurate is by employing detailed billing descriptions. By providing a clear description of the tasks performed and how long it took, the law firm can present the client with a well-drafted invoice. It should contain sufficient detail that anyone reviewing the document will be able to understand the nature of the work performed and its importance to the overall job. This description should be brief enough to be quickly read, but contain enough detail and specificity to make it easy to comprehend and fit into the context of the overall project.

 

Don’t Use Block Billing

Some law firms list an entire group of tasks as part of a block summary and bill for it as a single time entry. Many clients see block billing as a way for an attorney to hide the inefficient use of their time. Plus some courts do not accept block billing as they find it can hinder the accurate and effective disbursement of the fee owed to an attorney following a judgement. A more effective billing method is to itemize each activity the attorney performed separately and list the length of time it took. This makes it easier to account for the time spent working on a case.

Promptly Record Time

To ensure an attorney provides an accurate bill for the services they render, it’s in the best interest of all involved if they record the time spent on a task immediately after they complete it. This makes it easier to reconstruct the activities for any specific day, week or month spent on a project. This can prevent clients from claiming an attorney has padded their billable hours. Some attorneys say their law firm billing software doesn’t allow them to document their time the moment they complete a task. In those cases they should use some type of back up system.

Become Familiar With the Client’s Billing Policies

Billing policies can differ from one client to another. To improve the accuracy of their billing attorneys should make themselves familiar with the billing policies of each new client. These policies are often presented in the client’s engagement letter. The billing policies usually outline staffing limitations, guidelines for the budget, payment disbursement policies as well as timekeeping guidelines. When attorneys are cognizant of those rules at the beginning, they can better handle finance issues and time management as well as meet client expectations.

 

Consider Your Audience

When preparing a listing of your billable hours, it’s important to consider who will be reviewing the bills. That may include in-house counsel as well as accountants, third-party auditors and people at several levels at the client’s company. Therefore it is vital that when it’s time to record their billable hours attorneys should avoid using slang, abbreviations or overly complex legal jargon. The best course of action is for the attorney to take to assure accuracy is to use concise legal terminology understanding the timesheets may end up being reviewed by people who aren’t trained in the law.

Following there guidelines can go a long way towards helping attorneys to make sure that the listing of their billable hours are as accurate as possible.

 

4 Jul

11 Legal Financing Tips Every Lawyer Should Know

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Legal financing tips will help you manage law firm billing software, and you will find that the legal billing software helps you finance your firm, helps you give financing to your clients and ensures that you have proper accounting information for the business. There are quite a few different ways for you to ensure financing has been managed properly at your firm, and this article explains how financing works for a law firm.

 

#1: Financing Yourself

Financing yourself is quite important, and there are many different people who will notice that they may take out loans for the firm. You may use quite a lot of cash to ensure that the firm may run, and you may use these loans when you are taking on special projects. Your business may rely on short-term financing, and you will find that it is much easier to take a loan than to find new clients.

 

#2: Cash Flow

Cash flow will help you ensure that you are operating properly, and you will save quite a lot of time worrying about finances when you have a loan coming in. You may create cash flow easily, and you will save money on good terms for these loans.

 

#3: Financing Hiring

Financing for hiring at your firm is quite important if you must offer incentives, and there are many different people who will attract the finest talent because of their incentives. The incentives that have been offered by the company will make it simpler for you to hire, and you will meet the best lawyers in the trade who apply.

 

#4: Financing Clients

Clients are quite important to your business, and they must have loans that will pay for services. You may have a number of different clients who cannot afford what you offer, and they may take a loan or financing packages that will help them pay you back for what you have done.

 

#5: Payments

Payments to your business may be made online, and you will notice that you have a number of payments come through on the online system in any currency you require. You may have the payments come through the law firm billing software, and you will notice that the payments are credited directly to your accounts. Legal billing software will sync with your accounts, and you will see all payment information go into your accounting program.

 

#6: Online Services

You may send your clients to an online page that will help them check their bill, make payments and contact you. You must ensure that you have given your clients a place to come that is quite simple to use, and you will feel much better about the customer service you are offering. The clients will be happy with you, and they will do much of what you need without any help.

#7: Taxes

Printing reports for your law firm is quite important, and you will find that the tax reports help you file your return. You may print reports for all the financing and other options your have used, and you will have a record of every client who has taken advantage of your financing packages.

 

#8: Financing Companies

Financing companies are helpful to you because they provide you a number of ways to give loans to your clients. Clients will use their loans to pay for services, and you will be paid upfront. This is a faster way to be paid, and it ensures that you are not spending all your time working with a client on payment options. You need not drop your rate, and you will be paid faithfully by the loan company.

 

#9: Loans For Special Services

Loans for special services may be required when you must hire partners to help you with a case. You are free to take these loans from any company, and they ensure that you are saving quite a lot of cash and time on each new service. A small fee for the loan is nothing compared to paying out of pocket.

 

#10: Client Delayed Payments

You may delay payments for your clients, and they will set payment arrangements with you given what you have agreed to.

 

#11: No-Interest Financing

You may offer no-interest financing, and there are many different people who will take advantage of this because they know that they need to reduce their payments as much as possible.

You may manage research management and citation, law firm billing software and loan packages that serve you and your client base.

 

 

3 Jul

Never Work for Free Again with the Perfect Legal Billing Software

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Preparing For Professional Legal Work

Attorneys who are fresh out of law school and have endless opportunities ahead of them can take several paths to gaining prominence. After all, what good is a career in law that doesn’t gain attention? The Access to Law Initiative in California has inspired several new classes of attorneys who are ready to enter the jurisprudence fields. These attorneys have the option of aggressively pursuing a traditional career, or tailoring an office toward the needs of modern clients.

 

Be Prepared To Be Flexible

If your path in legal assistance is leading toward public service, which means giving legal advice for free, there are several client filing and bookkeeping procedures that you should know about. There’s no question that a person trained in the legal fields has the know-how to run a firm. Business and legal details are related, but there are pitfalls to navigate. Anyone wanting to start a new legal practice should consider help from a billing service that makes extending assistance to clients easy and profitable.

 

All Service Deserves Compensation

It is very common for people entering the legal fields to go about representing clients with a service-oriented attitude. This is a great pursuit. It is also common for attorneys offering pro bono help to overwhelmed when it comes to bookkeeping. There is no reason that a qualified attorney should provide help to clients without just compensation. There are man opportunities to provide free help, but in other cases, a sure way of calculating professional costs must exist.

 

Software Allows Flexibility

Legal billing software is the most accurate way that legal offices can track and schedule payments. Since many attorneys have obligations to a diverse clientele, it is also a good idea to use law firm billing software that accepts and recognizes variances in international currency rates. Lawyers who are just starting out in the professional world should realize that their influence has the potential to involve international disputes. A legal billing software setup is vital for accurately collecting payment for services.

 

Software Eliminates Fact and File Problems

Another problem that new lawyers face is the potential for perjury disputes. The most common way a lawyer is pinned for this type of mistake is inadequate bookkeeping. In the past, it was necessary to hire a professional accountant to file records on every case. Now, accountant services can be accomplished through law firm billing software that is automatic and consistently reliable. Software that provides options for daily records, account management, and case discrepancies are valuable to a legal team. Instead of spending valuable time manually recording activity, legal billing software accurately accounts for all professional service actions.

 

Software Billing Fills the Gaps

One of the ways a legal team loses out on payment is extra time spent in research and preparation. Logging time spent researching case information is difficult. It is important to let clients know that time spent researching case material is a professional service that requires compensation. If law firm billing software is utilized, it is easier for clients to understand that every hour spent on a case requires compensation for things like,

 

  • Extra time spent on researching case details.
  • Time spent on organizing court files.
  • Extra time explaining legal processes to clients.
  • Reorganization at every level of case preparation.

 

Incorporating Billing Software is a Good Business Move

Legal billing software is a great tool for new and established firms in streamlining their books, or designing a new client payment schedule. Software options not only allow lawyers to keep accurate records of their actions, but provide concrete evidence in cases where bookkeeping is important. There is no need to start a legal career the old-fashioned way. Lawyers having to make records on their own are more likely to incur scrutiny when it comes to private firm accounts and time records. Using software to take care of all the details is a better option for lawyers who want to avoid clerical hassles as they build the reputation of their firms.

 

2 Jul

How to Easily Track Your Billable Hours

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Plan Ahead

Tracking your billable hours sounds easy in theory, but it can quickly get out of hand until you are completely confused and have no idea how many hours you have spent. It is a job itself, and that is why many people prefer to use legal billing software. This way they have one less thing that they have to worry about. At the very least, you need to make a planner right away to start recording the time you spend. Make it a habit to write down every time you start and stop working. Do not make exceptions and decide to pencil it in later, because you are likely to forget or get the information wrong. It is best to be proactive and get this done right away. Also be sure that you write down what task you are working on. Do not make the mistake of thinking you will not forget, because you will. Double check your firm’s billing guidelines to make sure you are following the rules they have outlined. They will also provide the abbreviations you need to know when making your notes on this.

 

Use A Legal Billing Software

Now that you have written down all your hours throughout the day, it is time to add these to the software or app you have chosen to use. This will allow you and your employer to cut down on the amount of time it takes for you to get paid. These new technologies are greatly beneficial in this field and will make life easier for everyone. Since you will often have multiple clients and therefore multiple different guidelines to keep up with, choosing a LAW FIRM BILLING SOFTWARE will allow you to easy keep up with this. This will allow you to avoid making mistakes and slowing down the process of getting payment in the future. Most importantly, it makes things a lot easier for you. Here are some of the billing softwares that are highest rated:

  • ProTemus. This software is secure and features a cloudless platform where all data is securely stored on a local network.
  • Cosmolex. Catered to small law firms and specializes in practice, billing and accounting.
  • Needles. The leader in Law Practice and Case Management Software.
  • Cilo. Features a secure communication portal that allows you to use credit card through the software and receive payments through invoice.
  • Leanlaw. Save money by using this streamlined billing software that works with QuickBooks.

 

These are all great LAW FIRM BILLING SOFTWARE options. There is a perfect option for everyone depending on what type of field you are in and also the size of the firm. Every lawyer knows that the worst part of the job is recording time and trying to keep track of everything they do in a day–which is a lot. These softwares eliminate that tedious part of the job so that you have more time to get caught up on your work. It also makes you seem most professional since it eliminates any false information that is sometimes accidentally recorded. It is incredibly vital that the time in which a lawyer spends working is recorded properly, because their clients pay them per hour.

 

How You Can Learn More

To learn more about the LAW FIRM BILLING SOFTWARE and the process of recording billable hours, look into the School Of law Online Resources. Here, you will be able to find all the information you need in order to responsibly and ethically keep track of your billable hours. The Legal Information Institute is another great place to check to find the most accurate information on this subject of billable hours. It will outline the meanings in different written agreements and explain what hybrid contracts are. Hybrids have been confusing for many attorneys that bill per hour because it is a relatively new and confusing process. At this site, you will be able to easily access different part of the law in order to see how it pertains to you and your contract with your firm or client.

 

Save Time And Money

In conclusion, the best way keep track of your billable hours is to purchase a legal billing software. This will save you time, and as a lawyer, your time is literally money. It is important to be as efficient as possible and a billing software is the way to accomplish that. Take a look at the recommended softwares listed above and you are sure to find something that will work well for you.

2 Jul

How to Easily Track Your Billable Hours

LAW-FIRM-BILLING-SOFTWARE-10

Plan Ahead

Tracking your billable hours sounds easy in theory, but it can quickly get out of hand until you are completely confused and have no idea how many hours you have spent. It is a job itself, and that is why many people prefer to use legal billing software. This way they have one less thing that they have to worry about. At the very least, you need to make a planner right away to start recording the time you spend. Make it a habit to write down every time you start and stop working. Do not make exceptions and decide to pencil it in later, because you are likely to forget or get the information wrong. It is best to be proactive and get this done right away. Also be sure that you write down what task you are working on. Do not make the mistake of thinking you will not forget, because you will. Double check your firm’s billing guidelines to make sure you are following the rules they have outlined. They will also provide the abbreviations you need to know when making your notes on this.

 

Use A Legal Billing Software

Now that you have written down all your hours throughout the day, it is time to add these to the software or app you have chosen to use. This will allow you and your employer to cut down on the amount of time it takes for you to get paid. These new technologies are greatly beneficial in this field and will make life easier for everyone. Since you will often have multiple clients and therefore multiple different guidelines to keep up with, choosing a LAW FIRM BILLING SOFTWARE will allow you to easy keep up with this. This will allow you to avoid making mistakes and slowing down the process of getting payment in the future. Most importantly, it makes things a lot easier for you. Here are some of the billing softwares that are highest rated:

  • ProTemus. This software is secure and features a cloudless platform where all data is securely stored on a local network.
  • Cosmolex. Catered to small law firms and specializes in practice, billing and accounting.
  • Needles. The leader in Law Practice and Case Management Software.
  • Cilo. Features a secure communication portal that allows you to use credit card through the software and receive payments through invoice.
  • Leanlaw. Save money by using this streamlined billing software that works with QuickBooks.

 

These are all great LAW FIRM BILLING SOFTWARE options. There is a perfect option for everyone depending on what type of field you are in and also the size of the firm. Every lawyer knows that the worst part of the job is recording time and trying to keep track of everything they do in a day–which is a lot. These softwares eliminate that tedious part of the job so that you have more time to get caught up on your work. It also makes you seem most professional since it eliminates any false information that is sometimes accidentally recorded. It is incredibly vital that the time in which a lawyer spends working is recorded properly, because their clients pay them per hour.

 

How You Can Learn More

To learn more about the LAW FIRM BILLING SOFTWARE and the process of recording billable hours, look into the School Of law Online Resources. Here, you will be able to find all the information you need in order to responsibly and ethically keep track of your billable hours. The Legal Information Institute is another great place to check to find the most accurate information on this subject of billable hours. It will outline the meanings in different written agreements and explain what hybrid contracts are. Hybrids have been confusing for many attorneys that bill per hour because it is a relatively new and confusing process. At this site, you will be able to easily access different part of the law in order to see how it pertains to you and your contract with your firm or client.

 

Save Time And Money

In conclusion, the best way keep track of your billable hours is to purchase a legal billing software. This will save you time, and as a lawyer, your time is literally money. It is important to be as efficient as possible and a billing software is the way to accomplish that. Take a look at the recommended softwares listed above and you are sure to find something that will work well for you.