Author: ericbennetlawt1972

10 Sep

3 Best Legal Billing Resources

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The Three Best Legal Billing Resources

No legal practice or law firm should try to track client payments and billable hours without quality law firm billing software. The University of Georgia Continuing Education Department has a formal preparatory course for attorneys; it teaches lawyers and potential lawyers about the software and computer programs needed for a successful practice. That’s just how important billing software is to the legal office. Below is a list of the three best legal billing resources:

1. Case Management Software
2. Electronic Discovery Software
3. Time Tracking and Billing Software

Each software program is designed for law firms to manage all related aspects of case preparation. These are standalone programs; but some prerequisite computer technology is required. They work in conjunction with LexusNexis CaseMap and TimeMap, Summation iBlaze, MS PowerPoint, and AbascusLaw. The resources are a part of a much larger intuitive interface, which can be customized for practice specifications.

By “standalone” this means that the software can run independently of other computer programs. But it is important to point out that they can also be integrated with other software programs such as QuickBooks.

The Practical Aspects of Law Firm Billing Software

Law firm billing software can influence the overall morale of a practice. Because there isn’t any question of error or incorrect results when time billable hours are documented through automatic time capture. The software streamlines the process and eliminates the hassles of manual time tracking. And it is much more of a challenge to track legal time with regular accounting software. Regardless of the size of the practice, law firm billing software helps each attorney manage their time more efficiently by tracking all expenditures related to billable hours.

Programmatic Legal Billing Software

Gone are the days when a client would walk in and plop down a large lump sum upfront to cover their legal fees. Today, there are a myriad of issues involved in preparing a case for trial, including docket control, litigation support and case management. In the ever demanding dynamics of the legal landscape, it’s crucial to know the amount of time that the firm invests in every case. The most practical manner of tracking billable hours is computer generated client invoices. Some top features of legal billing software are:

  • Automatic conversion of billable hours
  • Populated entry fields with correct column headers
  • Easy customization for client tasks and expenditures tracking
  • Receive payments, generate invoices and manage correspondence
  • Secure cloud based services and comprehensive reports creation

Law firm billing software is a practical method for recording and tracking the hourly charges for client services. Regardless of how many attorneys are on staff, the allocation of time expenditures is related to productivity.

UF Law To Survey Legal Professions
According to a 2009 study performed by the legal studies department at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, computer systems are seen as an efficient way to manage cases and prepare billing paperwork. When it was announced to the public that, “UF Law to survey legal professions,” it was considered a way to determine which software programs benefited law firms the most. The survey was not a blind item; it was sent by direct mail to “targeted” legal professionals.

The purpose of the survey was to identify which case management systems were most effective in supporting how the software is designed. Legal case management solutions are only effective if they work as intended. When the survey results are tabulated, UF hopes to use the information to help develop more intelligent computer software in the future. Each law firm has unique needs and the survey incorporated the fact that customized versions are often required.

Billing Software is the Backbone of Timekeeping

Billing software presents a variety of easy to follow formats. Because each law firms performs different preparatory procedures for cases, there are a plethora of customized features to choose. The basic requirements of billing software is that it tracks billable hours automatically. So, it’s accurate to say that billing software is the backbone of timekeeping for legal firms. The main purpose of tracking time spent is to manage rates, because that translates into profit revenue. A standard option is integration with other billing and accounts receivable systems. This includes MS Office, QuickBooks and Outlook. For some firms, with a large number of attorneys on staff, a customized timekeeping application may be necessary. Billing software combines all aspects of timekeeping, such as expenditures and tasks tracking, descriptions, and rates and hours.

Word Mistake Corrected:

UF LAW TO SURVEY LEGAL PROFESSION S

9 Sep

How to Keep Track of Different Prices for a Case

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Why Legal Firms Should Use Legal Billing Software

Having a top-notch case management software program for law firms is crucial to staying on top of billing and organizing financial records. It can make all of the difference in getting paid on time or not. Time and billing administration is a required task for all working in the legal trade industry regardless of how big or small the firm is. Law firm billing software works on many levels to assist with the organization of client and billing invoicing which fosters better time management. Legal billing software has built-in operations that allow one to easily track all cost and expenses that ecru in legal cases and matters. Today’s innovative software for the legal industry makes the distribution of currency between law firms and clients run smoothly without a lot less effort.

Some Features and Functions of Law Software:

The following list describes some of the many functions that billing software accomplishes for those in the legal industry.
•Tracks billable time and generates reports and statistics for invoicing purposes.
•Creates client invoicing from the recorded tracked time and sends electronically through email or prints for mail distribution.
•Gives deadline notifications
•Allows one-click billing so what is owed can be paid faster.
•Offers a mobile app so you can use the program from any device any time of the day.
•Compatible with other frequently used programs like Quick Books, Microsoft Outlook, Digital Assistance or Microsoft Word.
•Prepares IRS mandates and has a check writing capability.
•Differentiates cost per category such as attorney fees, liens, reductions and other marketing expenditures.
•Blocks time spent on cases with ABA-approved invoicing codes
•Get alerted when clients view and pay invoices that were sent.
•Offers a client portal where attorneys can delegate tasks, share files and send messages.
• Is able to import contacts, issues, case information, capital expenditures, notes, tasks, and time entries.

Keeping Track Of the Various Costs Involved With Ease

Using legal software can easily help you keep track of different prices with each case. Law programs offer a time box where when you begin work you click the start time and write a description in the box under it. The clock keeps track of the time and it can be paused for any breaks. It also uploads a date. Each time you work on a case and you use the time tracker this information is generated into a report for that client and kept for use in one place for when the invoicing is ready to be done. The software comes with an app that can be used on any device so one can keep track of time and expenses as they happen in the field. Legal billing software is designed to keep track of every aspect of a case including prices, attorney fees and many other expenses through the optimization of customized codes. Using this data, one can easily refer to the detailed expense report that explains all of the different costs involved.

About Odyssey Case Management

Odyssey Case Manager is the premier leader among legal case management software. It has the ability to function in a multi-faceted case capacity and is versatile to local and jurisdictional stipulations. Odyssey offers real security when it comes to ultra-sensitive court information and filings. Odyssey software merges the latest technology with ease in functionality. One can control entire case histories, work on documents and manage capital and other capital transactions. There many advantages to using Odyssey within a court system or a firm. All aspects of court matters can quickly and easily accessed and managed. Advanced tools allow all reports and forms to be utilized and financial transactions can be appropriated. Search data fast using many different criteria. Thousands of people in the legal field use Law firm billing software for streamlining their practices and improving efficiency. Time and money are greatly saved due to the software’s innovative features and most programs offer technical assistance managers that can be easily reached for any questions or unforeseen circumstances. Many states are using Odyssey Case Management including South Dakota. South Dakota Odyssey Case Management can be utilized on the state’s official judicial website.
8 Sep

3 Ways to Make Your Legal Fees Reasonable Yet Beneficial

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Essential Tips on How to Avoid Legal Billing Client Confrontation

Clients have become more cost-conscious than ever on their legal bills. This is because they are able to access a lot in information about legal billing, thanks to the internet. As a result, many clients now concentrate on how to rationalize legal costs. In order to maintain their reputation and remain competitive, law firms should be keen when dealing their customers and especially on financial matters.

It is important to note that simple billing mistakes can actually depict the tension beneath even the most experienced lawyers. It can as well distort the good relationship between a client and the law firm.

 

Evade billing disagreements

 

Here are some important tips on how to avoid legal billing disagreements with clients:

  • Budget for the project together
  • Prior communication on emerging costs
  • Keep accurate and reader-oriented records
  • Incorporate technology and educate the team

 

Budgeting together

 

Clients always come with a lot of expectations to the attorneys. It will, therefore, be important to analyze the scope and cost associated with each aspect of the project together. This helps to manage the set expectations and eliminate conflict when the bill is finally presented.

 

Prior communication on emerging costs

 

Avoid surprising the client with unexpected costs. No company wants a shocking large invoice. A bill that is larger than expected is an indication of miscalculated scope and risks. It portrays incompetence on the service provider. Legal entities should avoid this by simply keeping the client up to date on progress and latest happenings.

 

Keeping accurate and reader-oriented records

 

Comprehensive records will always help to eliminate disagreements. Desist from sending vague or general bills to your client. Make the bills itemized and more specific. This helps the client to establish how much he/she has to spend on each aspect of the case. The document to send to a client as a bill must be free from mistakes. The billing attorneys should remain more careful since many consumers have opted to hire auditing firms to monitor their invoices. Double checking the document before handing it over to a client is the perfect solution.

 

Incorporate technology into your operations

 

There are several software solutions in the market that can save a law firm from such misunderstandings. Some of these software solutions have been designed to perform time tracking, task coding and have the ability to analyze the encoded date to give special fee arrangements as well as alternative billing agreements.

Law Firms should also employ qualified legal administrative assistants. The assistants should have a legal assistant certificate, from a recognized legal information institute. The administrators should also have basic knowledge of law firm billing software solutions. They should be trained to understand how the firm’s billing system works. This will enable them to generate logical invoices which are error free.

 

Law firm billing software solutions

 

Some of the most popular law firm billing software companies include; Bill4Time, Ebillity, Freshbooks, PCLaw, and Cosmolex. Some of these software solutions are server-based while others are cloud based. For the server-based software, you have to install it into your computer server where all users can access. This requires an IT expert and the consumer pays once for each licensed user. Cloud-based software, on the other hand, requires a company to pay a monthly fee for each of the users.

Bill4Time, Ebillity, and Freshbooks have been confirmed to be the best for use as legal billing software. These legal billing software solutions have been created to eliminate confrontation between law firms and their customers.

 

Handling difficult clients

 

It is vital to note that there are clients who are naturally difficult to handle. One must, therefore, be prepared on how to deal with this category of clients. In order to maintain a good attorney-client relationship when handling such people, a lawyer must focus on aspects that will create a solution and not more problems.

Strive to offer the best service to the client, understand his/her billing policy, communicate effectively and send accurate invoices. The client will definitely feel your concern towards his/her problem. The least your customer will be left to is collaboration.

From a practical standpoint, it is important to make your client understand that changes in scope have got a direct effect on budget and time. In one of the Harvard law school case management journal, it is emphasized that accountability is key when it comes company-client relationship. Legal entities should, therefore, move with speed to adopt law firm billing software solutions which will help them to accurately monitor and account for each aspect of their projects. This will eliminate their billing errors.

 

7 Sep

5 Ways a Legal Billing Software Can Help Your Practice Grow

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Legal Billing Software: Growing Legal Practice:

 

 

Legal Billing Software can certainly help your law practice grow and prosper. Legal billing software can help a law practice run the office in an efficient and more organized fashion.

 

Legal Billing Software can help a practice in a variety of ways such as:

 

*Improve Accounts Payable & Receivable.

*Keep track of Trust accounts.

*Organize payroll and billing invoices.

*Store and update Financial statements.

*Better organize emails.

 

Legal Billing Software can help manage important cases, store calendars as well as important attorney-client communications. Generally speaking, Legal Billing Software can ultimately save time, money and it can help increase overall in house productivity.

 

Digital For Small and Big Firms

 

Much of the billing software for legal purposes is Cloud based. Therefore, a cloud based platform provides a simple and easy to understand solutions for both small and large law firms. Managing important cases and meeting specific deadlines is certainly made easier and more manageable by implementing the use of billing software.

 

Software of this kind offers a time tracking feature. A time tracking feature can help the user manage tasks on a daily, weekly and even monthly basis. The accounting as well as billing features are for sure an added bonus to users.

 

Use a Law Firm Billing Software For Easier Billing

 

Law Firm Billing Software can make legal billing a great deal easier. Essentially, Law Firm Billing Software can allow an attorney to work less and earn more money. Office staff can generate several billing ledgers by the simple click of a button. In addition, this type of software can be easily accessed from an office computer, laptop, iPhone and even a tablet.

 

An attractive feature of this software is that it can be accessed from locations away from the office. Therefore, you can access important documents from your home even your car if necessary.

 

Billing Software companies will many times offer a 30 day free trial period for attorneys. Actually, you can easily sign up on line to take advantage of a trial offer for Software related to Legal Billing.

 

South Dakota Odyssey Case Management is a case management system that provides helpful and accurate information to the public. This unique system provides up to date information concerning:

 

*Supreme Court rulings.

*E-Filing guidelines & updates.

*Drug Court & Small Claims Court Information.

 

The Case management system web site also provides information on local programs and services as well as probation updates and information. Essentially, this is a very useful and informational system for not only attorneys but for just about anyone.

 

Accounting Law pertains to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Certain standards are set forth for accountants that they are expected to follow. In addition, this type of law can also involve accounting standards as they apply to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

 

Law pertaining to accounting also involves recording and or settling accounts and financial data. In addition, income and expenses must be determined for tax purposes. Finally, income must be reported on a yearly income tax return. Failure to comply with such laws can have serious ramifications.

 

*Law Office Essentials:

 

Essentials for the Law Office can pertain to general rules and regulations for operating an legal firm. Therefore, there may be rules in place that must be followed concerning general code of conduct as well as billing and appointment scheduling and practices. There are essentials required for running an efficient and organized law office. Updating billing software may be one way of keeping operations running effectively.

 

Utilizing an efficient software program is critical when running a busy legal practice. Surprisingly software of this nature is relatively inexpensive. Some companies offer software and packages for under $40.00 per month. It is well worth the initial investment when you receive the benefits from such sophisticated and useful software.

 

7 Sep

5 Ways a Legal Billing Software Can Help Your Practice Grow

Legal Billing Software: Growing Legal Practice:

Legal Billing Software can certainly help your law practice grow and prosper. Legal billing software can help a law practice run the office in an efficient and more organized fashion.

Legal Billing Software can help a practice in a variety of ways such as:

*Improve Accounts Payable & Receivable.
*Keep track of Trust accounts.
*Organize payroll and billing invoices.
*Store and update Financial statements.
*Better organize emails.

What Else?

Legal Billing Software can help manage important cases, store calendars as well as important attorney-client communications. Generally speaking, Legal Billing Software can ultimately save time, money and it can help increase overall in house productivity.

Much of the billing software for legal purposes is Cloud based. Therefore, a cloud based platform provides a simple and easy to understand solutions for both small and large law firms. Managing important cases and meeting specific deadlines is certainly made easier and more manageable by implementing the use of billing software.

Digitally Track Your Time

Software of this kind offers a time tracking feature. A time tracking feature can help the user manage tasks on a daily, weekly and even monthly basis. The accounting as well as billing features are for sure an added bonus to users.

Law Firm Billing Software can make legal billing a great deal easier. Essentially, Law Firm Billing Software can allow an attorney to work less and earn more money. Office staff can generate several billing ledgers by the simple click of a button. In addition, this type of software can be easily accessed from an office computer, laptop, iPhone and even a tablet.

An attractive feature of this software is that it can be accessed from locations away from the office. Therefore, you can access important documents from your home even your car if necessary.

Billing Software companies will many times offer a 30 day free trial period for attorneys. Actually, you can easily sign up on line to take advantage of a trial offer for Software related to Legal Billing.

South Dakota Odyssey Case Management is a case management system that provides helpful and accurate information to the public. This unique system provides up to date information concerning:

*Supreme Court rulings.
*E-Filing guidelines & updates.
*Drug Court & Small Claims Court Information.

The Case management system web site also provides information on local programs and services as well as probation updates and information. Essentially, this is a very useful and informational system for not only attorneys but for just about anyone.

Accounting Law pertains to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Certain standards are set forth for accountants that they are expected to follow. In addition, this type of law can also involve accounting standards as they apply to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Law pertaining to accounting also involves recording and or settling accounts and financial data. In addition, income and expenses must be determined for tax purposes. Finally, income must be reported on a yearly income tax return. Failure to comply with such laws can have serious ramifications.

*Law Office Essentials:

Essentials for the Law Office can pertain to general rules and regulations for operating an legal firm. Therefore, there may be rules in place that must be followed concerning general code of conduct as well as billing and appointment scheduling and practices. There are essentials required for running an efficient and organized law office. Updating billing software may be one way of keeping operations running effectively.

Utilizing an efficient software program is critical when running a busy legal practice. Surprisingly software of this nature is relatively inexpensive. Some companies offer software and packages for under $40.00 per month. It is well worth the initial investment when you receive the benefits from such sophisticated and useful software.

6 Sep

3 Ways to Make Your Legal Fees Reasonable Yet Beneficial

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How to Set a Fair Price for Your Legal Fees 

Some law firms and attorneys demand high legal fees which frustrate a client. When the legal fees are unreasonably high, customers tend to look for other law firms or attorneys. However, there are different ways you can make your legal fees reasonable to the client and beneficial to you or your law firm. Hence, most law firms currently use a payment method called Alternative Fee Arrangement (AFA) law firms.
Law firms use legal billing software which can be cloud or server based to make the particular practice of law easier. Examples of legal billing software used are CaseFox, SlickPie, and Intervbill among others. Harvard Law School Case Management system uses specific software that is sufficient for a law firm as it helps in a vast array of responsibilities. Also, firms use the South Dakota Odyssey Case management that provides services making law practice efficient. The UF LAW TO SURVEY LEGAL PROFESSIONS use of case management will soon release results where many lawyers will benefit from the results.
Alternative Fee Arrangement is the agreement made between a client and the law firm whereby the client provides payment to the company based on a structure or a method instead of the hourly billing. Charges depend on the time taken by the lawyer and on how a client understands value compared with what value the client receives. An example is if the work at hand usually takes 3 hours and the client perceives a greater value demanding the lawyer to finish in 1 hour, the work will be priced higher than the ordinary price for the regular 3 hours of work. For efficiency, lawyers use a law firm billing software often Bill4Time software to keep time for the hourly bills.
The charges are always reasonable and fair both to the client and the firm. A lawyer is paid based on the historical billing deals for disbursements and fees in 12 monthly installments with the initial payment made the first month following the AFA start date. The payment invoice is created using the law firm billing software specific to the matter.
There are different types of Alternative Fee Arrangements which include:
• Contingent or success fee
• Fixed or flat fee
• Task or unit-based billing
• Percentage billing
• Retrospective fee based on value
• Statutory or other scheduled fee systems
Moreover, a law firm can pair two types forming a hybrid fee arrangement. This article discusses three main ways embraced by many companies.

Contingent or Success Fee

Under this fee, with a billing software, the desired results are put into the agreement and what fee will not be covered under the fee agreement is stated. In the accord, the lawyer agrees to take a fixed percentage; generally, 30 to 40 %, of the amount finally paid to the client. An example is the contingent fee placed if the client wins a case and money is awarded then the lawyer takes the agreed percentage. The fee is payable if a favorable result is obtained. If the client wins the case, the lawyer is paid the contingent fee in addition to the usual hourly billing fee. This payment is advantageous as it adds money to the reasonable fee for the attorney.

Fixed or Flat Fee

Fixed fee is a fee charged for a predefined service at a flat fee or a fixed or linear rate. The fee is charged for the whole service or part of the service according to the agreement. The service does not depend on the value and time of work. The client deposits the money which will be managed by a law firm billing software on a trust account basis for the services not yet delivered. For example is the contract drafting issue, a contract can be based on a template charging rather than time taken to complete. Therefore a lawyer charges a fixed fee topping up to the standard hourly billing fee.

Percentage Fee

The percentage fee is charged according to the amount of money in question involved in the matter at hand, unlike contingency fee. The fee may be constant or can vary depending on what is encountered during the process. An example is a percentage charged on a real estate being purchased, a percentage of a loan or a bond issue. The percentage fee is paid in addition to the normal negotiated legal fees
Alternative Fee Arrangements step is advantageous because it increases profitability, reduces misunderstandings, provides greater cost credibility, it is confident and transparent.
5 Sep

How Digitally Sending Invoices Can Keep You Organized

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Digitization of Invoicing

 

Digitization of documents has become the common trend in organizations. It has been enabled by digital backups and filling utilities and helps in ensuring safe storage of records, secure access to data and accuracy in records. Organizing invoices is an important measure in any firm to prevent errors that are likely to occur in accounts. Invoices can be stored as papers or through electronic means. Electronic invoicing is the most efficient accounting method. Today, most organizations including law firms have adopted the use of electronic receipts which are stashed in emails, phones or cloud services.

 

General Ways of Storing Invoices

 

 

  1. Computer spreadsheets are more efficient than the printed ones. Spreadsheets allow one to store information in categories making it easier to trace data when needed. They can be divided on a timely basis such as weekly, random, and monthly invoices.
  2. The use of an invoice book. Invoices can be kept as an electronic book with each invoice stored differently.
  3. A filing cabinet is also necessary to ensure easy access. It is common with paper invoices but with the use of electronic invoicing invoices can be categorized based on type, company or even occurrence and then saved in different folders.

Ways of storing invoices in a digitized form

 

  1. Paper Tiger Use

 

This software helps in defining the storage location for bills. It offers a system for indexing all the files on your computer. It also minimizes the chances of misfiling as it requires the user to standardize on only one indexing structure. Paper Tiger allows the creation of a database for various accounts categories. This database allows a quick search which makes the reorganization of files easy. Using a simple database search, all the locations that a file existed in previously are displayed. Paper Tiger offers value for money either as a cloud based service at an annual cost of $50 or as a desktop software at $ 80.

 

  1. The use of Google Drive

 

It offers a unique feature over the other cloud storage services by allowing files search. Google Drive allows a search through android apps or iOS. Other than easy access and search, it also allows sharing of files with others. This enhances accountability and transparency in a firm especially with matters concerning account receivables and account payables. It also offers security to invoices as they are labeled private by default and sharing can only occur by the authorization of the user. Google Drive offers a 15GB free storage, and any additional storage space comes with an extra cost. The monthly charge for 100GB is $5 and for a 200GB is $10. Storage capacity and time limits are the key features to consider when purchasing this cloud based storage service for the firm.

 

  1. The Use of NeatConnect

 

This software functions as a combination of NeatCloud and NeatDesk document scanner. NeatCloud functions like any other cloud based service but with unique features that allow indexing and storage of invoices. Additionally, it provides secure availability of data in the documents by use of either a mobile device or PC. One can also incorporate Mac productivity apps such as Nvalt, Popclip, Dropbox, and OmniFocus. NeatCloud allows quick and easy capturing of data. By use of the NeatCloud scanners, more than 50 receipts can be fed into the computer at once as a single unit. It also makes it easy for users by its optical character recognition which automatically recognizes and sorts files into their document type. NeatConnect could be one of the most expensive storage software, but it is one of the most elegant and simplest to use. Although the first three months of installation are free, the monthly cost afterward ranges between $5 to $25 depending on the plan chosen. The initial installation is usually at a fee of $500 and comes with a scanner and the three free trial months.

 

The use of Legal Billing Software in Organizing Invoices

 

 

It is a software used in law firms to ensure efficiency and create an error free billing process. The legal billing software not only deals with billing but also incorporates all aspects of the business in ensuring smooth operations. It ensures the invoices are well stored and can be easily retrieved when needed. Clio, ProLaw, Abacus Law and Amicus Attorney are some of the best legal billing software packages.

 

Law Firm Billing Software

This software is commonly used in law firms, legal departments and used by advocates to create efficiency in the field of finance. One of the best law firm billing software is CICERO LawPack which has over three decades of use.

 

4 Sep

Why a “no-charge” is the Best Thing You Can do on an Invoice

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Why You Should Consider Adding A No-Charge To Your Invoices

You must consider how you will build invoices for your legal clients, and you will find that everyone from the Tennessee state courts to the Legal Information Institute would recommend that you not charge for certain things. This article explains the tight record keeping that will go on when you are using law firm billing software, and you will discover that you may make a change that is quite substantial.

#1: What Are You Charging For?

You are charming for your time when you use legal billing software, and you will find that even an advanced diploma in legal project management teaches you quite a lot about what to charge for. You must not charge for everything because you will seem fairly greedy, and you must have a look at how you present the invoices you send to your clients.

#2: Presenting Each Invoice

You must write up each invoice with the exact things you have done, and you will find that there are a number of things you would not charge for. You may use the legal billing software to show that you will not charge for these things simply because it is not worth it, and you will show your clients that they are not paying for things that seem quite small. They will be quite happy with you because you did not charge for certain things, and you will set a precedent in your office that values certain principles over others.

#3: The Design Of The Invoice

You may use the law firm billing software to ensure that you have the proper design for each invoice. You will notice that the invoices help you save time when explaining what you are charging for, and you will feel as though you are not making your clients feel overwhelmed. They will want to know why you do not charge for certain things, and you may show them that you simply will not charge for short phone calls and communications. Your clients will see you as benevolent, and they will be happier with your service.
#4: Certain Things Are Worth It
You must use the law firm billing software to log everything you do in a case, and you will find that you may adjust the invoice any time you want. This allows you time to remove anything that should not incur a charge, and you will find that certain cases should be pro bono. This is the point at which you must speak to your clients about your decision to not charge at all, and they will learn why their case has been escalated to this level.
#5: Write Notes On Your Invoices
You must include note son your invoices that will help your clients understand the exact reasons for each charge. You may not realize that you are in a position where you must explain every item, but you may have clients who simply need to be told these things. They will have a written record of why you charged, and they will have the explanation of why you are not charging. This is a simple matter to handle, and you may file the notes with each case.
#6: The Invoice System Saves Everything
You will have a saved record of everything you have charged for, and you will find that you may pull up each part of the case file at any time. You will save the records permanently, and you may print records when you need them. You may need to pull up old records for clients who simply have returned, or you may need to transfer records to your clients and future attorneys.

#7: Sending Records To The State

You may send records to the state when requested, and you will send them over the secure server you have. It is much easier for you to make changes to your billing and invoicing system when you know that you may call up these records at any time. You will be feel better knowing that you are using a system that is approved by other lawyers, and you may share documents through the system because it connects everyone you work with.

The billing software you use will change the way you manage your practice, and you will find that it is much easier to control how you bill and how you are paid. You may alter all your no-charges to ensure that your clients are saving money, and you may do so on a broad scale when needed.

3 Sep

6 Best Tips for Legal Billing

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Get Better at Legal Billing

Accurate legal billing is essential to any successful law practice. Many law firms depend on legal billing software to track the billable hours of their staff. But often using law firm billing software isn’t enough to capture all the nuances of legal billing for the diverse clients and cases with which many law firms are involved. While the legal billing software is effective in a large percent of cases, the complex tasks law firms sometimes perform sometimes require using supplemental system in order to be accurate. Otherwise both the client and the law firm may be unsure exactly how many billable hours it took to handle a complex case.

1. Create Detailed Billing Descriptions

Creating detailed descriptions of the tasks involved in handling a case is an excellent supplement to legal billing software. A clear description of the tasks performed makes it easier to create a well-drafted invoice when it’s time to bill the client. The description should contain enough detail so the client can judge the nature and importance of each task performed. It must also be brief enough to eliminate ambiguity and make it easy to understand. It should quickly explain what task the firm performed and why they did it.

2. Do Not Use Block Billing

Sometimes law firms list several tasks into a group, provide a block summary and enter it into their law firm billing software as a single time entry. This raises questions for some clients. They see block billing as a way to disguise inefficiency. Some courts don’t accept block billing because it hinders accurate and effective reimbursement of the fees an attorney is due after a judgement is rendered. Itemizing each activity separately along with the amount of time it took is a more effective billing method.

3. Record Your Time Immediately

Another tip for keeping your billing accurate is to immediate record your time when you complete a task. Trying to go back after-the-fact and fill in what you did on a specific day, week or month is very difficult and can lead to guestimates and clients may accuse you of padding the time spent on the task. If it is impractical to enter the time into the legal billing software upon completing a task, record it in a notebook and add the exact amount of billable hours to the timekeeping software as soon as possible.
4. Learn The Billing Policies Of Your Client
The billing procedures and policies of each client can vary greatly. They may have unique budgetary guidelines, staffing limitations, specific timekeeping guidelines and special disbursement policies. These are commonly listed in their engagement or retention letter. Being aware of the ground rules from the beginning can help you keep the required accounting of your time and better meet client expectations.

5. Consider Your Audience

When recording your time entries and billing report, consider that the document may be reviewed by in-house counsel, accountants, third-party auditors and other individuals that may not have legal training. Even though you were trained to do it a specific way in your Harvard Law School Case Management class or at the University of Georgia, avoid complex jargon, abbreviations or slang. While you should use concise legal terminology, make sure it’s clear enough to be understand by someone with simply a legal assistant certificate.

6. Make Precise Time Entries

Whether you are a partner, associate, paralegal or a member of the litigation support staff, you may be required to record your time in increments of five, ten, fifteen or thirty minutes. In some cases the client has some specific time recording directive they want you to follow. Regardless of the length of the interval, it’s important to be precise. Corporate clients are increasingly using task-based billing and coded invoices that are sorted, analyzed and paid electronically. In these systems, imprecise time entries can end of costing law firms lots of money. So accuracy is vital.

Proper billing practices can make the difference between success and failure for a law practice. Billable hours is a law firm’s life blood. As the billing systems being used by clients becomes increasingly complex and sensitive it is essential that everyone at a law firm that is involved with doing tasks that are billed to a client take every step possible to ensure their legal billing is prompt, accurate and easy to verify. With many clients now using computerized bill paying systems and specialized software, making sure that legal billing in done properly is more important than ever.

2 Sep

How a Legal Billing Software Will Protect a Client’s Financial Confidentiality

LAW-FIRM-BILLING-SOFTWARE-10

How Will Legal Billing Software Help You Save Money And Protect Clients?

 

Law firm billing software is quite important for your business, and you will find that there are a number of different people who will benefit because you run your business properly. This article explains how you may use legal billing software to save your cash and time. You have many different options when you are working with the Legal Information Institute, currency and billable hours. Someone who has questions about billing may leave it up to the law firm billing software to cover the rest.

 

#1: Billable Hours

 

You have a number of billable hours that you must track when you are working, and you will find that there are a number of different things that you likely did not realize you missed. You cannot keep track of this on paper because it could be lost, and you are much better off loading your hours into the program. You may save all your hours in the legal billing software program, and you will find that you may call up this information for each case.

 

#2: Invoices

 

The invoices you are creating through law firm billing software will be sent to your clients in any way you like, and they will receive notifications over email and text. They will have a place for you to receive payments, and they will give you a number of different payments on-time as opposed to waiting for snail mail. There are many different people who wish to pay online, and the portal you use through the software will make their lives simpler.

 

#3: The Payments

 

You will receive payments through the online portal in a short amount of time after you have set up the portal, and you will find that the program accepts all payments, sends them to the right place and notifies you when you have your payments. You will be aware of all the cash you have received, and you will feel as though you are not spending all your time on payments and reminders.

 

#4: Chronicling Your Work

 

You may chronicle your work for the invoices you have created, and you may print out all the information that explains how you did your work. Your clients may look over the information you have created, and you will feel much better knowing that you have charged for the things you truly completed. There is no question that you have done this work, and you will have a record that may be used if you are challenged.

 

#5: Taxes

 

You must have software that you may use to create reports, and you may use reports that show what you must pay in taxes that year. It is much easier for you to have complete your tax return at the end of the year, and you may submit these documents to your accountant if you like. It is much easier for you to use the tax forms with your accountant at the end of the year, and you will notice that you have everything you need in one place.

 

#6: How Long Do Your Records Last?

 

You may keep your records for many years to come, and you will notice how simple it is to save your money and time when you are searching for old records. The old records may be called up any time you need them, and you will find that explaining your old cases is quite simple. You may print your reports, and you may share them with anyone you like.

 

#7: Sharing Documents

 

You may share documents with anyone you like at any time, and you will feel much more confident sharing because the documents are sent over a secure server. The server will protect your clients,and you will sell them on this service when they need to know. You will avoid any problems that may occur with hackers, and you will notice that you have the security protocols changed any time a new threat occurs. Your host will help you understand if there have been security breaches, and you will have alerts come to your phone or email any time there is an issue.

 

You have every opportunity to ensure that you are billing safely, and your clients will be happy with the manner in which they receive their invoices. You will not lose information that was saved for each case, and you may organize your information in any way you like. The billing software will help you create documentation that shows how you served each client properly.

 

2 Sep

How a Legal Billing Software Will Protect a Client’s Financial Confidentiality

LAW-FIRM-BILLING-SOFTWARE-10

How Will Legal Billing Software Help You Save Money And Protect Clients?

 

Law firm billing software is quite important for your business, and you will find that there are a number of different people who will benefit because you run your business properly. This article explains how you may use legal billing software to save your cash and time. You have many different options when you are working with the Legal Information Institute, currency and billable hours. Someone who has questions about billing may leave it up to the law firm billing software to cover the rest.

 

#1: Billable Hours

 

You have a number of billable hours that you must track when you are working, and you will find that there are a number of different things that you likely did not realize you missed. You cannot keep track of this on paper because it could be lost, and you are much better off loading your hours into the program. You may save all your hours in the legal billing software program, and you will find that you may call up this information for each case.

 

#2: Invoices

 

The invoices you are creating through law firm billing software will be sent to your clients in any way you like, and they will receive notifications over email and text. They will have a place for you to receive payments, and they will give you a number of different payments on-time as opposed to waiting for snail mail. There are many different people who wish to pay online, and the portal you use through the software will make their lives simpler.

 

#3: The Payments

 

You will receive payments through the online portal in a short amount of time after you have set up the portal, and you will find that the program accepts all payments, sends them to the right place and notifies you when you have your payments. You will be aware of all the cash you have received, and you will feel as though you are not spending all your time on payments and reminders.

 

#4: Chronicling Your Work

 

You may chronicle your work for the invoices you have created, and you may print out all the information that explains how you did your work. Your clients may look over the information you have created, and you will feel much better knowing that you have charged for the things you truly completed. There is no question that you have done this work, and you will have a record that may be used if you are challenged.

 

#5: Taxes

 

You must have software that you may use to create reports, and you may use reports that show what you must pay in taxes that year. It is much easier for you to have complete your tax return at the end of the year, and you may submit these documents to your accountant if you like. It is much easier for you to use the tax forms with your accountant at the end of the year, and you will notice that you have everything you need in one place.

 

#6: How Long Do Your Records Last?

 

You may keep your records for many years to come, and you will notice how simple it is to save your money and time when you are searching for old records. The old records may be called up any time you need them, and you will find that explaining your old cases is quite simple. You may print your reports, and you may share them with anyone you like.

 

#7: Sharing Documents

 

You may share documents with anyone you like at any time, and you will feel much more confident sharing because the documents are sent over a secure server. The server will protect your clients,and you will sell them on this service when they need to know. You will avoid any problems that may occur with hackers, and you will notice that you have the security protocols changed any time a new threat occurs. Your host will help you understand if there have been security breaches, and you will have alerts come to your phone or email any time there is an issue.

 

You have every opportunity to ensure that you are billing safely, and your clients will be happy with the manner in which they receive their invoices. You will not lose information that was saved for each case, and you may organize your information in any way you like. The billing software will help you create documentation that shows how you served each client properly.