Category: :aw Firm Billing Information

15 Jul

5 Ethical Issues With Legal Finance

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Law firms have financial matters to attend to, just as any company does. The unique nature of their business model leaves several very specific ethical concerns they need to attend to. Here are five ethical issues that the legal department of a law firm need to monitor and develop or obtain solutions for.

 

Billable Hours and Documentation for Clients

Lawyers will typically bill clients based on the number of hours that they work on each case. Many law firms put a significant amount of pressure on their on-staff lawyers to maintain certain levels of billable hours and may result in over billing clients. Over billing clients is an ethical concern for a law firm’s finance department and several solutions are devised to reduce these risks, most typically through a legal billing software program.

A law firm billing software should contain certain features to reduce the risk that law firms overcharge customers as a result. One of these features of a legal billing software is the inclusion of memos that allow lawyers to document their hours and time as it is incurred and often in ten minute time frames in order to make sure that they are properly charging customers. Another feature in legal billing software may involve overall analytical analysis regarding the inputted time and checks to see over and unbillings by on-staff lawyers. Some law firms have billing software that provides detailed reports accumulating the hours by project that are approved by their managers before submitting bills to customers as a best practice.

 

Keeping Track of Escrow Accounts and Client Funds

Law firms may receive significant amounts of money that they hold in escrow for other parties. A law firm must be able to segregate and account for these funds separate from the general law firm’s funds under accounting law and for the well being of their clients. Not only are there ethical concerns associated with monitoring and securing escrow funds separate from other general legal funds, there are often legal requirements requiring these funds to be maintained in separate accounts in order to ensure that proper amounts of interest are tracked and paid out appropriately.Keeping track of escrow funds can be challenging, but a differentiated case tracking program that tracks the receipt and payments of these funds can greatly expedite the process and improve overall compliance with the requirements of each case. These case tracking programs can also instill internal controls over the receipt and payment of escrow funds to prevent these funds from being expended improperly. These case tracking programs are sometimes integrated with a law firm billing software.

 

Financing for Pro Bono Cases and Charity Work

Not all legal work is billed by hour. Some legal cases are pro bono work and so I done for charitable purposes. Law firms often report on this charity work for tax purposes and maintain proper documentation on these jobs is an ethical concern for a law firm. Pro bono work does not have the same tax deductible ethical concerns but can result in the law firm potentially scrimping on its dedication to servicing these clients, particularly if the case does not appear likely to have a positive outcome, thus violating an ethical commitment to these clients. A time or billing tracking system can help to monitor that the law firm is meeting its ethical requirement to these pro bono and charitable cases, even if the potential financial benefits are not present for the law firm.

 

Privacy Concerns Surrounding Finances

Financial data, particularly information as important as that housed by law firms and legal consultants, have to have proper privacy controls surrounding them in order to protect them from intrusions from third parties who are not authorized to have access to them. Law firms need to ensure that proper privacy controls are set in place to protect this information from third parties. This is particularly important since law firms have a significant amount of confidential information that can be used in a harmful manner against their clients and the law firm itself. Software solutions to scan, protect, and backup financial information is essential in this regard.

 

Privacy concerns often focus on:

  • – protecting client financial information
  • – avoiding data intrusions into client records
  • – limiting access of sensitive information to those who need access to it
  • – shredding and disposing of information properly
  • – documenting information effectively to protect client data

 

Backup of Financial Information

A finance department of a law firm will have to provide a backup and storage solution to protect the financial information that they collect on behalf of clients. A client can potentially lose a significant amount financially or in a personal manner if this financial data is lost, and a law firm is often tasked with securing copies of contracts and agreements, as well as corporate charters and other valuable information. Having solutions in place to secure and store this information is critical for a law firm that is operating on behalf of their clients.

 

14 Jul

Top 5 Things to Know About Legal Finance Companies

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Important Factors in Legal Finances Companies

A legal billing software makes sure lawyers and law firms get the right payment for their time and efforts put in. According to the law firm billing software rules, the LEGAL BILLING SOFTWARE is designed to fit this profession and include features such as invoicing, time tracking and a couple of accounting skills. For instance, Harvard Law School case management systems is integrated with greater accounting platforms. This is for the purpose of keeping statistics of the time being used in handling the cases and areas where the firm still has debts.

FAQ Regarding a Law Firm Billing Software

In regards to a Law Firm Billing Software and billing software systems;

  • What software does the firm support?
  • Who services the account of the clients?
  • Can other people access the data provided by the client?

A client should be given reassurance, for instance by being told that he or she will have a team of professionals working on the account. The team should be well versed in the accounting field and bookkeeping. Furthermore, the team of professionals should be under the supervision of Senior Reviewers who have a couple of years of experience.

How Secure Are Your Client’s Financial Information?

In addition, the financial information of the clients should be kept secure and have safe encrypt-ions and channels to allow transfer of data. In order for the data files to be retrieved, the software should have at least two categories of passwords that have to be rightfully entered. In this regard, no one will have access to the data without the company’s permission and only users given authority by the client are allowed access.

Despite achieving professionalism and having the right skills to help clients in their areas of need, Law Firm Billing Software cannot be used without collecting the legal fees. There are several procedures that can be used to consider the billing charges or fees. According to the Tennessee State Courts, there are several factors to be considered.

Factors to Consider Regarding Billing Charges or Fees

The first one is, the labor and time put in and the level of difficulty of the questions and skill to perform the legal service. Secondly is the amount that is usually charged for the same services provided and also whether the agreement is in written form. More so, the time limitations put in place by the client or the situation at hand should also be considered and the professionalism, reputation and skills of the lawyer or lawyers carrying out the task.

The chances of a particular task preluding any other employment by the lawyer should also not be ignored. When handling the law billing matters, the period of the relationship between the lawyer and the client is a perfect consideration. The lawyer might have also made previous advertisements regarding the charges and can therefore not work contrary to them. Lastly, the firm should always be prepared to justify the fee standards placed on each case.

When determining the amount to be charged, the scope of the case should be analyzed and whether there will be need for an additional fee for the jury trial and the probation violations. The fees might be refundable or non-refundable based on the type of case. If it is refundable, the earned and unearned potions must be kept in separate accounts. As a lawyer, make sure you clearly specify the expenses that are not part of the fees.

In some instances, a client may be required to pay an hourly billing when it is hard to determine the period that will be required to complete the case. The client should therefore agree to pay an initial amount which might be refunded or not. The charges increments may include a tenth for one hour and should also be included in the agreement.

According to the Director of State Courts there are a couple of malpractices that need to be avoided such as the data entry errors in regard to payment and having poor relations with the clients. New clients should be explained to the fee arrangements set by the law firm and continuous communication should be done in regard to the same. Lawyers should be vigilant in taking one only one side of the transaction.

Clients should be billed at least on a monthly basis if there are hourly charges being made, unless some other form of agreement is being used. Having the client billed at the end of the case should be avoided unless a total cost has already been set. In order to have good relations with the client it is advisable to occasionally send a zero balance bill and still assure the client that the case is being handled well.

 

13 Jul

5 Tips to Grow Your Firm’s Profits

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How Can Your Firm Make the Most Profit?

A firm’s primary goal is to make profits. Sometimes, even when a business is making profits, it may not be of its highest potential. It is up to the company to look for strategies to make sure their profits increase to maximum. Different strategies can be applied depending on the industry the company operates or the markets. However, some strategies apply to most if not all companies. A firm may not need to use all the tips. Top management has to review which one has the highest chance of helping. In other cases, an organization may not be able to reach its full potential because of just one division in the firm. Therefore changes should be implemented such a division.

  1. Technology improvement

One tip is improving the company’s technology. Technology is growing every day, and better ones are being invented day-in-day-out. For a company to grow their profits, their technology should be keeping up with the latest ones in the market. Technology makes running of organizations easy. Many things that need a lot of work and time can be dealt with in just a click. The South Dakota Odyssey Case Management is an excellent example of an organization that has embraced top-notch technology to help in running. Legal billing software or law firm billing software is essential in making billing simple and quick. All the hustle of looking for receipts, recording payment, sending invoices and other related tasks have been reduced by just having one software that can handle it all. Advanced technology can also be used to detect perjury.

 

  1. Employing Experts to be Staff

A company’s workforce is an important aspect of the firm. The employees are the ones that push the business to achieve its goals. There is no way a company can run without people. It is paramount that management takes its time to determine who works for them. Qualified and committed staff will make a huge difference in profits since they can deliver and be in the front line to ensure the firm makes a profit. In a law firm, it is important that a paralegal is qualified for the job. This attracts more customers because they know their cases are handled by professionals.

 

  1. Reducing costs

Cutting on unnecessary cost will also grow a firm’s profit. There are always those little costs that add to expenses of the company. Some of them are not necessary and can be avoided, while some are too high and when reduced profits will increase. If a law firm has legal billing software, there is no need for employing too many people in the billing department. Most of them will have no jobs to do because the system is taking care of it. At the end of a working day, all the bulbs and electronics not in use should be switched off. This might not be seen to have any impact, but that dollar saved from an electricity bill can contribute to profits.

 

  1. Expanding markets

Expanding a firm’s market is another way of increasing profits. Expanding the market will ensure that more people get the products and services. This means more money for the company. While expanding might also result in additional costs because more employees will be hired or new offices put up, the organization should ensure that the cost does not reduce the previous profit rather profits should increase. When it comes to the legal environment, if a firm already had a law firm billing software, there will be no need of hiring an expert to the new market to install the same. The market can use the one already owned.

 

  1. Adding a Product line

Adding a product line can grow a company’s profit. Many firms can have space for one more product or service. With an innovative workforce, the company can determine what else they can do that will increase revenue without bursting costs out of control. An example is a bakery that bakes cakes can decide to add bread to their product line so that a customer who wants bread and not cake can still choose their product.

 

A law firm that is already used to using legal billing software can take that advantage of knowing how helpful it is and install the software to other firms that don’t have at a fee. This way, the firm apart from providing legal services can also have other income from law firms. When it comes to adding a product line, it is important that the company looks for something that will increase the profits at little or no extra costs.

 

12 Jul

5 Things to Consider Before Choosing Legal Funding

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Understanding legal funding

It may take a long duration before you get through a case that seems to be tricky. You can be involved in different cases which can drain you financially. Take an example of an accident. Being the victim, you and your attorney many need a lot of resources to get you through. In choosing your attorney, you may want to try a law firm billing software to get the best rates. Before getting your compensation, you could be under a lot of pressure in trying to get through the challenges. This is where legal funding would be helpful through these funds; you can get some relief in paying your bills and catering for certain expenses before you get through your case. Some factors must be considered before settling for the legal funding.

These are the factors you need to consider

 

  • Weighing your financial options

Legal funding can be very tricky. There are different institutions including the banks that offer these services. The terms of operation are different. You could use a law firm billing software to gauge your attorneys in the bid to select the best one regarding rates. Some institutions offer these services as if they were loans. You can be required to pay monthly with some interests. Other companies can come up with a flat rate. If you suspect that your case may take longer, you may want to choose the latter.

 

  • Selecting a lawsuit company

Understand that legal funding is not a loan. When considering your applications, you have to consider the legal billing software that the law companies use. Keeping track of their operations is important, and as a client, this is likely going to affect you too. Most clients would go for the cheapest rates which should not be the case. You have to consider the options. Compare the services, and the terms then come up with the best alternatives. Getting the best services is at your disposal, and you have a choice to consider your options.

 

  • Understanding the legal terms

Several companies will seek to hide their terms from the clients. These services may cost the clients, especially in the repayment options. In as much as legal funding is not a loan, there is a plan that these companies have to resettle their expenses. Individual firms have their legal billing software. These help them in the process of management and accounting. Understanding the means of operation will give you enough information on the terms of service. Certain companies can offer flexible services that may cost you. Others define their operation based on the influence of the changing currency.

 

  • Approximate the value of the case

Naturally, you may receive a legal funding that cannot be sustained by the case. Your funding may be too high, and this can lead to more pressure on your finances. Having these values can help you in seeking the right amount of funding. You will have to live within your capabilities to avoid benefiting the plaintiff. The attorneys will require their pay based on their timings. As a client, approximating the value of the case includes using the information from the law firm billing software that the attorney uses.

 

  • The timeframe for the litigation

As a client, you have to know the actual time that the case is likely going to take. Legal funding covers your medical bills, rent, and other expenses but before sending your application, the companies will have to use the timeframe to understand the working terms. Your attorney must equally know the timeframe of the case. This is salient because, in the process of acquiring your legal funding, you have to include the needs of the attorney. Some of these attorneys can use the law firm billing software to increase the bills and charge you for the services that you did not use. The time frame is necessary for the economic purposes and to ensure that you get the best services at the lowest costs.

 

The benefits of considering these factors

As a victim, the amount that your case can be worth may attract several clients. Your background I understanding how different law firms work may not be strong and, therefore, you could be vulnerable to prey. In considering these factors, you can easily control your finances. You can come up with your budget and practice exactness when it comes to the application for the funding. For you to get the best services at the most minimum cost, it is important to consider these factors.

11 Jul

7 Reasons Why Your Firm Needs Time-Billing Software

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What is a Legal Billing Software? What Can it Do for Your Law Firm?

Purchasing law firm billing software is a smart way to save time and money for any attorney and firm regardless of their size. It’s a great way of organizing your budget, getting paid and managing your client billing needs.

 

How You Can Stay Organized Through a Legal Billing Software?

Many legal firms look for new techniques to stay on top of things and advance themselves from their competitors. One of the ways is to generate bills quickly and easily so that payments can be collected in a timely manner. Legal billing software will make it easy for customers to pay on time, especially since it calculates interest and late payments automatically. Credit card payments and the use of PayPal and Law Pay are included and built-in some of the best time-billing software.

 

Here are 7 reasons why you should use law firm billing software at your firm:

 

1) Your legal team will be organized, strong and responsive

2) If the information is centralized, your legal team can stay focused on their task

3) Project management is facilitated and it will be an invaluable experience

4) Making clients happy is the best recipe for success

5) Alternative fee arrangements are a thing of the past

6) Hourly billing has become an easy possibility

7) Managing any legal team on the go is now trouble-free

 

If you are looking to get paid faster and save hours of billing every month, then you will be able to generate a multiple billing system and accept credit cards from the invoices you and your firm send your clients. Adding the time and expense will be all on one screen and time tracking will enable you to manage your clients in a more reasonable setting. Some legal billing software will allow your firm to do online invoicing and payments. The information is safe and secure and will prevent your firm from cases of perjury as all the data will be stored and accessible when requested by a judge.

 

Why You Should Invest in Using a Legal Billing Software?

Lawyers lose up to 30% of their billable accounts due to an ineffective time tracking and time billing system. Using a credible time-billing system will also allow your firm to bill on a contingency or by charging a flat rate. A trust account can be tracked on a regular basis and QuickBooks online can be synced with the software from any location and at any time.

 

It is of course important that the legal billing software you purchase is user-friendly and intuitively will protect your data. It should be accessible 24 hours a day and seven days a week, year round and for your convenience with 99.9% of up-time. Some software’s also enable a chat forum with tech support in case it becomes crucial to manage and understand the software accordingly.

 

Many independent lawyers like to use their iPhones, iPads or an Android phone, that’s why law firm billing software apps have been created that are used for billing and receiving payments from your clients on an ongoing basis. You can even track your expenses and the time spent on any device or computer. Best of all you can keep track of things using international currency. The client portal allows you to send and receive secure messages, set up tasks and events that are coming up, including their due dates.

 

The Director of State Courts is the person who’s part of the state courts and works under the direction of a chief justice. He has the authority to oversee and manage the court system. It is useful to have a link to the court site to your main computer which will be accessible when using your time-billing software.

 

In general, before committing to software that will facilitate your time-billing needs, and especially if you have multiple offices, make sure your administrator and team is well trained and proficient on how to use the software before it s launched in order to prevent mistakes that would ruin your reputation. Ongoing training is provided with many software packages, both in a classroom setting and online.

 

Legal firms should always be trailblazers and pioneers for their colleagues and competitors, that’s why it’s so important to keep up with the latest trends and skills in order to stay ahead in this competitive market. The key is to find a user-friendly and easy-to-work-with legal billing software that’ll give your legal team the advantage of excellent project management and a billing system that is to the point and state-of-the-art, whether you’re a boutique legal firm or a larger legal entity.

10 Jul

5 Benefits of Legal Financing

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Legal battles are usually very expensive and take long such that at the time the verdict is given, you have nothing left in the pocket. Unless you are wealthy, it is almost an impossible task to see court cases through unless you sell some of your valuables. Fortunately, you can avoid this conundrum thanks to legal financing. Legal financing is a type of a loan that helps individuals pay legal fees. The best thing about this loan is that you are not obliged to pay it if you lose the case. It is only payable in the event you win the case. In this funding, a third party like an investor provide the money that will be used to cover all legal fees during the case hearing. To make your work easier, use Law Firm Billing Software to determine the cost. The one who is funding will first analyze the case with the aim of finding out if there is enough ground to win. Most of the time, they will offer to fund the case if the chances of winning the case are high. Investors use Legal Billing Software to determine the returns. You will have to agree on how you will share the compensation that you will receive once the case is won. Many people are not aware of legal financing. Others don’t understand how it works and this makes them shy away from applying for it. There are numerous investors who are willing to pay for the fees of your case because if you win, the returns are way more than what they spend. If you have a proper funding, the chances of winning a case are high. The reason for this is that you will be in a position to hire the best lawyer around who will ensure that the verdict goes your way. Therefore, legal financing is the best way to cover your court fees, especially if you are not financially stable. For more information about this, it is important to visit Legal Information Institute website.

The following are the benefits of legal financing:

  • No need to sell your assets

If you are not wealthy, funding a court case will be an uphill task for you. In actual sense, it can make you sell all the assets you have, thus affecting your life to a large extent. Legal financing makes sure that you do not have to go over this. An investor will pay for all your legal fees, and when you win the case, you are obliged to give him/her their cut as per the initial agreement. Thus, this form of financing has helped many people who would be struggling due to the shortage of finances. This is the most important benefit of legal financing.

  • Minor legal fees

Most legal financiers have a requirement that the client should agree to a conditional fee agreement with legal representatives. Such a move lowers legal fees, meaning that when the case is won, the returns will be higher for both the financier and the applicant. Most of the funders are financial experts and have ways to make sure that the case has used less funds. For instance, they use paralegal officers to analyze the case, as their charges are low. In addition, they have their lawyers who give them a good deal, thus lowering the total cost of the case. This is possible because the lawyers use Law Firm Billing Software to track legal fees and make sure there are no unnecessary expenses. Another similar application that can be used is Legal Billing Software. The two calculate the cost in any currency that you will select.

  • Hiring power

With proper funding, you are in a position to hire the best lawyer available. In addition to this, you will afford the services of brilliant investigators and witnesses. The combination will strengthen your case, and the chances of winning will be high. The case proceedings will go on uninterrupted, and you will get your compensation at the end of it all.

  • Effect on company assets

Funding a case is not easy. When a company decides to use its money to cater for legal fees, the move may affect it negatively. The money that could have been used for growth will be spent on the case. Therefore, it is important for the firm to go for legal financing to avoid being left behind by competitors.

  • Eliminate delay

Most of the cases in our courts have reached a dead end because complainants have no enough funds to cater for the process. They have delayed for long due to lack of legal fees. Legal financing has helped many, as it avails funds that cater for all fees incurred from the beginning to the day the verdict will be given.

Legal financing has helped many people who would not be able to continue with their cases due to lack of enough funds. It is a form of a loan, but the good thing is that you only pay if you win the case. You can use Law Firm Billing Software to determine the cost of a case. Legal financing has come to the rescue of a good number of citizens.

9 Jul

How to Get the Most Out of Your Billable Hours

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Law firms need to bill clients in order to earn money, unless they are working on pro bono cases or performing charity work. Even then, they should be paying attention to billable hours to understand how profitable their employees and clients are for them.

 

Law firms that are able to maximize their billable hours tend to be more financially successful than other law firms who are unable to do so. Improving the rate that your law firm is billable is easier said than done. Here are some tips towards improving your billable hours as a firm and financially improving your law firm.

 

Using a Law Firm Billing software to Track Billing Hours

 

The way that law firms capture time is typically through a law firm billing software that is designed for law firms and can capture time in small increments of ten to fifteen minutes. Frequency of billing certainly helps to ensure that individual employees are paying attention to their hours and keeping track of what they work on. Given the high billable rate that clients are charged from a law firm this is often a necessity given that clients are paying attention to what they are charged.

 

Legal billing software does more than simply capture time to charge to customers. Many of the best legal billing software will interface with the company’s accounting software and help to directly bill clients with invoices populated from the legal billing software with little modification needed by the law firms accountants to comply with accounting law (GAAP).

Understanding Billable Hours by Case

 

Law firms should keep track of the billable hours on a case by case basis. Doing so allows them to more actively manage their business and more effectively allocate their resources as needed. It can also allow them to analytically observe if they have over or under billed a client. New associates are potentially likely to under bill their clients as they may not understand the full business model or may feel guilty billing for their time. Clients that are argumentative and contentious about their billable hours may also see let’s billed hours as employees may want to steer clear of charging them and dealing with the related headaches.

 

A differentiated case tracking program can help law firms maximize their billable hours and improve their business by:

 

  • helping to identify the hours on each case
  • providing data to analytically assess the billed hours
  • tracking receipt and payment of retainers and escrow balances
  • storing records which can allow for the law firm being able to more easily provide Public Access To Court Electronic Records
  • help law firm members to store data and documents on a client
  • help a law firm to understand how far along in the case it is and to be able to allocate resources to the case as needed

Making Difficult Decisions on Your Employees and Clients

 

A legal billing software and case tracking programs will provide a law firm with a significant amount of data that it can use to make important decisions on their business. Unfortunately, some of these decisions can be significant and impacting people negatively. An example may be that the law firm can find that an employee may not be billing enough hours or working a sufficient amount and that employee may need to be terminated. Alternatively, a law firm may find that a pro bono case is taking up a disproportionate amount of time and impacting the finances of a law firm negatively as a result. The law firm may need to find a different way for charging these customers or potentially drop them off as a client. These case tracking and billing software can help to provide data to make and support these challenging steps.

Reporting Charity Work

 

Some law firms will perform legal services for charity. While these hours are not necessarily billable, it is important that a law firm keep track of these charity hours for the purpose of claiming charitable deductions on their tax return. Many law firms will also use these hours as a promotion for their law firm to attract positive press and goodwill which can be good for the law firm long term. Tracking your billable hours can truly help in this way.

 

Billable hours are the lifeblood of a law firm and even marginal improvements in their billable hours can help to drive growth and success for the law firm. Legal billing and other software can help to keep track of billable hours and make decisions that drive future success.

 

7 Jul

5 Trends Affecting Time-Billing Software

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Legal billing software is a requirement for your law practice, and it is considered one of the fundamentals of law practice. You must have a way to note how you bill for your work, and you will find that the differentiated case tracking program will help you manage every piece of work you do during the day. You may be in the middle of a perjury case where you are billing many people for your time, or you may need law firm billing software that will help the entire office. This article takes you through the many benefits of a program such as this.

 

#1: Legal Billing Software For Everyone

 

You may use law firm billing software with everyone in the office, and you may train everyone for the last secretary to the first partner to use the same program. You all have access to the same program, and you may review any part of the billing program you like. You may ask your secretary to do much of the work for you, and they will be in the program where you have entered your hours.

 

#2: Logging Real-Time Hours

 

You may enter your calendar in the system, and the legal billing software will log all your hours based on your calendar. You may make adjustments at the end of the day, and you will have a full record of what you have done in moments. You need not waste time during the day taking notations for your hours, and you may ask your secretary to adjust the hours for you. This is a much simpler way for you to check your hours, and you will not miss hours that you were once ready to bill for.

 

#3: Syncing With Accounting Software

 

The accounting software that you are using may be synced with your billing software, and all financial information from the program will be entered the moment you log your hours. You may complete payroll quickly for your staff, and you will find that it is much easier for you to reconcile payroll every week. You are not hunting for information for the accounting program, and you are not unclear about hours. Everyone in your office has already entered their hours before the week ends.

 

#4: Audio Recordings

 

You may take audio notes in the program to ensure that you have listed what you did that day. There are many attorneys who prefer to use audio recordings because they want to log all the things they have done that day. They will get their work done much more quickly, and they will have a log of everything they have recorded. The audio recordings are stored in a secure server, and you will keep them safe from prying eyes.

 

#5: Secure Servers

 

You are given the benefit of secure servers when you are using a new time billing package. You will keep your information hidden in a place that cannot be hacked, and you will feel much better knowing that you have gone to some lengths to keep your information safe. You may sell your practice ion the fact that you protect all your information, and you will not lose sensitive information to hackers or others who would use your information against you. Your clients are counting on you, and you must ensure their trust is well-placed when you are working with a billing program.

 

Why Is This Important?

 

Billing software is vital to every law practice because you must bill for your time. You do a valuable service that you must charge for, and you will find that it is much easier for you to get paid when you have taken great care to log your hours. The programs that have been created for the modern office may be used by anyone at any time, and you have a level of transparency in the office that you did not have in the past. You will feel much better about your billing and financial practices, and you will feel as though you are in a position to charge lower prices because your office is more efficient. You will attract more clients, and you will become known for your affordable services.

 

There are many law offices that must change their billing practices in order to be more effective. You must use a program that was made just for this purpose, and you will find that you may save quite a lot of money when you spend a small amount on just one software program.

 

6 Jul

5 Things to Consider When Choosing Time-Billing Software

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Your Advantage

 

Time billing software can make a huge difference in your daily business activities; however, there are five things you should consider before making that choice such as, will the software work for your business? Law firm billing software can make billing effective and smooth. Find out about legal billing software soon!

#1 Will the software be effective and work for your business?

 

It is most important that you find out if the software you are interested in will work for your company. In addition, it is important to ensure that the software you are interested in will work for all of your employees and that they can access the system without hassles or complications. Also, you need to give consideration to the features that the software offers. Find out about law firm billing software, today!

 

  • For example, does it offer a quick and accessible way to use colors or other icons for tracking different projects?
  • Does it also employ accuracy and accountability? Also, will the software be able to clearly spell out to your clients where and how you spent time on their projects?
  • Take time to look at all the features the software offers.

 

#2 What about choosing a web-based system?

 

Most importantly, think about choosing a web-based system. It is important to note; some companies use software that can be loaded to each computer; however, technology is changing. The best way to go, for many companies, is to choose web-based software. What this means to you and your employees is that you and your employees can access the software no matter where you are; just as long as you have a computer that has access to the Internet. Legal billing software adds value and efficiency to any law firm!

 

#3 Another point to consider: is the software easy to use?

 

It is important to note; if the software that you are thinking about is hard to use, you may not want to use it often. The software of your choice should never slow your work in any way. University of Georgia has billing software that works great!

 

  • Actually, it should go smoothly and be a great addition to your workplace environment.
  • Most importantly, software that takes a long time to learn will slow your work and cause you to use it less.
  • That is why it is important to use software that takes little time to learn and use and adds value to your work day.

 

#4 Another tip is do they offer a demo or trial?

 

One of the best ways to find out if the software is too difficult to use and if the learning curve takes too long, is to try it. If the company does not offer a demo or trial, you may want to move on to someone else. Once you find a company that offers a demo, make sure that you use the demo the same way as you would the actual product. Take time to use it well and see what it offers and what kind of features it offers, as well as how difficult it is to use. Paralegal duties are more efficient with law firm billing software.

 

#5 Be sure to look for reviews of the software!

 

Reviews can be a great way to find out what others are saying about the product. Some of the reviewers may have come across things that you didn’t see in the demo, both good and bad. Those reviews could influence your decision on whether to buy the product or not. Director of state courts uses billing software.

 

To conclude, time billing software can make a huge difference in your business life; however, there are five things you should consider before making that choice such as, will the software work for your business? Talk with a time billing software specialist soon and find out more! Law firm billing software can add value to your law firm.

5 Jul

How to Accurately Bill for Your Time

LEGAL-BILLING-SOFTWARE-8

 

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.

 

5 Jul

How to Accurately Bill for Your Time

LEGAL-BILLING-SOFTWARE-8

 

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.