Category: Legal Billing Tips

7 Aug

How to Make More Money Than Your Leading Competitor

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How To Make More Money Than Your Competitors Using Legal Billing Software

 

You may use legal billing software when you are managing accounting law, perjury, currency transactions and a number of other items that your firm deals with. You cannot lead your firm effectively when you are spending all your time on financing, and you will notice that the time you spend with clients increases with every step you take. This article explains how you may use billing software, and there is a look at how you increase your profits using a simple program such as this.

 

#1: How Do You Log Hours?

 

You may log hours using this program at any time, and you will find it much easier to use than taking notes on paper. You have a safe place to keep the full log of everything that you have done, and you will use the law firm billing software that has been created for businesses such as yours. You may learn how to log hours in a new way if you are accustomed to doing so by-hand, and you may share these hours with your account or your client.

 

#2: Sending Bills

 

Sending bills to your clients is quite important because you must ask them to pay for services rendered. You may not realize how simple this is when you are not using an envelope, and you will notice that electronic reminders cause your clients to send many more payments to your office. You may go so far as to manage financing using the same program, and you will offer clients the money that is required to pay you.

#3: Financing Your Work

 

You may offer financing options through your legal billing software, and there are many different people who will jump at the chance to receive financing from your offices. You may take control of the financing you offer, and your clients will be impressed by the large number of packages you have given them. They will look on your financing as an opportunity to receive the legal services they deserve, and they will often come to your office over others because of the financing you offer. It is much easier for your company to grow when you have a way for every client to hire you, and you may check loans and payments in the law firm billing software.

 

#4: Legal Billing Software For Projections

 

You may make projections for your business to ensure that you are moving in the right direction, and you may narrow down the sort of cases you wish to take. A law firm that is projecting their profits using these profits, and there are many different people who will be confident in your business because you may show them these projections. You may print out the reports from your ledger, and you may use the reports to ensure that you know how much you will earn in the coming year. You will learn quite a lot from your projections, and you will find that the reports are easier to create.

 

#5: The Tax Filings

 

You may create tax documents for your business using the ledger that is in the program, and you will find that there are a number of different people who will use these documents to file your return. You must let your accountant know what you made in the past year, and they must see a list of vendors and payroll payments. The accountant will have all the information they need, and they will file your return without any trouble. It is much easier for you to file a tax return when you have used the program properly, and you will avoid mistakes on your returns that occur when you have not collected your information properly.

 

#6: Save Your Data Securely

 

You will save all your data to the server in a secure manner, and you will feel much better about protecting all your information. You will earn more money because your clients are confident that you will protect them, and you may show them that you use a secure program that guards all their data. Everything you have done for your clients is guarded behind the seal of confidentiality, and you may maintain your privilege as you should.

 

There are many different people who will find that they may manage a law firm properly using programs such as this. It is quite easy for you to save money, and you will have a program that controls every part of your finances and your law firm’s general ledger.

 

3 Aug

Easy Ways to Track Your Client’s Payments

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3 Easy Ways to Track Your Client’s Payments

Finances and customer relationships are an important aspect of every business. Keeping up with accounting and customer information can be an overwhelming task. A legal firm, therefore, needs a reliable system that can handle such information without omitting any detail. Efficient law firm billing software will increase productivity and save time. How can you easily track your customer’s payments?

A customized billing plan

The legal billing software is dependent on the type of firm be it a small firm, large firm, a solo practitioner, associate or partners. The software should meet all the needs of the particular law firm. It should be flexible enough to create a plan for every client. It should have a feature that generates invoices based on hourly billing, flat fees, contingency fees, split fee, retainer fee and transactional fee among others. Time tracking is an essential feature as the billing is dependent on this. Gaps in billable time can be corrected by having a missing time reporting to avoid any losses in the calculations of billable hours. A system that generates quotations for potential clients may come in handy in a legal firm. Innovative billing software sends invoices and notices such as past due notice automatically. Proper billing ensures that accurate invoice is forwarded to the client and thus no delays in payment due to errors.

Invoice management and customer relationship management

Good billing system and invoice management are vital as it encourages regular cash flow and saves time for the accountants. A powerful Software minimizes potential human errors as the billing is done automatically. The Legal Electronic Data Exchange Standards (LEDES) is a popular e-billing standard used by many law firms to deliver invoices. The invoices should be designed in such a way that it has the law firm’s logo, is easy to read and is professional. A Legal billing software should communicate tasks and costs of litigation. Records of sent invoices and customers’ information are valuable in tracking the client’s payments. A law firm should, therefore, maintain an online customer database. The database can sort out information on who pays on time or who pays late. Reminders if there is late payment should be made automatically.

Financial management

Invoice and financial management are closely related. Powerful legal billing software should allow credit card processing and electronic funds transfer. Online services such as PayPal will ensure payment is made on time as it is fast and easy. A majority of the population prefer E-payments. With an efficient billing software, the law firm owner and employees such as a paralegal and accountants can maintain account balances for clients. After an online receipt of payment, the software should reflect in the bank account.The software should generate reports with information such as invoices that have been paid, those awaiting payments and those that are past due. Discounts on early payment and interest for late payments should reflect on a client’s account. It should print financial statements, reconcile bank statement and manage clients’ trust accounts. The Interest On Lawyer Trust Account is an accounting feature that is essential for any law firm. In some instances, the financial software will enhance IRS fillings.

What should you look out for in a law firm billing software?
• The software should integrate with other systems
• It should have mobile accessibility
• It should track time across multiple locations
• It should be affordable
• It should be easy to understand
• It should be secure

Example of an innovative software
As technology changes so do the people’s needs change. People now prefer getting everything in one place so that they can save time and money. The Odyssey Case Management system is a software that collects and stores court information from South Dakota circuit and Magistrate courts. The unified judicial system has e-filling, e-payment, e-citations and e-documents features. The South Dakota Odyssey case management allows attorneys and paralegals to access court records and find cases, hearings, and judgments. In civil matters, filings, pleadings, briefs, motions, and petitions are done online. It is a powerful system with lots of benefits for the law firms, attorneys, paralegal and the courts.

For easy tracking of the client’s payment, a proper legal billing software is key to having an effective law firm. The size of the firm plays a significant role in choosing a system as a company with many clients require a robust system.

2 Aug

6 Ways to Make the Most Out of Your Practice Hours

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Six Ways To Manage Your Practice Hours With Law Firm Billing Software

 

You may use law firm billing software to ensure that you are saving money, and you may use the software to manage your books properly. You will find that each of the six things listed in article will help your law firm improve, and you may control everything from loans and currency when using this program. This article explains how to use the billing software to help you save money, and you will give your lawyers a program that they all may use.

 

#1: How Do You Use Legal Billing Software?

 

You must log all your hours in the system, and this will be the first step in the process of improving your finances. There are many people who will log their hours for invoices in the system, and you will find that you can create invoices in seconds using this program. You may email the invoices to your clients, and you will find that they pay you more readily when they are sent an electronic invoice.

 

#2: How Do You Pay Online?

 

You may ask your clients to pay online so that you are not touching checks that have been written for your services. You will see money come in without any interruption, and you will get back to the cases you must manage. The hours you spend in the day doing your work are used much more wisely as a result.

#3: You May Log Hours

 

You may log the hours you have used to service your clients, and the log will tell you exactly what was done for each client. You will feel much better knowing that you have a record of the work you have done, and you may justify your bill to clients who have questions or concerns. You simply walk your clients through the log, and they will see all that you have done to help them.

#4: You May Create Reports

 

You must create reports of the work that has been done by your office, and you may build financial reports that are used to file your taxes. You must have documentation that ensures you are preparing all your financials properly, and you may use these reports when you are working with shareholders, hiring or creating financial statements. You must have software that will build the reports for you, and you will save time that was often wasted doing such tedious work.

#5: Manage Loans And Financing

 

There are many financing options for your business, and you will find that you may offer financing to your clients through this program. Legal billing software is quite easy to use, and you may offer your clients financing that is used to pay for your services. They will have the money that is needed to pay you, and they will make payments to you through the same system. You may take payments from anyone, and you will learn quickly that your business is easier to run when you have the software doing all the work.

 

#6: Law Firm Billing Software Helps You Manage Payroll

 

The payroll you are running every week with your staff is important because they expect to be paid at the proper times. The payroll checks that go out may be direct deposits, and you may arrange them using the program. It is very simple to use this program to send payments, and you may do the same when you pay vendors or contractors. You will notice that you may send all your payments with one click of a button, and you will save your business quite a lot of time and energy. You will not bog down someone with this job, and you may get back to the important legal work you have to do.

 

Why You Should Order Today

 

You must get started with a law firm billing software program as soon as possible because these programs will do all that you need them to do. You will enter all your information into the system, and you will feel as though you have lifted a huge weight off your shoulders. You may create a better service for your law office, and you will have an easier way to serve the clients that you have taken on.

 

Everyone who runs a law office needs as much help as they can get to serve clients. A client who wishes to work with your firm will find that you have properly logged all your work, and you will notice that you are spending less time on financials.

 

1 Aug

3 Simple Steps to Improve Your Firm

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3 Simple Steps to Improve Your Firm

In order to get all that you need out of law firm and its long term success, there are some vital tips that will help you out. Improving your firm is a never ending job that will help you increase your revenue and most importantly, provide better legal work to your surrounding community.

 

No matter where you operate your business or what area of law you specialize in, you’ll be able to improve your law firm by taking heed to the three tips in this article.

 

Let’s get started below.

 

What three tips can I use to improve my law firm?

#1: Take advantage of billing services so that you can get paid

 

Without a doubt, the biggest mistake that most professional law firms make is not actually getting paid for their services. Because legal aid can be so expensive, the vast majority of clients are put on payment plans or otherwise not expected to pay their bill in full all at once.

 

With this in mind, the best way to keep your business afloat, growing and thriving is to take control of your billing matters. There are a lot of different ways that you can go about this. First of all, one step you can take is to hire a billing services company that can help you bring in the revenue that you are charging by facilitating communication with people who owe you money. They can send accounts to collections and handle a host of other issues.

 

Another great way to get your money consistently is to invest in legal billing software. Law firm billing software will help you to keep accurate accounts for all of your clients and make sure you are getting paid. Because there are a lot of different legal billing software platforms, you should shop around and ask other law firms which ones they gravitate toward. Whether you bring in a billing company or invest in legal billing software or law firm billing software, you will be best able to keep your books afloat.

 

#2: Bring in a core of professional lawyers that you can grow and build with

 

If you really would like to grow your law firm, it is necessary that you start out by bringing in nothing but the highest quality team of legal professionals. Your company culture begins with the quality of people that you decide to bring in. Make sure that you focus both on the quality of the lawyer and their willingness to work hard and go the extra mile.

 

You know you have a winner on your team when you have someone who habitually does more work than expected out of principle and to create as much value as possible for your law firm and the community as a whole. You need someone who can try a perjury case in the morning and sit down for lunch with the Director of state courts in the afternoon, while upholding the company banner with grace and excellence. The more that you are building a core of high quality lawyers, the better energy you can expect to have in your workplace on a day-to-day basis.

 

#3: Boost your marketing efforts

 

As with every other form of professionalism, it is necessary that you take your marketing to the next level through your efforts and by doing business with marketing professionals. Having a marketing firm on retainer can cost anywhere between $1000 and $3000 on a monthly basis. The level of marketing that you get depends entirely on what you are hoping to get out of it and the prestige of the firm that you decide to do business with.

 

When you have these ideas in mind, it will be much easier for you to strategically build your social media presence in a meaningful manner. Some law firms use social media statically or only to convert sales or meaningless follows. Rather than simply following the Director of state courts and other professionals and occasionally putting out ads on social media, make all of your social media presence and entire conversation with the public at large.

 

If you put the three tips in this article to good use, you will quickly see your business enterprise take off with leaps and bounds. There are a lot of law firms around that you are in competition with, so it is important to set yourself apart from the rest. You can set yourself apart by figuring out the tips in this article and using them to your advantage.

 

31 Jul

3 Tips to Improve How You Collect Legal Fees

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If you’re an attorney, then you understand that lawyers have a hard and unorthodox job. The profession requires countless hours working on a case, that doesn’t exactly fit into the regular format of a nine to five job. Nevertheless, you expect to be paid for their services, just like any other working person. Unfortunately, there are times when the client won’t able to pay their bills. This article will discuss ways to protect yourself before you suffer from unpaid legal fees; as well as give you several unique ways to help collect money owed.

 

Getting Prepared Before Legal Fees Are Owed

You will put yourself in a better situation to handle the collection process, if you already have a system in place to help you keep up with your time spent and preparation work done for the client. You may wonder, “How can investing in legal billing software help me?” Or you may say, “I don’t need to spend money on a system to only put in time and produce an invoice.” Look at few reasons why law firm billing software can help you.

  • Time and Billing Management – Law firm billing software can integrate client meetings, court dates, and other events. In addition, it can also link documents, emails, messages, and notes to client records for organization
  • Beneficial Features – Billing management is only a part of what legal billing software can help with. It can also serve as knowledge management by giving users

access to online legal library, client management features, and legal form automation.

  • Special Collection Reports – As an attorney, you can find fully financial integrated system that comes with expense tracking, budgeting, and delinquent accounts alerts. Not only is this good for legal fees, it also monitors the overall cash flow of your firm.

Law firm billing software can help you keep up with all financial records and services rendered as well aid you in your day to day functions. All things considered, it will prevent you from spending time go over books; while also pointing out which legal fees are due and for how much. Simply, find one that best fits the needs of you and your firm.

 

Taking Effective Action to Collect Legal Fees

Now that you know the proper software, to help calculate fees and monitor delinquency, you can focus on obtaining what is owed to you. When it comes to collecting legal fees from clients, there are a million and one ways to do so. Consequently, not every way will yield the best results. It is highly important to make sure that sure that the methods you are using are effective; as your only main goal is to get your money. Here are three tips in progressive order to help you collect legal fees.

 

Be Personable

Here is a fact: the more you harass a client and come across as insensitive; the more likely they are to avoid you. Sometimes it takes a little human concern to collect the legal fees owed to you. First, try understanding your client’s situation by talking to them to see why they can’t pay. Situations such as: medical emergencies, lay-off, and other life events can have an effect on a person’s financial status. After determining your client’s circumstance, agree on a payment plan that best suits the both of you. Or one that the customer can afford to pay weekly or monthly. Remember, even getting back your money in small increments is better than not receiving money at all.

 

Write a Demand Letter

The next step in the collection process is a little more drastic. When you can’t reach the client or they aren’t willing to pay you, a demand letter would be the next best option. While a demand letter isn’t required by law, it is the best way to make sure that your debt is paid. As it provides proof of list of services rendered, the itemized currency, and the total amount of fees. Ultimately, demand letters are an overall effective attempt to collect legal fees.

 

File a Lawsuit

After trying to understand your client and writing a demand letter, the final  effective step would be filing a lawsuit. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look good for an attorney to sue someone. So, you can even try working with a third-party accounting  law collection agency before filing a lawsuit. Nevertheless, seeking legal action has

significance to make the client pay what they owe to you.

 

Collecting debt owe to you, can be a frustration task. However, if all these steps are taken you are sure to have success.

 

29 Jul

5 Strategies to Increase Profit to Your Firm’s Bottom Line

 

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Many legal firms have not been able to register any profits. They have had their profits remain flat. This is according to the year-end economic report at the legal Information Institution. For a thriving firms it should giving in more cash. This is as it continually matures over time. However the growth should not be in expense of profits. What many are asking is how to get back the profits to be growing again. What many experts have in mind is improving the top line growth.

 

Centralizing client records is essential.

  • Many of the law practitioners use revenue to gauge the financial health. There has been a growing trend of using the profit margins. The business effectiveness is then determined by that. Normally the revenues are able to get all the attentions. That is the reason why the attorneys work to raise. They however lead to overlooking of some important data. Such data impact heavily on the bottom line profit.
  • The today’s growth of technology has also impacted the line of law heavily. The client records are not filled in documents anymore. They utilize much of the digital products. This are the emails and time keeping software. This also includes the firm billing software. The traditional paper documents are still in use up to date.
  • The documents can be found in different Legal Information Institute. This may be due to shared cases therefore documents gets to be stored at different places.

 

Better management is the key.

  • Getting to manage all this is not easy. It is time wasting and uses a lot of labor. Getting a good deal out of this is having a non-billable time. Getting of inaccurate records can often lead to billable time. This in most cases affects the profitability. The solution to this is having a much more centralized system. This gets everything to one accessible place. This speeds up the normal working related process.
  • Getting and being able to managing billable time leads to high profitability. Especially in the large firms fluctuation in this results to inaccurate rates. This in many cases affects the process.
  • This in term of the lost billable time and the lost hours. The legal billing software should be constantly checked.

 

Timekeeping is important.

  • Such a case leads to wastage of money. A working capital is often needed to cover the expenses. The time keeping to most experts is just consuming time. This time would rather have been used on the billable work. The growth of technology has led to the development of Law firm billing software. The law firm billing software help create a more simplified uniform billing steps. The legal billing software helps in keeping time keeping be a painless task.
  • Most of the legal billing software enable high accuracy therefore more time is able to be billed. The better management of the hours leads to a higher chance of profitability. The legal billing software has greatly assisted this companies manage time. The other important point is being able to work smarter. The good time management is equals to higher productivity. Higher productivity translates to profitability.

Staff productivity is about working smart.

  • The productivity highly relates to the staff member. What should be highly be encouraged is not working hard but smart. The legal billing system just allows them to do exactly that.
  • The term productivity should not be confused with activity in paralegal. Activities mostly are involved with the wastage of time. This includes looking for certain files and also cleaning. The productivity refers to the reduction of wasted time.
Marketing and demographics
  • They act by simplifying the task using the law firm billing software. There therefore is no wasted time. This means that much time will be used in actual law practice.
  • The company should also be made to view its bigger picture. This will greatly assist the firm in marketing and also the demographics. There are other simple losses that a firm gets to loose. Normally through their clients. This should be avoided at all cost.
  • The simple case of a perjury can cost an institution a fortune. This indirectly affects it. The institution should be careful when dealing with the clients. This offer better customer services which is important to both the parties.
  • It is recommended that a financial plan is important for any business activity. In this case the revenues and all the expenses should be noted down. Having such a plan in ones realm is a great tool to getting a profit.
Summary.
  • A law firm is basically a business. Like any other business activity profitability is the gauge to get to the financial situation. Available legal billing software is important in managing the company. This will eventually lead to increased profitability in the long run.

 

28 Jul

9 Common Billing Mistakes Made by Attorneys

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Billing Issues That Might Create Friction And Confusion

Most businesses in the service industry have billing needs and attorneys who have clients are not any different. Law firm billing software can meet the attorney’s needs in ways that a general software can’t. Software is a necessity in any business, whether it is used to create a basic powerpoint presentation or to keep up with the hourly pay of your staff members, and a law office is no different.

It is unfortunate, that in some cases, a client will disagree with the charges made towards their bill; and no lawyer, attorney, or firm ever want to encounter such a dispute without the proper proof to counteract the allegation. Keeping up with proper billing reports and having a software to ease the pain can help a law firm avoid losing money on accurate billing practices.

Law firms also don’t want to take the fall publicly for attorneys who lie or commit perjury on their legal bills. By studying an online source called the Legal Information Institute and learning the best way to practice law, an attorney can avoid embarrassing his/her firm. However, there have been some cases where an attorney chose not to follow guidelines and add fees on a bill to cover personal expenses that had nothing to do with the client. If discovered by the client, this could dangerously ruin any good business’s name and character. Law firms across the United States know and understand that there are a plethora of different solutions that can be used when it comes to billing practices. Many firms employ a number of different solutions to fully manage their billing needs, that is where a law firm billing software also known as legal billing software can help. Two reasons are mentioned above why billing software is a must, below is a list of seven more.

 

  1. Billing Descriptions Which Aren’t Clear

Legal billing software is the simplest way to stop a client from disputing specific or unwanted charges. The information should enclose adequate details avoiding estimated charges and contain the date that the job was performed and the time spent doing the job.

 

  1. The Ideal Price

In some cases, an attorney may undercharge the client and exclude the total hours of when the job started. Charging the right price will allow the attorney to keep the same rates for all clients and also help with the process of explaining specific rates.

 

  1. Utilize The Technology Of Today

Technology is designed to make our lives simpler, allowing us to do things effectively and quickly. That is just as accurate with law firm billing software applications as it is with television remotes. Solutions that are wrong may complicate things, demanding an attorney to take an hour or so to achieve something which could have been completed in ten minutes using paper and pencil. The best choice is to give critical thought to the challenges that are faced and locate a technology that handles these needs. Using a program like the Differentiated Case Tracking Program will help an attorney recognize the difference in cases and pricing.

 

  1. Be Clear And Concise Throughout The Entire Process

Misunderstandings can arise within the range of work and in the event the customer is presented with an invoice that was larger-than-expected, it reflects on the firm negatively. A way to prevent that is to ensure customers are kept current during the whole process. Clients loathe being charged for work which they haven’t seen. It’s good practice to send the work to a customer before they are invoiced.

 

  1. Keep Detailed Records

A frequent mistake attorneys make is processing regular bills that are basic. The bills they give clients don’t have a description of each service, the time it took to complete the service, and additional charges if any. By giving the client more details within the bill the attorney can supply a sense of risk management.

 

  1. Get Paid A Retainer Upfront

The very best way to get compensated is by holding retainer fees. However, when an attorney deposits these funds in a trust account or business account, then it’s best practices to prohibit to the spending of the funds until it is earned during documented fees. Tracking every penny of retainer capital across dozens of instances can be a struggle, but it is possible if given the right tools.

 

  1. Incorrect Time Tracking

Attempting to recreate a schedule at the end of the week is hopeless and could definitely backfire. An attorney will wind up without planning to, deduct from their own hours losing money. This can be avoided by either imputing the information in the cloud or documenting it daily using a notepad.

 

27 Jul

5 Tips to Better Track Legal Expenses

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It’s important to track legal expenses effectively. Particularly if you are adhering to a Differentiated Case Tracking Program, you need to know what expenses are associated with individual cases. Legal billing software has the potential to save you a lot of time. When you combine the right software with other tips on tracking expenses, you can adhere to your budget more effectively.

 

List All Monthly Bills

You should list all monthly bills. These are the bills that come in each and every month. Often, the recurring bills are forgotten about, which leads to budgeting problems. You need to ensure you are accounting for all of the expenses that you have to deal with each month, not just the individual ones that occur within each case.

 

Some of the expenses to consider include phone, internet, rent, and various licenses that you need to maintain.

 

Save All Receipts

It’s important to save all receipts. Whether it’s from lunch, office supplies, a courier service, or any other expense associated with a case, you need to keep the receipt. When you use legal billing software, it will allow you to enter all receipts and code them as necessary. Good software will also allow you to choose the currency, ensuring that you have everything recorded as needed based on how you run your business.

 

Until you have the time to enter all of the receipts, maintain a bin or folder where you keep them. This will ensure that they don’t get tossed before you have a chance to register them.

 

Use Software

By investing in professional legal billing software, you can manage your legal practice more efficiently. You will have the ability to track all of your expenses and also create invoices based on what you need to bill back to the client.

 

It’s important to identify all of the different expenses that you will have. By doing so, you will be able to find a robust accounting solution to meet your needs. You should only have to use one software solution. If you have to use multiple programs to track your expenses and handle billing, it will take longer for you to know what you’re spending money on and what the true financial health of your practice is. Additionally, you want to find software that takes accounting law into consideration so you have more features available to you.

 

Create Codes per Case

Good law firm billing software will allow you to create codes. This will allow you to identify the expenses that you incur for each case. Should you bill directly back to the client, you will have reports that show what the expenses are so that there are no questions.

 

An ABA litigation code set might be included in law firm billing software as well. it will allow you to identify tasks and costs of litigation and also reconcile your accounts without having to use a second application.

 

Review Reports

When you use good legal billing software, it will provide you with extensive reports. If you want to track your expenses, it’s important to review the reports periodically. It will show you a variety of details:

  • Total expenses
  • Expenses per case
  • Recurring expenses

 

As you review the reports, you might see trends where you are spending too much money. The information on the reports will help to keep you educated about your spending to ensure you can make changes and stay within budget.

 

When you can better track legal expenses, it will help you to be more aware of your finances. You can then bill to the individual clients and understand more about where your money goes each month.

 

24 Jul

11 Legal Billing Guidelines

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Lawyers are like everyone else that works for a living; they want to get paid for what they do. Many lawyers earn their money by being part of a law firm that represents a set group of clients. Other lawyers earn their money on a case by case basis. Then, there are lawyers who earn their income by working for a government agency. There are different ways for lawyers to make their cash and the following information will describe what they are.

 

Guidelines for the Different Billing Methods by Lawyers

There are four basic ways that lawyers use to earn their income. These methods include charging hourly rates, billing clients for a set fee, charging a contingency fee and acting as a retainer for a client. Many legal agencies and independent attorneys also use law firm billing software which will help them to automatically figure out how to charge a client for their services. Below is an explanation about how these services work.

 

Hourly Services

A firm or single attorney can charge their clients by the hour. The average cost to hire a lawyer on at an hourly rate is between $200 and $400 dollars. Some small-town attorneys will typically charge about $100 per hour, while a big city attorney (New York or Los Angeles) could charge as much as $800 – $1000 per hour. Attorneys that charge an hourly rate will only bill clients for the amount of hours they work on a case. Keep in mind that the fee that hourly attorney’s charge will also go toward paying their support staff which includes legal secretaries and paralegals.

Set Fee Rates

Some attorneys and lawyers will charge clients a set or flat free rate for their service. The rate will be established off the type of service that a lawyer provides. Flat fee rates usually reflect the hourly rate that it would take a lawyer to perform a specific legal action. In some cases, the rate could be cheaper and in other cases it could be higher than a flat fee rate. Law firm billing software can also be used by attorneys to help them to figure out the amount they would charge for any legal service.

 

Contingency Rates

Lawyers can also work on contingency for a client. This simply means that a lawyer will take a specific percentage of the monetary value of a case, if they win. Lawyers who work on contingency typically do not accept or deal with cases they cannot win. The percentage that they take is about 33%. However, they can charge lower or higher percentage rates.

 

Retainer Rates

Lawyers can also work on contingency for a client. In other words, they are given a routine payment to be available for a client when they need legal assistance. Legal billing software can be used to calculate this payment as well. Retainer fees help to ensure that an attorney or firm has a steady source of residual income.

Law Firm Software

There are different types of law firm software. Each of these applications are designed to help lawyers to accurately charge clients for services. They are also designed to keep track of a firm’s or attorney’s earnings over a period of time. Legal billing software can even be set up to automatically charge clients when a payment is due. There are plenty of software billing programs for attorneys. Some of these programs include:

 

  • FreshBooks
  • PracticePanther Legal Software
  • Zola Suite
  • AbacusLaw
  • CosmoLex

 

Each of these programs can be set up to help lawyers to focus on serving their clients as opposed to wasting a lot of their time dealing with billing issues. Most law firms use automated software programs to keep track of client billing. This is especially true for large firms and attorneys who have a large list of clients.

Advanced Diploma in Legal Project Management is a field of education major for attorneys. This course can be completed at colleges such as the University of Georgia or Cornell Law School. They not only train lawyers within these great institutions of learning, they also help a person to become a paralegal as well. Lawyers who are educated within a law school will also gain knowledge about legal billing guidelines and law firm billing software. This way they can effectively charge their clients and keep track of their earnings throughout the course of their careers.

 

23 Jul

3 Ways to Increase Transparency in Legal Billing

LEGAL-BILLING-SOFTWARE-26

What’s One Finance Issue Your Clients Are Afraid Of?

A main reason why people might not enjoy working with attorneys is that they are afraid of being overcharged. Many have no idea of how exactly these charges are generated, and may feel cheated. Therefore, it is important for lawyers to come up with ways to make their billing process more transparent. If you understand how the total amount of money that you are charged was calculated, you will pay without any hitch.

The Problem

The problem comes when you cannot tell how the attorney reached to the total bill that you are charged. Many solo practitioners as well as firms get involved in fees disputes on a regular basis, especially if they don’t have a system that documents the time and expenses. Clients are usually blindsided when they receive a bill that they were not expecting. Most of them question the time entries, arguing that there is some form of exaggeration. Others will demand a discount, saying they will be regular customers. A lawyer should come up with ways to increase the transparency of the billing process in order to avoid these issues.

The following are ways in which lawyers can utilize to make billing process clearer.

  1. Use a Legal Billing Software

This is the best way to increase transparency when it comes to legal billing. A legal billing software is an application that makes it easy for lawyers to track and record the time they have spent working for specific clients. The software allows for precise time capturing via any computing device eliminating the need to worry about being at the office physically to carry out the task. Thus, there will be minimal errors when it comes to entries in the billing process. For big firms, there is Law Firm Billing Software that work the same as the aforementioned. The use of the two application has many benefits to the firm. They include:

  • Reduce pressure on bills

The software captures time contemporaneously. Therefore, it reduces the need for the lawyers to spend a lot of time reconstructing the activities of the day related to a particular case. Thus, there will be less or no errors such as over or double billing arising from inaccurate time entries. The software smoothens the process of billing, thereby reducing the pressure that comes with creating the invoice on the last minute.

  • Encourages ethical conduct

Using Legal Billing Software encourages ethical conduct. Lawyers are known to have higher betting rates as compared to other professionals. The main concern clients have is avoiding high legal charges. Attorneys have the responsibility to make the billing clear and understandable to clients. This will reduce the number of disputes that arises when it comes to legal charges. A Law Firm Billing Software that is cloud-based provide transparency and allow task based detailed explanations that is forwarded to the client to eliminate the feeling that they are being overcharged. The software monitors time entries and at the same time eliminate irregularities that may cause disputes. The software can present the charges in any currency, meaning it can be used in different parts of the world.

  • Improve law firm revenues

The firm will attract many clients due to increased transparency that comes with using technology in the billing process. There will be less errors in the financial transaction, thus no money will be lost. The firm will grow due to increased revenue.

  1. Clear Policies

It is important for an attorney to help clients understand the policies of the law firm around everything. This include how late payments is handled and all processes of legal billing. This will help build trust and the client will not have any complaint when presented with the bill. There will be no disputes and you will attract more customers either from referrals or return clients. The transparency will be on its highest point.

  1. Announce Changes

If you plan to make changes regarding how you will handle a particular task, notify your client beforehand. The majority of the people do not like surprises. Any small change may not go well with them. Letting them know in advance will make them feel comfortable and believe that you have their best interest.

 

One of the essentials for the law office is to have transparency, especially in the billing process. Attorneys are required to charge clients as per the numbers of hours they have spent working on their cases. For better results, a paralegal should be hired to be dealing with legal billing. A firm that is transparent attracts many more customers.

 

23 Jul

3 Ways to Increase Transparency in Legal Billing

LEGAL-BILLING-SOFTWARE-26

What’s One Finance Issue Your Clients Are Afraid Of?

A main reason why people might not enjoy working with attorneys is that they are afraid of being overcharged. Many have no idea of how exactly these charges are generated, and may feel cheated. Therefore, it is important for lawyers to come up with ways to make their billing process more transparent. If you understand how the total amount of money that you are charged was calculated, you will pay without any hitch.

The Problem

The problem comes when you cannot tell how the attorney reached to the total bill that you are charged. Many solo practitioners as well as firms get involved in fees disputes on a regular basis, especially if they don’t have a system that documents the time and expenses. Clients are usually blindsided when they receive a bill that they were not expecting. Most of them question the time entries, arguing that there is some form of exaggeration. Others will demand a discount, saying they will be regular customers. A lawyer should come up with ways to increase the transparency of the billing process in order to avoid these issues.

The following are ways in which lawyers can utilize to make billing process clearer.

  1. Use a Legal Billing Software

This is the best way to increase transparency when it comes to legal billing. A legal billing software is an application that makes it easy for lawyers to track and record the time they have spent working for specific clients. The software allows for precise time capturing via any computing device eliminating the need to worry about being at the office physically to carry out the task. Thus, there will be minimal errors when it comes to entries in the billing process. For big firms, there is Law Firm Billing Software that work the same as the aforementioned. The use of the two application has many benefits to the firm. They include:

  • Reduce pressure on bills

The software captures time contemporaneously. Therefore, it reduces the need for the lawyers to spend a lot of time reconstructing the activities of the day related to a particular case. Thus, there will be less or no errors such as over or double billing arising from inaccurate time entries. The software smoothens the process of billing, thereby reducing the pressure that comes with creating the invoice on the last minute.

  • Encourages ethical conduct

Using Legal Billing Software encourages ethical conduct. Lawyers are known to have higher betting rates as compared to other professionals. The main concern clients have is avoiding high legal charges. Attorneys have the responsibility to make the billing clear and understandable to clients. This will reduce the number of disputes that arises when it comes to legal charges. A Law Firm Billing Software that is cloud-based provide transparency and allow task based detailed explanations that is forwarded to the client to eliminate the feeling that they are being overcharged. The software monitors time entries and at the same time eliminate irregularities that may cause disputes. The software can present the charges in any currency, meaning it can be used in different parts of the world.

  • Improve law firm revenues

The firm will attract many clients due to increased transparency that comes with using technology in the billing process. There will be less errors in the financial transaction, thus no money will be lost. The firm will grow due to increased revenue.

  1. Clear Policies

It is important for an attorney to help clients understand the policies of the law firm around everything. This include how late payments is handled and all processes of legal billing. This will help build trust and the client will not have any complaint when presented with the bill. There will be no disputes and you will attract more customers either from referrals or return clients. The transparency will be on its highest point.

  1. Announce Changes

If you plan to make changes regarding how you will handle a particular task, notify your client beforehand. The majority of the people do not like surprises. Any small change may not go well with them. Letting them know in advance will make them feel comfortable and believe that you have their best interest.

 

One of the essentials for the law office is to have transparency, especially in the billing process. Attorneys are required to charge clients as per the numbers of hours they have spent working on their cases. For better results, a paralegal should be hired to be dealing with legal billing. A firm that is transparent attracts many more customers.