Essential Tips on How to Avoid Legal Billing Client Confrontation
Clients have become more cost-conscious than ever on their legal bills. This is because they are able to access a lot in information about legal billing, thanks to the internet. As a result, many clients now concentrate on how to rationalize legal costs. In order to maintain their reputation and remain competitive, law firms should be keen when dealing their customers and especially on financial matters.
It is important to note that simple billing mistakes can actually depict the tension beneath even the most experienced lawyers. It can as well distort the good relationship between a client and the law firm.
Evade billing disagreements
Here are some important tips on how to avoid legal billing disagreements with clients:
- Budget for the project together
- Prior communication on emerging costs
- Keep accurate and reader-oriented records
- Incorporate technology and educate the team
Clients always come with a lot of expectations to the attorneys. It will, therefore, be important to analyze the scope and cost associated with each aspect of the project together. This helps to manage the set expectations and eliminate conflict when the bill is finally presented.
Prior communication on emerging costs
Avoid surprising the client with unexpected costs. No company wants a shocking large invoice. A bill that is larger than expected is an indication of miscalculated scope and risks. It portrays incompetence on the service provider. Legal entities should avoid this by simply keeping the client up to date on progress and latest happenings.
Keeping accurate and reader-oriented records
Comprehensive records will always help to eliminate disagreements. Desist from sending vague or general bills to your client. Make the bills itemized and more specific. This helps the client to establish how much he/she has to spend on each aspect of the case. The document to send to a client as a bill must be free from mistakes. The billing attorneys should remain more careful since many consumers have opted to hire auditing firms to monitor their invoices. Double checking the document before handing it over to a client is the perfect solution.
Incorporate technology into your operations
There are several software solutions in the market that can save a law firm from such misunderstandings. Some of these software solutions have been designed to perform time tracking, task coding and have the ability to analyze the encoded date to give special fee arrangements as well as alternative billing agreements.
Law Firms should also employ qualified legal administrative assistants. The assistants should have a legal assistant certificate, from a recognized legal information institute. The administrators should also have basic knowledge of law firm billing software solutions. They should be trained to understand how the firm’s billing system works. This will enable them to generate logical invoices which are error free.
Law firm billing software solutions
Some of the most popular law firm billing software companies include; Bill4Time, Ebillity, Freshbooks, PCLaw, and Cosmolex. Some of these software solutions are server-based while others are cloud based. For the server-based software, you have to install it into your computer server where all users can access. This requires an IT expert and the consumer pays once for each licensed user. Cloud-based software, on the other hand, requires a company to pay a monthly fee for each of the users.
Bill4Time, Ebillity, and Freshbooks have been confirmed to be the best for use as legal billing software. These legal billing software solutions have been created to eliminate confrontation between law firms and their customers.
Handling difficult clients
It is vital to note that there are clients who are naturally difficult to handle. One must, therefore, be prepared on how to deal with this category of clients. In order to maintain a good attorney-client relationship when handling such people, a lawyer must focus on aspects that will create a solution and not more problems.
Strive to offer the best service to the client, understand his/her billing policy, communicate effectively and send accurate invoices. The client will definitely feel your concern towards his/her problem. The least your customer will be left to is collaboration.
From a practical standpoint, it is important to make your client understand that changes in scope have got a direct effect on budget and time. In one of the Harvard law school case management journal, it is emphasized that accountability is key when it comes company-client relationship. Legal entities should, therefore, move with speed to adopt law firm billing software solutions which will help them to accurately monitor and account for each aspect of their projects. This will eliminate their billing errors.