Success requires efficient management of time. Individuals who track their time and stick to a plan achieve their work goals within their targeted time frame. Those who are disorganized have more difficulties accomplishing their work objectives because they are more likely to get distracted and lose track of time on important activities. Time management is specifically important for lawyers and legal staff because they have to deal with many clients and need to manage various legal challenges. To improve law firm profitability, they need to track and record billing time accurately for every minute spent on the client’s behalf. While it is important to track time dedicated to each client’s activity to generate bills, it is also essential to focus on their professional acumen to deliver results to their clients. An automated time-tracking and billing system enables attorneys to spend less time on capturing billable hours so they can better serve clients.
The lost hours of billable time
Most of the lawyers lose legitimate billing hours when they try to record it later. They may recollect the major things done during that day but it’s unlikely that they will recall the exact minutes they have spent on phone conversations, email responses and reviewing a paralegal’s work. Any work done for a client is billable, no matter how brief. Sometimes, attorneys do not record the time spent on a client’s phone call or email if it is just two or three minutes. Small bits of minutes each day can add up to several billable hours at the end of the month. When lawyers are out of the office and on the go, they make phone calls and respond to emails or text messages constantly. With such busy schedules, lawyers forget the exact minutes spent on each client case and there is a higher possibility of losing billable hours when this time isn’t recorded. If they do not follow accurate and detailed timekeeping, it leads to reduced billable hours which eventually affect their business bottom-line and profitability.
Why are manual time tracking methods inefficient?
People think that getting organized with time means using traditional timekeeping methods such as recording the working hours manually and generating timesheets in an old-fashioned manner. Those who are still practicing traditional manual methods need to realize that time spent on client work is billable, but time dedicated to bookkeeping is not. In addition, if working hours are not recorded by the end of the day, they can be forgotten. With a manual process, you have to maintain extensive paperwork and at the time of billing clients, refer back to entries in the book manually to generate invoices for multiple clients and calculate billing amounts specific to each project. Also, if they have to analyze the hours spent on a particular client or manually tally up expenses or income by category or by month, they need to put aside some extra hours from their daily work schedule. This is why an automated time capturing and billing software is essential for attorneys and legal staff.
Choosing a cloud based legal billing software
Automated time and billing software not only helps professionals to calculate time spent on specific tasks or a whole project, it also makes the invoicing and billing process easy. Regardless of how the attorney bills hourly or flat rates to the clients, it automates the workflow in tracking working hours, creating invoices, generating reports and sending payment reminders to clients. Legal billing software has user friendly interface to create time slips on the go using any device, mobile or a tablet, generate invoices instantly, and emails to the client directly from the system. The software application stores the client records and documents on the cloud and with just a mouse click it brings up the data automatically for further entries.
With the legal billing software, attorneys can classify their client services based on the standard task codes LEDES, ABA and UTBMS and generate invoices as per the assigned rates. The system allows you to track and organize expenses, split the bills for each service, review invoices and generate reports to evaluate various billing aspects. Other additional features include customized dashboard, CRM, calendar, document management and task management. The legal billing software is specifically designed for attorneys with many advanced features for time keeping and billing, to help improve law practice efficiencies and increase firm profits.