When you were in law school, you probably assumed you’d spend your days practicing law. Unfortunately the reality of running any business is there are a host of other administrative details that take time away from the core function of the organization. If you spend too much of your day being a clerk instead of a lawyer, attorney time and billing software simplifies these tasks and gives you more time.
One of the leading mistakes small firms make is to not take fee collection seriously. They do the work, send an invoice and then just hope to get paid. A startling number of law firms have no systems in place to collect fees and end up turning delinquent accounts over to collection firms. This not only loses money but also effectively ensures the now-upset client will never bring business back. Here are a few ways you can use legal billing and accounting software like Easy TimeBill to get paid.
Easy Invoices – The first step is clear, uncluttered billing statements. Clients shouldn’t have to puzzle over confusing lists of charges, or hunt to find balance due. Clean billing statements are more likely to get paid, while confusing ones get put aside for future examination and are promptly forgotten.
360-Degree Financial View – See un-billed and unpaid balances on all matters. Someone using the time billing software reviews the monthly totals and can immediately see which accounts are becoming problems and may need special attention.
Automatic Reminders – Prompt follow-up is critical on delinquent accounts. The longer you let a client languish without some kind of reminder, the less likely you will be paid. Software can automatically send out reminders to clients who are 30, 60, 90 or more days behind in their payments.
Late Fee Calculation – Late fees can provide a little extra pressure to encourage clients to pay on time, but determining the amount to charge can be complicated. Automatic calculations add the fee to the client account each month, considering the outstanding balance, new charges and any payments to determine the correct amount.
Collections matter. Even if you are willing to give a client some extra time to pay, you should still remind the client of outstanding balances every 30 days. Rather than avoiding collections — the way your clients are avoiding their bills! — or turning them over to a third party, use law practice management software to manage your firm more efficiently and improve your cash flow.