Retainers are the cornerstone of many legal billing arrangements. However collecting, distributing and managing those retainers is not as easy as it might appear. Attorneys use legal billing and accounting software to automate the process and improve the practice’s financial position.
Manual retainer management is a lot of work. Attorneys must constantly check records to see that Client A’s expenses should be billed directly while Client B’s charges should be deducted from the retainer. Many practices are not as diligent as they should be on retainer balance monitoring, letting the funds run out and leaving themselves with the task of continuing to work the case without the security of prepayment.
Here are just a few ways Easy TimeBill attorney time and billing software improves retainer management in a typical practice:
Set Retainer Per Matter – Not all matters require a retainer. When setting up a new matter for a client you can choose whether or not to set a minimum retainer.
Automatic Retainer Deduction – You no longer have to keep track of whether to bill the client or deduct from a retainer. All charges entered on the matter will automatically be taken from the retainer funds. You won’t have the embarrassment of sending an invoice to a client who already has provided funds.
Notify Clients Automatically – The practice isn’t the only one who needs to know the retainer balance. Every invoice generated includes retainer balances. Clients can see the dwindling amounts so are less likely to be surprised by requests to replenish funds.
Batch Retainer Reminders – Notify clients with low retainer balances all at once. Bulk generate retainer requests that can be printed for mailing, or emailed directly to clients from within the software.
Trust Management – Eliminate the confusion and cost of opening each retainer as a separate bank account. Add the optional trust accounting system module, Easy Trust, and put all retainers in one account and yet keep all funds completely separate.
Without the right tools retainer management is awkward and time consuming, which is why many firms don’t give it the priority it deserves. Stay on top of your retainers with attorney practice management software to improve your profits and run a more stable law practice. If you aren’t using Easy TimeBill already, then download a free demo and explore the easy-to-use retainer features for yourself.