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If there is one indispensable element to your practice, it’s your legal billing system. But with so many technical advancements, it can be overwhelming to consider making a change. This guide is focused on solving pain points specific to firm size, client type, organizational structure, and billing requirements.The LegalTech Publishing Buyer's Guides and the products and services listings below are supported by vendor sponsorships.
Lawmatics is the #1 automation platform for law firms, offering Legal client intake, CRM, marketing automation, billing, and much more, all in one easy-to-use software. With Lawmatics, law firms streamline their operations, impress clients, and win more business. To learn more, visit www.lawmatics.com.
At HALF THE COST of other solutions, TimeSolv provides the robust time, billing, and payment needs law firms demand, without the extra features you never use. Store payment information and run hundreds of payments in seconds on YOUR timeline, achieving ZERO AR!
Zola Suite provides firms with the most comprehensive, cloud-based practice management solution that eliminates data silos and helps your firm maximize efficiency and increase profitability. With best-in-class matter management tools and robust billing, accounting and reporting, Zola Suite’s end-to-end platform connects your front and back offices, delivering a single source of truth for your firm.
Jared interviews Scott Clasen of TimeSolv and Niki Black of MyCase about time capture, billing, and managing client payments for law firms.
Jared talks to Scott Clasen and Jordan Turk. Scott and Jordan answer the big question: “Should law firms start using e-payments?” They also discuss the alternative fee agreements and different payment funnels that attorneys and law firms can use as well as the new trends that people can expect in e-payments.
Jared talks with experts in the field about utilizing time, billing & payments software in the law firm environment. The guests are Matt Spiegel of Lawmatics, Scott Clasen of ProfitSolv, Tomas Suros of AbacusNext, and Sam Mallen of MyCase.
Jared welcomes Scott Clasen of ProfitSolv, who talks about the different ways law firms can do a better job at capturing and keeping track of time.
What is Time, Billing and Payments software?
Revenue flows into your firm in a funnel, and this funnel can get leaky at numerous junctures.
Maybe not all of the time is captured, maybe not all of the time is billed, or maybe not all of the billings are collected.
Time, Billing and Payments software is a solution designed to tighten up this funnel. This software will help you keep more of the cash that you’ve earned and grow your bottom line.
What are the benefits of Time, Billing and Payments software?
Provided you’re not practicing law as a hobby, your legal billing system is the most indispensable component of your practice.
The benefits are simple: easier and more comprehensive time capture and revenue collection for you, and an efficient portal and secure and convenient payment set-up for your clients.
Having an optimal Time, Billing and Payments system is one of the most impactful steps a lawyer can take to ensure they maintain a thriving practice.
What can the best Time, Billing and Payments software provide?
Studies have repeatedly demonstrated that firms that have online billing collect substantially more per lawyer than those that do not.
Setting up a robust ePayment platform is the single most effective step a typical law firm can take to grow its revenue.
This software can provide a seamless experience from time capture to collecting revenue, from both the lawyer and the client perspective.
Its features may include passive time tracking, in which all of your activity within a case management system is measured and comprehensive reports automatically appear at the end of each day.
This allows itemized invoicing and ensures none of your billable activity is simply forgotten.
The software also likely includes ePayments options for knocking down your dreaded Accounts Receivable, including one-touch authorization from the client side and automatic invoicing.
There’s a term for when attorneys use Latin and other arcane languages to describe legal processes to consumers: “legalese.”
But there’s no similar term for when vendors use technical and other arcane languages to describe their legal software operations to lawyers.
True, this dynamic may seem unfair. But now we have The Legal Tech-to-English Dictionary to help us cope.
Read on for the latest installment, where we translate time, billing, and payment software-related topics to plain English.
1. Law firm billing nomenclature indicating a 6-minute increment = 1/10th of an hour. Because, weirdly, lawyers actually bill like this.
2. 6 minutes.
3. Something lawyers add to their invoices to confuse clients.
Husband: I just got this bill from the law firm. What does ‘.1’ mean?
Husband: Oh, okay. So, 1/10th of an hour?
Husband: Okay. $75 for every 6 minutes equals . . .
Wife: $750 per hour?
Cf. Because this is how your clients see you.
1. A process by which staff and attorneys review invoices prior to finalizing and sending same to clients.
2. The edited versions of an invoice used prior to the finalized version.
Lawyer 1: How’s the prebill coming along?
Legal Assistant 1: I haven’t gotten it from you in the mail yet.
Lawyer 1: . . .
Legal Assistant 1: Did you mail it yet?
Lawyer 1: . . .
Legal Assistant 1: It wouldn’t happen to still be on your desk right now, would it?
Lawyer 1: . . .
Lawyer 1: Um, sorry, my line is cutting out.
Cf. Time and billing softwares allow law firms to manage the prebill process electronically, via system features that can accommodate draft invoice edits, commenting tools, and restricted access criteria.
1. Payment options available in an entirely electronic format, including credit and debit cards, ACH and eCheck.
2. You’re gonna make me say Dogecoin, too?
3. And, NFTs? Have you no soul?
Lawyer 1: We’ve got a client outside who wants to pay us by giving us a “non-fungible token.” Apparently, it’s an image of a piece of oatmeal that he colored bright orange and placed on the tip of a beautiful CGI-rendered unicorn horn.
Lawyer 2: . . .
Lawyer 1: I’ll just ask him for a check.
Alternative Fee Arrangement
1. Any law firm payment option that is not an hourly billing arrangement.
2. Yes, lawyers are this dedicated to the hourly billing model.
Lawyer 1: Can we talk about adding some alternative pricing models?
Lawyer 2: We could . . . charge for every 3 minutes we work, instead of every 6?
Lawyer 1: That’s not exactly what I had in mind.
Cf. Since literally everything other than hourly billing rates are viewed as “alternative” fee arrangements, those alternative options are endless, including flat fees, evergreen retainers (client reups retainer amount on monthly basis), risk collars (lawyer goes over a predicted fee amount, client gets a discounted rate; under, lawyer gets a success fee), subscription fees, and products.
1. Uncollected billing, often reported on by the length of time the items have been in arrears, e.g., 30-, 60-, 90-days late.
Bookkeeper 1: Our accounts receivable report indicates that we have $225,000 that is more than 90 days overdue.
Lawyer 1: When was the last time we sent out invoices?
Bookkeeper 1: 6 months ago.
Lawyer 1: Well, shit.
Bookkeeper 1: I believe you’ve cracked the case, Mr. Holmes.
Cf. ePayments – Collect automated payments by credit card, and you won’t have any A/R.
Jared Correia is the host of the Non-Eventcast.
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