Effective Billing Strategies
If there is one thing that is probably most important right along side handling a client’s case it is for your law firm to get paid. Doesn’t make sense to do all the work and not get paid, does it?
While many law firms have switched their practice to “flat fee” billing, including family law cases which were always charged by the hour, you sometimes cannot get away from hourly billing. Undoubtedly, there is the remote chance of taking a hit on a case in which you charge a flat fee and get more work than you bargained for. Whatever the reason, hourly billing is alive and well and will undoubtedly be here to stay.
There are several things that you can do to make sure that your firm is not losing time or expenses when it comes to billing:
1. Keep careful track of all your time and make sure it is contemporaneous. This is not as hard as it seems. If the billing program is kept open all day, you can just as easily make a notation in the file as you can write it down on a piece of paper. Or worse yet, think that you will remember it. Trust me – you won’t!
2. Keep track of client expenses. At the end of the month, client expenses add up and you may be surprised to learn how many hundreds of dollars you are losing every month by not billing your clients.
3. Be proactive in your collection activity. It’s great to send a bill to a client. But, if they don’t pay, (within ten days!) and you don’t work on your collections – it was all for nothing and you are stuck holding the empty money bag.
4. Increase the likelihood of getting paid when you make it easy for the client to pay. Be sure to include the payment link to pay by credit card. Make it as easy as possible for your clients to pay and reduce their excuses for not paying.
5. Choose your case management software carefully, including the billing part. Make sure it contains everything that you want your clients to know when they receive an invoice. Again, the easier it is for your client to understand the date, time and by whom the services were rendered, the faster you will get paid.
Billing is one part, but an important part, of your law practice. Need help with billing or other administrative work such as collections, bookkeeping, cash flow analyses, hiring, work flows, file management and the like?
That what we specialize in – helping you to run an efficient and cost-effective practice. No reason to reinvent the wheel. I am Liz Miller, Law Practice Management Consultant. Call me at 1-813-340-9569 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check our website at: fromlawyertolawfirm.com. We offer free consultations and work with clients locally or across the country.