Billing: it can be a lawyer’s best friend and worst enemy. Chances are, when you first decided to pursue a career as an attorney, sending out invoices wasn’t the most exciting activity you dreamt about. But at the end of the day, the only way to provide an electric performance in the courtroom is to ensure your firm stays up and running, and that’s by getting paid.
Even personal finances can get complicated, so it’s understandable that the prospect of managing an entire business can sound like a daunting task. However, there are easy steps your firm can take to begin to streamline the process. Here, we’ve rounded up the top five best billing practices that every law firm should follow in order to be successful.
Best Billing Practices For Law Firms
Step 1: Be aware of how much the firm is losing. Have a system in place that allows you to easily review all of your billable, billed, and unpaid time.
Step 2: Know what’s billable, and what’s not billable. Make it part of your firm’s practice to label every activity as either “billable” or “unbillable.” Even if you’re not going to pass each billable item onto your client, you’ll never know what you’re losing until you can easily track all events.
Step 3: Invoice quickly. This is where the benefits of bulk invoicing and one-click billing from invoices come into play, as your firm can send out bills and receive funds nearly immediately after tasks are completed.
Step 4: Invoice effectively. While timeliness certainly matters (see step #3), you’re more apt to get paid if the process is straightforward on the client’s end. This means, among other things, easy-to-understand invoices, quick access to email, and a user-friendly client portal.
Step 5: Know how to get paid! Again, making it easy for the client to submit payment increases your chances of actually getting paid on time. At this point, your firm should absolutely accept credit cards in order to facilitate online invoicing via a client portal. Additionally, the ability to send out automatic invoice reminders will save you time and energy and further expedite the billing process.
By taking these five steps, your firm will be well on its way to establishing a successful billing system, and ready to take it to the next level by implementing a single system that handles your accounting as well.
Learn more by watching our recent webinar, Stop Losing Money: Bill More Effectively with CosmoLex.