Three Lawyers, Three Billing Systems

Let’s take a look at three lawyers: Lazy Larry, Prudent Polly and Successful Sam. Each of these lawyers has a different legal billing system and has achieved a different level of success.

Lazy Larry can’t be bothered with billing. He’s a lawyer, not a bookkeeper. His method of recording time is to think about what he did this week and make an educated guess. He sends out invoices when he feels like it, which is less and less often as he gets busy. His invoices are sloppy, handwritten notes. If someone doesn’t pay, Lazy Larry just shrugs it off. His only way of knowing how much money he has is to look at his bank balance online. He has no idea how much money is coming in or going out.

Not surprisingly, Lazy Larry isn’t doing very well. He is chronically broke but blames long hours and unreasonable clients who don’t pay. He claims he doesn’t have time to do it right. In order to make ends meet he has to take on extra clients because he makes so little from each one. Lazy Larry is not a happy lawyer.

Prudent Pam is smarter about her practice. She tracks hours and expenses in a notebook, entering the information into her desktop-based time and billing software. She invoices promptly on the 5th of every month and sends late payment reminders to anyone over 30 days late.

However Prudent Pam uses a generic financial program so can’t perform matter-based billing. She loses receipts so doesn’t record expenses. She produces her invoices one at a time and it takes her hours. Though she sends payment reminders, they are also time consuming and she has no real collection plan. Prudent Pam is happier than Lazy Larry but worries about her future.

Successful Sam uses CosmoLex, the cloud-based legal billing program. He has a specialized legal solution that offers matter-based billing and trust management features. He enters his hours and expenses on his smartphone as they happen so he never forgets a charge. He generates a month’s invoices with a click, and a host of late-payment reminder letters with another click. He has a comprehensive view of his practice’s unbilled and unpaid charges. Successful Sam is also called Smilin’ Sam because he’s so happy by his practice’s cash flow.

Which lawyer are you? If you aren’t Successful Sam then you need to abandon your outdated billing system and start using CosmoLex.

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