You’ve worked hard for your clients — and now it’s time to get paid. How do you make sure the invoices you send out accurately reflect your time and effort? And what can you do to increase the likelihood of the bills actually getting paid?
The right consistency can go a long way toward improving a law firm’s productivity and bottom line.
Don’t lose out on billable hours
To bill for work, you need to track it. Don’t wait until the end of the day when you’re tired to track and detail your time. Instead, record tasks as you do them.
Thanks to modern tech, many practice management systems offer time trackers to help prevent billable hours from leaking away. And if you have a time tracker that’s integrated with your billing and accounting — well, you just saved yourself a little more time.
Bill on a regular schedule
No one likes to be surprised with a bill — especially months after the work has been done. Instead, stick to a regular billing schedule. This breaks invoices down into more manageable chunks for clients. And it ensures they receive the bill while the memory of your services is still fresh or ongoing.
If sending out invoices gets pushed to the bottom of the to-do list when things are busy — or you’re simply trying to keep on top of things during the pandemic — consider using electronic invoices. Sending secure and instant bills makes them easier for clients to pay.
Offer credit card payment options
Speaking of speed and ease, offer credit card payment options. Law firms have traditionally shied away from credit card payments because of compliance issues around card fees. But legal-specific merchants help lawyers accept credit card payments by depositing the payment into the client’s trust account and withdrawing the fee from the firm’s operating account.
With a credit card, a client can swiftly and securely pay their bills online. It’s a payment option they’re likely used to using in other situations — and familiarity can make the process feel more straightforward.
Leverage automated reminders
No matter how transparent you try to make your invoices, there will always be a few clients who don’t pay on time. For these folks, the recommended approach is to stay on top of overdue bills instead of letting them languish.
Automated reminders can be especially helpful with this as they save you time and emotional energy when it comes to following up once bills are past due.
Ultimately, the consistency of automation and the support of legal-specific tools can go a long way toward improving billing productivity.