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How accurate billing can make or break your legal practice

Providing timely, accurate bills benefits your clients and your law firm. Here are the reasons why accurate billing is vital to your legal business strategy.

Accurate billing instills confidence in your work. An unquestionable mark of professionalism, it creates a cascade of positive benefits that contribute to the quality of lawyer-client relationships. 

As well as promoting a positive and friendly partnership with your clients, accurate billing:

  • is a key factor in establishing trust and gives clients a reason to believe that future bills will be justified; and
  • means that clients are more likely to stay loyal to your firm and to recommend you to others.

In addition to being one of a legal practice’s primary obligations to its clients, delivering timely, error-free bills contributes to its success in numerous other ways. 

Here are some reasons why accurate billing is vital to your legal business strategy:

Promotes healthy client relationships

Accurate bills are a solid reference point for the value you delivered to a client and, on the flipside, one that fails to properly represent the work done on a matter can seriously compromise your working relationship. 

What’s more, an inaccurate or inflated bill based on poor timesheet management and recording errors will lessen the probability of a client wanting to brief you on future matters. You want to set clear expectations so that they understand the value that you are providing to them. 

Using an appropriate time recording system to accurately segment your activities by client, matter, team member and task allows you to provide better insight into your work, prove the value of your services, and ensure clients are satisfied with the resulting fees.

Avoid bill disputes

A regular billing process is directly responsible for healthy law firm finances and positive cash flow. 

By choosing software that feeds easily into your existing billing system you’ll increase accuracy without any extra effort. Bills can be produced with a high level of detail and help to minimise disputes.  To avoid disputes, ensure that there is transparency  in your invoices, with detailed notes on the work that has been performed and clarity on what you are charging for. 

Whenever you fail to send your clients their bills on time, you are implying that getting paid promptly is not particularly important to you. Clients who already have a tendency to be “late payers” may take advantage of this.

Collect fair payment, and fast

If you have accurate time recording, you likely will be using a method that allows you to record as you work. This means that the billing information is readily available at the end of each day and allows you to very quickly collate and send out invoices. The faster you are able to generate invoices, the faster you are able to get paid.

Using an accurate billing system also ensures that you collect fair payment for all of your tasks. Often lawyers ‘write off’ time spent on emails as it takes too long to log the activity in their billing or time keeping system. With an autonomous system you are able to continue working, never breaking your flow, all while the time spent of various emails and other tasks is collected for you. Once lawyers make the switch to such a system they are often amazed at how much extra billable time they find simply by recording it accurately.

Harness the benefits of leading edge technology

Investing in the right practice management, time recording and billing software is an essential part of running an effective legal practice in the digital age. Being able to automate your routine tasks ensures that you are focusing on your client work rather than administrative paperwork. The right software tools will keep your billing process on track and relieve you of most of the administrative workload. 

Clearly defined activity recording and billing management are one of the key pillars of a forward-thinking law practice. They give you a clear understanding of where time is spent and how it can better be used to your advantage.

By automatically keeping track of work at an individual and team level you can gain a better understanding of which lawyers, paralegals and assistants are most productive, and why. From there you can target inefficiencies, reduce unnecessary non-billable activities and strategically delegate matters to boost staff efficiency. 

The result is that everyone in your firm spends less time on mundane, time-wasting tasks. And ultimately, getting your billing under control makes room for your practice to thrive.

Accurate billing requires a smart solution

WiseTime was created to give you “time for more”. More focus, more productivity, more accuracy and ultimately more power do what’s best for the success of your law business.  Interested in how you can implement a truly innovative time management system that relieves you from the monotony of timekeeping and allows you to focus on the needs of clients?

Book in your free demo today.

How much time can you recover by eliminating manual timekeeping?

“WiseTime has become an indispensable part of my practice administration. The cost of the application pales in comparison to the increase in revenue which it generates. Since its implementation, WiseTime has contributed to a nearly 40% increase in billable time capture in my practice. I recommend the product unequivocally.”

"I’ve definitely increased my billable hours and efficiency because I have more time to tend to work than to sit there and think about what it is that I did and take an extra 30 to 60 minutes every night first to solve that and then to record it."