It may be hard to believe, but even with innovative time tracking applications like TimeSolv on the market, some attorneys still opt for paper and pen when keeping track of their time. Do you fall into this category? If so, please tell me why? Do you like having to keep track of easily misplaced papers? Maybe you have a super powered memory that is always dependable and accurate… or perhaps you just don’t know how advantageous computerized billing could be for you and your law practice. I’m going to assume that it’s a lack of information keeping you from making the switch. But, don’t worry. Just keep reading to learn all you need to know about the advantages of computerized time tracking over manual time tracking.
#1 Efficiency – You may not realize it, but manual time tracking is probably wasting your valuable time. Let’s say you work on eight matters throughout the day, including telephone calls, research and meetings. With manual time tracking, you write down the start and end times for each of these tasks, as well as a description of what work is being completed. That’s a least a couple of minutes, and maybe even more. If you are billing at $300 per hour, those couple of minutes spent time tracking for each of those eight cases adds up to about $80 out of your pocket for the day, $400 for the 5-day work week, and $20,800 for the year. That’s a significant amount of lost profit. An effective computerized time tracking program only requires a few seconds of your time. It’s as quick and easy as starting or stopping a stopwatch, so you can bill more minutes, instead of wasting them.
Computerized time tracking is also the better option when it comes to generating client bills in an efficient manner. Think about the amount of time that you and your staff spend each month generating bills. Assuming you can locate all of your manually recorded times, they must still be entered into your computerized billing system. With a computerized time tracking system that also generates client invoices, you can skip this tedious and time-consuming step all together, so you and your staff can focus on more lucrative tasks.
#2 Accuracy – There numerous opportunities for human error when manually time tracking. I know you are an amazing attorney who secures incredible wins for your clients, but you are also a human being with an unreliable memory. For example, you are diligently working on a brief for Mr. Brown’s civil lawsuit when opposing counsel in Mrs. Green’s case calls. You have been waiting for this call and in your haste to speak with him, you forget to write down the time that you stopped working on one matter and started working on another. Sound familiar? Now, you spend even more time and money backtracking, while you try to approximate an accurate start time. What if your legal assistant inadvertently misreads your handwriting and generates an invoice that turns your three hours of work into two? These unfortunate scenarios are extremely possible with manual time tracking, which increases the chance of you sending out inaccurate billing statements that either overcharge your clients or cheat you out of hard-earned profits.
Computerized time tracking promotes accuracy within your legal practice. First, it takes the guess work out of accurate billing. Your time is automatically tracked, so that you can provide your clients with bills that are correct, even down to the second. A comprehensive time tracking program also offers simultaneous billing options, so you can easily move between Mr. Brown and Mrs. Green’s case, without missing a minute of time.
#3 Convenience – In this highly mobile world, you need a time tracking option that goes wherever you happen to practice law. Yes, I know that you can likely find a piece of paper and a pen in any location, but will you be able to locate that same scrap of paper when its time to generate a bill? And what happens if you cannot locate it? You are back to trying to guesstimate your stop and start times.
With an innovative computerized tracking system like TimeSolv, your application is accessible right from your cell phone. So, if you take a client call while out to dinner with your family (Shame on you), you can easily track the time spent on that call right from your phone. Even if you do not have an internet connection. The tracked time on your smart phone will automatically sync with the time tracking app on your office computer as soon as an internet connection becomes available.
#4 Security – Paper is not secure. You could spill coffee all over your time tracking ledger. That piece of paper, where you recorded the times of three phone calls, could fall out of the file. Your office could experience a devastating fire or natural disaster. Any of these scenarios can destroy your manual time tracking records, leaving you with no way to accurately bill for your time or to defend the cost of your bill, should it become necessary. Does your duty to maintain client files extend to your time tracking records? If so, are paper records the most secure way to meet this responsibility? Probably not.
Professional computerized time tracking services use cloud-based storage to maintain your tracked time in a safe and secure environment. TimeSolv uses a state-of-the-art data center to ensure that your time tracking records are safe from physical and cyber threats. They also work to ensure that your data is consistently available to you, so you will always have it when you need it… even if its five years from now. With a computerized time tracking system, you can better promote the security of your time tracking data.
There you have it – four solid reasons why you and your firm should be making the switch from manual time tracking to computerized time tracking. For more information on TimeSolv and its services, click here for a no-obligation, 30-day trial.
About Erika Winston:
Erika Winston is a freelance writer with a passion for law. Through her business, The Legal Writing Studio, she helps legal professionals deliver effective written messages. Erika is a regular contributor to TimeSolv and a variety of other publications.