The pandemic provided an unexpected test for the effectiveness and durability of many law firm operating systems. Firm leaders found out which processes could withstand a major business disruption and which ones left the firm without the tools it needed to continue serving clients.
For many law firms, legal billing processes proved to be extremely vulnerable and unable to withstand the unique demands of COVID-19. As the vehicle for securing client payments, legal billing processes must be consistent and reliable. Without them, the firm suffers – especially in the middle of a pandemic.
If your firm’s legal billing process doesn’t pass the COVID-19 test, here are 5 strategies you should implement to improve your law firm today:
#1 Timely and Accurate Time Tracking
Even under the best circumstances, many lawyers procrastinate when it comes to time tracking. They either forget to track as they complete tasks, or they purposely leave time tracking for a later time in the day, week, or even month.
These bad time tracking habits may have worsened during the pandemic. Office closures and the disruption of business left law firms in a state of disorder, having to figure out new time tracking processes. Sticky notes and legal pads are insufficient time tracking tools even when everyone is in the same office. They became even more inefficient with the entire firm spread among various remote locations.
If this sounds familiar, your firm could benefit from a time tracking policy that mandates the tracking of time immediately following the completion of a task. And to do that, you need legal time tracking software that every timekeeper can easily access and use regardless of where they need to work.
#2 Remote Availability
That brings us to the second strategy for passing the COVID-19 test. Your firm needs systems that can be accessed and utilized remotely. The continuation of business requires that firm members have the capability to access data and utilize necessary firm systems even when the physical office is unavailable.
Far too many law firms still utilize on-premises software systems that are physically located within the office. As shut down mandates went into effect, their staff members had no access to the resources and files that were stored within these antiquated systems.
If on-premises software left your law firm without the processes it needed to continue serving clients, it’s time for an upgrade to cloud-based legal software options. Cloud storage offers a secure, reliable, and mobile solution for your firm, enabling members to access data quickly and securely from their remote work locations.
#3 Legal Billing Software
Along with time tracking, legal billing is also one of the most undesirable aspects of running a legal practice. Without the right systems in place, firm members can waste hours and hours of valuable time gathering time tracking records, producing accurate bills, and collecting client payments. With the disorganization of a pandemic added into the mix, some firms saw their billing systems go from inconvenient to virtually nonexistent.
The right legal billing software gives law firms the tools to streamline the invoicing process from time tracking to collections. The benefits are plentiful, but here are just a few of them:
- Accurate Billing – By taking the guesswork out of the invoicing process, legal billing software greatly lessens the possibility of human error. Tracked time is automatically inputted into the invoicing system, so your firm consistently provides clients with invoices that accurately reflect work done on their matters.
- Mobility – In the age of COVID-19, your firm may be running almost completely from laptops, tablets, and smartphones. With cloud-based legal billing software, these mobile devices are no longer any impediment to timely and accurate invoicing. With provided credentials, firm members can remotely access the billing software from wherever they are working.
- Budgeting and Accountability – One important part of passing the COVID-19 test is regularly assessing the financial health of your firm and making necessary adjustments. The right legal billing software helps you do that by with access to important data about the firm’s billing, value of matters and accounts receivable.
# 4 Batch Billing
Speaking of financial health… in these trying times, cash flow has become vitally important to the sustainability of law firms. Batch billing gives your law firm the ability to make numerous automatic withdrawals simultaneously, saving your staff a lot of time while also promoting quicker and timelier collections.
With just a few clicks of the mouse, you can collect authorized payments from every client with a payment method on file. The process reduces your firm’s account receivables, while also promoting adequate cash flow.
#5 Client Portal
Client portals serve two very essential purposes for law firms as they traverse the pandemic:
- A streamlined process for fee collection – With a portal, clients can independently log into their personal accounts from wherever they are located to view billing statements and make payments. Having this convenient payment option promotes faster payments.
- A valuable tool for consistent client communications – With the physical office closed or operating on a limited schedule, client communications can suffer. Client portals provide a way for your firm members to easily and consistently keep clients informed about work done on their matters.
Your Firm Needs the Right Software to Implement these COVID-19 Tested Strategies
TimeSolv legal time tracking and billing software offer your law firm the tools to implement each of these strategies. Its remote time tracking can be accessed from a smartphone for quick and easy tracking of completed tasks. Even without a current internet connection, members can track their time with the assurance that it will automatically update to the office system when a connection becomes available.
With its patent-pending technology, TimeSolv is the only legal billing system that offers law firms innovative batch billing options. It also includes a convenient portal for your clients to independently view invoices, payment histories, trust balances, and details of work in progress.
Small Changes Can Make a Big Difference
Your law firm must have effective billing processes in place to pass the COVID-19 test. Implement these small strategies to instantly improve your law office’s billing system. To learn more about TimeSolv, click this website link for a free, no-obligation trial.