Legal billing may be one of the least enjoyable aspects of managing a family law firm, but it is also one of the most critical. Domestic practices must regularly create and send out invoices to collect client payments, so they need resources that make this process as efficient and profitable as possible. It only takes one mistake to negatively impact the entire billing process, which can leave a firm in dire circumstances. Therefore, firms need legal technology that addresses some of the most common billing problems.
This post will explore five effective billing solutions that every domestic law practice should implement today!
Solution #1 Convenient Time-Tracking
Time is money, and within a family law practice, time must be properly tracked to secure compensation for work completed on client matters. Unfortunately, many family law attorneys miss out on valuable billing opportunities due to inadequate timekeeping processes. Manual time tracking and antiquated systems can result in billing records that are riddled with mistakes because they rely on the timekeeper’s memory and ability to keep track of written notes.
An electronic billing platform with quick and easy time tracking tools provides domestic law firms with a viable solution to this problem. For instance, TimeSolv Legal billing software includes a time tracking app that can be accessed remotely from virtually anywhere in the world. With this tool, family law attorneys can immediately record the time spent on client matters right from their smartphones. There is no need for jotting down timekeeping notes on random pieces of paper or trying to remember exact times upon returning to the office. Instead, ease, accuracy, and convenience take center stage in the time tracking process.
In addition to these benefits, time tracking records can be analyzed by firm leaders on a regular basis, which provides a layer of review for completion and timeliness at the overall firm level, as well as for individual timekeepers. For all of these reasons, time tracking software is a valuable billing solution for domestic law firms.
Solution #2 Automated Invoicing
Without the right tools in place, family lawyers can spend a lot of extra time trying to convert tracked time into client invoices. The process may require firm members to hunt down timekeeper records or reinvent billing procedures month after month. These obstacles can lead to a disjointed process that impedes firm cash flow and strains client relations.
The invoicing features of legal billing software simplify the domestic law firm invoicing process. They promote a streamlined billing system where accurate bills can be easily created, customized, and delivered to clients for payment. With automation settings, firms can adjust the frequency of billing so that invoices are automatically sent out on a specific day of each month. They can even set payment reminders for overdue invoices. With electronic billing tools, firms benefit from quick and convenient invoice processing that requires little effort from attorneys or staff.
Solution #3 Trust Account Management
Family law practices often require a retainer fee for services and these funds must be maintained within a trust account for the client. State rules typically require firms to keep trust account funds separate from their operating accounts, while also maintaining meticulously accurate records of every deposit and withdrawal from the trust account. It can be a daunting responsibility for domestic relations firms that do not have adequate billing solutions in place.
Some legal billing platforms, as well as practice management software, include tools that promote the easy allocation of client funds to the appropriate trust account. In addition, once compensation is earned, these tools allow for the seamless transfer of funds to the firm’s operating account.
Accurate trust accounting is a must within firm management, so domestic legal practices need billing software that promotes regulatory compliance so firm timekeepers can focus on other pertinent priorities. Even with the numerous IOLTA accounts that a family law practice may maintain at any given time, the right software helps maintain compliant management and reporting.
Solution #4 Up-to-Date Reporting
Financial reporting and analytics help family law attorneys monitor the financial health of their firms and plan for success, but these tools also provide the data necessary to identify billing discrepancies. For instance, timekeepers may not be tracking all billable hours or invoices may consistently be sent out to clients late. Reporting capabilities can reveal these problems. Armed with this information, law firms can alter their processes to promote the most effective procedures. Comprehensive legal billing platforms offer numerous reporting capabilities to help domestic law practices solve these issues.
Domestic Law Firms Need Effective Billing Solutions
Family law firms can address some of their legal billing challenges by utilizing platforms that offer a variety of useful features. With the right technology in place, these attorneys can accurately track all firm time, streamline the invoicing process, complete accurate trust accounting, and quickly identify obstacles to effective billing.