Every law firm must invoice to secure compensation for their legal services. Often times, smaller firms attempt to handle this task without the benefit of a legal billing system believing that they don’t have enough clients to warrant the purchase of these valuable legal technologies. However, even one client is enough to justify the use of legal billing software.
Every minute spent on invoicing is a minute not spent on billable tasks. Time maximization is particularly important when you want to grow your firm. The time it takes to create even a few invoices can take away from billable hours and firm profitability.
The Value of Legal Billing Software
Solo or small firms often attempt to use general accounting software for their billing needs, but these systems aren’t designed to handle the specific needs of legal practice. Law firms may use a variety of billing models, sometimes even choosing different structures for different client matters. Consider these common examples:
- Hourly Billing – The traditional billable hour is the most common legal billing method. Lawyers track and bill clients according to how many hours are spent on their matter.
- Retainer Billing – With retainer billing, the client provides the law firm with an advance to cover an anticipated number of work hours, and the law firm draws from the retainer fund as tasks are completed. When the account gets low, the firm request that the client replenishes it. At the conclusion of the case, any unearned funds are returned to the client.
- Flat Fee Billing – Many law firms use flat fee billing arrangements for cases they handle on a regular basis. Under these arrangements, firms determine a flat fee for the case before it begins. Clients prefer this model because they know exactly how much their legal services will cost. But in order for flat fee billing to benefit the firm, the right legal billing system is crucial.
- Contingency Billing – Cases like personal injury, are often handled on a contingency basis. If the case is successful, the attorney is compensated with a percentage of the winnings. The remaining award is passed on to the client. If the firm is unsuccessful at winning the case, it typically receives no payment at all.
Regardless of size, a law firm needs a billing system in place that facilitates whichever billing model they choose to utilize.
Finding the Right Billing Tools
Legal professionals must follow specific rules when billing clients for their services. Law firm invoicing is a specialized task that needs to be properly handled. In an effort to save money, some solo and small law firms choose generic billing software options that are not specifically suited to legal practices. While these platforms may work for other businesses, they are not adequately equipped to handle the matter-based billing or trust account management that law firms need.
Law firms need billing tools that help them properly bill under various client circumstances. Paper ledgers and spreadsheets are insufficient for handling these billing tasks. They may be the cheaper option, but they are unreliable and prone to mistakes. Law firms need to hold onto their clients, especially if they only have a few of them. Poor billing practices can quickly lead to dissatisfied clients leaving the firm.
TimeSolv Meets the Legal Billing Needs of Every Sized Law Firm
TimeSolv legal billing software meets the needs of even the smallest law firm, offering such features as:
- A streamlined billing process that begins the moment timekeepers complete a billable task. Their mobile app allows firm members to track their time from a smartphone or tablet. The invoicing process then simplifies the steps between time tracking and invoice creation, so firms benefit from a more efficient billing process.
- TimeSolv’s expense tracking feature keeps expenses organized and easily accessible for billing. There’s no need to keep up with numerous receipts for client expenses.
- With automated billing reminders, the TimeSolv billing system allows law firms to set up prescheduled payment reminders for clients with overdue accounts.
- TimeSolv’s client portal allows clients to independently log into the firm’s system and view their individual accounts. They can review work completed on their cases, along with any pending invoices. Through a collaboration with LawPay, their portal also allows clients to make invoice payments quickly and easily.
Start out on the Right Foot with Legal Billing Software
In short, even one client is enough to warrant the purchase of legal billing software. Any unnecessary time spent on the invoicing process is time away from billable tasks and growing your law firm. Even if you only have one invoice to create, legal billing software can save you time and frustration.
In addition, by implementing a legal billing system early in your practice, you will be better prepared to handle your billing process as your firm grows. Don’t wait until you have 10 or 20 clients to streamline your billing process, start out on the right foot to better position your practice for the growth and success to come.
TimeSolv legal billing software is designed to assist small and medium firms. With affordable pricing and customizable features, TimeSolv helps you craft an invoicing process that will grow with your law practice. To learn more about TimeSolv, click this website link to take advantage of a no-obligation, free trial.
About Erika Winston:
Erika Winston is a freelance writer with a passion for law. Through her business, Personal Touch Edits, she helps legal professionals deliver effective written messages. Erika is a regular contributor to TimeSolv and a variety of other publications.