By Brett van Zyl, digital marketing solutions
In the current business landscape the focus is on cutting costs while operating at maximum efficiency. Outsourcing has become a viable solution for most businesses and law firms are no exception.
Many firms have opted to fully outsource their billing functions to legal cost consultants in an effort to cut costs while gaining access to the knowledge and expertise that they offer. Some smaller law firms don’t have the manpower and resources larger firms enjoy. This is where legal billing software can provide an answer.
There was a time when legal professionals had no choice but to draft their own bills of cost. Paper work, filing and spreadsheet programs were the order of the day. For a law firm the preparation and taxation of bills was a time consuming and tedious task. Thankfully, technological developments have helped to simplify the process.
Why use legal billing software?
Monitoring and capturing billable hours are a significant part of the legal profession. The competitive nature of the industry means that lawyers don’t have enough time to produce invoices and capture billable hours. Legal billing software is designed to solve these problems. Here are some benefits that legal billing programs offer:
1.) It allows you to create client and contact lists. This makes it easy for you to keep track of time spent on individual clients and tasks and generate bills accordingly.
2.) Secure online access means you can update records from any computer with an internet connection.
3.) It’s user friendly. Proficiently designed legal billing software is easy to set up and requires limited training to use.
4.) Data can be retrieved instantly. Paper work filing used to be the order of the day. This system worked but documents would often be misplaced and information lost. Legal billing software solves this by maintaining electronic records of your client’s information. These programs also have search capabilities that helps you access information faster by typing in keywords.
5.) Legal billing software has sophisticated password protection measures in place to ensure that personal and financial details are kept safe. Billing software also provides a backup system in the event that data is corrupted or lost.
6.) Billing multiple clients becomes easy. Storing and keeping track of information using spreadsheet and office packages will become more challenging as your client base increases. Billing software solves this problem by making it easier to keep records of financial details and bills can be generated at the touch of a button.
7.) One of the key advantages of legal billing software is automation. If you’re providing legal services to the same clients each month the software can be set up to automatically generate invoices for those clients. If one attorney at you firm charges a different fee to the next or if certain tasks carry a different fee, the software can be adjusted to automatically reflect the different rates when bills are generated.
Probably the most significant benefit of legal billing software is the amount of time and resources you’ll save that would normally be spent on drafting bills. Although correct interpretation of the data will depend on the accuracy of the data entered by the person, actual calculation and production of the invoices is done by the program. This reduces the likelihood of billing errors. This means shorter turnaround time for collections and increased productivity.