Billing can be a major pain point for lawyers. It’s that task that gets put aside as long as possible, but can't be forgotten. Many will even say that their favourite part of billing is the moment after it's all been done!
Here are some quick tips to help you stay organized.
1. Schedule it in. If you’re doing your own bookkeeping, set some time aside each week to focus on billing. Some attorneys spend an entire day while others schedule only a few hours. This will help you stay consistent and shorten the chunk of time you need to spend on billing. It won’t feel so painful if you have less invoices to prepare in one sitting and during crunch time.
2. Time billing. Enter each expense as it's incurred. When you start working on a matter, start recording your time. When you finish, stop the time clock, and log what you've worked on. This will ensure accuracy and it will save you time if you don’t spend it later trying to reconstruct your day’s work. Using legal software that offers a timekeeping tool like LeanLaw or Clio allows for efficient billing. Their tools make it easy to track time and the details can be carried forward to an invoice.
3. Hire a bookkeeper. Sometimes it’s just easier to delegate a task to someone else. A bookkeeper who specializes in bookkeeping for law firms will keep your billing up to date and they'll enjoy doing it! A bookkeeper can prepare the invoices and follow up on past due balances so that you don't have to. If this sounds like an option you’d like to explore, we can help! Contact us today for more information.
All three tips allow for consistent billing which could improve your firm’s cash flow. The sooner you invoice, the sooner you're likely to get paid. Clients tend to pay promptly when the service they received is still fresh in their minds.