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We all love being paid, but not necessarily the hassle of billing. With a number of moving parts – invoice generation, double entry, compliance requirements, VAT, tax, chasing bill payments – legal accounting is not always fun. Add to that the time pressure that law firms face, and you have a system that’s inefficient.
Top tips for improving billing efficiency
Data-driven solutions are helping to solve these problems. Here are our top tips for improving billing efficiency:
1. Manage client expectations
One of the first things a law firm should do with regards to billing is manage client expectations. More often than not, clients are taken aback by the final bill and are more inclined to dispute/ignore it than settle it.
Case management and time tracking softwares now allow clients to keep track of the hours accumulated as lawyers record them. This gives your client an indication of what expenses they should expect and when they may be invoiced, allowing them to budget for it in their cash flow.
2. Create a billing schedule
Law firms are busy, and billing is often pushed to the bottom of the to-do list. Creating a billing schedule – and sticking to it! – is important. Your clients will expect a bill at a certain time; if it doesn’t appear, they will assume timelines are lax for payment as well – and this can impact your cash flow.
One way of ensuring you create and stick to a billing schedule is to automate it. Automation reduces the amount of time it takes for you to create a bill, which makes the task less onerous. Automated technologies are usually part of a case management software, which can help you keep track of your billing schedule – helping you bill on time and chase pending payments.
3. Tracking time
According to a LexisNexis survey of over 450 small law firm attorneys, companies with between 1 to 20 attorneys claim they are missing out on 40% of their billable income due to inefficient time tracking methods and billing strategies. It’s important to use software to keep track of your firm’s hours so that you never miss out on revenue.
4. Options for payment
In today’s world, it’s necessary to give your clients a range of options for how to pay their legal bills. According to findings from the 2017 Clio Legal Trends report, law firms stated they get paid 39% faster when they accept credit cards as a payment method. A range of payment options makes it easier for your client to pay, which means no backlog of unresolved bills.
Choosing DPS Legal Accounts Software
DPS Legal Accounts Software has been designed to address all your billing needs. It has been built with the Solicitor Account Rules in mind, thus exceeding standards set by the SAR. It is also MTD compliant, which means you can submit your VAT returns to HMRC digitally (within DPS Financial Director).
Some of its other advantages include:
- Bulk invoicing
- Automated fee earner reviews
- Multi-currency options across client and office accounts for when you’re dealing with international clients
- Automation to reduce the amount of time you spend on billing
- Flexibility to change features such as the layout of the ledger card and the time recorded feature to work better with your firm’s operations
These are just some of the obvious benefits. DPS Legal Accounts Software aims to streamline billing – with all its administrative headaches – so that you spend less time battling with bills and more time being paid.
To learn more about how our accounting software solutions can help your firm, get in touch with our friendly team today.