Definitive Guide to Better Legal Billing [Free eBook]

//Definitive Guide to Better Legal Billing [Free eBook]

definitive-guide-to-legal-billing-cvrSmokeball and its valued partner, LawPay, have teamed up on a new eBook! Despite a lengthy title, the “Definitive Guide to Better Legal Billing, Collecting Client Payments and Driving Law Firm Profitability” outlines some of the simplest principles for small law firms to get paid. As the eBook begins, “[t]he old notion that talking about client payments and finances overall is antithetical to the noble profession of legal practice must be debunked.” Lawyers must take ownership over finances and cash flow; they must think and talk about money to facilitate a vibrant and profitable practice. This new eBook is divided into four sections with each intended to make a dollars-and-cents discussion more tactile for lawyers as small business owners. Keep reading for a brief synopsis, and be sure to download the full eBook today to ensure your firm is on the right financial track.

“[t]he old notion that talking about client payments and finances overall is antithetical to the noble profession of legal practice must be debunked.”

Client Payment Preferences

Today, we pay for just about everything with a credit card. And why not? It’s fast, it’s easy, it’s money we don’t have at the moment but feel confident we will pay back later, and it takes barriers like extended decision-making away from purchasing. Wouldn’t it then follow that paying for legal services with a credit card would result in a stronger cash flow immediately? Our new eBook says yes! Diving into some very interesting data, the new eBook explores the expectations of today’s consumer—including the legal market consumer. Expecting cash payments and writing of checks is an unnecessary barrier to payment, so don’t do that to your firm.

Create a Superior Client Experience

Related to but broader than simply offering credit card payment methods is the concept of “frictionless” customer experiences. Ensure that your firm provides one, and you’ll surely see cash flow increase. Eliminate paper bills with the best legal billing software; if you can deliver and have a client view a bill immediately, do it. Stop requiring payment by check; see the section above for why this is so important. Provide instant payment confirmation; your clients will feel at ease knowing that they’ve taken care of all or a portion of their bill with a few clicks instead of waiting for checks to clear or wondering if the payment went through. Offer 24-hour virtual payment service; the more options and times you clients can pay, the better. All of these things create a frictionless experience that we are all used to with retail services like Amazon.

Rules Compliance and Credit Card Payments

As usual, the professional rules make lawyers skittish about venturing into a new technological landscape. However, companies like LawPay exist to be sure that lawyers are compliant with rules when it comes to client monies. As outlined in the eBook, “industry-specific online payment processors designed specifically for law firms have alleviated [Rule 1.15 issues], ensuring credit card payments are correctly separated into their proper accounts and protecting IOLTA accounts from any third-party debiting.” With companies like Smokeball legal practice management software and LawPay on your side you can rest assured that client money is properly handled in accordance with legal industry rules.

Optimize Cash Flow and Workflow

The obvious immediate benefit of moving to an online payment solution for legal services is seeing your money sooner. The eBook notes that a “survey of legal industry professionals found that those who accept online credit card payments get paid 39 percent faster on average.” That’s a huge difference for any small business. Relatedly, you should be sure that your cash flow process is as automated as possible. Set up recurring payments and create invoices with a click of a button to spend less time and money making money. Let your tech tools, like automatic lawyer time tracking software and legal document software, work together for you.

Smokeball Billing can create your invoices with a LawPay link to ensure that everything can be billed and paid without any printer even being turned on. Again, make paying legal bills frictionless and you’re likely to see more money sooner. Online payment solutions like LawPay and practice management and billing software like Smokeball also ensures security of client data. Leaving checks lying around or payment information and cash in your office is a security risk. Make sure you are using a secure system that stores data electronically with PCI Level 1 security. Even despite recent data breaches, customers still rate credit or debit card payments as the most secure.

Finally, mine your payment data for law firm insights. Once you get a swathe of payment data, look it over for patterns and insights into the work you’ve done. What are you getting paid for? How quickly is certain work being paid for? Which clients pay reliably? What practice areas generate the most cash flow? All of these things can educate you on where to take your practice next. The data is yours, so use it!

Download our new eBook, the “Definitive Guide to Better Legal Billing, Collecting Client Payments and Driving Law Firm Profitability”, today to learn more about getting paid and creating a superb client payment experience. The eBook also provides links to various interesting surveys regarding bill pay and legal trends. As previously noted, “[a]s an attorney and a small business owner, your money is sacrosanct; you need to think and talk about money to facilitate a vibrant practice.” Start by reading this new eBook from Smokeball and LawPay.

To see a full demonstration on what Smokeball and LawPay can do for your practice, watch a free demo today. With Smokeball and LawPay, you’ll be well on your way to less stress and more success.

By |August 21st, 2018|

About the Author:

For years, Josh has helped lawyers become more organized, productive, and profitable. A trained litigator, Josh came to Smokeball from a large east-coast law firm where his practice focused on franchise, insurance, marine, and general litigation. His work with Smokeball, and his continued passion for what he does each day, is driven by a desire to help lawyers and their staff do better in every way. Knowing well the stress and strain put on today’s legal professional, he regularly focuses on improving work and life in the law. He has traveled the country working with and learning from lawyers and their staff. Josh speaks regularly to bar associations about successful law firm practices and other legal topics. Recent notable engagements have been with the Chicago Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, and the Missouri Bar’s Solo and Small Firm Conference. In addition to his work at Smokeball, Josh serves on the Writing Resource Center staff at The John Marshall Law School. Besides legal technology, his research interests include judicial decision-making, jury decision-making and psychology, and legal writing. He has written and overseen research exploring causal effects of sex/gender on federal appellate court decision-making, and assisted with research for a forthcoming textbook on judicial decision-making. Additionally, Josh sits on the Board of Directors of Chicago-based Community Activism Law Alliance and on the Board of Directors of Chicago Fringe Opera Company. Josh holds his J.D., cum laude, from Washington University in St. Louis, where he served as a Senior Editor of the Wash. U. Law Review, held the prestigious Thompson Coburn Research Fellowship, served as Research Assistant to then-Vice-Dean (now Chancellor) Andrew D. Martin, and clerked at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. He holds a B.A. in Political Science and a B.M. in Music Performance with Honors Scholar distinction from the University of Connecticut, making him a Huskies basketball fan through and through. Follow Josh’s activity on LinkedIn, and keep up with new articles on the Smokeball Blog.