Law Firm Billing Tips: Invoice Fast to Last
May 2, 2019
Are you stressing out about getting your invoices out on time? Are you a small law firm owner that bills hourly? If you are, you know that your firm doesn’t get paid if invoices are not sent out timely. With no cash flow, how will you pay your staff? They are depending on you. You can’t let them down by missing paychecks. The stress is just as consuming for solos. The solo attorneys I know love being their own boss, however, if they cannot pay their bills they will likely have to go working for someone else. The solution to this stress is to send invoices faster to get paid quicker.
By not billing timely, you do not get paid quickly—nor as much. I have seen firms that run behind in billing, say two or three months, and then send one quarterly bill to compensate for the firm’s untimeliness. This is inexcusable. A client sees this staggering amount and feels overwhelmed that they cannot pay it. They feel they cannot continue to go with you as their lawyer, as they are now in a financial hole they did not dream of, cause like you, they now have cashflow issues. A client relationship will need to be repaired. To do so takes time. Unbillable time. You are losing money, if not losing the client completely!
Is there hope? Of course there is! I have seen firms be successful in billing. These firms understand the pitfalls above. They find solutions, like Smokeball to be successful.
Failure to Record Time Contemporaneously Puts a Dam Between You and Cash Flow
The biggest cause of untimely billing is not recording time contemporaneously. This bad habit will cause you to lose 20-30% of the billable work you completed. Why? If you are trying to “recapture” all the work you did are you going to remember everything you have done? You are going to miss a lot of smaller tasks you have completed.
Most attorneys do not “recapture” their time until their timesheets are due. This is usually the first couple days of the following month. However, because they are needing to recapture time, which is unbillable work, they are looking through things like emails, calendar events, and other documents, so it takes them longer to submit their time to be invoiced. Hence, the billing process is severely delayed. Invoices take longer to be sent. Therefore, you will not be paid quickly.
Smokeball understands the difficulties of contemporaneous time recording by providing the ultimate solution – automatic time and activity tracking. Smokeball records your time automatically and seamlessly.
So how does this work? By using Smokeball, it will keep track of the duration all your calendar events, tasks, and activities. Thus, automatically building your timesheet. No more late nights of “recapturing” your time.
Smokeball integrates with Microsoft Word and Outlook. By using cutting-edge technology, Smokeball can track the time you do drafting an email or editing a motion. The technology is so advanced, it can track inactivity and stop the clock, so you know the recordable time is accurate. Clients who use Smokeball’s automatic time and activity tracking feature capture 34% more billable time. Don’t work harder, work smarter with Smokeball.
Delayed Invoicing Results in Money Lost
Now your timesheets are done. However, that is only the first part needed to get invoices out timely. Next, is taking the time to create, review, and send out the invoices. This is where Smokeball and its integrated billing feature, Boost Billing, comes in.
By using Smokeball, you can capture 34% more of your billable time, if not more. However, you can squander the actualization of this amount by not invoicing timely. In other words, the longer it takes to send out that invoice, the less likely you will be getting paid that full amount. That’s not good business. You should have your invoices out by the first week of the month, otherwise, you will be having diminishing returns. Smokeball and Boost Billing will change your view that sending invoices out by the first week of the month is unattainable. It is easily doable. If you want it.
You may be saying right now, I have so many other responsibilities as a firm owner and a busy litigator, can these invoices ever get out on time? They absolutely can.
I’ve seen it done. There is no reason why it cannot for you. Smokeball can help you with this. As a practice management software, it will save you time in all areas with your practice. By making your firm more efficient, it gives you more time to focus on getting the invoices out! Indeed, Smokeball makes the chore of sending out bills less stressful for you, because it is doing the heavy lifting. Smokeball makes you work smarter, not harder. Get invoices out quickly, get paid faster. You will have less stress. No more worrying about your firm collapsing. Bill fast to last.
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