You could pick one of the above, a combination, or something else altogether. Find something that makes sense for your clients and that works for your firm.
If You Bill Hourly, You Must Capture Time
Here’s an example: meet Bill. When he first joined our coaching program, Lab, he admitted that some of his clients hadn’t received a bill for six months or more. Bill was busy practicing law and dealing with client emergencies each day and never stopped to record his time. Common story, right?
He told himself he’d take a few minutes at the end of each day and put it all into the system before going home. When the end of the day came, he was tired and running late to be with his family, so he told himself he’d just do it in the morning. You see where this is going.
Of course, the morning brought another client emergency, and the delay continued. Because he wasn’t routinely invoicing his clients, cash wasn’t coming in. His system was broken and his firm was suffering.
Unfortunately, Bill is not alone. We often meet attorneys who bill by the hour, but who don’t track their time as they work. Instead, they attempt to go back through phone logs, emails, and filings, attempting to recreate their time and prepare invoices.
This often leads to significant under billing and loss of potential income to the firm. It’s an enormous waste of time and resources spent recreating time entries for the invoices instead of just capturing the time and tasks as the work is being done.
If you’re going to bill by the hour, create a system to ensure everyone in your firm captures their time while the work is being done and with as little effort as possible.
Today’s software gives you so many helpful options to help timekeepers get this right, including timers, voice dictation, and even AI tools that record your keystrokes and determine where you spent your efforts. Your firm has to get this right on the front end or risk losing significant money on the back end.