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TimeSolv Makes Complex Client Billing Simple

For some attorneys, timekeeping and billing is not complex at all. But those attorneys are few and far between. For the rest of us, time tracking and invoicing can be a complex issue that feels like a slog. TimeSolv’s timekeeping & billing software for legal can simplify some of these processes. Take a look at some of the features TimeSolv has to offer below.

It’s not always easy, or fun, to follow-up on unpaid invoices. Often, we only find out when we go to do more work for our clients. With TimeSolv, you can set-up invoice payment reminders to go out automatically. Move your clients forward with gentle reminders and collect more of your accounts receivable.

Even better than sending invoices and waiting to get paid, however, is autopay. With TimeSolv, you can save your client’s credit card information and they can pay with the click of a button—or, in some cases, automatically. 

Check out the video below to learn about some of the advanced legal billing features TimeSolv has.

TimeSolv Demo Video

How to Get It

Ready to learn more? Check out our full review of TimeSolv. There you will find community reviews, additional demos, features charts, and more. Remember that Lawyerist subscribers get additional discounts through the Affinity Benefits offered by our partners.

Tabs3Pay Provides Compliant ePayments for Trust Accounts

Trust accounting seems pretty straightforward: keep money that isn’t yours in a separate account. But not so fast! As your practice and number of clients grows, trust accounting is not as simple as it seems. You’ll have to navigate jurisdictional rules while dealing with banks and credit card processors that know nothing about those rules. You’ll also have to manage the ledgers, accounting, payments, and balances for each client’s trust accounts. Tabs3 Trust Accounting Software manages trust accounts for your clients accurately and easily.

Why Use Dedicated Software for Trust Accounting?

To effectively manage trust accounts, you need something beyond just using an Excel sheet. And switching between multiple programs isn’t an option either, unless you want to spend hours each week making sure your books are balanced. A better solution is to have a single software that can streamline trust account management and scale with your practice. You’ll want something with safeguards in place to give you peace of mind over trust transactions. This is where having dedicated software comes in.

Having dedicated software for trust accounting doesn’t just help you stay compliant with your jurisdiction’s rules. It also simplifies your accounting workflow, so you know exactly what to do and when to do it. These days, most trust accounting software is bundled in with other legal software as a suite of services. All of this is intended to help reduce the number of hours attorneys spend on administrative tasks. While many law firm software options say they have trust accounting features, they may not go far enough to reduce accounting headaches. Ideally, trust accounting should offer features that allow you to easily have an overview of where your firm stands with your trust accounts. It should also make managing incoming and outgoing payments from those accounts easy and help you stay compliant. This is something the Tabs3 suite of software and Tabs3Pay does and more.

Manage Trust Account Payments with a Click

Tabs3 gives you a quick overview of where your trust accounts stand. It lets you know what you need to do at just a glance. When viewing a client’s account, you’ll immediately see the trust account balances. Tabs3 will also let you know when those balances are getting low. You’ll be able to set recommended amounts for trust accounts and get a warning when you’re at or below a certain level. And if you’re below that level? Simply click a link to generate a trust request to email to your client. The email will come directly from your law firm’s email address, and it will have a custom payment link for clients to pay securely via credit card, ACH, or debit card. Tabs3’s trust account features turn a complicated and time-consuming part of your practice into a streamlined solution. 

Make it Easier for Clients to Pay

Emailing a custom payment link to clients isn’t limited to trust accounts. Anytime you send out invoices, you can generate an email invoice with a unique payment button for paying accounts receivable or depositing into a trust account. This ensures the funds will never go into the wrong account, helping you stay compliant. And, all processing fees come out of your operating account, even if a client pays into trust.

You’ll also be able to set up default hourly billing rates or charge contingency, flat fee, or retainers. No matter the charge, clients will receive clear, detailed invoices from your firm, so they’ll always know what they’re paying. Clients will even be able to pay through Tabs3Pay’s secure portal. This means you don’t have to manually enter information when clients pay their bills. Moving towards online invoices and payments brings you one step closer to a paperless firm. You’ll have fewer accounting errors, receive payments faster, and clients will feel confident that their payment information is kept safe.

Easily Accept (Credit Card) Payments

As mentioned above, Tabs3Pay allows attorneys to accept credit card payments from MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover, Diner’s Club, and JCB. This makes life easier for clients (over 70% of adults own credit cards!) and helps your firm get paid sooner. And, better yet, you’ll collect a higher percentage of your billable work than firms that don’t accept credit cards. Still, many attorneys may not want to accept credit cards as payments because of the associated processing fees.

For attorneys that want to accept credit card payments but don’t want the fee, Tabs3Pay gives the option to attorneys to surcharge those costs in client invoicing. Surcharging allows you to pass the cost of processing fees to the cardholder as a separate line item on invoices. 

You’ll also have the option to accept payment from clients via debit card or ACH eCheck transactions. Clients will be able to pay through their checking or savings account, giving them more options and control over their payments.

Demo Video

Tabs3 recently gave us a demo of Tabs3Pay and how its features make trust account payment a breeze. Take a look at the video below to see a walkthrough they provided our Legal Tech Advisor, Zack Glaser.

How to Get It

If your law firm wants to learn more about Tabs3Pay or the Tabs3 suite of software to help make your practice management more efficient, contact them at tabs3.com to schedule a free personalized demo or sign-up for a free trial.

TimeSolv Saves Hours with Advanced Billing Features

Timekeeping and billing can be a huge time commitment for solo practitioners and law firms alike, which is why we recommend using timekeeping software to help make those processes more streamlined. And while timekeeping software can save hours of administrative work, there are always ways to make your time in that sphere more efficient. Utilizing features like speech-to-text, paperless pre-billing, split-billing, invoice automation, expense tracking, and a client portal not only cuts down on time spent on these tasks, but also helps keep your billing manager happy. Even if that’s you, who wouldn’t want features to make life easier?

TimeSolv Features for Advanced Billing

Speech-to-Text 

Most people can speak faster than they can type, which makes it all the more helpful when you can dictate your time without having to type. When recording your time, rather than typing “phone call with client,” which leaves out a lot of detail, you can dictate to your timekeeping software, “had a phone call with a client where we discussed next steps and approach on [insert discussion item relating to matter].” Speech to text helps you be more specific in how your time was spent without needing to spend that much time to do it and can give your eyes some screen reprieve during your day.

Paperless Pre-Billing 

Pre-billing, while important, can be an extremely time-consuming process, especially for firms that still do this process manually and paper-based. First, the draft bills need to be printed, then routed to the reviewing attorney, then the attorney’s notes need to be deciphered, the bills changed, and so on. This is a cumbersome process and can also introduce potential privacy complications. Going paperless with pre-billing allows firms to save paper, review bills and make edits more quickly, and better ensure the clients’ privacy.

Split Billing 

If you’re working on a matter where you need to split your invoice ten different ways, needing to make a single edit or correct a single mistake can send you back to square one. But, if your timekeeping software has a sophisticated split billing feature, making edits is only a matter of a few clicks. With a true split billing feature, you could split invoices by hours, amounts, or split hours, then calculate amounts for each client (which is especially helpful if you have set rates for different clients). And if you’ve made an error while splitting, you can unsplit to make corrections, then split again. This feature can be a huge time-saver, especially if you’re splitting a matter between dozens of clients.

Invoice Automation 

Generating invoices may require calculating your time or rate differently for each client or matter, printing out the invoice(s) in different formats, creating invoices individually, sorting invoices by the attorney, etc. With an invoice automation feature, you’ll be able to set-it-and-forget-it just the one time or create invoice narratives, depending on the type of invoice, on the matter, client or firm level, then generate hundreds of invoices specific to attorneys or clients or matters with just a matter of clicks. Then, you can download in single or multiple files for pre-billing, filing, printing out or emailing to clients, or whatever else you need. Invoice automation helps create a better overall billing process for your firm.

Expense Tracking

In addition to tracking billable, non-billable, and no-charge time, your timekeeping software should also be able to track expenses. Attorneys should look for timekeeping software that allows them to set up recurring expenses on matters, upload receipts, attach those receipts to invoices, and monitor those expenses through reports or dashboard view. 

Client Portal

Once invoices are sent, clients need to pay. Having a client portal makes it easier for clients to view details on the work your firm has done for them, which means saving time on responding to routine questions on billing. Your clients should be able to create an account to view their balance, old invoices, attached expense receipts, work in progress, and even pay their bills through the client portal. Client portals are a great self-service way to interact with clients to offer a polished, secure, and professional experience. 

How TimeSolv Can Help Your Firm Save Time

Saving time is not just about having features like the above. You want a robust and powerful timekeeping software that allows you to input granular detail on the client, matter, and timekeeping level whether you’re offline, on-the-go, or in the office, add your firm’s customizations and logos, apply interest, have built-in trust accounting, be able to generate different invoice formats (hello LEDES!), and run business intelligence reports and analyses to see how your firm’s time is spent, among other things. 

Keeping track of all these items can quickly become complex, but TimeSolv makes it easy. With impressive and powerful features, like the ones mentioned above, add-ons, a user-friendly dashboard, and integrations with other software like Microsoft 365, Xero, and DropBox, TimeSolv is arguably one the most comprehensive cloud-based timekeeping and billing software out there. 

Signing up for TimeSolv not only gives you access to a functional and powerful software, but you also get a personal account manager. In addition to having access to TimeSolv’s support team, vast resources, and training sessions, you’ll also have a dedicated person to help guide your through integrating and migrating your firm’s historic data from whatever system you’re currently using to TimeSolv, help you input your firm’s abbreviations, logos, and current invoices, and help you get your account set-up so you’re ready to go from day one. 

Demo Video

The team at TimeSolv recently gave us a demo of their timekeeping software, its features, and how it can save law firms hours. Take a look at the video below to see a walkthrough they provided our Legal Tech Advisor, Zack Glaser.

How to Get It

If your law firm wants to learn more about TimeSolv, contact them at timesolv.com and get a free personalized demo. You can also sign-up for a 30-day free trial: no credit card needed.

Want to learn more about TimeSolv? Check out our full review, where you can see a features list, other demo videos, and community comments. Remember that Lawyerist readers get an affinity benefit through the review page.

Log Time Directly in Outlook with TimeSolv

You use Office 365, and you use TimeSolv. Isn’t it time to use them together? With its new Office 365 integration, TimeSolv helps you spend less time entering data and switching between applications and more time on what’s important to you. You’ll easily be able to enter your time through your Outlook email and calendar with just a few clicks. 

Details

Simply download the TimeSolv add-on for Office 365 to start. Once installed, click on the top right dots to open the TimeSolv integration. A time entry box will open where you’ll be able to start automatically tracking the time you’re spending on emails, or manually enter time later for any matter you’d like. You’ll also be able to link your time to a specific client or file, list the bill type, and enter a description for that time entry. 

TimeSolv email screenshot

Once the entry is saved, it automatically syncs with TimeSolv and that matter file so you won’t have to enter time twice. 

You’re also able to automatically track calendar events as billable time when you create that event from Outlook. Just click on “New Event,” then “More Options” to access TimeSolv. From there, the same TimeSolv box opens with the event creation box so you can set appointments and track your time simultaneously.

TimeSolv meeting screenshot

To help you save even more time, TimeSolv’s abbreviations function is also available within Outlook. The abbreviation function allows you to create a list of custom abbreviations, either for yourself or your firm, so you’ll only need to enter a few letters, hit the spacebar and have TimeSolv auto-fill the rest. And if you forget any of the abbreviations you created, just hover over the document icon for your list to pop up. After all, who wants to type out “Conference Call with Client” when you can just type “cc”? 

TimeSolv screenshot

How to Get It

TimeSolv is a cloud-based software well-suited for attorneys seeking a straight-forward yet comprehensive time tracking, billing, and document management solution. To learn more about TimeSolv, its new Office 365 Integration, or to start a free 30-day free trial, visit TimeSolv.com today!

How to Keep Track of Your Time

Tracking your time rather than reconstructing it at the end of the month turns out to be really important. As in, not-overbilling-your-clients-by-23% important. Whether or not you share your time records with your clients in real time, you do need to keep a time log.

Hopefully that is a no-brainer for everyone who reads this post, but I doubt it. I have known plenty of lawyers who reconstruct time at the end of every month — or every couple of months — from their calendar, emails, and memory. Even if you only put together your bill at the end of the month, you need to track your time as you go. These are the major tools for doing that.

However you decide to track your time, pick a method and stick to it. When you sit down to assemble your invoices, the fewer places you have to go to get the raw data, the better. The more methods you use to track your time, the more mistakes you will make.

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Paper

There is nothing wrong with paper. In fact, paper has a lot of advantages when it comes to tracking time. Just keep a cheap notebook or a stack of index cards with you at all times, and write down what you were doing and how much time you spend doing it.

(There are all kinds of print-your-own templates and fancy time-keeping notepads out there, if you want to get fancy, but you don’t need them.)

time-spreadsheet

Spreadsheet

Spreadsheets are pretty ideal for timekeeping, and with Google Docs, iWork, and Office cloud apps, they are quite portable. In fact, with Google Docs, you can even have multiple people billing time on the same spreadsheet at the same time.

text-file-timesheet

Text File

Text files can work really well for timekeeping, actually.

In Notepad (Windows), you can enter a timestamp by pressing F5 (this does not work in other apps). Do this every time you change tasks, add a few notes, and you will have a running time log. If you put your text file time log in Dropbox, you can access it from your phone and tablet, making your time log portable.

If you use AutoHotKey (Windows) or TextExpander (Mac), you can add timestamps in other apps (the F5 shortcut only works in Notepad on Windows), and set up shortcuts for your frequently-billed tasks. Text files are not fancy, but they make for quick and easy time records.

(If you want to get really fancy, use an app like Drafts to automatically append your notes with a timestamp to a timesheet.txt file in your Dropbox.)

Passive Tracking Software

Timekeeping is tedious. There are ways to take shortcuts and bill more accurately, though. Chrometa, for example, tracks what you are doing on your computer, tablet, and phone (you can also add time manually) and assemble timesheets or export your time to FreshBooks, QuickBooks, Clio, and Xero. I’ve tried Chrometa before, and it really is easy to use.

Timekeeping Software

There are plenty of software packages that include a timekeeping component. I have mostly used Freshbooks, but all practice management software has timekeeping functions, and so do many accounting packages. The nice thing about using timekeeping software is that your invoices are basically assembled as you go.

There are plenty of ways to track your time, but there is only one important criterion for picking a tool: pick the one you actually use. The tool is basically irrelevant; the important part is capturing your time accurately as you go.

Originally published in 2014. Updated 2017. Republished 2019-10-22.