7 eBilling for Lawyers Hacks Only the Pros Know

7 eBilling for Lawyers Hacks Only the Pros Know
Apparently, the cheque isn’t in the bank yet for many law firms. Payments can sometimes take up to 60 to 90 days before law firms see the money in the bank. Occasionally, these bills go unpaid for 120 days, and it becomes challenging to address the outstanding debt with a client. Here, we offer you an easy solution to tackle common billing problems and why you should learn seven eBilling for lawyers hacks only the pros know.

Outstanding payments occur because there are problems with the invoices themselves. Missing or incorrect information, formatting, and compliance issues get in the way. Clients could also be unclear about billing processes and policies, or they could be under financial duress.

Billing is critical to law firms, but it is often the process that is taken for granted until a cash flow problem occurs. By then, it becomes urgent and requires immediate attention.

Take Billing Seriously

First of all, look at your billing processes, system, and policies and give it an honest assessment. Consider the following:

  •   How easy is it for your client to understand and go through your processes and policies?
  •   Which stage of billing is causing a bottleneck in your system?
  •   Are there any errors or issues within your invoice document?
  •   Are your invoices compliant with regulatory requirements?

If your answers unveil gaps and issues you need to address, you may want to learn the following eBilling hacks to address the problem.

  1. Boost Your eBilling Performance Through Automation

You can avoid potential pitfalls by strengthening your billing process, documents, and system through automation. Legal practice management, accounting, and eBilling system like CoreMatter can help you because of the detailed business rules that capture the nuances of the legal business.

CoreMatter’s billing system incorporates legal-specific trust accounting, ledger management, disbursement management, and timed billing functionality. It can also adjust rates and billings for different clients without complications, saving time on unnecessary work.

  1. Be Clear with Your Billing Policies

Imagine yourself as a new client. You may feel overwhelmed and uncertain about your case. The initial legal consultation and appointment of a lawyer could be confusing due to the information overload. Thus, make it easy for your client to understand what is involved and how you will serve them, including a written billing policy to review the document at their convenience.

Your billing policy should outline when the invoices are issued, the different payment methods, credit terms, and consequences such as interest or penalty for late payment. Be sure to check with your client if they have any questions about the policy.

 

  1. Establish Invoice Template and Standards

It pays to be thorough when establishing your invoicing templates and standards. Apart from your logo, brand colors, and law firm contact details, you should also evaluate and develop the following:

  •   Invoice templates for legal services, family disputes, corporate clients, retainer fees, or victim compensation, depending on your area of specialization.
  •   Labels for client information, address, telephone, email, unique invoice number, date, case number, and timesheets for billable hours
  •   Applicable taxes in accordance with the country’s laws.
  •   Payment terms and a personal note such as “thank you”.

Once you have all the details required in your templates, save them all to use them accordingly. However, if you want to save even more time, use CoreMatter. The system’s invoice customization function allows you to quickly put in your logo and visual brand elements and highlight all the invoicing details you need.

 

  1. Optimize Your Billing Process and Revenue

On a whiteboard or a piece of paper, chart out your entire billing process in full detail from start to finish. You will soon become acquainted with everything from knowing which lawyer reviews the bill to when the invoices are sent and who keeps track of all invoices within the firm.

After going through your billing process and revenue, you will discover billing data that’s often overlooked with manual procedures. This billing data is precious because it helps you determine which legal service or lawyer is in demand. You can use that to figure out what value-added services you can provide to increase client retention and upsell opportunities. If you don’t want to miss out billing data, you can automate your billing and track its entire lifecycle using CoreMatter so that all the data you need is on one clean platform and your billing is managed efficiently.

 

  1. Enable Lawyers or Partners to Review Billing

You could have your accounting department run after your partner or star lawyer to review the bill, or you could get your lawyers and partners on a platform like CoreMatter, so that they can do the reviews electronically. This speeds up the process, saves time, and leaves no room for error.

 

  1. Get Your Finance and Accounting Team Involved

It is helpful to keep everyone connected, from the partner to the lawyer to the finance team. Communication gaps often result in unnecessary delays and mistakes. Fortunately, CoreMatter is also a system that facilitates communication between all staff and partners while enabling the relevant parties to view, edit, or approve documents. That way, the finance and accounting team will know when the invoices are sent, what needs to be collected and what needs to be written off or discounted.

 

  1. Specify Process for Disputes and Collections

Invest some time into developing a proper framework for reviewing disputes, resolving issues, and late collections, then appoint the right talent to manage it.

Once your process for disputes and late collections is in place, create a series of friendly notices or email templates to remind your clients about outstanding payments. The tone should be professional, kind, and calm. It shows empathy and is the foundation for a good client-lawyer relationship.

 

Conclusion

Investing in a legal practice management, accounting, and eBilling system like CoreMatter makes a significant difference in how you spend your time and reduces error incidences. With CoreMatter, you can get your invoices out in 15 minutes, a task that usually takes longer when it is done manually.

Don’t be afraid of technology. A system like CoreMatter is easy to learn and built specifically for lawyers. In just one training session, you’ll learn how to use CoreMatter like a pro, and you will save even more time with a well-designed automated billing system that keeps your cash flow healthy.

 

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Sign up today for a free demo to learn more about how CoreMatter works!

CoreMatter, the leading cloud-based case management tool in Southeast Asia, frees your firm from the mess of the mundane to focus on what matters most.

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