To achieve financial success, every law firm needs to properly manage billable hours and client expenses. Every second wasted on repetitive administrative tasks is mismanaged time that could have been used as billable hours for legal services provided to clients. Fortunately, law firms can optimize their billable hours quickly and efficiently by providing their timekeepers with all-in-one cloud solutions that seamlessly manage every step of the process.
When billable time and expenses are efficiently captured and managed, law firms have a greater ability to measure and analyze performance metrics, as well as an improved capacity to forecast future business operations.
Ultimately, it means that law firms can increase their average billing hours since they are relieved from the burden of time-consuming administrative work.
If a law firm wishes to remain competitive and if they want to be considered a top-tier firm, then industry-leading technology must be in place to provide a strong framework for the company’s organization. Particularly for management and timekeepers, the proper tools to capture and manage billable time and client expenses can greatly increase the efficiency of any team.
If your law firm still suffers from inconsistent and manual accounting of time and expense, then your law firm should carefully consider practice management solutions that could reduce wasted time and increase potential billable hours for the firm.
How Can Law Firms Reduce Administrative Burden To Optimize Billable Hours?
First, law firms must identify all of the inefficiencies that exist within the billing cycle.
Next, law firms need to analyze their workflow with the following questions:
- Do timekeepers have access to proper online solutions?
- Do timekeepers manually write down important time notes?
- Do billing managers have tools equipped with business intelligence and critical insight?
- Are timekeepers repeating redundant manual tasks?
- Are the timekeepers using efficient and simple-to-understand software?
Tips To Improve Efficiency On Administrative Tasks
The right cloud-based software solution can greatly improve the efficiency of an administrative team by empowering them with the most effective tools for the job.
Here are a few examples of how they can help:
Provide Timekeeper Solutions
- Implement a cloud-based management solution
- Provide mobile access to increase the ability to manage time conveniently
- Create the ability to report bill time from anywhere
- Standardize guidelines for internal billing procedures
Increase Time Entry Options
- Mobile app time and expense entry
- Timecard entry
- Timesheet entry prepopulated with activity codes
- Timers to toggle on and off between assignments
Optimize Billable Hours
- Capture and manage time efficiently
- Actively monitor hours in real-time
- Record hours via the mobile app when out-of-office
- Use multiple timers for switching between casework
- Track paid time-off, sick time, and overtime hours
What Prevents Law Firms From Adopting A Software Solution To Optimize Their Billable Hours?
Some law firms are hesitant to adopt new tools or workflows because:
- Change is uncomfortable
- Lack of technical knowledge
- Fear of a learning curve
- Slow adopters of technology
- Nothing is “broken” because billing seems to work
However, if there is any doubt, then a law firm should carefully perform an audit of its business to identify potential deficiencies that could be reducing their ability to maximize their billable hours.
Calculate The Opportunity Cost:
- Calculate the cost of maintenance and data corruption with outdated technology
- Calculate the cost of maintenance on on-site servers to host outdated technology
- Consider the risk of obsolete products that have no active support
- Consider the inconvenience of outdated software that is not supported on new operating systems
- Calculate the potential increase in billable hours with the amount of time saved from repetitive administrative tasks
Consider The Cybersecurity Risk:
- Risk of hacks, ransomware malware, and compromised cybersecurity is much higher with outdated software
- Cloud-based solutions offer firewalls, two-factor authentication, security updates, back-ups, and 24-hour technical support
Understand The Poor Functionality Of Outdated Software:
- Outdated technology is slow, crashes, and potential billable time is lost
- Lack of integrations requires manual entry of data across various platforms
- No cloud-based or mobile app accessibility
- No custom or advanced reporting features
- Inefficient user-interface with no real-time metrics
Calculate Potential Revenue Of Missed Billable Hours:
- Decreased productivity equates to lost profitability
- Outdated technology fails to automate processes, which decreases efficiency
- Billable hours must be captured, monitored, measured, and managed manually
- Repeating manual tasks is redundant when it can be automated with business intelligence tools
Management is frequently unaware of the inefficiencies that timekeepers and billing managers are challenged with when trying to complete the simplest billing tasks.
Outdated technology and antiquated software that is inefficient is a risk to your firm. Law firms need to have real-time metrics, accurate reporting, and efficient billing workflows to be truly successful and fully optimize their billable hours. After all, every moment wasted on administrative tasks equates to missed potential revenue.