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How To Build An Efficient Timekeeper Workflow

Sep 24, 2020 | By Rosemary Kupfert | 0 Comments

Topics: Legal Technology, Legal, Featured

Are you contemplating a more efficient way to capture billable hours and manage the entire billing cycle and accounting process? 

Law firms that are on the cutting-edge of the industry are ditching on-premise servers and migrating to cloud platforms to establish more efficient timekeeper workflows. This is because they gain an advantage over competitor law firms by using a legal practice management solution with a fully functional mobile app, which greatly improves efficiency for their team. 

Industry-leading managing partners and administrators want built-in business intelligence with real-time intuitive dashboards that provide a user-friendly, snapshot view for monitoring the overall financial success of their firm.

Most importantly, they want the ability to easily capture and manage billable time and expenses to streamline the billing cycle and accounting process, so they can focus on capturing more billable hours on an ongoing basis.

Daily Challenges for Timekeepers

Capturing and managing billable time is critical for monitoring, measuring, and managing the performance of any law firm. It also offers the ability to forecast and budget future business operations.

Yet, for this mission-critical task, many attorneys still suffer through an inconsistent manual process to manage their timekeeping. 

At the end of each month, timekeepers are rebuilding billable hours from sticky notes, correspondence, phone call logs, and calendar entries.  This prehistoric method for tracking billable time is time-consuming, inefficient, has high overhead costs, and wastes valuable billable hours, which ultimately decreases your potential revenue.

When timekeepers rely on outdated, server-based software with no cloud-based technology or mobility options, they cannot support their team efficiently, which can cost law firms considerable amounts of time and money.

Unfortunately, management may not realize that these daily inefficiencies even exist if they do not actively consider the day-to-day operations of their timekeepers.

After all, why would management think billing is broken if the ‘bills go out and the money comes in’?

There Is A Better Way to Capture, Manage, and Streamline The Billing and Accounting Process

The most well-reputed law firms are continually adapting to the most modern legal industry technology trends to seamlessly manage and meld together the front and back-office business operations.  

Many of them have migrated to a cloud platform and implemented a legal practice management solution to virtualize business operations. By aligning their timekeepers’ workflow with up-to-date technology, they can keep a competitive edge, which increases their productivity and profitability over other law firms.

Business intelligence and smart tools that provide untethered access will help your law firm efficiently capture and manage billable time and client expenses, while also allowing you to generate invoices, track outstanding receivables, manage client trust funds, and take advantage of powerful general accounting features.

How Do You Stream The Billing and Accounting Process?

Analyze Your Current Timekeeper Workflow

The first step to improving your billing and accounting process is to identify your law firm technology requirements and internal financial management pain points.

Here are a few key questions to ask: 

  • Is your technology located on a cloud platform to provide timekeepers with full mobility options?
  • Can your timekeepers capture and manage time and expenses at any time, from anywhere?
  • Does your mobile app have artificial intelligence that provides financial data in seconds? 
  • Does your time tracking technology provide an intuitive, real-time user interface? 
  • Do firm procedures mandate time and expenses to be captured consistently and immediately?
  • Do real-time dashboards for managers and timekeepers provide tools to monitor on-going performance?
  • Do billing staff have to constantly harass timekeepers to provide updates?
  • Does your software provide reminders for timekeepers when billable time is missing?
  • Are pre-billing and post-billing reports accurate and comprehensible?
  • Are workflow processes able to seamlessly capture billable time?

If you answered ‘NO’ to any of these questions, then there are major inefficiencies within your law firm that should be addressed immediately.

This is likely caused by outdated software that is being used by your team because it does not offer the full functionality for capturing and managing time and expenses that are required for a successful law firm.

Investigate Software Solutions That Eliminate Your Pain Points

Internal processes and procedures must be streamlined to improve efficiency. If you want your law firm to excel, then it must implement a fully-integrated legal practice management solution to improve the billing and accounting process.

Capturing and managing billable time and client expenses must be quick, easy, and intuitive.

Additionally, timekeepers must have access to billing software and a workflow that is available from anywhere at any time.

It is a proven fact that when timekeepers have access to enter and review time and expenses as they work client files, then billable hours increase, and more expenses are captured with a higher degree of accuracy and efficiency. 

To capture this, timekeepers require access to a cloud-based platform that provides:

  • Quick and simple access to timekeeping solutions
  • Workflows augmented by business intelligence software
  • An intuitive user interface
  • Smart tools for rapid data entry
  • Advanced dashboards and reporting features

Don't Fall Victim to Outdated Accounting Procedures

Law firms that rely on manual procedures or antiquated accounting software are wasting overhead hours and losing revenue daily. Without the right tools, timekeepers cannot efficiently track billable hours and client expenses.  

Capturing and managing time in Excel, via sticky notes stuck to files, or on an incomprehensible, handwritten timesheet is a worst-case scenario. It only offers a scattered attempt to recreate billable hours at the month-end.  

The bottom line is if your timekeepers are using outdated, server-based software to capture and manage billable time and expenses, overhead costs go up and revenue goes down.

The Author

Rosemary Kupfert

Rosemary Kupfert is Product Expert - Core Legal at BQE Software. She has more than 30 years experience as a firm administrator and then a consultant to over 1,000 law firms nationwide, helping to improve their workflow and administrative efficiency through business and technology.

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