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How to Maximize Your Law Firm's Hourly Billing: Time Tracking Tips for Lawyers

May 13, 2020 | By Rosemary Kupfert | 0 Comments

Topics: Time Tracking, Billing, Lawyers

During this “work from home” mandate, law firms must realize that although your physical office doors are closed, clients depend on your virtual meeting doors being open to serve their demands. With the doors still open, timekeepers must be retrained on how to track hours and manage time in a virtual environment.

The Importance of Time Tracking for Lawyers

As a lawyer in the professional services industry, it is imperative to track and manage billable, non-billable, and overhead hours to measure client, matter, and timekeeper performance.

Whether you are working in a large law firm or managing a solo practice, you have required billable hourly goals and measured monetary rewards for achieving them. It is a constant challenge to meet and manage the required billable goal, but it’s essential for law firm profitability.

The Challenges of Capturing Billable Hours in a Remote Work Environment

There have been many sudden changes and challenges in the work environment, often with uninvited distractions, since going virtual. Timekeepers have had to brush up on their time management skills to keep up, finding the proper toolset to meet their clients’ demands. In addition, they’ve had to find ways to efficiently meet their personal work style while capturing billable hours.

Law firm administration has had to evaluate performance metrics to determine if the tools currently available to their timekeepers provide a cloud-based, state-of-the-art, and user-friendly interface to ease the pain of capturing time.

To succeed, law firms must constantly keep up-to-date on ever-changing technology and compare existing solutions and work-flow processes. More importantly, law firms must implement the most efficient cloud-based time, billing, and accounting product.

Because lawyers prioritize their workload based on client expectations, demands, and deadlines, capturing billable hours is a dreaded chore and last priority. It’s the same philosophy as the old saying “the shoemaker always needs new shoes.”

The Consequences of Poor Time Tracking

In a law firm, and any professional services firm where time tracking is critical, even losing .25 a day is detrimental to financial success.

Take the example below and think about billable hours lost due to inefficiencies in capturing billable time.

  • Timekeeper bills $375.00 an hour
  • Timekeeper misses one .25 of billable time a day
  • Timekeeper lost revenue value $93.75 a day
  • Timekeeper weekly lost revenue <$468.75>
  • Timekeeper monthly lost revenue <$2,031.25>
  • Timekeeper yearly lost revenue <$24,375.00>
  • Timekeeper yearly lost revenue for five timekeepers<$121,875.00>

The above calculations prove that losing just 15 minutes a day equates to losing valuable profits.

How BQE CORE Helps You Capture Hourly Billing

With BQE CORE Legal’s cloud-based, crisp, and fresh user-interface, designed for easily capturing time, timekeepers will enter, track, and manage billable, non-billable, and overhead time seamlessly. In addition, with BQE CORE Legal’s state-of-the-art mobility options, your firm will capture more time with ease.

For your firm, that means anytime, anywhere access, which means real-time metrics for up-to-the-minute reporting, along with increased productivity and profitability. By capturing this data, management can efficiently and effectively measure employee performance, utilization, and profitability.

Time Tracking Tips for Capturing More Billable Time

Provide Solutions

Provide Options

  • Timecard entry
  • Pre-defined timesheet populated with activity codes
  • Multiple timers
  • Ability to add back-up documents to fee entries
  • Ease of entry time on mobile app
  • Ease of tracking travel time on mobile app

Do’s for Entering Time

  • Track time as you are doing the work
  • Keep web solution launched while working
  • Keep mobile app available when out of office
  • Track time on mobile app when traveling
  • Track time using web or mobile app
  • Schedule case work and set alarms
  • Launch multiple timers for switching between case work
  • Launch timer when phone rings and write description
  • Launch time entry when starting case work
  • Always review your hours for correct client, task, and billable time
  • Track paid time off (PTO), sick time, and overtime

Do Not’s for Entering Time

  • Do not handwrite down your time
  • Do not let staff manually enter time
  • Do not put in Excel or spreadsheet for staff to cut and paste into billing
  • Do not recreate and recapture at month end from emails communications
  • Do not recreate and recapture at month end from drafted correspondence
  • Do not recreate and recapture from phone logs

Final Thoughts on Maximizing Profit Through Time Tracking with BQE CORE Legal

BQE CORE Legal’s cloud-based technology gives your law firm the web and mobility options to manage firm, client, and matter data and measure employee performance anywhere, anytime, and on any device.

The mobile app has been designed with artificial intelligence, real-time dashboards, time and expense entry, and productivity management. It provides the most powerful billing and accounting features and functionality of any mobile app on the market.

BQE CORE Legal provides the tools you need to increase profit by improving the way your law firm captures time and measures performance.

Power of Core
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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