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3 Billing Challenges Facing Your Firm Today

Billing is one of the least favorite activities associated with running a law firm, but it’s an absolute must if you want to get paid for the work you’ve done. A few common challenges make it harder than it needs to be. By using the right approach and efficient tools you can make billing easier and create a streamlined process that results in healthy cash flow.

Why Billing Matters

For law firms, proper billing is critical if you want to get paid. Improper billing can result in billable hours not making their way onto an invoice, clients contesting invoices, and not realizing your full revenue potential. If you’re not billing for your work or your clients aren’t paying their invoices, you’re essentially working for free.

The ideal goal is to translate as much working time as you can to billable items. The success of a law firm depends on its ability to bring in revenue and generate a profit. While doing the actual work and bringing in business is important, none of that matters if billing isn’t handled correctly.

Where Billing Gets Difficult

Billing in itself isn’t necessarily difficult, but it can be time-consuming to do on a regular basis along with all the other tasks required of you. To be done successfully, every billable task should be added to a clear, easy-to-read invoice that is sent to the client within a reasonable time frame. This seems relatively straight-forward, but there are a few complexities that can complicate the process.

Inefficiencies lie at the center of many of the problems people run into during billing. Having to handle tasks piecemeal or only being able to enter them from the office creates a bottleneck, which results in missed billable entries and wasted time. In any business, these two outcomes would be cause for concern.

Separate programs can also lead to issues, especially if it means you need to make entries in two different places. There’s a higher risk of errors and it can introduce a new set of potential challenges. Fortunately, using the right tools can help resolve these problems and provide an easy way to reduce your workload.

To keep payments coming in you need to have a solid billing process in place. Being aware of the challenges involved is the first step. Once you know what to look out for, you can apply techniques and tools to create a streamlined procedure to get paid faster.

Want more information on these billing challenges and how you can address them? Check out our article, The Three Billing Challenges That Are Costing Your Firm.

Erica Birstler

Erica Birstler is the Director of Strategic Communications at CosmoLex -- developers of an all-in-one cloud-based legal practice management, billing & trust accounting system specifically designed for solo and small law firms. Erica's degree is in Business Administration and she has nearly a decade of experience in the legal software industry, catering to the specialized technology needs of small to mid-sized law firms. Erica has given numerous presentations across North America on legal technologies such as law practice technology management, cloud computing, and legal billing & trust accounting compliance.