It takes a lot of time and money to manage a law firm and stay on top of administrative duties. A law firm is nothing less than a business, and billing is a key component of running that business. To ensure that lawyers get compensated for their services, every minute must be accurately coded and billed. It is necessary to produce and send invoices. Payments must be accepted and handled. What if there was a way to streamline this procedure while saving money in the process? Software for legal e-billing offers automated billing options for law firms along with a plethora of tools for time tracking, client profiles, time management, and other tasks.
Client demands for higher quality services at lower costs and better value are increasingly putting more and more pressure on businesses. In response to these demands, the profession is considering a variety of technological and digitalization-related options. The most widely used technologies are those that assist repetitive tasks and large transactions, such as legal document management, IP management, e-billing, and online resources for research and precedents.
What is E-billing software?
Law firms can automate their billing procedures by preparing, reviewing, and sending client invoices virtually with an e-billing system. This vastly enhances the conventional practice of creating, encasing, and sharing invoices by regular mail. The ability for customers to view and promptly pay their bills with a click of a button is another convenience offered by an e-billing service.
Benefits of E-billing software
1. Boosts Law Firms Productivity
Traditional billing methods have long awaited to be modernized. Generating invoices manually, tracking time, and delivering are all time-consuming tasks. Thanks to timers, descriptions, and invoice automation capabilities found in legal e-billing platforms, tracking billable hours are made easier and take less effort. The client receives the invoice electronically after that.
You can view all of your work for each instance using these platforms as well. Consequently, if you find that you are spending too much time on a particular case or case, you can schedule a meeting through the system and organize the cases that need to be handled first by your team that day.
2. Less Margin for Error and Improved Cashflow
Law firms generate and process tonnes of bills every year. If we consider the room for error as well as the various standards and laws that legal firms are required to follow. Errors are Unavoidable when there is so much to monitor. Nevertheless, legal e-billing takes care of everything. The software offers a failsafe for the human error that inevitably happens with documentation by automatically identifying flaws and flagging them for review.
The invoice can be delivered using the e-billing platform, text, or email. This rapid e-billing system helps improve your company’s cash flow because customers can pay their bills right away. For customers who can’t pay in whole up front, you can also set up financing options with automated reminders. Over time, you’ll boost overall payment collection rates while providing your customers with convenient and easy payment options.
3. Increased Transparency and Client Trust
An e-billing system is a crucial part of providing the high-quality experience that customers demand in this era of automation. E-billing softwares allow you to build more client trust and value than cash or check invoices since it accepts credit, debit, and ACH (eCheck) payments, has clear service descriptions and offers installment plans.
Clients can make bill payments from their office computer or through a mobile device with an internet connection. Because of the decreased delays on both ends, clients will be satisfied and the flow of payments will be healthier. Increased invoice transparency thus raises the probability of five-star evaluations.
E-billing software: how to implement it in your firm?
It’s important to start with a defined, consistent policy, even though the intricacies of how your law firm uses electronic legal billing systems will vary based on the needs of your firm and clients.
1. Formulate E-billing Policy for your Law Firm
Prior to setting up e-billing software, law firms have to establish a legal billing policy. This policy is similar to any type of law firm billing policy. When your business has a clear policy in place, everyone—lawyers, employees, and clients are aware of how electronic billing is handled.
2. Outline your Billing Process
The second step in the process is to outline your existing billing process from start to finish. Then determine how the new e-billing software will align with your existing billing process. Certain manual procedures will be eliminated while transitioning from manual workflows to electronic billing. Because of this, establishing a consistent procedure now can guarantee consistency and prevent uncertainty in the future.
3. Establish Guidelines and Templates
Even if certain billing templates will be provided by legal electronic billing software, make sure to either design or decide on the preferable templates for each step of your billing process. Moreover, it is important to establish e-billing guidelines that will govern your billing process.
4. Set Invoice Requirements
The fourth step in the process is to set up a standardized review process. Regardless of the type of invoice requirement, whether LEDES billing or not, it is important to have a standardized process. Even if most of the billing process is automated by electronic billing software, make sure everyone is aware of the procedures that must be performed before submitting an invoice to a client.
5. Consult With your Finance Team
Merging law firm accounting and financial staff into the e-billing process can be a daunting task. Hence, it is important to consult with your financial team while formulating an e-billing policy. Getting a professional’s opinion will ensure that the necessary billing information is included in your e-billing software.
6. Establish Dispute Resolution Procedures
E-billing is known for reducing human errors and making it easier for clients to pay bills faster. However, due to the nature of the process involved, disputes are unavoidable. Establish a specific procedure for what to do if a bill is rejected, disputed, or unpaid when designing an electronic billing policy. You should know who will take care of these issues before they arise.
7. Share your e-billing Policy with Clients
The legal e-billing policy of your law firm should be made clear to every client. Clients that are aware of your policies from the beginning will know what to anticipate, how to make payments, and when payments are due. Share your written policy with clients at the start of their client journey.
How to make the most of E-billing
Law firms can streamline their billing procedures while ensuring they are more efficient, transparent, and accurate by using electronic billing. Take into account the following recommended practices to get the most out of e-billing for legal firms:
1. Set Clear Expectations with Clients
Inform clients about your company’s use of electronic billing and what that means for them. For instance, if they will be receiving their invoice by email, you may provide customers with a better experience by establishing and communicating specific expectations beforehand.
2. Time Tracking
Whilst keeping accurate time records has always been crucial for lawyers, electronic billing makes it simpler to do so with less human work and errors. With e-billing software, you can create unique time entries, client events, etc.
3. Use Clear Description
Giving clients a more transparent and hassle-free experience is one of the main advantages of electronic billing for law firms. Therefore, make sure you write a clear and concise billing description. Give the description the required context and details so that anyone can comprehend what it is referring to. On the other hand, refrain from rambling on just for. Simply express the pertinent details, avoiding legal jargon and technical terminology, without going into unnecessary detail.
Frequently Asked Questions
Legal e-billing software assists law firms in removing obstacles that prevent them from sending a clear legal invoice to a client, which leads to quicker payments and the removal of client-side invoice reductions. Uncoordinated e-billing procedures hampered by human error produce uneven cash flows that have a negative effect on law firms’ profitability and merely raise administrative costs. The use of legal e-billing software solutions has only improved relations between clients and law firms.
The use of legal e-billing software solutions has only improved relations between clients and law firms. Legal e-billing software makes sure that it adds value to law firms rather than being a source of conflict between them and their clients. Due to instances of unbilled time, wastage of time, and non-compliant bills, law firms lose considerable amounts of money. This is prevented by legal e-billing software, which also streamlines the time-tracking procedure.