6 Invoicing Challenges: How to Improve Your Billing Process in Your Law Firm
Invoicing is a large part of law firms and comes with many challenges however effective billing is important to the success of any firm. An effective invoicing process ensures billable hours are managed, clients understand their invoices, have an easy way to make payments, and the firm can more efficiently manage their cash flow. The following six steps identifies those challenges and how to improve your billing process.
Challenge #1: Billable Hours Are Not Accurate
This all begins with being able to track time accurately by tracking all hours. This will help identify the billable hours as well as the time spent on administrative activities. By tracking the nonbillable time, you can determine what activities are priority and decide when to delegate those activities to an employee or outsource outside assistance. The key is to track time continuously throughout the day.
Challenge #2: Invoices Are Vague
Invoices sent to your clients should include descriptions that are easily understood and include details as to what is being billed. This invoice represents how well you work to get the job completed. The details on the invoice reduces the open questions which may result in delayed payments. This creates more trust and adds value in the services you are providing.
Challenge #3: Invoices Are Not Timely
By implement a billing cycle, invoices will be sent to your clients in a timely manner. You can decide what is best for your firm whether monthly, bi-monthly or weekly invoicing is best suited to you. This eliminates the guessing game for your clients on when they will receive those invoices. Timely invoices will help you manage your cash flow.
Challenge #4: Client Payments Are Difficult
As part of your invoicing, the collection of payments should not be burdensome on your clients. Technology can assist in making these payments much easier by utilizing an online payment system. You will ease this burden on your clients by making the invoice payments process much easier. Usually, this convenience will come at a cost to you in processing fees however the timely payment of invoices will ensure you are getting paid in a timely manner.
Challenge #5: Billing Process is Outdated
You should take advantage of the technology out there to assist in the invoicing process. Practice management software can reduce the amount of time, headache, and guess work out of your invoicing process. These types of software can assist you with invoicing and help to manage your cases and clients, time tracking, and other reporting. These practice management systems usually integrate with your accounting systems, making the tracking of deposits into your operating account or trust account to the invoices easier as well.
Challenge #6: Billing Process is Not Documented
For many the invoice process is disorganized, or the knowledge is kept in their head. It is important to document your billing process to standardize and streamline your process. This will eliminate any unnecessary work and allow for others to assist you in your invoicing. This makes your firm run more efficiently and helps with compliance of laws and regulations.
Invoicing and the billing process is imperative to the success of your firm. Improving your billing process using technology can increase your billing accuracy and better manage your cash flow by getting paid more quickly and consistently. Updating and documenting your billing process will further set your firm up for success.
To find out more about how we can help you with your invoicing and billing processes, contact us.