Billing is an essential aspect of running a successful law firm. Which is why it is vital to implement and execute effective billing practices to be sure your law firm is most profitable. There is no secret to getting paid faster, but if your firm implements some of these strategies, you should start to see some improvements in cash flow.
Tasks like billing and invoicing can be take up quite a bit of time if it's not done efficiently. The following are five best billing practices that can help keep your practice profitable, productive, and on the road to success:
1. Track Your Time Regularly
This will make it less likely that you forget about hours and work that you put in. And on that note, make it easy to track time as well. For those that bill by the hour, time is money. The ability to track time on any device, at any time makes it easier to help increase billing efficiency.
2. Set Billing Expectations
Be flexible with your client's payment needs, but also discuss those agreements and schedule upfront. This allows both you and the client to stay in control of your finances. Internally be sure you are billing on a regular basis. Send your bills timely, because sending the invoices is vital to timely compensation. Determine how often you will bill and stick to a schedule.
3. Keep the Invoice Simple Yet Descriptive
Don't overcomplicate the invoice. Make sure the details are easily available at the initial first look. Include your branding principles (logo, font, etc.). Be sure the date and invoice number can easily be found. Provide a clear description of each item on the invoice. Include total, due date, your terms of payment, and payment options. You want your clients to receive your invoice and feel confident they understand all the information provided.
4. Allow Flexible Payment Options:
Providing your clients with increased flexibility will make it easier to pay their bills. If you are not making it easy for clients to pay you, then you are risking late payment, underpayment, or worst case-- no payment. Two things you should consider offering is the ability for your client to pay online with a credit card and a payment plan. Both of these will broaden the scope of who you are able to serve in your practice. Credit cards and online payments are the norm in society today and you don't want your firm to be behind the times.
5. Utilize Billing & Revenue Reports
Not only do financial reports provide you with a clear view of your firm's financial health, but they also help you implement improved billing practices. Things can change daily in regards to your AR. It's a good idea to run a daily report or at minimum weekly to stay on top of anything that becomes past due. Ensuring that your law firm's billing process is as efficient and effective as possible can easily be monitored by tracking and analyzing your financial and billing data. Business Intelligence software like BigSquare allows you to easily view this information daily.
Remember, your bills and invoices are a vital communication tool between your firm and your clients. By taking advantage of these law firm billing tips, you can create the best experience for your clients and reinforce the value of the work that you’re doing.
BigSquare is the leading provider of Business Intelligence for law firms and professional service organizations. We focus exclusively on law firm reporting, law firm BI, law firm profitability and law firm analytics. Talk with us today to learn more about how BigSquare can help you track and analyze important financial and billing information.