Timekeeping and Billing are two vital parts of any business. To have a fair relationship with customers, it’s important to have a transparent process of billing with them as we all want to build a long-lasting trustworthy relationship with our customers.
Earlier lawyers and law professionals used to maintain invoices in an old traditional way by maintaining journals, diaries, and ledgers, which not only included heavy paperwork but also a tiring process of maintaining them. The risk of misplacing and losing information was also a major factor that revolved around the whole invoicing and billing procedure.
Fortunately, that’s where legal billing software steps in. Timekeeping and Billing software helps in making most of your billable and non-billable hours. Automation has played a major role in overcoming the demanding challenges of the legal industry. In this article, we will discuss the need for legal billing software and the key features to look at while buying legal billing software.
Why do attorneys need to have legal billing software?
- For Greater Efficiency And Productivity
Legal professionals and attorneys work hard to successfully arrange all the paperwork and requirements of a specific case, calling several authorities, arranging documents, planning, execution, filling up paperwork, forms, etc. With this, it’s hard to stay track of where a lawyer switched from billable time to non-billable time.
Practice management software can make an enormous decrease within the number of any firm’s non-billable hours by creating an organization’s efficiency through proper document management, quick access to files, reducing time spent on administrative tasks, and providing access to work from anywhere.
With this one, you’ll record more billing time and increase productivity by keeping track of billable and non-billable time spent. Also, it’s an efficient time tracking system where you’ll see where you’ve spent the foremost time.
- For Improved Accuracy While Working On Multiple Projects.
Attorneys and legal professionals simultaneously handle multiple cases while preparing for a specific case. Juggling around countless details and paperwork can be tiresome and the risk of losing or misplacing crucial information increases.
While working on a case, information has to go through multiple platforms with these chances of errors growing. You may either tolerate such errors or spend a part of your resources and time fixing and checking errors. An efficient legal billing solution comes with countless features that can tackle challenges such as these.
- To Ensure The Appropriate Implementation Of Rules and Regulations.
Attorneys are generally billed consistent with the state rules of ethics in their particular state. Law firms and legal practitioners are heavily regulated by these guidelines. These rules lay down the quantity of cash that an attorney should charge a client. The principles also regulate other aspects of a firm to make sure they’re following these guidelines.
As strict rules follow-ups, billing disputes could arise, and in such situations, the firm must provide evidence and details about the transactions of the case in question. In such a scenario, legal billing software might be very helpful to have a record of everything in a single place.
Now that we have highlighted the need to have legal billing software, let’s move forward with the key points to keep in mind while selecting a legal billing software
Key points to look in while shortlisting a Legal Billing Software
Choosing the right legal billing software can be a complicated task if we see the choices that are available in the market. The legal billing system should be completely compatible with your needs and your law firm’s needs with it. After a thorough analysis of the features, different software provides. Listed below are some key points to look into while choosing software for your firm.
The market is flooded with software and abounding features, a deciding factor in selecting a legal billing software on the features it provides. If you are looking for just billing and invoicing why go for software that provides full-fledged project management and pays the extra price for it, but if you are looking for software that with time and billing kit also provides other features like trust accounting, IOLTA accounting, legal calendaring, document management, legal timekeeping, and others, you have carefully analyzed the features a software provider. Choosing the features depends on your need for the software, as a wise decision it’s good to automate most of your administrative tasks with the legal billing software.
Here is a list of the top 7 crucial and essential features that legal billing software should offer.
- Document Management
In this trend of working remotely, it’s essential to have tools to combat this situation, with document management features, you can safely store all your research, details, and forms everything in a place. With role-based access, you can easily choose whom you want to share your details of the case with.
- UTBMS Codes
Some prominent clients want attorneys to bill them in ledge format, UTBMS codes are generally used with LEDES format and are designed to standardize legal billing tasks.
- LEDES Invoicing
Using the LEDES billing feature in your practice management software you can issue electronic bills in a standardized way making it easy for your law firm and clients. Its objective is to provide an interpretation of future profitability that a law firm.
The working of LEDES invoicing may seem arduous, as nothing seems simple in starting but eventually with proper training and knowledge, can add higher productivity and ROI to your firm
- Conflict Check
Conflict check is a feature that works with your legal calendar, conflict check is performed by the software on potential clients to assure that your duties and obligations towards them do not conflict with your other existing or previous client on scheduled dates.
- Automated Billing
With automated billing, you can set bills for fixed-price items that frequently reoccur. Set it up once and the solution will complete the cycle by automatically generating invoices for the items on the selected dates.
- Easy Migration
It’s obvious that once you start using a legal billing program, you’ll have to import your data from your old tools in order to put everything in one place. The legal billing software you are choosing should have tools to easily migrate all types of data and files to the solution.
Not everyone works with the same software, some lawyers and attorneys use additional integrations while they work on a case. For example, attorneys take payment through Lawpay or PayPal, some might take additional notes on google suite. For this, it’s crucial to have essential integrations with your legal billing software.
Some essentials to be looked upon while going for a legal billing software
Affordability is the key, you wouldn’t want to spend a large amount of money on software, for big law firms spending quite a big amount is normal but for solo and mid-sized firms, it should not be added stress. The firm has its costs to manage and, naturally, you’d want to take advantage of its features over the price, when it involves seeking out software you’ll want software that gives the freest trial with most features coming in with it.
A firm or a solo attorney should carefully analyze income and then choose the best option that fits your budget
- Ease of Use Interface
Lawyers have a hectic schedule and adapting to technology shouldn’t be an added task to the never-ending list. When choosing a legal e-billing software. It’s vital to have an easy-to-understand interface so attorneys can easily understand its features and have no confusion in accessing its features. An easy user interface will also help gain control fast over the software and substantially increase productivity.
- Remote Working
This pandemic has made a lot of businesses, employees work from home. In today’s era, it is essential to have the right tools to combat working from home. The software shouldn’t be heavy in office lagging software which takes hours and hours to get hold of it. It should have role-based access so you can easily choose whom and whom to share your case details with your employees.
- Data Backup and Security
As more and more businesses are climbing digital walls Cybersecurity, data loss and data breach are becoming one of the main concerns of companies lately, especially for law firms. As they’re responsible to guard a good range of client’s private information including medical, personal, professional, and privilege information.
A lawyer has got to keep all the info protected, a legal practice management software can assist in securing that information by providing security measures and backup features, with this feature never lose information and protect your clients from data loss and keep all of your information at an area.
These were some key features and points of law practice management software that you should look at when shortlisting software for you or your firm. If you are still confused about choosing the right one, always consider your needs and your firm’s. Also, you could take the free trial of practice management software.