The Importance of Time Tracking for Lawyers
As an attorney–whether you are working in a large law firm or managing a solo practice–you have required billable hourly goals and measured monetary rewards for achieving them. It is imperative that law firms track and manage billable, non-billable, and overhead hours to measure client, matter, and timekeeper performance in order to be profitable. A majority of law firms, however, find meeting and managing the required billable goal to be a constant challenge.
The Challenges of Capturing Billable Hours in a Remote Work Environment
Suddent transition to working remotely can pose many challenges, often with uninvited distractions. Timekeepers must brush up on their time management skills to keep up, finding the proper toolset to meet their clients’ demands. In addition, they must find ways to efficiently meet their personal work style while capturing billable hours.
Law firm administration must evaluate performance metrics to determine if the tools currently available to their timekeepers provide a cloud-based, seamlessly-integrated and user-friendly technology to ease the pain of capturing time.
To succeed, law firms must constantly keep up-to-date on ever-changing technology and compare existing solutions and work-flow processes. More importantly, law firms must implement the most efficient cloud-based time, billing, and accounting solutions.
Because lawyers prioritize their workload based on client expectations, demands, and deadlines, capturing billable hours is a dreaded chore and last priority. It’s the same philosophy as the old saying “the shoemaker always needs new shoes.”
The Consequences of Poor Time Tracking
In a law firm, and any professional services firm where time tracking is critical, even losing .25 a day is detrimental to financial success.
Take the example below and think about billable hours lost due to inefficiencies in capturing billable time.
- Timekeeper bills $375.00 an hour
- Timekeeper misses one .25 of billable time a day
- Timekeeper lost revenue value $93.75 a day
- Timekeeper weekly lost revenue <$468.75>
- Timekeeper monthly lost revenue <$2,031.25>
- Timekeeper yearly lost revenue <$24,375.00>
- Timekeeper yearly lost revenue for five timekeepers<$121,875.00>
The above calculations prove that losing just 15 minutes a day equates to losing valuable profits.
How a Seamlessly-Integrated, Cloud-Based Solution Helps You Capture All Your Hourly Billing
With a seamlessly-integrated, cloud-based time billing platform that offers an interface designed for easily capturing time, your timekeepers can effortlessly enter, track, and manage billable, non-billable, and overhead time. In addition, with availability of a native mobile app, your firm will capture more time with ease.
For your firm, that means anytime, anywhere access–real-time metrics for up-to-the-minute reporting, along with increased productivity and profitability. By capturing this data, management can efficiently and effectively measure employee performance, utilization, and profitability.
4 Time Tracking Tips for Capturing More Billable Time
- Cloud-based time, billing, and accounting solution
- Web and mobile access device functionality
- Native iOS and Android mobile apps
- Ability to enter and manage time anytime, anywhere
- Ability to report on and bill time anytime, anywhere
- Firm guidelines for descriptions and internal billing rules
- Timecard entry
- Pre-defined timesheet populated with activity codes
- Multiple timers
- Ability to add back-up documents to fee entries
- Ease of entry time on mobile app
- Ease of tracking travel time on mobile app
Do’s for Entering Time
- Track time as you are doing the work
- Keep web solution launched while working
- Keep mobile app available when out of office
- Track time on mobile app when traveling
- Track time using web or mobile app
- Schedule case work and set alarms
- Launch multiple timers for switching between case work
- Launch timer when phone rings and write description
- Launch time entry when starting case work
- Always review your hours for correct client, task, and billable time
- Track paid time off (PTO), sick time, and overtime
- DO TRACK YOUR TIME AS YOU WORK
Do-Not’s for Entering Time
- Do not handwrite your time
- Do not let staff manually enter time
- Do not put in Excel or spreadsheet for staff to cut and paste into billing
- Do not recreate and recapture at month end from emails communications
- Do not recreate and recapture at month end from drafted correspondence
- Do not recreate and recapture from phone logs
- DO NOT TRY TO RECREATE OR RECAPUTRE TIME
Final Thoughts on Maximizing Your Profit Through Time Tracking
A seamlessly-integrated, cloud-based technology gives your law firm the web and mobility options to manage firm, client, and matter data and measure employee performance anywhere, anytime, and on any device. In addition, a native mobile app that has been designed with artificial intelligence, real-time dashboards, time and expense entry, and productivity management makes capturing billable time even easier for busy lawyers who are constantly on-the-go.
So overcome your time tracking challenges by finding and implementing the right solution for your firm with the tips mentioned here. Missed billable hours will soon be a thing-of-the-past, replaced by improved staff performance and profitability for your firm.