Law firms are constantly aware of the need to stay profitable. To boost their bottom lines, they need to maximize their time and billing practices. If the firm uses billable hours, all employees need to understand billable hour requirements to optimize how they spend their time. Most nonbillable hours are filled with practice management or administrative tasks. When employees are spending too much time on nonessential, nonbillable responsibilities, these tasks need to be minimized to improve profitability, according to the American Bar Association.
In smaller law firms, 24 minutes of every hour is not billable, Business of Law Blog stated. The average workday for an attorney is 9 hours long, which amounts to 3.6 hours of nonbillable time that doesn’t contribute to the bottom line. Fortunately, there are several ways to improve time management and billing efficiency:
Clean up invoices
It may not be the amount of time that’s being billed, but rather what is on the invoice. Some firms make their bills hard for clients to understand and contain unclear items. If bills don’t meet clients’ expectations, clients may challenge the invoice and delay payment, which harms cash flow.
Improve time tracking
All employees and support staff who are eligible for billable hours should record how they spend their time. It can be difficult to accurately capture the number of billable hours worked if attorneys don’t know how they spend their time or forget to write it down. Better time-tracking practices help law firms justify new technology and reduce expenses. Many firms use specific codes for billable hours, such as communication with clients and document preparation, and the same can be done with nonbillable hours to prioritize tasks. INSZoom has an integrated calendar and time tracker to better schedule tasks.
Find better ways to manage nonbillable tasks
If attorneys are getting bogged down with nonbillable time, firms may need to consider hiring support staff for these responsibilities. Not having to worry about as many administrative tasks helps lawyers focus on billable work. With INSZoom, lawyers can share schedules with colleagues, and the platform is integrated with other programs.
Implement new technology
Generic billing software often isn’t enough to accommodate the complex needs of attorneys. INSZoom is designed specifically for law firms, which can improve compliance and simplify client invoices. In addition, billing technology helps lawyers gain better insight into their processes to improve profitability. Not only is data more accurate, but these programs save lawyers more time when generating bills because all the information is in one place.
INSZoom streamlines billing
Immigration law firms need a comprehensive billing solution to manage time and billing. INSZoom’s platform enables firms to track time and billable hours. Attorneys can easily create invoices, define fee structures, set up and manage payment plans, generate reports and accept online payments.
The online payment option is particularly useful for law firms, decreasing their reliance on cash and checks and reducing their receivables. INSZoom provides a more convenient payment experience for clients by allowing them to pay online with credit or debit cards. Clients can even set up recurring payments. Depending on clients’ needs, lawyers can create, track and maintain payment plans for a specific amount of time.