Time-keeping and billing can be the bane of an attorney’s existence. But even worse is having to work an additional 10 or 20 hours because a client failed to pay his bill.
Faster billing means faster and larger collection of professional fees. Unfortunately, it’s almost a universal truth that professional billings are often neglected by lawyers because they feel like unprofitable chores. The review time cannot be billed, and the review process is pure drudge work.
For some odd reason, professionals often refuse to acknowledge the reality that retail merchants readily accept. Clients will pay the hard bills first, and the soft ones later … or never. Soft ones typically include lawyer bills because clients seem to suspect that their lawyers probably won’t sue them for unpaid fees.
So when it’s time to create or review billing statements, try to drop all other business to do just that, and don’t stop until you are finished.
The job will be easier and faster because you will have no distractions. You will improve your practice because, in the process of review, you will touch files you had neglected or forgotten and bring them current.
And you can expect to increase collections by roughly 10 percent simply by getting correct invoices to your clients before they have time to consider other obligations.
Besides, how often do you get an hour or two of undisturbed time in your closed office? It might be the most peaceful two hours you spend every month.