Three Tips for Better Billing
Looking to improve your firm’s time recording & billing?
Here are 3 quick steps to make a change:
1. Tech Challenge – Everyone learns at different speeds, some people worry about new technology and avoid it. However, discomfort with technology impacts profitability.
Action – Two to three times a year, send a checklist, with key elements of your CMS. Fee-earners can tick any area they want refresh training in. It also prompts anyone out of the habit of using certain tools, to do so.
Be aware – If individuals are still uncomfortable with new tech, they will need extra ongoing bite-sized, or 1-2-1, training at their speed. Check-in with them after a few months.
2. Bottom Line – The impact of forgetting to record even one unit of time, or double discounting (not recording the time and later writing-off time as well), is underestimated or quickly forgotten.
Action – Just before the mid-financial year, send out a gentle reminder, with the calculation of missing a unit or two, over the working year. It amounts to thousands. It helps to refocus the mind.
Be aware – If people are still not billing their time, explore if it is tech, time recording skills that need strengthening, or charging mindset below.
3. Charging Mindset – Many are unaware of the influence of their beliefs on charging certain types of clients, or for certain types of work. They may be more aware of their discomfort with the possibility of complaints, or how much they personally would feel comfortable spending on legal costs. This all influences our actions for billing. Without psychological considerations, focusing solely on technology or time skills, may have a limited effect on billing, or be short-lived.
Action – Use meetings to create awareness, share the elephant in the room, and ensure it is crystal clear what tasks are not chargeable, there is often more confusion than firms realise.
Be aware – It may be necessary to consider if time-recording training includes psychological considerations. Assertiveness and conflict training may also be useful.
BONUS TIP – Are your fee-earners being descriptive on their invoices to reduce questions and queries? There is a difference to clients when they see ‘Letter to the otherside and ‘Letter to the otherside with x to obtain y’.
Having now read the three steps. Do any of the above steps stand-out as being the bigger gap to close right now? If so focus on that one first.
If you want to know more about 1-2-1 coaching, or firm-wide training, please do get in touch. I also run online training at different times during the year. If you know that you personally are struggling with one of the above, then reach out to your firm for support, or again, get in touch to explore how coaching will assist. You can also book a call directly here.