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    Efficient Billing Strategies: More Time for What Truly Matters

    Efficient Billing Strategies More Time for What Truly Matters

      Do you ever daydream about what you would do if you had more time? It could be reading, spending more time with your family, pursuing a long-neglected hobby, or actually catching up on all your case matters.  

      It’s one thing to want more time in your day. It’s another to actually carve out more time in your schedule to get things done. There are plenty of strategies out there: time blocking, time trackers, Pomodoro, you name it. Most of them work, to an extent. 

      But these are all just ways to organize the things on your to-do list—they don’t change the amount of effort those tasks require. 

      To truly free up time in your day, improving your own efficiency isn’t enough—you also have to choose tools that make your work more efficient 

      For law firms, the billing process is an often overlooked bottleneck that could be eating into hours each week. Let’s look at some ways you can optimize billing processes to prioritize what truly matters.  

      What are the key components of efficient billing in a legal practice, and how does it impact overall productivity? 

      A law firm’s billing process often has dozens of places where things can go wrong, so there’s plenty of opportunity to optimize!  

      In general, key components of efficient billing include: 

      • Clear client communication and expectations 
      • Accurate time tracking 
      • Automated invoice process 
      • Fast payment processing 
      • Trust accounting and LEDES code reviews 
      • Disputes and collections process 

      All these pieces need to work in tandem for billing to work like it’s supposed to (that is, quickly and painlessly). Let’s examine the most common issues with each factor and how you can use Rocket Matter to eliminate bottlenecks. 

      1. Establish clear client communication and expectations 

      No one wants to get a surprise bill in the mail. Conversations about billing may feel awkward at first, but clear client communication will pay dividends for your practice. Make sure you’re talking to your clients about invoicing expectations during: 

      • Client intake consultations 
      • Client onboarding 
      • Regular appointments 

      This doesn’t mean you need to recite your payment policies every time you talk to your clients, but you should frequently touch base with them. Ask if they have questions about billing cycles, rates, work in progress or completed—you get the idea!  

      Your strategy for clear communication should also consider the how 

      Rocket Matter’s client portal is an ideal place to share law firm policies and procedures for billing with clients. Plus, clients can access their billing history and ask questions, which helps to support productive client conversations with a clear paper trail of invoices and payments. 

      Learn more about how Rocket Matter supports a client-centric approach.  

      2. Enforce accurate time tracking 

      You deserve to be paid for your work—all of your work. To that end, use an automated time tracker to record how you spend your time, including billable hours.  

      Rocket Matter Track is an industry-leading time-tracking solution that takes the guesswork out of logging hours. Instead of fiddling with starting and stopping timers, you can have Rocket Matter automatically capture time in the background as you work. From email to case briefs to client research, all desktop activity is seamlessly tracked. All you need to do is review and provide any necessary context.  

      Note: when you describe your billable hours, avoid using vague language or unclear descriptors. This is a recipe for client payment disputes and billing delays. Detail exactly what you’re working on for each client to support a smooth payment process.

      Demystifying the Billable Hour: How to Right-Size Your Rates

      With prices rising so much over the last year (global inflation is forecasted at 8.8% in 2022), it’s the right time to look at your current rates and see if you’re charging enough to remain profitable.


      3. Automate invoice creation 

      There are multiple steps to automate the invoice process. Let’s look at how Rocket Matter’s billing tools adapt to your client’s unique needs to provide a personalized invoice. 

      • Batch billing 

      It takes time to send individual invoices to multiple clients. Save your energy for important client work by leveraging Rocket Matter's batch billing feature. Rocket Matter enables you to process several invoices at once and schedule electronic prebills for your review for faster invoicing each month.  

      • Customizable invoices 

      Instead of spending hours creating templates and customizing your invoices, use Rocket Matter’s customizable invoices for branded templates that you can use for years to come. Create templates for specific client groups, matter types, practice areas, or attorneys—your invoice generation process will feel smooth, professional, and easy each time.   

      • QuickBooks integration 

      QuickBooks is a standby for many law firms. Rocket Matter's integration allows you to reduce the number of steps in your billing process by syncing invoices, expenses, trust accounts, and credits and debits to QuickBooks Online. This allows you to carry out your accounting faster than ever, with a clear chain of records for compliance (and peace of mind). 

      4. Invest in fast payment processing 

      Paper invoicing takes time, from the printing and mailing process to the time it takes to receive return payments.  

      Online payment processing, on the other hand, facilitates fast and easy payment for your law firm.  

      How? With Rocket Matter’s legal-specific online payment processor, you can:  

      • Create recurring automated billing 
      • Send out PDF invoices 
      • Get paid in as little as 12 hours 

      Plus, clients can store their credit cards on file, increasing the chance they’ll pay on time each month. (Bonus: this, in turn, will increase your monthly revenue.) 

      1. Manage trust accounting and LEDES codes with accuracy 

      Trust accounting and LEDES are critical for compliance. Use Rocket Matter’s trust accounting software to save time and ensure compliance with industry regulations. It allows you to: 

      • Send automatic replenishment requests when trust accounts fall below a given threshold 
      • Reconcile trust accounts easily and compliantly  
      • Access detailed trust reports by client or firm 

      You can also input LEDES codes as needed. If you use LEDES to make your invoices, our invoice analysis helps you avoid invoice rejection by identifying common billing errors before invoices are ever sent. 

      5. Smooth over the disputes and collections process 

      Even under the best of circumstances, law firms can encounter the occasional bump in the road for billing and invoices. Reduce the amount of proverbial bumps with frequent client communication.  

      For example:  

      • Make sure clients know what to expect with their bill (see number 1). 
      • Keep detailed records of how you spend your billable hours (see number 2) 
      • Send automated reminders the week before and the day before an invoice is due to remind clients.   
      • Create payment plans for clients to pay off their bills over time, if appropriate.  
      • Consider providing flexible fee arrangements to fit different clients’ needs. 

      By establishing a clear, detailed record of their client billings, law firms can avoid contentious invoicing and client concerns about their fees.  

      Don’t take our word for it—our customer reviews say it all! 

      Are there success stories about how Rocket Matter's billing tools have improved efficiency and client satisfaction for legal professionals? 


      Learn more about how clients can use Rocket Matter to build efficient billing practices directly from the source! Check out our reviews here 

      To see the results for yourself, schedule a demo and get started today.  

      Demystifying the Billable Hour: How to Right-Size Your Rates

      With prices rising so much over the last year (global inflation is forecasted at 8.8% in 2022), it’s the right time to look at your current rates and see if you’re charging enough to remain profitable.

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