Accurate timekeeping is crucial to productivity, client satisfaction, and even more important, getting paid. However, the drudgery of this chore often causes timekeeping to become an afterthought and it falls to the bottom of the to-do list. The problem isn’t just time entry, but how time is entered. Many of the existing time-tracking processes cause a bottleneck for the team. But the job must get done for bills to be sent. So, staff then reconstruct a week’s—or even a month’s—worth of work, which can lead to a lot of forgotten billable hours.
When time can be entered easily as soon as the billable work is complete, you ensure compliance and, in turn, improve your firm’s bottom line. The advances in technology make it even easier to stay on top of billable hours in real time. According to the American Bar Association’s 2017 Legal Technology Survey Report, 96% of lawyers surveyed indicated that they use smartphones for law-related purposes while away from their office.1 Legal professionals now have mobile capability to access and enter information from anywhere at any time.
The convenience of this mobile law office has many advantages:
Task details become less clear the longer it takes to enter them, and time entry becomes less precise. As reported, legal professionals who record time monthly can lose as much as 60% of their time.2 Even letting just a week pass without entering time lowers profits. Lawyers who reconstruct their time weekly tend to lose 25 to 30% of their time.3 Reconstructing time often underestimates the hours used to complete the task.
This failure to accurately track billable hours also affects a firm’s overall profitability. As reports prove, firms that keep time as they go tend to generate 25 to 40% higher revenues than firms that do not.4 Without exact records to review, a firm cannot assess if it nets a suitable margin for retainer and fixed-fee clients, or if the client is high demand and low return. This information helps the firm understand if their resources are being accurately utilized and increase overall profitability.
But, when you improve your time entry, you no longer need to worry about overcharging your clients and losing their trust—or devaluing your firm’s resources.
Lawyers who record time as they go typically make 20 to 50% higher revenues compared to attorneys who do not.5 With the aid of your smartphone, you can add value to minutes previously unaccounted for.
The irony is that legal experts may think they are saving time by waiting to record their billable hours, but the intervals required to compile emails, calendar events, appointment logs, etc. for review wastes more valuable time than necessary and prohibits productivity. Smartphones streamline the process of recording tasks as soon as they are complete. Overall, you and your firm will have immediate access to helpful information to keep you moving more efficiently.
Transparent timekeeping improves client trust. If you rely on reconstructed time, you most likely cannot provide your client with a point-by-point invoice; therefore, you risk the loss of their business. Reviewing real-time entries against guidelines allows you to catch and rectify errors as soon as possible, ensuring the invoice is accurate and will most likely be approved. This immediate and accurate time-tracking also grants clients the better use of your time on their matters and will most likely secure you their returning business.
As firms continue to see the real value contemporaneous timekeeping has on their bottom line, they are making the shift to implementing mobile time entry. Mobility provides attorneys and support staff a means to not only capture their time and billing on the go, but also to efficiently account for finished work and bill earlier.
Learn how LexisNexis® Time Matters® Go helps you to precisely capture your time on the go, account accurately, and allows you to bill faster and more efficiently.
1 Black, Nicole. “5 Useful iPhone Apps For Lawyers.” 10/5/2017. Retrieved from MyCase.
2 Devry, Ellen. “The Several Advantages of Contemporaneous Time Entry.” 8/27/2015. Retrieved from Contemporaneous Notes.
3 Esposito Jr., Frederick J. “Make the Timekeeping Honor Roll.” 6/14/2013. Retrieved from attorneyatwork.
4 Grande, Allison. “Attorney Timekeeping: Why It Pays To Plug The Leak.” 8/5/2010. Retrieved from Law360.
5 Devry, Ellen. “The Several Advantages of Contemporaneous Time Entry.” 8/27/2015. Retrieved from Contemporaneous Notes.