- December 2, 2013
- by Jakub Szyszka
- One comment
Providing appropriate tools for better time tracking within law companies is a step to the revenues increase. Making this process easier for attorneys helps them to stay focused on their work and bill their clients more accurately for the time spent on each case.
It is not a secret that for law companies and attorneys themselves time means money. Every single minute spent on a particular case, whether it is a client’s visit in the office, paperwork done or court appearance it all accounts for the sum of their further salary. At the same time keeping an eye on the clock ticking while entering those hours to the timesheets is a real sore point.
To be able to deal with this problem, first you need to be aware of where does your company miss valuable minutes.
Where Did the Time Go?
The attorney’s job is the one that requires being mobile all the time. Office work including files, e-mails, phone calls is important but singular activity this type doesn’t demand hours. However, those little ones are the easiest to forget when it comes to fill blanks in your timesheets at the end of the day.
Imagine being in a hurry. In an hour you have an appointment in your client’s office. You need to leave the company within next fifteen minutes. The phone is ringing. Another client is calling to give you some information which can be relevant for his case. You are ending this conversation while you are heading for the meeting. When you are back in your office you have so much paperwork to be done that you forget about the conversation. Fifteen or more of valuable minutes are gone. It is just an example but this is how the reality looks like.
Time is Money and Time Lost Means Costs
It is estimated that 10 to 30 per cent of attorneys’ work time is not recorded. In the scale of time units that are considered as billable ones it generates high losses in company’s funds flow.
In the eight hours working day 10 per cent means around 45 minutes which gives us around 4 hours loss per week. Let’s say the hourly rate is $150. The total cost is $600 per week, $2400 per month and $28800 in a year. And it is just for one attorney. It is not hard to realize how high is the loss for the company hiring 20, 50 or 100 people.
Why the Billable Time Goes Unrecorded?
Obviously we can look for the reasons in many different aspects of people’s activity. They are defined by personality, by personal manners and habits, by their attitude to the subject, by the company’s policy and many more. However, according to Dustin Cole from Attorneys Master Class we should focus on the most significant ones.
The most common issue in the matter of time entries is human memory. In the face of many tasks during the work day it is really easy to forget about ordinary, prosaic activities that require just a few minutes. Especially if you are not a type of person who is taking notes each time something has been done. At the end of the day it is hard to remind everything.
Forgetting about your daily schedule affects another obstacle which is filling the timesheets another day. If you don’t remember your daily doings just before you leave the office it is more probable you won’t do it after next 24 hours either. Starting the new work day you’ll have new duties and tasks crossing your mind.
It is all strongly connected with multitasking. Attorneys do not handle with just one client but have several cases. It requires dividing your day, prioritizing and switching between tasks easily. It is hard but viable. The main difficulty is remembering all of the singular action taken and assign them to the right project. This result in appropriate billing and invoicing clients.
Inefficient billing is also influenced by treating good clients in a privileged way or writing down time spent on the particular case, ex. a short phone call or just because you don’t consider it as a fully efficient.
All of the mentioned above influence company’s cash flow and generate losses in its revenues. Moreover, it has a significant impact on the business relations. Having them in mind helps keeping an eye on time entries within your organization and find the right solution to avoid blanks in the timesheets.