uLawPractice Blog

Solo & Small Firms - Keys to getting Paid & Not Losing Money

Posted by Admin 2 on Aug 11, 2016 3:11:04 PM

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I recently read posts from both the CBA and the ABA focused on how a Solo or Small Firm can ensure they are paid for the services rendered and they don’t lose money. Their “Top Ten Tips” for getting paid are similar and this post extracts a tip list from both.




Not getting paid or discounting your bill in order to get paid is not unique to lawyers. It happens in all small service based businesses.
Selecting the right technology for your firm and maximizing its use can deal with five of the tips but not all. The other five on the list are policy decisions a firm must consider.




So let’s deal with the technology related tips.
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[box title="Tips for Getting Paid & not losing money:" style="default" box_color="#333333" title_color="#FFFFFF" radius="3"]

  • Establish the right billing rate and methodology
  • Talk money early in the client relationship
  • Get money up front
  • Clear and detailed invoices
  • Record all out of pocket client charges or disbursement
  • Careful client selection
  • Keep accounts current - Bill often
  • Make it easy for clients to pay
  • Mazimize the use of technology
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    Clear and detailed invoices



    According to the ABA list your invoice serves three purposes. First it communicates what you have done since the last invoice, next it allows you to market to your client by demonstrating the benefit of your work and lastly it allows you to collect money by notifying the client it’s time to pay for service & disbursements.
    The right technology with pre formatted, “one click” invoicing allows you send out a detailed invoice automatically at any time, without extra work or effort.

    Recording of time.



    If you accurately record your time you can get paid – if you don’t you can’t. If time is not recorded throughout the day there is a high probability when you go back to a matter and record time it will be wrong -you will forget. If you charge $200.00 an hour and you miss 10 minutes of billable time per day that’s almost $8,000 per year based on 231 working days per year.
    Good technology provides mobility that lets you record time anywhere from any device at any time, not just when you are in the office.

    Recording of disbursements



    Many small amounts add up to big loses over a year. Ease of recording and allocating disbursements comes with good technology. Just as with time recording the ability to record a disbursement from anywhere on any device at any time ensures disbursements are not forgotten.

    Keeping accounts current



    The older an account gets the harder it is to collect the full amount or in fact any amount. Having a good dash board showing unbilled accounts and paying attention to accounts receivable aging reports provides the information to tackle problem accounts sooner rather than later.

    Practice Management systems with integrated accounting make it easy and seamless to track accounts receivable.

    Ease of payment



    Making it easy for a client to pay both up front fees and on going fees helps minimize collection issues. Billing more often in smaller amounts and taking fees and Trust account deposits via credit card significantly improves speed of payment and the law firms cash flow.


    Technology that incorporates payment processing makes it easy for your clients to pay and ensures monies are credited to the right account – payments to the trust or general account and processing fees to the general account.
    Enter uLaw to Address the Challenges


    Enter uLaw to Address the Challenges

    uLaw provides an integrated Legal Practice Management system with built in general and trust accounting running at all times in the background. A totally mobile solution available on any device from any where at any time. Court form and compliance form generation automatically ensures the solo and small law practitioner is always on top of obligations.

    uLaw directly addresses the challenges Solo and Small Firms face:

    Clear and Detailed Invoices

    uLaw’s invoicing function provides a selection of pre formatted invoices prepared automatically by choosing “invoice” from a drop down menu. A single click delivers either a preview or final copy as selected, with all the client information, Trust Account balance and detailed description of the services rendered. The information is collected from the contact file, matter file, the integrated accounting and Trust accounting files.

    Recording of Time

    Time can be recorded as you work on a matter in the office using the timer feature in every matter or from your smart phone or tablet when not in the office. Native Android and IOS apps are available from uLaw providing total mobility to record time anywhere from any device. Reducing lost time each day could generate thousands of dollars for you each year.

    Recording of Disbursements

    As described above for time, disbursements can be recorded from anywhere on any device. Don’t wait until you are back in the office to record the lunch expense or any other out of pocket expenses. Simple intuitive access allows quick recording of disbursements.

    Ease of Payment

    uLaw’s payment processing via. Visa or MasterCard is convenient and easy for the client to use and delivers the payment to you faster. Amounts received are credited automatically to the appropriate accounts - either general or trust.
    For improved cash flow, use uLaw’s credit card payments system to pay invoices and top up Trust Account balances.

    As a Solo or Small Firm, embracing uLaw’s technology to face the challenges will help you grow your business, improve productivity and minimize costly errors.

    For more information on ulaw or a 30 day free trial go to uLaw.

    For reviews of uLaw by other Solo and Small Law firms go to:

    uLaw is such a technology.

    uLaw provides an integrated Legal Practice Management system with built in general and trust accounting running at all times in the background. A totally mobile solution available on any device from any where at any time. Court form and compliance form generation automatically ensures the solo and small law practitioner is always on top of obligations.

    But for making the forward looking strategic decisions uLaw provides robust analytics that help you make the right choices. In order to determine what to focus on in the future you need to understand the results of past efforts.

    uLaw analytics allow you to understand the most/least profitable cases, most/least profitable clients, overall profit or loss by a specific period, where your time went and where your money was made.

    As a Solo or Small Firm Technology is your friend, your partner and an extension of your skill set.

    For more information on ulaw or a 30 day free trial go to uLaw.

    For reviews of uLaw by other Solo and Small Law firms go to:

    About uLaw

    uLaw is a Canadian, cloud based, integrated legal practice management, general accounting and trust accounting, system accessible anywhere, anytime from any device. Simplified accounting, built in Law Society guidelines, automated court forms and powerful analytics allow solos and small law to operate efficiently, saving time and money with the comfort in knowing they are compliant with law society regulations.
    For more information on uLaw: 1 844-333-8529 – email info@ulawpractice.com www.ulawpractice.com

    Contact
    Glenn Myers
    416 347 7551
    info@ulawpractice.com

    Topics: Video