The legal industry relies heavily on billing by the hour, and online time tracking has become the best way to measure the work of lawyers. Billing by the hour allows lawyers to classify tasks and help prevent potential misunderstandings with their point of contact or clients.
Although time tracking billable hours is one of the avenues for lawyers to get paid accurately, many lawyers are still facing trouble tracking their time, and find themselves losing revenue over using outdated time tracking spreadsheets and charts.
Traditional methods of manually tracking time are prone to human errors and can lead to inaccuracy. However, with automated time tracking software like PracticePanther, lawyers can take a lot of time, stress, and errors out of the time tracking process.
How Does Outdated Time Tracking Affect Lawyers?
Inaccurate time tracking can detrimentally impact a law firm’s productivity, operational efficiency, and even client loyalty. In addition, inaccurate time tracking can lead to lawyers facing high accounts receivable, which can ultimately bring decreased cash flow, unintentionally overcharging clients, and in the worst case scenarios, lead to malpractice.
While time tracking seems to be a simple administrative task, inaccuracy in time tracking may reflect poorly on a firm’s ethics and even brand reputation. Lawyers need to stay on top of their time-tracking process to avoid facing negative consequences for the law firm and need to work smarter to prevent finding untracked or unbilled hours weeks later.
The Advantages of a Time Tracking Software
The benefits of implementing a legal practice management software are to assist in case management, billing documentation, client communication, and time tracking to streamline the entire practice process.
Instead of going down the list to find untracked hours in a timesheet, identify unbilled hours and access relevant case files and information instantly. With time tracking software in place, lawyers can ensure they are getting paid for every penny they’ve earned for each client and stay on top of their cash flow.
How Time Tracking is Made Easy With PracticePanther
With PracticePanther’s built-in time tracking software, lawyers can ensure all hours are tracked, recorded, and paid for the hours they’ve earned. PracticePanther’s intuitive design automates time tracking and helps to recover any lost revenue, get lawyers paid faster, and capture more billable time.
No matter how lawyers bill their hours, whether it is in 1/10 of an hour or 1/14 of hour increments, they can customize their practice-specific matter and hourly rates to fit into a variety of client and practice needs within PracticePanther.
Multiple Time Entries
Lawyers can take advantage of multiple time entries within PracticePanther to ensure all billable hours are tracked and secured. The overwhelming amount of tasks can pull their attention in many directions, making it hard to track billable time and tasks.
However, by having multiple time entries, lawyers can customize their matter and hourly rates while syncing it back to the associated client’s matter — making it easier to track hours, tasks, and each client’s matter.
Streamline ePayments Processing
By leveraging the power of PantherPayments, lawyers can allow clients to pay instantly via credit cards or eChecks. Simply generate an invoice within PracticePanther and share it with clients in real-time to avoid clients’ redlining in the future.
To make things even easier for your potential clients and staff, utilize PantherPayments’ OneLink to streamline the client intake process by giving clients the opportunity to pay before hopping into a consultation call.
When client intake payments are given ahead of time, clients will feel the law firm is already working on their case, therefore, enhancing the firm’s brand reputation. Simply copy the unique link and share it with your potential clients to get a head start on the payment process.
First, create a OneLink template that you can reuse for specific situations. Not only can it be used for client intake, but you can pre-set the template with a specific payment amount or an open and fillable payment field so clients can pay what they owe on the go. Also, if you have multiple clients who need to pay you, you can create a specific template for the client and add the associated team member(s) to the template, so your team will be notified when the payment has been made.
It is also common for law firms to have two banking accounts, operating and IOLTA or trust accounts, sometimes even three accounts with a savings account. If you’re looking to require your client to pay you to different bank accounts, you can create OneLinks for each bank account. For example, you can create a OneLink to send payments to your operating account, and create another OneLink to send payments to your trust account. By doing so, your law firm can greatly reduce the time to track ePayments and store payments compliantly.
Time Tracking Tips from Lawyers Using PracticePanther
PracticePanther’s time tracking has proven to be an effective method of time tracking for many lawyers.
Take Ruttle Law PC for example. The firm is able to save time and money because PracticePanther’s calendars and billing and payment reports all sync automatically with all their open cases, all in one place. Lawyers can also eliminate the need to pay extra third-party payment processor subscription fees and get straight to booking meetings with clients by integrating their calendars directly into their PracticePanther account.
Increasing billable hours means making more money for law firms, which is why having an organized time tracking process is crucial for lawyers. Barthelette Injury Law is able to benefit from getting paid faster by adding time entries whenever and wherever via PracticePanther’s mobile app.
Tying everything together
Manual time tracking can leave a firm or lawyer in jeopardy in so many ways. Law firms can eliminate the possibility of human errors and inaccurate billable hours by implementing the all-in-one software, PracticePanther, with robust time tracking built-in natively.
Having an organized and clear time tracking strategy will greatly reflect on the law firm’s reputation and ultimately bring in more clients. Time tracking is only one of the many features PracticePanther has to offer. If you’re interested in learning more about how PracticePanther’s time tracking and other automated features work, book a customized demo and see it for yourself!