Our training department consults with hundreds of law firms all over the world on a day-to-day basis. After assisting attorneys not only with learning how to utilize PracticePanther but also in analyzing their own business practices in hopes of optimizing their law firms, one noticeable trend from the countless consultations is the growing interest many law firms have expressed in switching over from an hourly billing to flat fee billing. With companies like PracticePanther making tracking and collecting easier than ever, it’s easy to see exactly why!
Flat Fee Billing is easier for you, and easier for your clients!
Seeing a long invoice with countless time entries, varying in description and duration, can appear very intimidating to new clients. From the client’s standpoint, looking at a detailed list of time entries feels less like a great value, and more like law firms are trying to nickel and dime every penny they can squeeze out of their wallet. If you’re a growing law firm, this is the last feeling you want to instill in your new clients.
Let us use a common household example; if a long detailed invoice of time entries is taking a large pill, flat fee billing is like opening that same pill and mixing it into your drink instead. It may have the same end goal (collecting on your earned billable time), but if your clients have trouble swallowing pills, they’ll choose the drink every single time.
This may not seem like a big deal to you but imagine one more example. When buying a new computer, honestly ask yourself what sounds easier;
- Researching every single component, getting the individual best prices and building the computer from scratch.
- Buying a full pre-built computer.
Yes, you might get a little more value from doing all that extra research and building, but buying a pre-built computer sounds much easier if you’re not very tech savvy, or you simply want to be efficient with your time. The first invoice you send your clients can make or break their decision to stay with you. Flat fee billing is easier for you to log and track, and you’re making the job of reading, and more importantly paying the invoice, that much easier for your clients.
Get paid faster: Flat Fee Billing using PantherPayments
Even if we take out the psychological advantages of flat fee billing, which is generally easier on the eyes, you can make payments even simpler by using an all-in-one solution like PantherPayments. Let’s use the same computer analogy as before.
Imagine that you’ve picked out the computer of your dreams, but it’s pretty pricey so you decide to pay in regular installments so your wallet doesn’t take one massive hit. When you go to checkout, you get redirected to a third party website in order to start your payment plan. It asks for your name, email, home address…
This gives you pause. You may spend some time second-guessing your decision at this point, you may dig around the site to make sure it’s legitimate, you may even cancel your order entirely.
Don’t inhibit your client once they are already empowered to make a purchase. This situation is easily avoided with an in-house payments tool. Clients will feel more comfortable and pay their flat fee bills on time if they can pay on a platform that they are used to using.
Automatic Flat Fee Billing is as simple as:
- Having a PracticePanther account.
- Setting up PantherPayments.
- Clicking “New Payment Plan” in PracticePanther.
From there, attorneys will be able to save a card on file automatically, as required by the matter. These charges can be used to easily collect retainer payments, but PracticePanther can also automatically generate an invoice each month. This invoice can have a flat fee service listed for that monthly payment. Then, PracticePanther will apply the payment directly to the invoice, clearing the money as income, as PantherPayments places it in the law firms’ operating account immediately. All this leaves for attorneys to do is review the generated invoices, and send them to their clients as often as they see fit.
As you can imagine, making it easier for your clients to pay your firm will mean more money, happier clients, and more referrals in the long run. Don’t fall behind the competition; stay ahead of the times and switch to an easier platform for both you and your clients.
You can always learn more about PracticePanther’s flat fee billing, on our support page. If you’re not a user yet, and are interested in getting a full demo of PracticePanther to see how else we can make attorney’s lives easier, pick a demo time that works best for you!