As a legal professional, you understand how important it is to track time accurately and efficiently. Capturing billable hours accurately can maximize your firm’s profits by helping identify where your team is spending too much time and where they need to improve productivity.
For a long time, law firms have been using manual time tracking. Unfortunately, the method is tedious and error-prone, leading to inaccurate billing and potential client disputes. Luckily, time-tracking apps change all that by automating and simplifying the process, saving you time, and improving tracking and billing accuracy.
With a reliable and robust time tracking system, you can account for every second of your legal work, leading to improved client-attorney relationships. This article discusses time tracking tips for law firms for enhanced productivity, client satisfaction, and profitability.
Why is Time Tracking Important for Law Firms?
Time tracking is essential for law firms in several ways, here are a few.
Capture Billable Hours Accurately
By tracking time, you can learn where you’re losing it on unrelated, non-billable tasks that stunt workflow. Time tracking allows you to:
- Know how long you have worked on a project
- Determine how much you should charge
- Have an unquestionable record of work done
Helps Meet Ethical Standards
As a legal professional, you are responsible for being a good financial steward of your client’s budget. Digital time tracking makes this possible by ensuring you are not overcharging, which could damage your reputation, resulting in loss of clients. It also prevents undercharging, which could lead to lost revenues.
In addition, the increased scrutiny of billing practices from clients and regulatory bodies has put pressure on law firms to ensure that their billing practices are transparent and accurate. Therefore, precise time tracking helps maintain your reputation and avoid potential legal and financial issues.
You can use digital time tracking solutions to reveal inefficiencies in your firm’s processes, leading to increased productivity. For instance, you can use it to identify where you are spending too much time or which tasks you can outsource. You can then use this information to streamline your operations and reduce time and resources for specific tasks.
Time Tracking Pain Points
Time tracking is essential in ensuring profitability for your work. However, it comes with several pain points, including:
Forgetting to Track Time
It’s possible to forget to track time during busy days, and the scenario only worsens if you don’t have a proper time tracking system. A reliable legal time tracking tool can help you overcome the challenge, leading to increased productivity. Look for a time tracker that provides notifications and reminders.
Working with Multiple Clients in a Day
If you’re dealing with more than one client per day, it’s almost impossible to track how much time you spend on each client. It may also be hard to allocate each client your time effectively, which could result in complications during billing and invoicing. A time tracking software provides an easy-to-use interface for tracking the time you spend on each client, and many have the ability to use multiple timers at once.
Manually Logging Billable Hours
Logging billable hours manually in a spreadsheet or on paper can lead to inaccuracies and lost billable hours. If you underestimate or overestimate the billable hours, you may lose money for the time spent on a client’s case or even legal implications. Legal time tracking software helps you track the time spent on each client accurately and manage your billing and invoicing.
Tips for Legal Professionals on Time Tracking
Legal time tracking software enables you to overcome the above challenges and accurately track billable hours, improve productivity, and increase profitability for your law firm. Here are some time tracking tips for law firms.
Use Automated Time Tracking Software
Time tracking software such as LawBillity provides automated time tracking features that make it easy to track time spent on specific tasks and produce detailed reports on the work performed. In addition, you can use the tool to track billable and non-billable hours, helping you discover where you are wasting time on things unrelated to billable hours.
Track All Your Time
Tracking all your time, including non-billable hours, gives you a clear picture of the time spent on each case. You can then use this information to identify areas you can improve your efficiency and productivity.
Track Time as You Work
Tracking your time as you work makes it easy to account for every minute rather than waiting until the day or week. You can lose 10-15% of your potential billable hours if you wait until the end of the day to record your time.
Categorize Your Time
Categorizing your time into billable and non-billable hours can help you identify where you’re wasting time on things that aren’t linked to your practice. It can also help you track unbillable hours and ensure you don’t miss any opportunities to invoice.
Remaining consistent and accurate in your time tracking can help increase billable hours. Start and stop a timer when you start and end a task to get an accurate assessment of the time it took. Consider using the same categories and tracking methods every time, and make sure to track your time consistently across all cases.
Review and Analyze Your Time Logs
Reviewing your data in detail can help you find patterns of low productivity, identify legal time drains, and make informed decisions about outsourcing non-billable operations.
Set Realistic Time Estimates
Setting realistic estimates for how long tasks will take can help prevent underestimation of the time spent on a task, which leads to lost revenue.
Improve Productivity and Profitability with LawBillity
Implementing a timekeeping system or billing software is necessary for tracking time correctly. LawBillity makes it possible by:
- Providing an easy-to-use interface for tracking time spent on each client’s matter and managing to bill and invoice efficiently
- Identifying legal time drains and inefficiencies, allowing you to allocate time effectively and maximize billable hours
- Providing customizable reports that you can use to analyze the firm’s performance and identify areas of improvement
- Offering mobile apps for on-the-go law firms that allow you to track time from anywhere at any time
- Integrating with other legal software like Clio, QuickBooks, and LawPay to streamline the entire collection process
By using LawBillity, law firms can save time and improve accuracy while maximizing billable hours. Try LawBillity for free today and see how it can improve your firm’s productivity and profitability.