A Comprehensive and Effective Attorney Billing System

Part I – Communicating Value not Just Time

Much emphasis has been placed on recording and billing for every single minute spent on the client’s behalf. Some attorneys and paralegals use timers to make sure they do not overlook a second.

In our experience at Interbill, this practice is a waste of time and a real client irritant.

If you think your clients want to pay for time and not results you misread human nature. All clients and customers spending money are looking for value. There are zero exceptions.

People often accept less than they want, but they usually do not repeat that mistake from the same professional or vendor.

A bill that emphasizes time over results irritates clients who often feel nickel and dimed to death. Although not forgetting to charge for something can be important, more important is that time spent in behalf of the client be explained in terms of the client’s objectives.

My suggestion: do not bill  your time as recorded but translate that time into client value. This can often add 50% to the time you spend on billing, but it will produce referrals, continuous business from the same clients and improve your income by more than that 50%.   As we all know, client satisfaction is the key to building any business and the key to getting paid.

An example:

Receiving a bill for 3 attempted telephone calls and completed telephone call is not what the client is looking for.

What the client wants to know is how did this time move her or him closer to their goal.

An effective paragraph to describe this activity would say: Three attempted and one completed phone call to Attorney Rogers to negotiate the last four paragraphs of the four contingencies of the lease agreement. Two agreed on. Two still negotiating.

Interbill offers three effective ways to edit time activities to translate time into client value. Please email info@interbill.com or call 800.733.9933 for more information.

Phil Paisley

Billing For Attorneys For 52 Years

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