Unpaid Client Bills – managing and taking action

In any business that bills to get paid, managing and taking action on unpaid bills is serious stuff. If billing is the beating heart in the payment system, managing unpaid bills is the defibrillator except a defibrillator that needs to be used at least once a month.

The first task in managing unpaid bills is knowing which statements have not been paid. Many law offices now use a 20 day payment due date on their client bills so they can take action before the next bill is prepared. We endorse this practice.

There are two basic kinds information: information you have to retrieve, which I call passive information, and information that is “in your face”, which I call active information. When you get a tax notice from the IRS, that is active information.

I believe attorneys manage billing and payment matters better with active rather than passive information. I also believe attorneys work best from big grained to fine grained information.

An example of the latter is an email from your billing system that says, “Total client payments overdue $22,980.” “Click on this figure to see a list of overdue statements and amounts.” From here, an attorney can click on whether or not to send a reminder bill and which level of reminder bill to send.

Most attorneys come to Interbill with six months of unpaid client bills. Most of these by this time are uncollectable. The longer a bill is unpaid, the less likely that bill will ever be paid.

Unpaid bills can be an example of client dissatisfaction or can lead to client dissatisfaction when clients attempt to justify non-payment.

The next blog will be: “Overdue Client Payments -What To Do?

Interbill is working on several active unpaid client bill notification systems. Give us a call at 800.733.9933 or email info@interbill.com and we will tell you about what we are doing and perhaps you will be interested in testing some of our new active notification methods.


Phil Paisley

Billing For Attorneys For 52 Years

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