Accounts receivable is an important part of any business. Yet, it’s especially important for lawyers. When a lawyer falls behind on their billing, they put themselves at risk for a bar complaint being filed against them. Bar complaints are serious. They can lead to disciplinary action. If a lawyer is admitted in multiple jurisdictions, they may be required to report the investigation to the bar everywhere they’re admitted. This, in turn, can trigger more investigations and discipline.
The good news for lawyers is that accounts receivable is an area that is completely within their control. To help lawyers avoid an ethical investigation related to their accounts receivable, we’ve put together 4 fantastic tips.
Make Time for Accounts Receivable Every Day
Don’t wait until the end of the week or month to handle accounts receivable. Make time each day. This time can be in the morning or in the afternoon. If you choose to enter your time in the morning, you’ll be entering time from the day before. If you choose to enter your time during the afternoon, you’ll enter anything left from the previous day plus any billing for the current day.
The purpose of making daily time for accounts receivable is to help you stay on top of your invoices. Clients don’t like surprise bills. When you make time each day, you’ll learn when clients are running low on their retainer funds. You’ll be able to check in with them and ask what they’d like to do.
Choose the Right Accounts Receivable Software for Your Needs
There are a lot of accounts receivable software options available. Some install to your hard drive and some are accessed on the cloud. There are several benefits that come with choosing a cloud-based accounts receivable solution. You can access your billing from anywhere. If your hard drive crashes, your data is still protected.
However, lawyers have specific needs when it comes to protecting their data. First, learn about your requirements as a lawyer by reading about your data protection obligations in your jurisdiction. Next, ask other lawyers in your jurisdiction what they use. Then, look around. Any accounts receivable software that you’re interested in using should be designed with data security in mind. There are specialized solutions for lawyers. Those options generally meet jurisdictional requirements for data security.
Send Out Invoices on a Regular Basis
Depending on how your law firm operates, you might send out invoices weekly or monthly. Whatever the schedule, make sure that it gets done. Sending out timely invoices is important because clients know what they owe and they can get you paid. A detailed invoice that explains the time spent on the various aspects of the case keeps clients updated on their matter. Failure to keep clients updated is another common reason bar complaints are filed against attorneys.
Secure Accounts Receivable Services
If you don’t have time to handle your own accounts receivable, you have the option of partnering with a company that is experienced in handling accounts receivable for lawyers. You can keep your focus on your clients and their legal matters. Clients ARM can provide you with the billing and accounts receivable support that you need. Since we work from a remote US-based location, lawyers save around 40% when compared with the money spent to hire a full-time employee. With more than 30 years of experience, we help law offices with their accounts receivable needs. To learn how we can help you, schedule your free consultation.