Cash flow is key to the success of any business, and law firms are no exception. Issuing an invoice and receiving prompt payment is essential to running the business. Any law firm will tell you that there is, at a minimum, room for improvement in its invoice payment cycle.
Whether due to internal delays getting an invoice out the door or client pushback on specific line items, receiving payment from a client can be a challenge. In either case, the right e-billing solution could help streamline your payment process.
The unique e-billing challenge for law firms
Law firms that do work for corporate legal departments are often bound by specific client rules — typically referred to as outside counsel guidelines or OCGs — that dictate which services are billable and which are not. Adhering to them is critical to getting invoices paid in a timely manner.
In addition, failure to adhere to the rules — knowingly or unknowingly — can negatively impact key client relationships. In many cases, however, it is complicated to keep track of the rules, to say the least.
Scott McCarthy is the Director at the Los Angeles-based compliance and IT company, SMS IT Group which serves a variety of organizations, including law firms. As he explained, “The rules surrounding which items are billable and which are not are getting more complex. Many firms are struggling to figure out how to review all the rules, keep up with them, and enforce them electronically. I have been looking at this issue for half a year now and have yet to come up with a good solution.”
Clearing a path to streamline e-billing
How much easier would it be for law firms if they were able to automate the process of verifying the ability to bill for a specific item? How much time could they save?
The good news is that recent enhancements to some e-billing solutions allow firms to check proposed billable items during the proforma phase — and even at time-entry — and doublecheck them before the final invoice goes out to the client.
Perhaps the most significant enhancement is the ability to load all the client’s rules into the platform and the subsequent automated check for non-compliant line items. These advances make it possible for firms to deliver accurate invoices that get minimal pushback from clients.
Save time, improve cash flow, and strengthen relationships
By investing in the right e-billing solution now, firms can produce OCG-compliant invoices almost immediately. Invoices that are built with these solutions are more likely to be paid quickly and with little or no opposition. And the consistent delivery of compliant invoices builds trust and strengthens the relationship over time. Now is the time for firms to start looking more seriously at implementing a comprehensive e-billing solution.
Thomson Reuters eBillingHub helps firms streamline the invoicing process and shorten payment cycles. Request a demo today to learn more about the difference eBillingHub can make for your firm.