Identify the Best Time Tracking Software for Lawyers
Blockbuster legal dramas depict lawyering as a profession filled with suspense and intrigue—grappling with complex questions of jurisprudence, going toe-to-toe with the opposition, and passionately arguing your case in front of a judge and jury.
What’s not shown—everyone goes home after the day is won to calculate their billable hours and send out invoices. Unfortunately, manual tracking methods can be tedious and time-consuming. This often leads lawyers to delay the task and forget to track every billable minute, resulting in missed income.
Relying on timekeeping software for lawyers can help you reclaim billable hours and ensure you get paid for every minute of work.
In this article, we’ll discuss the essential features your law firm's time-tracking software should have to help your firm increase revenue and reduce time spent on tedious non-billable, administrative work. Furthermore, we'll explain how to pick the right tool for your practice.
What is Law Firm Time Tracking Software?
The profession of law is not without its accounting aspects. If you expect to get paid, you must track the hours you worked, calculate how much you’re owed, and bill clients appropriately.
Legal time-tracking software substantially eases the burden of tracking your time, making it easier to be transparent with clients and get paid for your services. For example, with time-tracking software, you can use timers as you work. This eliminates the need to manually write down every time entry or attempt to recall what you did at the end of the day or week.
Why Should Your Firm Use Time-Tracking Software?
On the one hand, you need to keep track of the hours you work for each individual client in order to calculate your billable hours. But on the other hand, this is a difficult and tedious process that takes time away from substantive work.
With legal time-tracking software, not only can you bill for more hours by making them easier to track, but you can also free up time that can be better spent thinking about cases and serving clients.
What Features Are Essential for Time Tracking Software?
In this section, we’ll highlight several things you should look for as you start vetting legal tech providers.
One thing your preferred attorney time tracking software should support is minute-by-minute tracking. For instance, LawPay Pro offers the ability to start and stop up to three timers as you switch between cases. This level of precision is beneficial to both you and your clients. You’ll be able to maximize revenue by capturing all the time you spent on a case. Additionally, you’ll be able to produce itemized invoices and clearly communicate billing terms, which foster openness and trust in your client relationships.
Manually tracking down expenses for client reimbursement is a time-consuming task, often leading to losing out on money. Look for time-tracking software, such as LawPay Pro, that allows you to automatically track those expenses. Additionally, LawPay Pro also enables you to link those expenses to specific cases and quickly produce invoices with those expenses.
Law firm time-tracking software should automate as many of the best practices for legal billing as possible. It would make no sense to migrate to a software-based time-tracking solution if it took just as much time to stay in compliance as doing everything manually.
Ideal time-tracking tools will be able to generate invoices based on existing time entries. This can vastly improve both the efficiency and accuracy of the time tracking and billing process. When done correctly, automation reduces the risk of human error and reduces the need for billing adjustments.
Automation also means much less time spent on the process overall. And let’s face it—no one ever went to their grave wishing they’d spent more time entering numbers into billing software.
Time adjustment options are another must-have feature for time-tracking software. E-billing software benefits include being able to add or remove time, adjust the start or end time of a task, or take a single task and split it up across multiple entries.
With time adjustments, you’ll be better able to provide accurate billing, further increasing transparency and trust.
Key Performance Indicator (KPI) Tracking
As the saying goes, what gets measured gets managed. With only a fuzzy idea of where your hours are going, you have no way of optimizing your legal workflow.
But with KPI tracking offered by timekeeping software for lawyers, you can make data-driven decisions about metrics like billable hours, revenue, and profitability. Identify which matters eat up the most time among attorneys and paralegals and compare that to which matters produce the greatest revenue. Are they aligned?
Crunching KPIs will allow your legal practice to make more money and run more efficiently.
For instance, LawPay Pro allows you to run reports that give you a complete view of all invoices, accounts receivable, trust accounts and activity, and team productivity—making it simple to measure KPIs and make informed business decisions.
How to Choose the Right Law Firm Time-Tracking Software
Now that you’re familiar with law firm time-tracking software features, let’s discuss how to make the best decision possible for your practice.
1. Assess Your Current Abilities
This process begins where so many others do: figuring out what your current abilities are. You need to evaluate your process for tracking time and diagnose its weaknesses. With this information, you’ll be able to settle on time-tracking software for lawyers that best compensates for these weaknesses.
2. Focus on Security
In an increasingly digital world, security is a large (and growing) problem. Now that virtually every aspect of our lives is stored and processed using software, we all want to make sure the tools we use are safe from nefarious hackers.
This is especially true in a professional setting, where a substantial security breach could mean lost revenue and clients, as well as permanent reputation damage.
When you’re shopping for timekeeping software for lawyers, it’s worth asking basic questions about the software’s security. For example, does it support end-to-end encryption and two-factor authentication? Security-conscious software options typically include these kinds of safety measures because they make it substantially harder to break the software while only imposing very modest requirements on users.
3. Leverage Reporting
Throughout this piece, we’ve mentioned various ways in which time-tracking software for lawyers can help you gain insights into your workflow and where it might be inefficient.
A key part of this is reporting. By making it possible to visualize metrics like billable hours over time, it becomes easier to communicate problems and solutions with members of your team. This can also help you assess how new strategies are working out over time.
Reporting can help you keep on top of accounts receivable, trust accounts, team productivity, and your firm’s financial health.
For example, LawPay Pro’s financial reporting you can:
- Get a detailed list that shows you billable and non-billable time and expenses for each staff member.
- View all trust account activity and balances to know when to request more funds.
- Utilize financial reports with real-time data about your transactions, accounts receivables, aging invoices, and more.
4. Ask About Technical Support
No software, however, well-designed, is without its quirks. You should think seriously about the technical support offered by different attorney time-tracking software packages.
The last thing you want to do is spend time learning a new tool and incorporating it into your practice, only to discover later that no one will answer the phone when a problem arises.
If you find yourself leaning towards a particular offering, check up front that it has robust technical support.
LawPay Pro is a user-friendly tool that makes managing your firm’s financials simple. Additionally, LawPay customers can take advantage of the technical support team to talk through any questions or concerns and the support center to learn how to use the software more effectively and efficiently.
LawPay Pro: The Best Legal Time Tracking Software
Despite how unglamorous it may be, time tracking with case management software is a crucial part of running a successful law firm. With robust automation, support for reporting and KPI targeting, and industry-leading technical support, LawPay Pro enables legal professionals to streamline their time tracking and billing processes, optimize workflows, and maximize revenue.
Schedule a demo today to see what we can do for you!