Recently several estate type firms were asking me about time keeping systems, and both firms already owned what they required to achieve what they wanted to do.
Note: Most lawyer/law office timekeeping functional requirements are…. timeless. I learned much of what I know about legal time billing requirements a long long time ago when I had 100 law firm billing system clients, these firms averaged about 75 attorneys each.
Many estates practice law firm have rather basic requirements for capturing time and for producing an occasional itemized bill. Whether you need basic or advanced billing the best practice is to eliminate duplication of data entry. This is achieved by using a program such as Time Matters to create billable client time and expense records from other records such as event, todo, note, email, document, phone records which already have what you need i.e. the date, timekeeper, matter reference, code, description and duration. Time Matters v11 or most prior version makes this easy to do. You can then send these records on to other programs such as Tabs3, Timeslips, Quickbooks, PCLaw or just use Billing Matters advanced billing features without the need to send because they are already there.
Also, Time Matters includes a ’basic billing’ feature (free) a which produces an itemized bill which is all many estate practice require. Time Matters will also allow you to send time and expense record to many other, more advanced, billing programs.
Here’s our original (timely, timeless?) forum post from 2008 – back when Time Matters was using a much longer official name.
The Time Matter features outlined below are described in detail in our MTM – Managing with Time Matters – Forum (available to subscribers) and this includes a link to a video as well showing a half dozen of these billing related features.
Anyone who wants either the PDF and Video can request it from me by email at email@example.com
The Time Matters Solution: Create billable time entries from case management records using the following features:
1. Use the send to billing feature to eliminate typing in billing what already exists in case management
2. Use triggers for automatic time records and prevent missed time entries
3. Use the Daily Calendar to create/view and manage daily time – see if it been billed and the total for the day
4. Use Tag/Process/Send to Billing – to create an entire batch of time records
5. Use the Timesheet to view and capture time – see the billable vs non-billable totals
6. In a hurry, just start typing on the Daily calendar to pop-up the Event Quick Entry,and then when you are ready open the event and click the Send to Billing icon
7. Finally, use custom reports to view and manage time records
– quickly time summaries billable and non-billable for any selected time period Week, Month to Date, Year to Date.
So, what is new to some is old to many others, isn’t it about time to better understand your options and to take some steps to use what you may already own. Besides all you have to lose is some time and some money.