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Expense Management and Tracking Software Makes Billing Easier for Legal Professionals

By on November 14, 2014 in General with 0 Comments

Providing legal services is always challenging. In addition to worrying about the minute details of client cases, attorneys must also ensure they are properly billing for time spent on the case. Along with tracking billable time, there is also the matter of tracking expenses related to individual clients and cases. Law firms must ensure they are billing clients accurately while simultaneously making certain that they are not missing expenses that should be billed. It is a delicate balancing act, but it is one that must be maintained for the financial health of the firm.

Client structures can make the billing process even more challenging for law firms. For instance, in situations in which cases are accepted on a contingency basis, firms must be able to accurately track a myriad of case-related expenses. This often must take place over an extended period of time; months and perhaps even years. In the event that the case is won, the firm must be able to produce an accurate account of not only the time billed for the case but also the relevant expenses billed.

While there is certainly a need for regimentation in the billing process, it is also important to ensure that there is ample room for flexibility. The simple fact is that each law firm is different and has its own distinct requirements. Additionally, even within the same firm, there may be differing areas of practice, which can oftentimes result in the need to manage expenses differently on a per-client basis.

Tracking and billing for expenses in case administration can become complex quickly. Over the course of a single case, a variety of different expenses may need to be tracked, approved, and managed, including postage, court fees, the cost of document delivery, fax charges, and other expenses, typically referred to as “soft” costs.

The cost of overhead can often prove to be a significant potential pitfall for many law firms, especially small offices. Even larger firms must ensure they keep a handle on expenses and make certain they are properly tracked and approved to prevent them from spiraling out of control. Managing the economics of a law firm, regardless of size, requires discipline and the right tools.

Tracking expenses for client work is made more manageable with the right expense management and tracking system. With such a system, legal professionals are able to accurately post their expenses, which in turn can be approved by the firm’s partners. A streamlined system then makes it much easier for finance to reimburse the relevant individual and ensure that the proper client is billed accordingly. With this type of system in place, law firms are able to track expenses on a case-by-case basis, thus ensuring they stay in compliance while also increasing profits. Chrome River, for instance, offers collaborative cost control with access from any location, with around 50 percent of the top 200 law firms in the U.S. using this software.

Managing a law firm can be challenging. With the right expense tracking and management tools in place, it is possible to keep the firm on an even financial keel while providing clients with the service they expect.

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