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INCREASING PROFITS

Enforce those billing and collection guidelines

Getting paid or not getting paid to a great extent depends on the firm’s billing and collection guidelines—and whether they are enforced. Without guidelines, the firm is asking for money loss. Billing is haphazard, collection work isn’t done regularly, personal clients aren’t always satisfied with their bills, and corporate clients may hold up payment or contest the bill. Guidelines will vary from firm to firm. They have to reflect the firm’s culture along with its clients and the type of work it does. But in general, best practice calls for traditional procedures. Here are the basics. First and last month up front Start with a retainer. With almost all clients, the firm takes an understood risk when it accepts work. The client may be a slow payer or a part… . . . read more

INCREASING PROFITS

5 law firm billing practices for better cash flow

By Brenda Barnes It’s probably not a big surprise that if your firm does not have sound billing and collection practices, your cash flow will suffer. It also probably goes without saying that when cash flow suffers so does partner compensation. How can you tighten this up? First and foremost, you need to have solid billing policies that are agreed upon and followed! Enter your time daily. With today’s mobile technology, there is really no excuse for not entering time daily. Your practice management software should be so easy to use, so easy to access that there are really no excuses. Enter time from your desktop, laptop, iPad, cellular phone and dictate it directly to your software. If your software is not providing your attorneys this flexibility, make the investment now… . . . read more

RISK MANAGEMENT

4 bad financial habits that may increase your policy premiums and your malpractice risk

Ineffective billing and collections practices affect more than the bottom line. They ultimately may determine what the firm has to…


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INCREASING PROFITS

Keep your accounts receivable young

Collection work is something that can’t wait, because a dollar of receivables doesn’t stay a dollar…


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FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

A guide to understanding financial data

Law practice owners, especially those operating smaller firms, tend not to be super-knowledgeable about…


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MANAGING THE OFFICE

To-Dos: Your September office checklist

Now that the summer is over and you’re facing the final quarter, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to work. Here are some important tasks you…


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BUDGET AND CASH FLOW FORECASTING

Why budgeting and cash flow forecasting are essential for effective law office management

Regardless of your opinion of budgets, they are vital for building and managing a law practice, says Brenda Barnes, a certified public accountant (CPA) and…


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INCREASING PROFITS

Cutting costs? What worked in 2008 won’t work today

When money is tight, firm administrators start rushing to make decisions to save the bottom line, perhaps relying on strategies that saw the firm through…


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TRUST ACCOUNT

Trust account errors that could get you disbarred

As a law firm administrator, trust accounting issues need to be your primary concern, according to Joryn Jenkins, a collaborative divorce attorney, author and…


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