Billing Profiles - smoothing out the 'month-end spike'

December 06, 2019

Billing Profiles – smoothing out the ‘month-end spike’

There are many challenges which face law firms on a regular basis and often distract from the actual work at hand; the billing process can be one of the biggest challenges. Most firms suffer from what is sometimes known as a month-end billing ‘spike’ where the whole team, including fee earners, are forced to focus their activities on ensuring that all the billable hours are totted up and relevant invoices are submitted to clients. This traditional billing exercise, which is undertaken every four weeks and normally ties up the majority of fee earners for a couple of days before month-end, is designed to tackle a key part of any business - getting paid - but the methods and procedures can normally be improved with the use of appropriate legal software.

Freeing up fee earners

Although an effective billing process is crucial for the survival of a law firm, requiring fee earners to put their work on the back-burner at the end of every month results in a slowing down of file progression and less fee earning work being undertaken. This consequently leads to a reduction in the billable hours when it comes to the next month and, ironically, the billing process itself is therefore costing the business money. From a commercial point of view it is important that firms consider alternative methods of raising their bills so they can free up their fee earners and allow them to generate more income rather than spending their time dealing with administration in this month-end “ritual”.

Simplifying billing with legal software

Effective IT solutions, such as those provided by SOS, can streamline the billing process. Legal software can assign relevant billing profiles to each matter upon file opening, ensuring that terms agreed with the client are recorded (eg. billing monthly or upon completion). It can then produce bills automatically, triggered by the particular profiles, reducing possibility for error and removing the need for manually creating bills or having to re-post them into the accounting system. This kind of automation can save time for both cashiers and fee earners and ultimately lead to tangible gains for your firm.

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