Manage Your Trust Account Like You Care for Your Dog

To best manage your lawyer trust account, think of and care for your trust account the way you would take care of your dog. You attend to its particular needs, such as physical and mental stimulation, dietary monitoring, and health check-ups. These steps for owning a happy and healthy dog reflect similar methods for maintaining a sound trust account.

Billing Software: Explore your Options

The type of program you use to track your time and calculate your bills will vary depending on your specific practice and firm goals. In focusing on software for billing, you have your choice of options, but you should consider the variety of features available when making the decision which to use for your practice.

Mobile Banking: Take Advantage and Tread Lightly

Financial industry leaders expect that many people, both consumers and business owners alike, will continue to favor mobile banking options over traditional banking post-COVID. Take some time to learn the mobile options offered by your bank so you can make optimal use of their features.

Hard Times Don’t Call for Desperate Measures

As business continues to dwindle for some law firms, they are laying off associates and staff, imposing pay cuts, and taking other measures to minimize the financial impact caused by the pandemic. The pressure to stay afloat may tempt lawyers to relax their billing practices, ramp up fee collection efforts, and even hoard billable hours. Working from home can also lead to careless billing practices as the line between work and family life begins to blur.

Electronic Payment Processing Software for Law Firms

Payment by cash and paper checks is becoming a less common form of payment. Providing clients with the ability to pay electronically using a credit or debit card or an eCheck is now standard business practice. Many clients assume that a law firm will offer these types of payment options, and setting up an electronic payment system can provide for faster payments and simplify your billing process.

The Basics of Your Financial Statements

The three most important financial statements that lawyers should pay attention to are the income statement, the balance sheet, and the statement of cash flows. These reports will not only help you run a profitable law practice, they also will help you to provide current reports to your business loan officer if you plan to get a business loan.

Options for Getting Paid

Since 2016, Clio has been doing annual surveys that found that lawyers, on average, bill only 30% of their time and collect on about 85% of those billed hours. The reason for this isn’t because solo attorneys and lawyers in smaller firms are slacking off. It’s because they spend part of their workday on nonbillable work that cannot be delegated due to a lack of staff. It’s also because lawyers are not always diligent in entering their time, invoicing, and collecting on their bills.

Business Planning for Your Practice

The new year is a great time to create or update a business plan for your law practice. Whether you are a recent graduate, a seasoned veteran, or just new to private practice, it is never too late to set goals and identify strategies to reach those goals. You might think you don’t have time to write a lengthy business plan. You might also wonder, would your practice even benefit from the planning process? The answer is a definite yes!