There are two sides to the business in the practice of law. First is the client-side of the business. Some basic duties of an attorney include client intake meetings, advising clients on legal matters, research, interpreting laws, rules or regulations, preparing for and appearing in court and drafting legal documents. That being said, the “front office” practice of law requires a fast-paced and reliable “back office” to keep an accurate flow of accounting and reporting. Communication with the client, and also with the back office team, is crucial to the success of a law firm. It is important that there is an accurate flow of accounting and reporting information transferring from the attorney or paralegals to the back office accounting team in order to bill the clients for the time spent resolving their matters.To reach an equilibrium between the front and back offices, there must be systems in place to ensure a steady flow of information between the two.
Ideally, in any business, the goal is to find a solution that allows each individual to stay focused on their appointed tasks. While an electronic filing system will make the front office more efficient, it’s not always clear what benefits it can provide to the back office.
When collecting payments from clients, you have several options in your approach. Collecting and processing each payment individually is going to slow down your operations for a few reasons. With individual payments come individual fees, such as court fees and “convenience” fees per transaction- these add up and are extremely time-consuming to document. With the convenience of monthly billing through your electronic filing provider, this alternative provides expedited cost recovery for eFiling charges. Further, look for an eFiling provider that will front court fees, this will help with monthly cash flow. A time-consuming task the back-office handles is the process of matching the payments to the clients when using a business credit card. When accounting is trying to reconcile a credit card statement with hundreds of processed payments, there are several tedious steps needed to make the statement viewable in a compatible format with the firm’s billing system. This process could take a long time. On the contrary, monthly billing takes over and streamlines this task for you, and then quite literally hands it to you wrapped in a bow! Your electronic filing service provider should set up a monthly account with your firm so that the firm does not need to use its own credit card. At the end of the month, your firm would receive an organized monthly invoice with all of the details needed for billing clients for eFiling charges or to seamlessly load into your accounting system.
In addition to solving a time-consuming problem, monthly billing provides a means for faster cost recovery. Your billing information will be available to you in an organized and easy to view format. This allows you to reduce the time spent calling the court for information, worrying about the firm’s credit card limits per transaction, or reconciling the credit card bill. What is really beneficial to your firm is that monthly billing gives you the opportunity to bill your clients before you have to pay your court fees!
If you are looking to improve your monthly cash flow, eliminate interest fees on filings, streamline your billing process, and access an organized report of your monthly billing information- consider the switch to monthly billing with an electronic filing service provider. Maximize your time, improve your financial performance and give yourself peace of mind that the back-office business of your practice is taken care of, giving you more time to focus on more billable hours. At File & ServeXpress, we offer every listed feature and more. Contact us today to hear more information about how we can help you save money in support of your back office reaching its full potential!