For many firms, timekeeping is a sore subject. Attorneys hate doing it because many of the existing processes and technology in place adds complexity to an already hectic day. Yet, timekeeping cannot be ignored because its accuracy drives financial performance, client satisfaction and attorney productivity.
For Kat Joyce, shareholder at Bernstein Shur, her timekeeping habits were not just a problem for the firm, they were a problem for her.
Like most attorneys, Joyce regarded timekeeping as a form of drudgery, “checking the box” so that bills can be sent. Joyce says that timekeeping was her “most hated task, always at the bottom of the pile.” For years, Joyce kept time by scribbling on a notepad or scraps of paper. At the end of the week, she would spend a few hours reconstructing her time by reviewing her stack of somewhat-cryptic notes on what she had worked on. She used her calendar and email to fill in the blanks.
Joyce had concerns over her reconstructive time entry practices and how it impacted the accuracy of her time entries. “If I am unsure about my estimate, I'm not going to over bill my client. Therefore, I would continually underestimate,” Joyce said.
Revenue loss caused by time leakage is certainly a concern, but the issue of accuracy in time entries had an even wider scope. This lack of accuracy in time entry meant that Joyce was unable to generate accurate baselines for common tasks (i.e., how long it should take to write a memo). This left her seeking meaningful information to share with clients about how much her services cost and having an informed value-based discussion.
In order to address this, the firm implemented mobile time entry. Now that Joyce had access to a solution that made contemporaneous time entry doable, she could begin to experience the benefits of recording accurate time entries:
- Prior to implementing mobile time entry, the average time velocity (the time in number of days that it takes attorneys to enter their time after task completion) was over three days. An average velocity of three days was not acceptable for a firm looking to become contemporaneous.
- When it comes to contemporaneous time entry, only 30% of the timecards were entered in the system contemporaneously prior to mobile time entry. With mobile time entry, 86% of timecards are entered contemporaneously. This represents a 185% increase in contemporaneous time entry at the firm.
- With mobile time entry, Joyce has been able to recover at least one additional hour per day. That’s over 250 additional hours each year - a considerable impact on revenue when you multiply this number by the number of iTimeKeep users at the firm.