Old-school time entry solutions are working against the goals of the modern law firm.
Unlike some of today's professions that have evolved out of the technology era, the practice of law has been around for centuries. From the moment that attorneys began recording time, the process has been pretty much the same. The attorney does the work and at some later date, he or she sits down to review logs, calendars, emails, etc. to estimate how much time was spent, matter by matter. When you consider it this way, it’s no wonder why time entry is a dreaded activity among attorneys! Reconstructing time takes hours of time away from doing what attorneys do best: practicing law. Even with the help of legal assistants, traditional time entry places a significant burden on the attorney.Beyond the burdens and the roadblocks, your grandfather’s time entry solutions are hurting your firm:Data recorded at a point in time after the actual completion of the work yields inaccurate time records.
- Inaccurate time records deplete client trust, leading them to feel as if budget isn’t being spent efficiently.
- Attorney’s time is wasted, spending hours on reconstructive time entry.
- Time entries are recorded without any way to check against client billing guidelines, leading to frequent rejections and payment delays.
The existing enterprise software available today is the same as it was 30 years ago, when it was conceived. There has been almost no innovation to this point. Your grandfather's software was designed by technologists operating under the false assumption that everyone is as tech-savvy as they are. It was not designed with the attorney in mind, resulting in a solution that is difficult to use and learn. The attorney experience legacy time entry solutions has fueled attorney apprehension in regard to adopting new technologies. Based on their experience, attorneys have been taught that new technology is hard to use, time-consuming to learn, and low on value.
In addition to the lack of innovation that has taken place in enterprise time entry solutions, there is also the obsolescence factor. Enterprise Software becomes obsolete the minute it is installed, because it takes the better half of a year to implement, and then you are done, there is a new version out there. This is not productive for anyone at the firm - administrators, IT, or attorneys. Furthermore, your grandfather's enterprise time entry does not address security concerns that today's world requires.
Law Firms Must Address the Technology Gap in Order to Remain Competitive
The needs of the modern law firm and its attorneys have changed and the firm’s technology decisions must reflect this. Living in the past when it comes to technology will position your firm in the same place: history.
Instead, today’s firms should seek a time entry solution that is easy for attorneys to use, works anywhere from any device or desktop, and which will achieve the following:
#1: Increase in Accuracy
Time entry that is completed contemporaneously, or in other words, as the work is completed, as opposed to being reconstructed, means that time entries will be more accurate. Modern time entry solutions should enable convenient contemporaneous time entry.
#2: Real-time Validation Against Client Billing Guidelines
As time entries are submitted, they are checked against client billing guidelines. If there is a discrepancy, the attorney is able to correct the problem immediately. Modern time entry solutions should aim to eliminate the inefficiencies enhanced by your grandfather’s time entry solutions.
#3: Ensure Client Trust and Keep Client’s Information Secure
Accuracy and transparency in billing, paired with fewer rejections, boosts client trust and goodwill in the relationship. At the same time, keeping the client information secure is a must.
#4: Decrease in Time Leakage
No attorney or law firm wants to conduct work without billing for it. Today’s time entry solutions make sure that time is recorded as it is completed.
#5: Ease of Use and Increased Convenience
For attorneys, there is nothing more simple than dictating time entry into a Smartwatch (such as the first-of-its-kind timekeeping App for the Apple Watch) or smartphone. Time entry solutions should be easy-to-learn and convenient to use, meaning that they don’t get in the way of an attorney on a mission.
#6: Software as a Service (SaaS)
Only SaaS can achieve the agility our current era demands in areas spanning from implementation to innovation, security and support. Traditional enterprise software gets obsolete the minute it is installed.
Let’s resolve to eliminate roadblocks to time entry. Your grandfather’s time entry solution is failing the modern law firm, therefore change is necessary and the time is now. So, what’s the plan? Share your comments below.