Top 10 Law Office Billing Pitfalls – How You Can Avoid Them

Law firm billing and accounting requirements are inherently different from other service businesses. Even among legal practices, billing requirements can vary greatly from one area of practice to another.
Because time spent on billing and accounting is administrative and not billable, a law firm’s profitability depends on capturing all billable time and expenses, generating invoices in a timely manner and managing collection efforts proactively. Another highly important aspect that sets law firm billing apart from that of other businesses is that law firm billing and trust bookkeeping come under the purview of state ethics guidelines.
Law firms today cannot function without a legal billing software that fulfills the firm’s practice-specific billing needs and helps them avoid common billing pitfalls. The top ten most prevalent mistakes law firms make, when it comes to billing and accounting are:
Pitfall #10 Not Using Matter-Based Recordkeeping
Many service businesses perform multiple types of jobs for a customer and generate one invoice that covers everything. The same billing process does not work for law firms.
Matter based recordkeeping is unique to law firms. All transaction details must be kept at a matter level rather than client level. Law firms are usually required to keep each task (called “matter”) completely separate from other matters for the same client or other clients. For law firms, matter-based recordkeeping is critical because it allows them to produce proper records with ease for client billing inquires, billing disputes or state audits.
Pitfall #9 Not Accounting for Varied Types of Legal Matters
Accounting for retainers, time and expenses, etc. will vary depending upon the nature of the matter in question. Most law firms handle a variety of cases and use an assortment of client billing arrangements , such as hourly, retainer based hourly, fixed and contingency. A firm’s billing system must be able to handle all types of billing arrangements and the intricacies of each case.
Pitfall #8 Missing Flexibility in Setting Billing Rates
Qunnuns (or Timekeepers) at law firms are likely to have standard hourly rates for different tasks. An attorney billing software must be able to set Timekeeper rates accordingly, support discounted rates or a previous year’s rates for old matters, without much manual intervention.
Pitfall #7 Failure to Track and Allocate Disbursements
While law firms focus on capturing all billable hours, they often neglect to properly track and allocate expenses for billable matters. Expense tracking is just as important as time tracking. If you do not allocate expenses to a matter as expenses are incurred, you might never collect them. Matter expenses you forget to allocate are lost profits.
Expenses are typically paid in variety of ways (checks, credit cards and cash), adding another layer of difficulty. A trust account disbursement, however, is not an issue because the expense will come out of client funds.
Pitfall #6 Not Preparing Customized Qunnun Quality Bills & Reminders
The billing process is a direct reflection of your firm and is a vital part of your client communication. While law firms are conscious of providing top quality legal services, their high standards often fall short when it comes to client communications such as invoice and payment reminders. Not only is it important to generate invoices on a fixed billing cycle, but it also equally important to prepare professional quality invoices. Cluttered and hard to understand invoices are a recipe for late payments and client questions and are aspects of legal billing that become even more important when payments are in arrears.
Pitfall # 5 Not Utilizing Built-in Software Collection Support
Many law firms let unpaid bills pile up and end up with a collection problem. Take a proactive approach to debt collection rather than grappling with the issue after the fact. An efficient law office billing software will provide built-in collection support. Don’t wait for a billing cycle, if a matter’s unbilled balance has reached a low threshold point. Remember, bill collection is an on-going and vital practice management process.
Pitfall # 4 Not Checking for Client Conflict of Interest
For most law firms, conflict checking is a must. Your firm’s roster of clients is already available in your billing system. Instead of duplicating work, make every attempt to use the same system as a conflict checker. While developing a bulletproof conflict of interest system is challenging, development in today’s computer software makes it easy to build an integrated database that quickly identifies conflicts of interest.
Pitfall #3 Not Handling Client Advances Properly
Pitfall # 3 involves a host of potential problem areas. A law firm’s cash flow and profitability depend upon client advances (or retainers). However, from an accounting/bookkeeping perspective, client advances (retainers) need special treatment and must be handled carefully. The varied nature of client advances, an initial deposit to a trust and/or operating account, and reducing balances, as fees are earned, can significantly complicate your back office operation, if your billing system is not capable of processing retainer transactions systematically.
And, apart from itemizing legal fees and expenses, a legal time & billing software must always display remaining retainer balances on your client invoices.
Pitfall # 2 Loosing Track of Trust Funds
Every law firm endeavors to keep trust books clean and accurate, but most either fail or spend significant time and resources trying to do so. Ninety percent of the trust fund tracking battle is won, if your system provides integrated billing and trust bookkeeping . The trust bookkeeping portion of the system must prevent common trust errors (e.g. ledger card overdraft), provide a bank reconciliation tool and three-way reconciliation reports.
Pitfall # 1 Choosing Complex Software and Failure to Protect Data Integrity and Security
The most common and the most dangerous of all legal billing pitfalls include trying to cope with complex software, failure to protect data integrity and implement secure measures. Technological tools are more hindrance than help, if the tools are too complex to use. Software that isn’t user friendly and requires external consultants or trainers consumes valuable time and eats profits.
Data integrity and security are a matter of taking precautions to protect data from unauthorized access and use. You can minimize threats and easily avoid Pitfall #1, if your billing system has built-in features for controlling access to data, has checks in place for error detection and a regular data back-up function.
Reap the Benefits of Legal Billing Software Development
Computers and software have changed how companies everywhere do business. Technology today allows law firms and other businesses to compete with their larger counterparts on many levels.
Choose software with care and reap the benefits of technological developments in legal billing systems. Before you purchase legal billing software, analyze program features to ensure that the software’s design can help you avoid the ten common legal billing pitfalls. The right software will not only enhance your firm’s in-house capabilities and productivity, but will also help you comply with state ethics guidelines and increase profitability.

TANNAN’S BANKING LAW AND PRACTICE IN INDIA

TANNAN’S BANKING LAW AND PRACTICE IN INDIA- is a classic legal Treatise and most comprehensive, authentic, authoritative, widely acclaimed,appreciated, recognised and recommended masterwork on the Banking Law and Practice in India since decades, to be precise since 84 years of thefirst edition of this most prestigious book in 1926.

TANNAN’S BANKING is undoubtedly one of the best in the Banking Law field. Every edition of this book has sold like proverbial hot cakes, pointingclearly to its scholastic wealth on the subject, its deft handling by the authors its usefulness, utility and eventually the popularity of the book in the field.

TANNAN’S BANKING in its every edition is eagerly awaited and widely welcomed by the people in the Banking Law field. Present edition is nowreleased with the pride and glory of the previous editions. It is a unique and authentic publication of its kind, authored by a renowned personality, having tremendous knowledge and authority over the subject. New edition is completely revised and updated. The present Revised and Enlarged edition contains 76 Chapters covering entire spectrum of Banking Law and Practice. It contains most upto-date Statute Laws, Case Laws and RBI Master Circulars, Guidelines and Directions and other related matters annotated under appropriate discussions.

TANNAN’S BANKING has always been prescribed and recommended by Indian Institute of Banking and Finance (IIBF), Promotion Tests, Internal andother Exams and is cited and quoted by Hon’ble Supreme Court, High Courts and Tribunals in various judgments.

This most authoritative Treatise is an indispensable guide and reference work for the Banks and Financial Institutions (FIs), Legal Officers, BankingExperts, Branch Managers, Bankers for Promotion Tests, Internal exams, exams conducted by the Indian Institute of Banking and Finance (IIBS), other Universities and Management Institutes, Staff Training Colleges, Law Colleges, Commerce Colleges, Professors of Banking, Academicians, Chartered Accountants, Practitioners, Advocates, Lawyers, Hon’ble Courts, Judges, Bench and the Bar.

www.lexisnexis.in

Legal Help In Los Angeles

Los angeles will be the second largest city in america. It is an important financial center. It houses major divisions of operation of companies from Asia. Hence the keeping of L . a . on the world map demands a wide listing of attorneys.

Attorneys understand today’s most complex business issues and give complete solutions. They serve clients from traditional blue chip companies to new and innovative emerging companies. The large choice of potential industries in which they have got expertise are technology (including online services and computers and software), electronics health care, finance, manufacturing, franchise, entertainment, and media and sports, and also the retail and fashion sectors.

The attorneys are extremely much devoted to the client’s needs. They combine exceptional local talent with all the available resources with the particular firm to perform their clients’ goals. With in-depth information about the clients’ industries, they analyze individual needs, anticipate business challenges, offer guidance, and dispense aggressive and responsive solutions. Realizing that merely following your law is not enough, the attorneys are thought leaders. They routinely speak, write, and still provide commentary on cutting-edge legal and business topics of waking time. In addition to great skill, the lawyers can bring experience, energy, and enthusiasm for their work.

One can possibly find the best attorney by various options. Looking for “”State Bar-certified lawyer referral services”” within your local phone directory will do great help in locating the best local attorney. It’s also preferred to ascertain if the attorney is really a part of the La County Bar Association. This organization mainly targets increasing usage of justice. It provides legal or law-related services for the public at a very modest fee and in many cases, without cost. The public interest groups and also the free and low-cost legal agencies may also be reliable sources. The attorneys now keep a web profile, which indeed offers a deep understanding of the lawyer’s experiences or abilities.

Because of the healthy business profile in Los angeles, it might be expected that there would be occasions when businesses will be linked to various legal matters, that include negotiating a merger or law suits. However, since in such cases, businesses need to have people that would aggressively represent their interests, it is vital that businesses get the very best lawyers possible. Unfortunately, there are several businesses, in particular those which have just started their operations which aren’t aware about the sources that they’re able to end up good lawyers. The good news is that you have some steps these particular businesses may take to help them receive the best lawyer that will aggressively represent their interests in a lot of situations.

Some helpful steps

One of the best ways for businesses to own use of good lawyers is to request referrals off their colleagues on the market. It is because in the legal matters which might be involved with in operation; these companies can refer several of the better lawyers they may have worked with in the past. Moreover, businesses may also access to top notch information on lawyers from their colleagues. In the operation of shopping for a legal representative, it will be also of great help for businesses whenever they requested references in the lawyers they are considering. This is helpful because by interviewing but not only the lawyer but the references the lawyer would give, business owners can gauge the ability with the lawyer based on how he handled the instances of his other clients. One additional way during which businesses can gain access to good lawyers should be to ask other lawyers, including their tax lawyers. This is due to lawyers who may have a healthy standing among their colleagues can be viewed as among the best lawyers because of the respect that other lawyers have on their behalf.

Within a city like Los angeles, receiving a good lawyer is not a luxury but a necessity for businesses given the legal aspects which can be involved in running and looking after an organization. The good news is that companies can gain access to the best lawyers using simply knowing where to look and who ought to because knowledge on these can give businesses having access to lawyers who’d aggressively represent their interests inside legal arena.

Los angeles attorneys provides more information on Los angeles attorneys, Los angeles Bankruptcy Attorneys, Los angeles Business Attorneys, Los angeles Criminal Defense Attorneys plus more. Los angeles attorneys is associated with Los Angeles Attorneys.

Wake County Criminal Defense Attorney Hit And Run

In light of the Raleigh’s top story today where an Apex man was killed, supposedly, by hit and run, I wish to cover the details of this offense and offer an insight into this very dangerous offense. We, as citizens of North Carolina, should know that we have a duty to stop in the event of an accident or collision; furnishing information or assistance to the injured person; persons assisting exempt from civil liability. Yet, we have uncovered in today’s headlines that someone resisted this duty and committed a very serious offense punishable, if convicted, as a class H felony. Any attorney operating as a Criminal Attorney Apex should know that a person guilty of a Hit And Run drives a vehicle involved in an accident or collision causing injury or death to any person, and the person willfully fails to immediately stop at the scene of the accident or collision or fails to remain with the vehicle at the scene until a law enforcement officer completes the investigation of the accident or collision or authorizes the person to leave ad the vehicle to be removed or agrees to the removal of the vehicle before the completion of the investigation of the accident by a law enforcement officer or before receiving consent by the officer.

So why did they run? Well, most attorneys feel that due to the seriousness of the accident resulting in a severe amount of damage most people feel that the consequences of their actions would be to difficult to handle. So instead of doing what is right and just as an American citizen, they save themselves from the punishment and leave the scene with the person left in injury of some sort. Because you see, according to case law and my knowledge as aDWI Attorney Raleigh , The driver involved in the accident must be able to render medical assistance as well as any other type of reasonable assistance. That duty includes calling for medical assistance if it is apparent that such aid is necessary or if the injured party requests it.

The severity of this offense could be catastrophic. If, after the police investigation, the person who commits the hit and run was found impaired by an impairing substance he or she could be facing manslaughter, homicide charges, or assault with a deadly weapon depending on the circumstances. For these reasons stated, if you or anyone you know is facing charges of this magnitude it is very important that you contact a local Raleigh DWI Attorney here at the Matheson Law Office, Plc.

Disclaimer – Information and advice offered in this article is for informational and educational purposes only and is specific to North Carolina law. The viewing, receipt and/or exchange of information from this article does not constitute an Attorney-Client Relationship. For assistance regarding your particular legal question speak with an Attorney practicing in the field from which your questions derives.

Divorce Lawyer Costa Rica- Do You Need To Find A Divorce Lawyer In Costa Rica

Obtaining a divorce in Costa Rica is similar to obtaining a divorce in any other country and you will need a divorce lawyer, costa rica. If the parties reside in Costa Rica the Costa Rican court has jurisdiction and a divorce lawyer, costa rica can be of invaluable help. Natives are most likely aware of the divorce laws but, expatriates are often blindsided by CR divorce law and find themselves in need of a good divorce lawyer. Costa rica is a popular destination for those looking for love or amorous adventure. Many expats find themselves in a divorce situation due to looking in all the wrong places for a divorce lawyer, costa rica.

Prostitution is legal in Costa Rica. Many prostitutes perceive expats to be a ticket to financial stability and lure them into marriage. The expatriate eventually figures out they have been duped and seek a divorce. Most expats are totally unaware of local law so require the services of a divorce lawyer in Costa Rica that is well versed in divorce law.

There are many laws relating to family law that most expats are not aware of such as:

1- In Costa Rica family bonds are very tight. When you marry a Costa Rican you are functionally marrying the whole family.
2- In order to apply for divorce you must have been married at least three years,
3- CR has very tough domestic violence laws that are very one-sided to the womans side. A man standing accused in front of a judge is pretty much doomed to a guilty verdict.
4-Expats that are paying alimony or child support are prevented from departing CR unless they deposit 13 months of payment.
5-If a male expat marries a CR national and she adulterously bears another mans child, the child will bear the expats last name and whether DNA proves him to not be the biological father, he will be ordered to pay child support by the divorce court.

When you need a divorce lawyer in costa rica, seek recommendation and references before you select one. Nothing would be worse if you are a man, than hiring a divorce lawyer in Costa Rica that is sympathetic to only the wife. You need a divorce lawyer in Costa Rica even if the divorce is amicable in order to understand the proceedings and to assure that you interests are protected. Especially in the case of a contested divorce you need an experienced divorce lawyer. costa rica is not an easy country in which to obtain a divorce.

Being a divorce lawyer in Costa Rica requires continual updating of Costa Ricas complex divorce law. For a divorce lawyer, Costa Rica must be the ultimate challenge.

Prior to marital commitment it is advisable to consult a divorce lawyer. Costa Rica allows for prenuptials and amendments to them after marriage.

Be wise in choosing your spouse to lessen the chance you will need a divorce lawyer. Costa Rica is a country known as a sex tourist destination, be aware that what you think is love may only be economics. In the event you need a divorce lawyer, Costa Rica has many available to bail you out of you marital mess.