Survey Shows Law Firms May Be ‘Losing’ Up to One Third of Potential Billable Hours
LexisNexis® Legal & Professional, a leading provider of content and technology solutions, have announced the latest release of its PCLaw® client, matter, billing and accounting software. PCLaw 12 makes it easier for firms of up to 20 attorneys to improve time capture and billing accuracy through Time Entry Advisor, a comprehensive new time capture feature.
The Time Entry Advisor monitors work performed in PCLaw 12, including phone calls, emails, events, tasks and other activities to ensure that all billable time is accurately captured. The system also alerts attorneys when activities are left unbilled and shows unbilled task information that can be sorted by lawyer, by practice, by date range and by other parameters. Law firm managers can use PCLaw 12 to conduct real-time tracking of all work activities to identify and review unbilled work with their colleagues as necessary to better manage potential earnings.
According to a new LexisNexis survey, attorneys polled claimed they typically bill an average of six hours out of an average nine-hour work day. This represents as much as a 33 percent loss of possible billable time per year. Based on an average blended billable rate of around $200 per fee earner, this could equate to a possible $110,000 in additional annual revenue per attorney.
The online LexisNexis® Law Firm Billable Hours Survey was conducted by LexisNexis between May 15 and May 25, 2012 and included nearly 500 responses. Survey participants were asked to provide basic demographic information on the size and location of their law firm as well as an estimate of the average number of hours they worked each day versus the average number of billable hours invoiced to clients.
“The new Time Entry Advisor in LexisNexis PCLaw 12 helps law firms reduce the loss of billable hours and improve cash flow,” said Michael Lipps, vice president and managing director, Legal Business Software Solutions for LexisNexis. “LexisNexis understands the challenges faced by law firms in today’s tough business climate, and we continue to deliver innovative solutions that help firms of all sizes grow and better manage the business side of their legal practice.”
“Time means money for law firms,” said Steven Best, attorney, legal technology expert and founding partner of Affinity Consulting Group. “Accounting for billable hours worked is critically important but not always done accurately given all of the daily distractions faced by lawyers and their staff. Time Entry Advisor in PCLaw 12 makes the process of time capture easier, regardless of how a firm bills, making a real difference to bottom-line profitability.”
Other enhancements to PCLaw 12 include:
Improved general retainer handling of client overpayments
New Client Manager and Contact Manager security options
Expanded 12-month general ledger budget view for a year-long view of activities
Past due notice format improvements to help firms more easily decipher and account for client past due notices
Improved categorization of clients and contacts
Multiple views and color-coding of calendars to help firms better manage and track important events and deadlines
PCLaw client, matter, billing and accounting software enables law firms to easily manage matters; track time, expenses, calendar appointments and tasks; bill and collect payment from clients; pay vendors; reconcile bank statements; and manage trust accounts—all from a single source. PCLaw 12 is available to existing PCLaw customers with active Annual Maintenance Plan subscriptions at no additional cost.