Ridiculously Remarkable Legal Billing – Free E-Book. The following post is an excerpt from our free e-book, Ridiculously Remarkable Legal Billing. When you don’t get your bills out in a timely fashion, you inadvertently cause yourself several problems. Here’s the first one from the book we identify.
The longer you wait to send out the bill, the more likely you’re in for a haircut and the bigger that haircut is likely to be.
When I was in private practice, the biggest, ugliest bill reductions occurred almost uniformly in cases where a whole bunch of aggregated time entries, all several months old, were bundled together. When I shifted my career and became a client, if I received such a bill, there was virtually no chance I would have any kind of detailed recollection of the work involved, let alone whether the time spent was reasonable or not.
Worse yet, when I received such a bill and was in a position where I reported to a CFO, I couldn’t even approve it myself. I had to get “sign off” on a bill like that to get it paid. Try getting a prickly CFO to approve a bill that’s several months old when that CFO has (a) already costed-out the matter to which it relates and (b) already reported those results to his CEO and the Board of Directors. Good luck with that.
Faced with the choice of going to bat for your outside counsel for full payment on a bill like that or recommending approval with a big discount, you can guess which would happen. It took awhile, but finally my friends in private practice started believing me when I told them that, contrary to what they might think, it’s far easier to get bills paid on time – regardless of how big they are – when they’re sent regularly and on-time. It’s just a corporate fact of life.
Rule #1: The longer you wait to send out the bill, the more likely you’re in for a haircut and the bigger that haircut is likely to be.
Legal Billing Rule #1: The Longer You Wait, The Less You’ll Get Paid
Legal Billing Rule #2: Clients Won’t Pay a Bill Unless They Receive One
Legal Billing Rule #3: Not Billing In A Timely Fashion Sends A Message
Legal Billing Rule #4: You’ll Poison Relationships And Scare Away Business
Legal Billing Rule #5: Don’t Cause Problems For Your Client & Screw Up Her Budget
Legal Billing Rule #6: Delaying Billing is Like Giving Away Free Money
Legal Billing Rule #7: Avoid Communication Breakdown
Legal Billing Rule #8: Predicting Your Future Income
Legal Billing Rule #9: Capture Time With Easy, Modern Tools
Legal Billing Rule #10: Beat The Procrastination Monster
Legal Billing Rule #11: Get a Bill Buddy
Legal Billing Rule #12: Standardise the Tools
Legal Billing Rule #13: Make Small Improvements Each Quarter
Legal Billing Rule #14: Rolling Out Changes and Letting Your Clients Know