Firm Policies That Make Cents

legal software

Firm Policies That Make Cents

“Compliance” is a word heard increasingly more often in the legal sphere. Aderant understands the importance of billing compliance as it relates to strict Outside Counsel Guidelines. Billing compliance is vital for firms, but it’s also important to consider creating and enforcing a time entry policy. While most firms agree that a more point-of-task time entry policy is key, they struggle with both creating a policy that works for everyone and enforcing that policy with every timekeeper.

Do your timekeepers know that there is a time entry policy and understand the ramifications of late time? Does your law firm have penalties and rewards in place for timekeepers? If “no” is the answer to any of these questions, Aderant can help. Time entry policies should be easy to understand and consistently enforced, and managing your policies should be just as easy as creating them. Here are a few steps for creating a time entry policy that can help your firm save dollars and make cents:

Keep it Simple

Creating a firm policy doesn’t need to be difficult, but there are a lot of considerations. Creating a policy that’s too loose or too strict with many exceptions is comparable to not having a policy at all. Creating policies that give leniency specifically to partners or “rainmakers” while holding associates to a different standard makes enforcement difficult and poses a risk to unity within the firm. Keep it simple! Set consistent standards across the firm and provide timekeepers with the insight necessary to focus on their end goals.

Set Expectations

Once a policy is created, share it widely and enforce it consistently. Set proper expectations for all timekeepers by making the policy visible and unambiguous. Reports and engagement can help timekeepers stay on track, while introducing penalties and rewards can also help steer them in the right direction.

Embrace Technology

Finally, utilize technology. Gone are the days when an individual must review each time entry or create time-consuming reports to enforce timekeeping policies. Aderant’s Thrive does the heavy lifting by managing the firm’s timekeeping policies and providing the flexibility to define multiple objectives, such as monthly and annual billable hour targets. Paired with iTimekeep, timekeepers can get visibility on weekly, monthly, and yearly targets. Thrive enables timekeepers to stay on track through in-app notifications and emails.

If you need guidance or assistance getting started, Aderant has services dedicated to creating and enforcing time entry policies and best practice standards across firms both big and small. To learn more, please contact us at [email protected].