Managing the billing process is quite a complex thing for legal practitioners especially if they have to split the bills among several clients with different percentages or billing rates for a service. It is very common for attorneys to face challenges in time tracking and billing procedures in their day-to-day legal activities. In certain cases, attorneys share their work with other associates and agree on a specific fee splitting arrangements in billing. This requires a different invoicing procedure to follow as it needs to include more than one payee in the billing process. Mediators who handle such cases in their legal service, would probably be spending their valuable working hours in tracking billable time and generating invoices manually. An automated billing software will simplify this complicated procedure due to its extended and flexible billing capability to customize invoices based on the legal work.
There are many complications involved in fee splitting process for attorneys.
Invoice level split billing based on hours or billing rates
When attorneys wish to split their billing on a specific case, it would be either percentages or a flat rate amount based on the work done by each of the associate would be used. The invoice amount for each attorney may differ due to different working hours and billing rates are different. If you are a mediator involved with other legal associates working on a split bill case, then you may find the billing process complicated when needing to split the total amount invoiced amongst several attorneys. Sometimes, attorneys work the other way round where they need to split a case among different clients either at the same or different billing rates. For instance, if four clients have to be charged on a single case with different billing rates then the invoice has to rated separately for each client based on the billable hours.
Managing split entries
Altering a manual entry becomes increasingly more difficult once that entry is submitted. Sometimes, the attorney may wish to add multiple clients or work associates on a single case or even alter the billing percentage or description for a split entry. In some cases, they may also want to add a different set of expenses for different clients. In a manual process, the changes have to be re-entered in every transaction because it will not reflect automatically in the billing process. For instance, if you want to change the hourly billing rate for a split entry from 45% to 75% for the last fifteen days of the month, then you may have to enter the data manually wherever the change is required.
Managing the last minute transactions
Let us assume you are at the end of the month closing the bills and want to add a split from the 15th on a particular case. This requires altering of all the previous entries and recalculating the invoice amount for that particular transaction. The process of generating invoices to the clients becomes more complex and confusing if additional split entries have to be made on legal cases especially in the middle or end of the month.
How an automated system can simplify the process of split billing?
Choosing a billing software that includes split billing is an added advantage because it has flexibility to customize billing formats based on the requirement. There is no need to make changes for entries like in a manual process, because the changes will be reflected in the entire transaction including calculation of the billing amount. For instance, if a change is made in the billing percentage for a split entry, then the invoice amount will automatically change with the new value. This will lessen the hassles of re-entering the data and reduces the opportunity for errors.
With legal billing software, it is easy to automate the workflow from tracking the billing hours to sending reminders to the clients about payments. It reduces manual effort in searching or adding of the records because the software brings up the data automatically for future entries. Instead of going on a case-by-case basis to generate separate invoices for clients, the legal billing software allows mediators to automatically generate customized formats required for their business without much manual effort.