As we approach the end of September,
firms with fiscal years ending in December should already be taking the first
steps in their year-end fee collection campaign.
Your firm's billing team will
probably do most of the heavy work, but in well-managed law firms the billing
partner for each file is the one who is responsible and accountable to his or
her partners for collections. Firms with active partner involvement have
a much collections record, measured in terms such as
These translate into higher profit
distributions to partners, more generous bonus to associates and staff, and
more money for investment in marketing, productivity, and service delivery
capabilities to prepare for the new year.
If your fiscal ends in December,
here are some things that you should be doing now to improve realization.
(Actually, you should be doing these year-round; but any effort that you
can make now will pay off.)
For each file on which you are the
billing partner or matter partner:
This last tactic is especially
important. Except for matters with billing cycles longer than 60 days
(which we do not recommend unless the client insists), there are four reasons
that account for the vast majority of unpaid bills:
And even if the reason is that the
client simply does not want to pay the bill, this is something that should be
discovered and addressed sooner rather than later. The longer you wait to
confront and try to resolve the issue, the lower the probability of collection.
Read more on the Walker Clark
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