Why using time recording software has more benefits than you think
Lawyers often retrospectively record their time, either at the end of the day, week, or month, by reviewing notes, task lists, calendars, or call logs. A task that, I’m sure you can agree, is not high on anyone’s to-do list because it’s difficult and time consuming to do, but a necessary evil all the same. With workloads increasing and client expectations growing, finding the ‘time’ to time record is a challenge.
The challenges with manual time recording processes
Not only is recording time, in bulk, after the event, a time-consuming task for legal professionals, but it also causes challenges for a law firm. Potential inaccuracies in billable time could lead to lost revenue and impacts on profits.
When lawyers are tasked to drive long-term efficiencies, complete more work, faster and improve profitable for their firm, manual time recording seems like a very ineffective way to track and review the most important task for cashflow – invoicing the client for the work you have completed.
Keeping a tight grip of billable hours and work in progress is now even more important as teams become dispersed. Hybrid-working is normal practice for the modern law firm and so visibility of time spent on tasks, clients and cases provides a clear view of performance for partners and management to successfully review performance, allocate resource, and forward plan.
Time tracking software
Time tracking software is a feature of most practice and case management solutions, such as Osprey Approach, however it’s a wonder why more legal professionals aren’t full exploiting the features to improve their processes. Agonising over tracking billable hours isn’t necessary with the digital tools and solutions available that can help to streamline and automate the task. Below we’ve listed the impact that time recording software can have on your firm and it extends beyond just increasing efficiencies.
How time recording software can impact your firm
Time entries relate directly to the hours billed to the client, so it sounds obvious but, the quicker you can submit time entries, the faster invoices can be created, reviewed, sent, and paid.
Software enables you to record real-time, which helps improve the accuracy of the time entries. With improved accuracy you can ensure no billable time is lost. Similarly, by reducing the amount of hours spent completing admin manually, the more time there is across your firm to focus on your work and clients.
Enhanced client service
Clients expect a convenient and frictionless service and by streamlining internal processes those efficiency savings and benefits are passed back to the client.
More efficient processes
Time recording software removes the need to block out time to review tasks at the end of the month and provides the tools to record in real-time. With automated prompts, easy stop-start stopwatches, and mobile apps, you can easily and accurately record your time as you multi-task between matters, wherever you may be.
Easier forward planning
With an accurate representation of billable and non-billable hours you avoid relying on gut instincts, best estimates and inaccurate data when planning for the future. Time recording software enables firms to report on performance and provides a true reflection of resources needed, problems to solve and opportunities to take, enabling partners to accurately plan to achieve their goals.
Not only does the software enable lawyers to bill their time more accurately, but it enables partners to be more accurate with the forecasting and target setting. Reducing errors reduces the time spent rectifying them and avoids lost revenue, therefore positively effects your bottom-line.
Time recording software helps legal professionals make time recording a day-to-day habit. With the tools to effectively record on the go, from any device on ay task, you can easily stay on top of your workload.
6 ways to record time using Osprey Approach
Osprey Approach is an end-to-end practice and case management solution that provides lawyers and law firms with the digital tools they need to perform at their best and meet their goals. Osprey includes fully integrated time recording software that helps to streamline the process of time recording to increase billable hours along with all the other benefits and business impacts mentioned above.
There are a variety of ways you can use the software to track time, these include:
1. Using the stopwatch to record in real-time. The stopwatch feature is great to help when multi-tasking as it can be easily started, paused, and stopped.
2. Adding entries directly from a document, form, or client communication. Automatic reminders appear when closing a document to prompt a time entry, so tasks aren’t forgotten.
3. Automatically assigning time entries based a specific document template to help with those regular and standardised tasks.
4. Using the Osprey time recording mobile app for when you’re on the go, visiting a client or at court.
5. Directly from your Outlook, or Microsoft Word using the powerful Microsoft 365 add-in.
6. Using the time entry form for single or multiple entries once a task is complete.
The benefits of time recording software
Running a successful modern law firm requires the right digital tools. Juggling your daily workloads can be made easier by implementing the legal software solutions that are designed to streamline tasks so you can focus on what’s important, not business administration. Time tracking is a small element of your daily tasks but when improved upon can have a big impact on the overall firm’s success.
Find out more about Osprey’s time recording solution today and how it can transform your firm.