Law Firm Financial Leaders on Improving Billing and Collections Speed

Cary Lenkeit, Chief Financial Officer at Archer & Greiner P.C, David Rueff, Chief Practice Group Solutions Officer at Baker Donelson, and Zach Rausch, Director of Financial Planning & Analysis at Fisher Phillips, discuss how they are ramping up billing and collection speed to improve profitability. 

Cary: So, we use the Business Intelligence dashboard for aged WIP and aged AR. The WIP is just as important as the receivable because if it never gets billed, it never can get collected, but we focus on those aging schedules when we are looking at going into earnings, and see how effectively they're managing both their unbilled time and accounts receivable. We have a collection manager within the firm, and she is really sharp and stays on top of all the attorneys. Once they get to 45-60 days, she's all over it. 

David: A big indicator for us at Baker Donaldson, is really looking at days revenue outstanding. We want to make sure that our lawyers are heavily focused not just at the close to the year, but throughout the course of the year on the amount of time, or the lag when we have collections of our billings. Like Cary also, we have a team that is dedicated to helping our lawyers track that as well as reach out to clients. 

Sometimes your clients are busy, our lawyers are busy, and sometimes it's just a nudge, and it actually gets the payments in the door. But you've got to regulate, touch points with all the lawyers and clients. 

Zach: We look at aged WIP and aged AR, sort of like Cary mentioned. We've got a billing and collections team, so when those balances approach 60 days, that's really when they start to work those accounts. 

Looking at billing and collection speed, those are two really important metrics that our billing and collections team monitors. We track against peer monitor data as well. Fisher Phillips has invested heavily in our billing and collections teams being dispersed across three offices. That has been a focus so that doesn't become a weakness but is instead really a strength for us.

About BigHand Business Intelligence

BigHand’s Legal Business Intelligence is the most advanced BI solution for law firms. It’s flexible, autonomous and source agnostic data warehouse solution, replaces manual law firm finance reporting with a real-time digital overview of your financial data.

Specifically tailored for lawyers, finance and management teams, it strips the complexity away from the mountains of information you generate. The self-service tool gives users controlled access to the appropriate legal finance data which can be quickly and easily shown through any visualization tool of choice, including PowerBI.

BigHand BI