Posts tagged: Billing

Job Opening: Law Firm Billing Coordinator

A Paoli, PA law firm has a job opening for an experienced law firm billing coordinator.  This person will compile, manage, and execute attorney billing.  This person may also perform a variety of other accounting and bookkeeping duties according to established policies and procedures.  Maintains contact with attorneys, staff, vendors and clients, and observes confidentiality of client and firm matters.

Timeslips experience preferred. Experience transitioning to new software system a plus.  Five years’ experience preferred.

Essential Job Functions: 

  • Compiles and bills attorney hours to clients every month.
  • Reviews and edits pre-bills in response to attorney and secretary requests.
  • Apply retainer funds as directed by attorney.
  • Process write-offs following Firm policy.
  • Ability to execute complex bills in a timely manner (i.e., multiple discounts by matter, split-party billing, preparation of electronic bills).
  • Assist attorneys and staff regarding various aspects of the billing cycle.
  • Ability to effectively interact and communicate with attorneys, staff, and clients.
  • Review and verify accuracy of billing and supporting documentation as required.
  • Research and respond to inquiries regarding billing issues and problems.
  • Create new billing formats as needed.
  • Create billing schedules and various other billing analyses as required.
  • Creates and prints final client billing.
  • Creates and distributes monthly reports.
  • Assist with WIP and receivables; Work with Partners to actively address aged and/or unbilled fees and costs.
  • Utilizes computerized accounting and payables software programs (CMS, Excel, Word) to perform duties and responsibilities.
  • Operates office equipment including personal computer, copiers, fax machines and 10-key calculator.
  • Reads, uses and is familiar with computer systems manuals and procedures, maintains and updates procedural manuals as needed.
  • Ensures strict confidentiality at all times.

Experienced and interested candidates should Email resume and salary requirements to Beth Ruggiero.

When Fee Exceeds Value

I present a number of seminars to PA attorneys in which I strongly make the point that billing is more art than science; however if an attorney approaches it from the perspective of  hours x rate = You owe me, the lawyer has missed the point.  From the client’s point of view, it’s about value received being equal to or greater than dollars billed.  I additionally stress that billing should  not be deemed a chore, but rather an opportunity to communicate ones continued value to the client.

Read this ABA Journal Law News Now article entitled “Judge scolds BigLaw over fee request for research on ‘basic and banal’ legal principals.” In a matter which was worth approximately $40K, the firm billed $126K, and asked the court to make the client pay.  Really?  It isn’t obvious that this was excessive to someone, anyone, at that firm who touched this transaction?  I hope the firm involved is sufficiently embarrassed by the ensuing bad press.  (This story has appeared online in several notable publications.) They obviously  have no notion of value from a client’s perspective.

I have frequent conversations with attorneys who tell me horrific stories of having referred cases for trusted clients to other attorneys they think they know well, only to be contacted later by that same client who is angry over the referral.  In 9 out of 10 cases it has nothing to do with skill, but rather “blowing through retainers in a heartbeat,”  “billing an amount far in excess of the value of the matter,” and “failing to communicate regarding the investment status of outstanding time/costs until the matter is a done deal.”

Every lawyer, regardless of the number of years in practice, should be required to read Jay Foonberg’s book “How to Draft Bills Clients Rush to Pay” at least once.  You can buy it from the ABA bookstore here.

 

 

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