Best Practices in Year-End Billing Collections

This is an important time of the year for most law firms. If firms have not shifted their fiscal year end to Sept 30th or June 30th, they are usually either have all hands on deck in November approaching clients for any accounts receivable or scrambling in December to get dollars in the door. To many of my law firm clients, this effort and ability in collecting accounts receivable from clients is the difference between a good… or bad year. What an incredible way to determine performance!
Just yesterday I came across this article: Firms Say Specialists Boost Collections, Free Attorney Time by the New York Law Journal.
Here are some highlights I to wet your appetite for collection alternatives or better collection practices (certainly check out the article).

  • One firm tested one practice area with three collection specialists
  • Another firm employs collection specialists in certain cities to assist partners in year-end collections
  • A firm implements a combination of new policies and teaming the partner up with accounting and a collection specialist
  • “Our goal is to reform and improve the system without getting in between the lawyer and the client.”

Questions for Law Firms on Year-End Billing Colections 

Do you have proactive policies to accelerate collections prior to fourth quarter?
Does your partner still mail invoices?
What is the relationship of billing partners with the accounting department?
Do you reward your attorneys with achieved billing and collection KPIs?
Have you explored or tested a possible partnership with a collection specialist company?

Law firms mentioned: Herrick Feinstein, Holland & Knight, DLA Piper, Goodwin Procter and Tarter, Krinsky & Drogin.
Collection company mentioned: Intelliteach

Additional Reading:
Lexis Nexis Law Firm Billing Survey 2014 – Collection Conversations Leaving Lawyers Uncomfortable  
Thomas Reuters Elite – The Law Firm Collections Checklist
Lexis Nexis – Top 10 Challenges to Law Firm Collections and How to Create a Law Firm Collection Strategy 

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