8 min read

Billing Software for Attorneys - A Guide

Written by
Joakim Hjønnevåg
Published on
September 18, 2020

Matt is an experienced writer, having learned his approach from time spent at Brown University and Oxford University's journalism course. He is the COO of Bilr, a leading legal billing application, and has authored a number of #1 Google ranked articles that have featured in CNBC, Forbes and Entrepreneur. His background originated in investment banking at Morgan Stanley, where he had first had experience looking at the inefficiencies of law in business today.

Law firms around the world know the hassle of timekeeping all too well. In fact, one of the main reasons attributed to attorneys leaving practice is the stress of constantly tracking time and billable hours. For many attorneys, the question is simple: “how can I improve my timekeeping and billing process?”.

Well, there are several ways, but it all starts with utilizing a proper cloud based law firm software solution. Time and billing software for attorneys is a good place to start, ideally with features that encapsulate everything from case management to trust accounting and online payments acceptance.

Many legaltech options out there offer such features. In order to make an educated decision, however, you’ll need to be equipped with the knowledge to ask key, critical questions. This will ultimately help you find and vet the right law firm software for your practice.

Without further ado, let’s look at considerations when choosing billing software for attorneys.

Why use billing software for attorneys?

Most law firms create and submit their invoices digitally, with very few still creating physical printouts to mail or otherwise deliver to their clients. It’s become commonplace in the legal industry for attorneys to create electronic invoices in formats such as LEDES, PDF and beyond. These types of invoices are also often created or sent through solutions such as LawPay and QuickBooks, allowing for online payment with credit card, debit card and ACH.

E-billing, as it’s called, is here to stay and is a critical piece of any billing software for attorneys. Standards such as LEDES and UTBMS have also become widely adopted, ushered in by enterprises and law firms cooperating to create standardized billing codes and invoice formats that allow for legal software to easily detect invoices as well as fee and disbursement types.

Using a time and billing software is no longer a “good to have”, but a “must have”. If you have clients with specific billing guidelines or invoice format requirements, it’s mission critical. Law offices around the world are losing an average of 6-11% for each invoice that’s sent to a client with strict billing guidelines. This is due to simple errors that are just not detected before an invoice is sent out, as well as due to issues in easily creating invoices in formats such as LEDES.

Errors such as this leads to invoices getting adjusted or rejected by clients. A modern, web-based billing software for attorneys could offer billing guideline compliance detection, powered by AI/ML, fixing this issue for good and improving profitability as well as compliance.

Other reasons to consider billing software for attorneys includes the importance of modernizing the timekeeping process. Lawyers spend hours just noting down their billable work, and it’s not exactly efficient. A modern law firm software for timekeeping and e-billing would provide the opportunity to record time with your voice, automatically transcribing your speech into text.

Billing solutions such as this not only makes time tracking easier, it also allows you to create invoices in a fraction of the time that you'd spend if done manually or without an equivalent legal billing software. This ultimately leads to being paid faster, or at least enabling you to cut down the time spent creating invoices and dealing with matter management and document management.

Considerations when picking billing software for attorneys

Selecting your billing software of choice isn’t easy, and it’s not a process that you should rush. Look for the right law firm software alternative for your practice, both in terms of features offered, pricing, support availability and beyond. There’s also the question of if you want to access the software on mobile devices, in which case you’ll need to look for a solution with a companion mobile app, ideally for both iOS and Android.

Let’s look at ten key considerations for attorney billing software:

  1. What is the pricing of the billing software?
  2. Is there a trial? And if so, how long is it?
  3. Where can I access the billing software (PC, Mac, iOS, Android etc)?
  4. Are there any limitations on document, matter or other storage?
  5. What is the billing software’s support availability like?
  6. How can I collect payment from clients (LawPay, Plaid, PayPal etc)?
  7. Which third-party accounting software can I integrate with (Sage Intacct, QuickBooks etc)?
  8. Which formats are supported in the billing software (LEDES, UTBMS, LSS etc)?
  9. How good is the data reporting and analytics capabilities of the billing software?
  10. Has the billing software undergone third-party security audits?

These are our highlighted considerations. You may have specific requirements for your law practice, and that’s alright. Every law firm is different and will have separate needs when choosing or looking for a billing software for attorneys.

Which billing software for attorneys is best?

As mentioned, every law firm will have different requirements, but we firmly believe that Bilr is the best solution on the market. We’re obviously biased as this is our own product, but looking at our features list and pricing, and comparing it against other time and billing software, you will find that Bilr stands out. Not only do we offer features such as AI/ML auto-review of invoices and voice-enabled timekeeping, but we’re also competitively priced at $29.5 per user, per month, while scaling downwards based on the number of attorneys your law firm has.

This pricing point is all-inclusive. We don’t believe in having different subscription tiers, with features locked behind paywalls. Instead, what you see is what you get. Every feature of Bilr is available to all paying users, including our companion mobile app on iOS and Android as well as custom data imports from your current law firm software.

With Bilr, you can easily create invoices in multiple formats, including but not limited to LEDES, PDF and LSS. Use the software to ensure adherence to clients’ billing guidelines with our machine learning module and improve profitability by 6-11% through reducing instances of invoices being sent back with line items reduced or removed.

Compare timekeeper performance and understand who’s performing well, and who’s not. See how your branches and practice areas are performing relative to each other and set billable goals for your firm, attorneys and specific parts of your practice. Get notified when attorneys are over- or under-performing and provide an easy means for your timekeepers to track their performance, helping motivate them and leading to an overall increase in law firm efficiency.

Request a demo of our billing software for attorneys

Interested in trying out Bilr for yourself? Request a demonstration or a 7-day free trial of our billing software for attorneys, built for both small and large law firms alike. For in-depth questions, we recommend setting up time with one of our product experts, helping walk you through our billing software, the Bilr mission and any queries you may have.

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