Managing hours effectively is crucial for any successful law firm. After all, every minute is precious and time on the clock costs money. Unfortunately, many times overages are not accounted for in billable hours, which means a law firm that doesn’t control labor costs can quickly eat into their profits.
Not only that, since hours are billed on a per-client or per-job basis, keeping track of all those hours can become tedious and downright expensive in terms of the accounting costs. Thankfully, many tools can help you manage hours, save on labor costs, and improve efficiency, among other things. One of those tools is a clock in and out app.
As mentioned, overages are no friends of any successful law firm. Since most lawyers are paid by the job and have to bill a set number of hours per job or client, extra hours will quickly eat into any profit you may make on that particular job or with that specific client. With a time and attendance app, you can better manage the hours you spend on a particular job to ensure that you do not go over what you stated in the contract.
Additionally, you can collect the data over time and use it to improve job costing for future jobs and clients. For example, if you see that specific tasks are taking longer or that you are more likely to incur overages for particular jobs, you can use that data to forecast more hours in the future.
You can also use the timesheet management app data to improve where you see deficiencies in your practice. This may mean hiring more help for particular tasks, retraining employees to know how to do their portion of the job better, or choosing employees who are better suited to specific tasks.
Just like any other business, overtime costs can affect profitability for law firms too. While many lawyers work their own hours, many other staff members work a typical hourly schedule. This means accurate tracking of work hours, including overtime, is still a concern.
Online timesheet software lets you track employee hours in real-time to see how much time they’re spending on the clock and who is getting close to overtime. If an employee is nearing over time, you can send employees home or manage schedules and call in employees who haven’t yet reached the overtime threshold.
Another feature of a clock in and out app is creating reports that show clients what they are being billed for in terms of hourly work. Since the client’s typically want to know what they are spending money on, you can show them exactly what work is being done and how many hours it takes to do each job.
Detailed reporting also helps with future job costing as clients can see upfront what it takes to complete whatever legal tasks they need. This ensures proper payment and client satisfaction by showing clients what it takes to do the job and provide financial documentation. As a result, every cost and every action taken is adequately accounted for. By providing clients with detailed job information, you can avoid any disputes and help justify expenditures.
Law firms are required to ensure compliance with regulating parties – this includes labor law compliance. With hourly workers, in particular, rules regarding scheduling, proper breaks, vacation time, and overtime pay must be followed.
An online timecard system will help make sure all of this is tracked automatically to set notifications and reminders for certain things. This way, your firm can avoid costly fines and possible suspensions due to labor law violations.
If you’re a law firm still using manual timekeeping methods and struggling to control your labor costs, it might be time to switch to a clock in and out app. This tool can help lower your job and labor costs, allowing you to spend more money growing your business.