The Benefits of Automated Timekeeping for Mid-Sized Firms

A woman points at a wall full of sticky notes as her coworkers look on

Like all of us, lawyers sometimes lose track of time when they’re busy. Despite their best intentions, multitasking lawyers can sometimes forget about the texts they sent at lunch, the calls they took while running errands, and other case-related activity conducted at night or on weekends. Unfortunately, lost time equals lost revenue, and ultimately decreases firm profits. Automated timekeeping can help.

Feeling the Big Squeeze

The challenge of accurate timekeeping affects firms of all sizes. But for mid-sized firms, lost time can be particularly detrimental. That’s because mid-sized firms get squeezed from both sides: Larger competitors can often outbid them thanks to greater financial strength and economies of scale, while smaller firms enjoy greater agility and lower costs. For a mid-sized firm to be both cost-efficient and competitive enough on price to win profitable work, every minute counts — so sound timekeeping is critical for firms in the squeezed middle.

In our experience, attentiveness and quality of work are two key differentiators that can help mid-market firms win and retain clients. By simplifying time tracking with automated timekeeping software, lawyers and admins gain more time to focus on delivering high-touch, high-quality service to clients.

Critically, automated timekeeping can also help mid-size firms maintain compliance with outside counsel guidelines (OCGs) — another key element in retaining hard-won clients. Without large administrative staffs to help normalize time entries and ensure OCG compliance, mid-sized firms can leverage technology to prevent client attrition.

Improving Efficiency and Client Outcomes

By automating highly repetitive tasks like timekeeping, firms can apply the same efficiency principles used in modern supply chain management. Efficient, highly automated systems can manage rote tasks, reserving human capital for the most important parts of a matter and leading to better outcomes and a better client experience.

In another nod to supply chain management principles, firms can adopt the practice of just-in-time (JIT) compliance. Retail and commercial companies often employ JIT systems to align inventory with customer demand, helping them increase efficiencies, improve productivity and quality, and reduce costs and waste. Firms, in turn, should employ an efficient, automated system that provides direct, JIT feedback to lawyers at the point of time entry — helping them align with best timekeeping practices, improve compliance, and deliver high-quality service to clients. And when clients’ guidelines change, firms with automated timekeeping technology in place can adapt quickly.

Accelerating Time to Payment

With an automated timekeeping system in place, firms can also reduce the time between billing and payment. And, with JIT compliant entry, you can bill hours much more quickly than before. With faster billing and payment, firms don’t need to tie up working capital to free up cash flow. It’s a true win-win: more predictable revenue for firms, and more predictable liability for clients.

Staying Agile in the Cloud

For maximum agility, mid-sized firms can deploy automated timekeeping in the cloud to evolve quickly as client needs and demands change. Thanks to automatic updates that reduce the IT burden, your administrative and technical staff can spend less time on maintenance and more time on high-priority strategic work.

With OnePlace for Operations & Finance, firms gain cloud-based automated timekeeping with Intapp Time, integrated with Intapp Terms for financial compliance. It The suite gives lawyers essential visibility into key OCG terms that they’ll need throughout the client lifecycle.

After deployment, firms have flexibility when deciding how much intelligence to have in the product — and it’s easy to turn on other features any time with minimal IT support.

Making Time for What Matters

With automated timekeeping, mid-sized firms gain a key tool for greater productivity and better client service. From streamlined compliance to accelerated billing and payments, the right solution can support client retention and confer the kinds of competitive advantage today’s mid-sized firms seek.

Download our eBook: Optimizing Time Capture and Realization Rates to learn more about how you can leverage cutting-edge technology to take your timekeeping to the next level and drive operational excellence.

Written by:

Ian Lauwerys

Client Advisory Director

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Devin O'Leary

Practice Group Leader, Operations and Finance

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