Law Firm Financial Leaders on Improving Billing and Collections Speed

Cary Lenkeit, Chief Financial Officer at Archer & Greiner P.C, David Rueff, Chief Practice Group Solutions Officer at Baker Donelson, and Zach Rausch, Director of Financial Planning & Analysis at Fisher Phillips, discuss how they are ramping up billing and collection speed to improve profitability.

Cary: So two tiles [on the Business Intelligence dashboard], one aged WIP and aged AR. The WIP is just as important as the receivable because if it never gets billed, it never can get collected, but we focus on those those aging schedules when we are looking at going into earnings and seeing how effectively they're managing both their unbilled time and accounts receivable. We have a collection manager within the firm, and she is really sharp and just stays on top of all the attorneys. And really, once they get to 45-60 days, she's all over it.

David: You know, a big indicator for us at Baker Donaldson on health is, is really looking at days revenue outstanding. And so we want to, you know, same thing, we want to make sure that our lawyers are heavily focused not just at the close to the year, but throughout the course of the year on the amount of time that we are the lag when we have collections of our billings. And like Cary also, we have a team that is dedicated to helping our lawyers, you know, tracking that, as well as reach out to clients.

Because sometimes, you know, your clients are busy, or lawyers are busy, and sometimes it's just a nudge, and it actually gets the payments in the door. But you've got to, you've got to regulate, you know, touch have touch points with all the lawyers on us.

Zach: You know, we look at aged WIP and aged AR, sort of like Cary mentioned. We've got a billing and collections team, so when those balances approach 60 days, you know, that's really when they start to work those accounts and look at billing and collection speed.

Those are two really important metrics that our billing and collections team monitors. We track against peer monitor data as well. Fisher Phillips has invested heavily in our billing and collections teams being dispersed across three offices. That has been a focus so that that doesn't become a weakness but as instead really a strength for us.

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