How do Lawyers and Accountants keep track of time spent on providing service to a client?
As a hardware and software solution provider, we are always looking for problems that we can solve.
Lawyers and accountants spend time providing legal and accounting services to their clients through meetings, phone calls, e-mails and walk-ins.
How are they able to capture the time spent on all these activities and consolidate it in one place?
We are in the nascent stages of building a hardware and software solution that does that.
Can lawyers and accountants on MosaicHub help me understand if there is a problem that can be solved here, in the first place?
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Quickbooks is a great software tool for lawyers to track their time, create reports, and bill clients.
I am a sales professional and I preferably use hours tracking tool from Replicon ( http://www.replicon.com/olp/hours-tracking-software.aspx ) which makes me stay ahead with all possible sense to reach my target. And by profession my uncle is a lawyer with whom I am very close with, upon recommending the tool to manage time and keep track of it, he is pretty much impressed with the same.
2 answers from me.
1. My currently lawyer tell me he and his team use "Timewerks Pro". No idea what it is, but he says it fits his bill perfectly.
2. A friend of mine (a lawyer) says he just uses a rule of thumb. That after so many years he kind knows how long each step of a process should take, and bills accordingly.
Not sure which is best to tell you the truth.
As a bookkeeper, I use an app on my phone called TimeClock, by Spotlight Six Software, LLC. There is a free version and a very cheap paid version. With the paid version you can export data to Excel. It is easy to use and provides a great way to track time and organize clients.
Besides a software, it should be integrated with an app to time calls, texts, emails, and appts. in your phone calendar.
Advertising Agencies have the same challenges in monitoring the time spent on a project compared to what it was quoted. Maybe check out some of those softwares.
I think that you are looking at an area that has a ton of solutions in the marketplace. Lawyers are especially focused on billable hours and there are tons of solutions out there. Before you decide to build a better wheel, you need to see what people don't like about the one they have.
There are quite a few companies that produce and sell software that manage the functions you speak of.
Lexis Nexis being the 800 lb Gorilla in the room, another being Rippe & Kingston's LMS.
I never found it hard to keep track of my time when billing clients. I find it most difficult to have them understand what goes into that time. For me billing is the worst part of the job.
I have built a program that a few of our customers use daily. it is 100% customizable and price starts at 150 depends on how many add ons you want or need. Also if you use our phone system we have an app that will do it for you.
feel free to call me I can send you some screen shots.
You are correct regarding the assumptions on the time spent and the activities they charge for - you could also add traveling to and from clients, drafting of correspondence and other documents, as well as research.
Not only that, but they will usually have a team of people on any particular job, from seniors to juniors, so all of these have to be consolidated come invoice time.
Ask any lawyer or accountant and they will tell you how much they hate preparing their time sheets. I haven't been in the profession for a long time (I qualified as a lawyer many years ago), but even now I hear people complaining about this. I would be surprised if someone like yourselves hasn't got a solution for this yet, but would imagine a good one should sell.
Given that everyone has smartphones or tablets nowadays, an app that allowed someone to instantly and centrally update work as it happened, even on the move, would be great.