Nicole is a lawyer. At 0600 sharp, she rolls out of bed and checks her smartphone. She discovers dozens of emails directed at her and team members, which apparently came in between 0100 and 0600. Nicole opts to reply to a handful of the most important, and then heads to the gym.
At the gym, she receives several call requests from clients prompting her to abandon her workout early.
At 0800, she arrives at her office, and asks assistants to print a few documents. She prints some herself to save time, and then conducts her first call at 0900.
During the call, she emails another client for information about their future call, and she also reviews multiple emails that come in. She starts another call at 1000, and IMs with colleagues during the call. Another colleague joins her on this call to observe.
She responds to more emails and also marks documents during her 1000 call, and after the call, she reviews key points with her colleague.
At 1130, Nicole marks more documents, and answers frequent short calls from clients. She finally manages to grab lunch at 1400, and continues reviewing documents and responding to emails during lunch. She hops on two calls at 1600 and 1730, and a client shows up at her office at 1800 to discuss a document review. Her day continues with similar tasks and communications, and concludes with a handful of necessary submissions at 0100.
The Importance of Timekeeping
The scenario above describes an average day, and a lawyer’s average day clearly does not afford attention to timekeeping. However, timekeeping remains a critical aspect of practice for many reasons:
- Billing and Project Management – Not only do you need to account for services, but you also need to accurately quantify and qualify them. This aids in the overall process, and managing the financial aspects of service delivery.
- Talent, Revenue, and Growth Management – Timekeeping provides a window into productivity and the effectiveness of current strategies and procedures. This valuable insight drives organization growth and professional development.
- Transparency – The heavy influence of transparency on client satisfaction means it can fuel a project, or destroy it.
When timekeeping practices fall short of standards, they infect an organization and force it to constantly balance against associated losses and inaccuracies.
The Impact of Bad Timekeeping
Some estimate that less than 40% of lawyers utilize contemporaneous timekeeping solutions, and even worse, most clearly reconstruct time when preparing timesheets. Memory obviously does not serve as a potent means of capturing billable time, and the burden of delaying timekeeping creates a substantial workload.
Billable time lost to poor and sluggish recording can result in staggering losses. An Altman Weil study reveals legal professionals lose approximately 1/10 of their time when using end-of-day records. It also shows a 4-hour loss for end-of-week records, and 15-hour loss for end-of-month. Over a year, this causes a loss of 170 to 200 hours per lawyer.
Beyond substantial revenue leakage, the absence of this labor data obscures two important industry metrics:
- The time required to complete a project compared to client expectations
- The cost of a project compared to client budget or expectations
Financial and operational losses may pale in comparison to the effect of poor timekeeping on the client relationship. The lack of transparency and accurate records destroys the organization’s ability to leverage that information in maintaining client satisfaction. This includes not just standard records, but the level of detail employed in timekeeping. The deficiency leaves both clients and professionals frustrated because clients do not know the path to completion, and professionals do not engage clients. This leads to various problems over the course of a project, and less trust in a long-term relationship.
The Disadvantages of Common Timekeeping Solutions
The main problem in timekeeping remains archaic and exclusively active records. Beyond their inaccuracies, they damage productivity almost as much as poor billing hurts revenue. Lawyers find themselves spending far too much time performing minor administrative tasks instead of actually doing their job.
Another problem stems from the use of underdeveloped solutions. These solutions, unlike most of the best timekeeping software for lawyers, lack attention to the details of modern law practice and business. They fail to address all aspects of technology use or all qualities of practice:
- Some may neglect mobile accommodation or the specific way users employ multiple applications in their role.
- Some merely provide a digital version of traditional records systems, and still force the user to perform problematic tasks.
- Some even quarantine timekeeping in a particular OS or device.
User compliance presents another challenge because many lawyers detest using these tools. When so many tools get in the way, it’s easy to see why.
Finding a Solution
Our smart solution acts as a personal assistant. It adapts to your needs, and continues to evolve with the goals of both richer sophistication and providing the best timekeeping software for lawyers. Enjoy not just automation of timekeeping, but also device and system mobility, protection of sensitive information, customization, granular records, and flexibility.
Chrometa passively captures time across platforms whether a PC, iPhone, Mac, or Android device. Its capture documents every minute of work time, and every quality of use. This includes granular focus like time spent reviewing an email, its sender or recipient, and its subject. It will capture the call you step away to make, or the time you spend away from your desk.
It maintains this high level of capture detail regardless of how frequently you switch applications or systems. You never need to interrupt your work rhythm and close an application, or stop to note an activity.
Employ Chrometa’s keyword-based rules for precision. Through simple tags, you set it to assign entries to specific clients, projects, or tasks.
It offers seamless integration to give you the confidence of recording everything as you switch devices, applications, and platforms. Integration also extends into one-click import/export compatibility with popular law firm management applications and other common solutions; for example, PCLaw, Clio, QuickBooks, and much more. You work totally unrestricted by solution ecosystems or proprietary technology.
Chrometa includes many other wonderful features for versatility and simplifying the timekeeping process (e.g., invoicing, and entries through email). Experience the Chrometa advantage today through our 30-day free trial.