Time tracking has long been the bane of lawyers, yet this tiresome task is essential in ensuring you’re getting the money you’re owed. Unfortunately, traditional time recording is riddled with inaccuracies and challenges, which means you could be shorting yourself.
Just how much? Studies believe it could be as much as a third of your deserved funds.
If you’re no stranger to pen and paper record keeping, you already know what a cumbersome, confusing process time tracking can be. Between reading and answering emails, making phone calls, and checking voicemail, there’s no shortage of small tasks that quickly add up to billable hours. Yet many law firms are missing these prime opportunities for billing because they have no easy way of tracking the amount of time spent on these quick (yet constant) actions.
Sure, there have been timekeeping helpers to come along, including timer software you can install on your computer. But given that you need to click a button each time you start and stop a task, these are generally no more useful than a stopwatch.
That’s why many lawyers are turning to time tracking apps, like Chrometa. It’s quiet, unobtrusive, accurate, and best of all, is helping lawyers build their profits with zero extra work.
How Does a Lawyer Time Tracking App Work?
Before computers (and in some cases, even now), law firms had to dedicate time to manually recorded the time spent on actions. However, documenting the value and actions that make up your legal services in five-minute bursts is nothing short of exasperating. In fact, you may find that this method means you’re spending nearly as much time on time recording as you are on helping your clients.
It’s no way to run a successful law firm, which is why many lawyers estimate their time spent on tasks and bill according to their best guesses. This is certainly a preferable method compared to the time suck of the fine tooth comb, yet it presents another, more costly challenge: missed billable hours, and lots of them.
Timekeeping apps like Chrometa eliminate some of the billing conundrum by tracking and logging easily overlooked activities so you don’t have to. Their secret lies in automation:
- You install the app on your desktop computer (Mac or PC) or smartphone (iPhone or Android).
- The app tracks how much time you spend on certain tasks, including reading and replying to emails, making phone calls, conducting research, and other small yet significant tasks.
- The app also integrates with other systems, including QuickBooks Online, FreshBooks, and more to broaden your time tracking abilities and reduce manual entry.
- As a result, you get a compiled report detailing how much time you spent on certain tasks. You may find that you’re doing far more work than you’ve been billing for, which can help you increase your profits without any extra effort on your part.
How Reliable are Timekeeping Apps?
There’s no shortage of timekeeping software on the market, but they’re not all created equal. Despite their technological foundation, some require you to manually activate and deactivate the timer each time, thus encroaching on your natural workflow and posing no better than a pen and paper.
Others will log your activities but cannot differentiate tasks between clients; rather, you’ll get an overview of how much time you spend on email, phone calls, and research, and it will be up to you to assign that time to individual clients. And some apps don’t communicate across devices, adding another layer of complexity to your timekeeping tasks.
Chrometa, in particular, relies on client-linked keywords to determine which tasks are associated with specific clients. Instead of compiling a one-dimensional listing of time spent on tasks, the app separates the actions into phones and emails per client to give you a more accurate representation of your workload. In addition, Chrometa offers full synchronization across platforms and devices to give you a seamless experience no matter how you choose to work.
Chrometa eliminates the potential for human error, giving you an accurate representation of how you spend your time.
What Other Benefits Do Time Tracking Apps Provide?
Aside from the obvious financial benefits, Chrometa gives you insight not just into your own client work, but also the productivity throughout your law firm. If you’ve ever been curious as to how much time your office team is spending helping clients, a timekeeping app can take out the guesswork.
Even if an employee spends 10 minutes a day on social media or checking personal email at work, that’s over 2,000 minutes per year, or more than an entire 40-hour work week. Multiply that by the number of people at your law firm, and you can easily see the value of using every minute wisely.
When you understand how you and your team are using your time, you’re better positioned to improve your service to your clients. In addition, when you are being paid accurately, the increase in revenue can also help strengthen your service, whether it’s upgrading technology or being able to afford better talent for your team.
Yes, a timekeeping app can be that powerful.
Lawyer time tracking shouldn’t be complicated, nor should you have to spend as much time trying to get paid as you spend helping your clients. However, changing the way something has always been done can seem scary, even if there’s promise of a larger reward.
If that’s how you feel, start small. Take a time tracking app for a test drive before you commit to revamping your entire recording system. Chrometa offers a free 30-day trial to let you test its features and discover how you and your team are using office hours.
You may find that your missed billing opportunities more than justify the small expense of continuing to use Chrometa. Packages start at just $20 a month, and can easily pay for itself several times over by helping you ensure your hard work never slip through the cracks again.