The recent Oddr Chicago Roundtable brought together legal professionals to discuss the challenges and best practices related to Invoice to Cash process in law firms. The event shed light on various aspects of billing, including the dominance of PDF billing, the rise of e-billing, billing team strategies, staffing challenges, the importance of notes management, and the desire for an enhanced client billing portal. In this article that summarizes the roundtable discussions, we will explore the key takeaways from the roundtable discussions and highlight the insights shared by industry experts.
1. PDF Billing Dominance:
Most law firms continue to rely on PDF billing as their primary billing method, although its usage may vary across firms and practice areas. PDF billing remains popular due to its convenience and familiarity.
2. Challenges with E-billing:
E-billing is on the rise, but law firms still face challenges in this area. Participants expressed concerns about e-billing vendors lacking validation capabilities and providing limited visibility into invoice statuses. This forces firm users to log in to multiple sites to obtain accurate billing information.
3. Billing Team Strategy:
Law firms employ different strategies for their billing teams. The first approach involves dedicated billers assigned to specific attorneys, allowing for client-specific attention and institutional knowledge. The second approach is the use of a pool of billing experts who support multiple attorneys, ensuring rapid invoice processing. Each approach has its benefits and challenges.
4. Staffing Challenges:
Law firms, regardless of size, struggle to hire the right expertise for their billing teams. As firms grow, the need for skilled billers increases. Some firms have to offer over the competitive compensation packages to attract the right candidates.
5. Notes Management:
Existing solutions for capturing billing instructions and nuances are often inadequate. Participants highlighted the need for robust note-taking capabilities that can be applied at various levels, including client, matter, or invoice. Such capabilities enable better communication and ensure important details are not overlooked.
6. Best Practices:
Several best practices were discussed during the roundtable. These included adding invoice types and defaulting to PDF for non-ebilled clients, notifying the billing team when a new timekeeper is added to a matter to avoid rejections, and utilizing Oddr's automated anomaly detection features during billing, collections, and payments.
7. Client Billing Portal:
Law firms expressed a unanimous interest in enhancing the client experience by providing a self-service client billing portal. This portal would allow clients to view their invoices, track payment status, and make payments conveniently. Such a feature can significantly improve client satisfaction and streamline billing processes.
The Oddr Chicago Roundtable offered valuable insights into the current state of billing processes in law firms. From the dominance of PDF billing to the challenges of e-billing, staffing issues, and the importance of effective notes management, law firms face various hurdles in optimizing their billing procedures. The desire for an enhanced client billing portal further emphasizes the importance of prioritizing client experience. By implementing best practices and leveraging automation tools like Oddr, law firms can overcome these challenges and improve their billing processes for increased efficiency and client satisfaction.
Oddr provides a unique platform for law firms to manage the entire Invoice to Cash processes, providing visibility, tracking and traceability for every invoice throughout the invoice lifecycle. With unique dashboards for Billing team, Collections team, Billing attorneys, Partners, and Practice Group Leaders (PGLs), Oddr is the right platform for firms that want to lower their DSO, lower their write-offs while increasing their client satisfaction score. Oddr provides hyper automation for internal and external collaborations as well as for sending invoices, reminder statements, effective collections to increase cash flow.