4 barriers to using a time tracking tool for activity-based billing in the legal sector.

Not everyone is keen of implementing a time tracking tool in their company. Companies often have to convince their employees to fill in timesheets. Why? You can read that in this article!

#1: “Necessary Evil.”

For many lawyers, the idea of ​​introducing time tracking software evokes resistance. Because keeping accurate records of all the tasks they perform seems like a 'tiring and time-consuming' task. It is also not easy to map multitasking in a transparent way. And recording emails, phone calls, and meetings takes a long time and is difficult to record accurately.

Lawyers see keeping track of their activities as a barrier, because why would you do double work? Plan, execute and then update a meeting in your Outlook calendar?

But today, automated digital means exist to keep track of all those "too many things to list" in a simple way. Such legal time tracking software even saves a considerable amount of time (if you make the right choice). Automated time registration completely takes care of that repetitive, boring action in the background. This gives employees of a law firm the time and freedom to work on assignments that generate added value.

#2: “Installing new software is a hassle.”

Lawyers don't have time to learn new software and don't like to change the tools they work with. Old habits are hard to break and change is hard to accept. Because “best practices” have a reason to exist: once someone has found their niche, it is “not ideal, but good enough”.

But in the longer term, organization-wide standardization beats the well-intentioned individual optimization of employees by a stone's throw. New employees also benefit greatly from standardized systems: With a trial-and-error approach, a newly hired colleague may need several weeks to efficiently register his or her billable hours, while a proven software lawyer is faster, more uniform and more complete. up to cruising speed. A one-time company-wide setup provides a clean slate for both current and new employees and avoids misunderstandings about tracking certain activities.

With the advent of web applications, introducing new legal software is no longer a time-consuming project. And the new software is often very user-friendly. With the advent of AI, there is also “smart” software that takes work off the hands of users. In the end, a good choice will certainly be a fruitful change for the company and its employees and will not require much effort.

#3: “In the time I have to put everything in, my invoice is already made.”

Employees often experience time registration as a pure waste of time and use estimates. But a lot of work time is inadvertently spent on in-between phone calls, answering important emails, and other interruptions. This manual tracking is impossible and in practice one does not have an overview at the time of invoicing. The compromise billing based on these rough estimates is simpler, but therefore not correct (and often incomplete). In practice, these types of estimated invoices do not help anyone a step further.

Automatic time tracking gives law firms the ability to measure, analyze and optimize the full 100% of employee time - for both billable assignments and internal tasks. This is not only an advantage for companies themselves, but also for their employees.

As a lawyer, it is easier for you to recognize the hidden time wasters. If you can define these, you can avoid or limit them or at least plan them more correctly. Good planning in turn ensures overview and peace of mind. With more productivity you also get more things done at a better quality.

#4: “Are you allowed to check on me?”

Many employees feel that time tracking violates their right to privacy, yet every law firm needs time tracking software.

But that privacy is a legitimate concern. No one wants to work in a place where executives are breathing down their necks and watching their every move. It is demoralizing and alienating. It also creates a culture of distrust.

If you install software, it should be software that gives the lawyers the last word. They must be able to determine what tracking is used and what they want to share with the organization about their activities.

That software therefore works in two directions: The lawyer's performance is seen and measured objectively. Then there is also something in it for the legal assistant: People often come up with comments such as “my boss does not know how much work this is”, “my extra work will not be charged”... Time tracking can therefore also have benefits for the employee by capturing this net objectively and making it visible. .

When used correctly, a software provides additional peace of mind for both employers and employees in mutual trust. The software thus has great added value for the office and the employee.
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