FLEXIBILITY IN TIME AND BILLING
Every time I train a new client on Time and billing they discuss with me the unique things to their firm. How there procedures operate, who does the billing how demanding some clients can be determining the presentation of their invoices. Many owners and managers labor over this spending three to four days a month getting the billing done. They believe that they do things that no other firms does or that no software cannot handle. Now after training for over 10 years on this subject I don’t hear too many things that I haven’t heard before. So helping them improve and automate their billing methods is very rewarding. It excites me to train on our Practice Management software because it solves the needs of those using nonintegrated systems or manual systems. It improves the way they bill, provides better management reports and saves them precious time. During training I go over options like periodic, hourly and progress billing. I discuss the benefits to project and flat fee billing and it still amazes me each time when I hear “that is so much easier than the way we were doing it”. We have spent nearly a decade listening to accountants, trying to build something that quickly handles their needs, no matter how unique and introduce new and improved procedures to save firm time in administration.
The 2011 version of Practice Management throws out old methods and ushers in simplicity and productivity. With four methods for tracking time from, traditional time sheets, timers, auto track time from events and using our time card option in MS Office products including Outlook. Even the most advanced firms find improvement. Add to that, five ways to bill, hourly billing, flat fee billing, project billing, retainer billing and reoccurring billing. This year will be introducing % completion billing.
Here are a few of things to consider to optimize your billings and save time processing your firms billing.
- Be sure that you consider varied billing rates per staff. This is done from the Setup, Billing Rates menu. You can select with the shift or control keys multiple work codes and assign a unique rate to each billing code or work code. When you’re done you can use the “Copy To” function to copy one user’s rates to other users.
- Be sure to use our Flat Fee reoccurring billing for client work that reoccurs periodically for the same fee. This is done from the Setup, Invoicing, Flat Rate Invoicing menu. Simply create a description, bill amount and the WIP you want to include. Note: You can also choose to bill without time at all and you can edit the bill or add time to it after it’s created. You will be prompted to create the invoices that are ready when you log in.
- One thing to consider is to create bill right when the job is done. Since Practice Management tracks time in real time then you can enter time automatically when tasks are completed. Time is place into the project which allows you to bill by simply clicking on the Invoice Now button on the Projects tab. Be aware you can also create staffing, task and project budgets of time and fees. When billing you can bill the fixed fee, actual hours or mark the invoice up or down with one click.