Don’t Shortchange Your Firm in 2020

When was the last time your law firm ran a complete audit for all its billing rates? How confident are you that your rate selections accurately reflect the appropriate amount for each attorney, staff member, client and/or matter? Advance your firm’s bottom line in 2020 by starting the rate auditing process now. 

Before you start, consider the following:

  • Are you charging a premium for your highest-performing attorneys and legal staff?
  • What are your firm’s direct and indirect costs?
  • Are your current rates covering overhead costs while generating revenue?
  • Are you abiding by the agreed upon timeframes listed in client contracts for billing rate adjustments?
  • How often are you conducting rate audits? Out team of experts recommend rates be assessed and adjusted annually to reflect standard inflation and any changes in attorney or staff rankings.
  • Are you utilizing any tools or technologies to assist and streamline the auditing process?

Despite its reputation for being tedious and time-consuming, rate audits are an integral component to the success of any law firm. The Rippe & Kingston Legal Management System (LMS) Rate Audit Watchlist helps ease the pain of the auditing process and enables you to compare standard rates to current client actual rates. By comparing the differences, the Watchlist enables law firm management to identify any potential opportunities for missed earnings due to client arrangements that are due for renegotiation. The Watchlist provides the following data in a quick, at-a-glance format:

  • Clients and matters that have special rate arrangements (rate overrides) segmented by the designated billing, originating or responsible attorney
  • Number of days elapsed since a special rate was entered into the system
  • Upcoming rate review dates
  • Standard rates vs. actual billing rates
  • Difference in rates per hour in comparison to the previous month
  • Cumulative number of billable hours from the previous month. The cumulative number of hours is based on the actual billing rate and is used to calculate the cumulative dollar difference. 
  • Cumulative dollar difference in rates from the previous month. The cumulative difference for the last month is potentially lost revenue to the firm. With this data, the attorney can determine whether to discuss renegotiation of rates with their clients. 

In addition, all information stored within the LMS Rate Audit Watchlist is automatically processed as part of your end-of-month. You can view these valuable data points on a regular basis to stay on top of any gaps in rates, billable hours, or client agreements that need to be renegotiated.

So, what are you waiting for? Let Rippe & Kingston take the headache out of the auditing process and contact one of our consultants today to jumpstart your firm’s profitability for 2020.