A new trend is coming to the forefront of operations, especially among law firms, called "alternative billing." Many businesses are taking notice, as it is fast becoming a preference of clients. While more traditional billing processes consisted of hourly rates, now professionals are beginning to make the move to billing for fixed or flat rates. For companies considering making the decision to switch to the alternative method, the new approach may seem daunting at first if professionals are not familiar with it. However, by using client billing software
, businesses are assured they are processing data accurately and taking advantage of robust electronic billing services
.Trend popular among law firms The Nashville Post reports
that many law firms have taken notice of the new alternative billing trend and are implementing it into their client billing procedures. Also known as "alternative fee arrangements" (AFAs), the process is more efficient, according to many law professionals. Instead of charging the normal hourly rate, firms that levy fixed fees are billing for services rendered, and many clients are starting to see the benefits of such an approach. The source spoke with several firms that currently use the method, and all of them were pleased with the effectiveness it provides.
For law firm Butler, Snow, O'Mara, Stevens and Cannada, approximately 40 percent of its 2012 revenue is expected to come from AFAs. In two years, it forecasts that the number will rise to 65 percent of revenues. Meanwhile, the news source writes that for the firm Waller, Lansden, Dortch and Davis, between 20 to 25 percent of work is billed through AFAs.
"We can offer the client a flat fee for each legal matter we do for them," explained Teresa Walker, chief operating officer at Waller. "If done and staffed correctly, it can increase the volume of the work we get, which can increase revenue and also minimize any unnecessary costs to the client."Client billing software facilitates the process Above the Law writes
that one of the downsides of hourly billing and more traditional methods is the fact that many partners and employees forget to enter their hours until the very end of the month, creating many headaches for firms and clients. This is one reason why a significant amount of firms are making the switch to alternative billing.
To get a better grip on alternative billing, businesses can use client billing technology
to make processing easier for all parties involved. All data is maintained securely, and information can be accessed easily to ensure firms are remaining complaint and hours worked are accurately recorded.