Seven Ways Law Firms Can Tackle Billing Compliance

Billing compliance is a source of concern for law firms. Discover valuable tips to successfully navigate the everyday challenges of billing compliance.
Aderant

Billing compliance is a source of concern for law firms. Discover valuable tips to navigate everyday challenges.

Billing compliance is a troublesome source of chaos and concern for law firms. Outside counsel guidelines (OCG) keep inundating timekeepers and billing departments with complex documents full of requirements, and the cost of non-compliance can be steep.

Acknowledging the tremendous billing compliance challenge for its law firm clients, Aderant presented practical solutions in a panel discussion featuring billing compliance experts at its 2023 Momentum Conference in Denver.

The session, entitled “Stop the Madness: Tackling the Billing Compliance Challenge” was introduced by Josiah Chaves, Aderant’s VP of Cloud Products. Candy Sharpe, Director of BillBlast, Aderant’s category-leading eBilling solution, moderated the meaningful dialogue.

Panelists included Frank Stransky, Chief Financial Officer at Marshall Dennehey, Paula Malley, Director of Billing & Compliance at Chartwell Law, and Stephanie Ward, Financial Systems Manager at Moore & VanAllen.

These thought leaders shared seven tips to help law firms navigate the everyday challenges of billing compliance.

Top 7 Tips to Stop the Madness and Manage OCGs Better:

While OCGs are challenging for most firms, panelists stated there are effective strategies law firms can adopt to navigate the everyday challenges of billing compliance and ways to manage them more effectively.

  1. Make Sure You Have the Latest and Greatest Guidelines: Client guidelines can change every day. If you have outdated guidelines, your rules based on them will be invalid which means bills generated using them will be non-compliant. When entering time and generating bills, ensure you are working from the most recent version of guidelines that come from an authoritative source at the client’s company.

  2. Educate Both Attorneys and Billing Specialists: Focus on training timekeepers (attorneys and billable staff), billing managers, and rejection specialists on OCGs so they have a thorough understanding of guidelines that impact their job functions.

  3. Gather Guidelines Proactively and Completely: Be proactive in retrieving all OCGs, even if they originate from different places. Various people at the client’s company may have unique rules that differ from others in separate departments. Also, new or updated guidelines may be sitting on a client’s eBilling site, and the only way to know about them is by proactively checking for them.

  4. Distribute Guidelines Far and Wide: Ensure that OCGs, and rules created based on them, are distributed to the proper departments and individuals that are subject to compliance with them. This includes billing personnel, as well as lawyers and staff who enter their time.

  5. Avoid Small Mistakes, Which Have Big Teeth: Minor errors can really bite hard, resulting in bill payment delays and/or subsequent intervention from human auditors, who invariably have more subjective scrutiny upon bill review. By making sure bills are correct – including adherence to minute details like correct fees for copies and postage – firms can avoid invoices being red-flagged by clients and sent to auditing staff. This prevents potential delays in payment.

  6. Analyze Deductions to Prevent Repeats: Bill deductions can be costly to a firm since they often reduce fees that timekeepers have legitimately earned. Solutions like BillBlast Deduction Analytics can help illuminate where deductions are originating so they can be nipped in the proverbial bud.

  7. Leverage Aderant’s Suite of Solutions:  Aderant produces a suite of billing solutions that improve compliance with client billing requirements and accelerate the path to acceptance and payment. BillBlast streamlines the billing process, ensures bills and time entries are following client guidelines, provides insight into where every invoice stands, and reduces client rejections and deductions by automating the process. Also, Aderant’s new MADDI AI-powered virtual associate and new Onyx billing compliance solution help firms search through lengthy documents, create rules, and apply them

While OCGs are challenging for most firms, …there are effective strategies law firms can adopt to navigate the everyday challenges of billing compliance and ways to manage them more effectively.

Conclusion

OCG and billing compliance issues are not going away. If anything, they are increasing and intensifying daily. By employing the tips and strategies covered above, law firms can stop the madness and manage OCGs better, for dramatic improvements in billing compliance.

For more information about BillBlast, Onyx, and MADDI, please visit Aderant.com or email info@aderant.com.


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