Clients are changing the way they evaluate their legal bills; many no longer simply approve bills and send payments. Therefore, an effective A/R management committee should play a real leadership role and be given legitimate clout to make necessary changes as it sees fit in order to improve collection results. This includes implementing best practices for law firm A/R management, such as the following: Its meeting agenda should focus on reviewing accounts and discussing collection efforts to determine if progress is being made.
- The committee must meet monthly, have a clear agenda for its meetings and be prepared to take as long as necessary at the meeting to perform its duties.
- The right people must be on the committee – people who will devote the necessary time and perform the requisite follow-through when working with the various attorneys.
- It must have reports that detail the status of collection efforts and be able to monitor the collection progress (i.e., ensure the “ball is moving forward”).
- The committee must take a 'roll up your sleeves' approach and spend time reviewing collection efforts for certain accounts at certain balance levels.
- If the firm has collection policies in place, the committee should help ensure these policies are being implemented. If no policies are in place, the committee should make recommendations to help ensure collection efforts are consistent and timely.