Client Connection

Client Connection

Friday, November 7, 2014

"Bringing Home the Bacon" - Now is the Time to Rally Collection Efforts

Successful entrepreneur Mary Kay Ash once said, “If you think you can, you can. If you think you can’t, you're right.” 

When approaching year-end collection efforts, we know what needs to get done. However, getting there is often another issue. While we all have 52 things on our plates to accomplish by December 31, year-end collection efforts still remain a priority for law firms. It takes time and effort to walk the halls and open the lines of communication to determine when and if receivables will be paid by year-end, yet it must be done. This is the time of the year when firms must engage in consistent and continuous communication to ensure clients are being contacted and payment commitments are being recorded.

Here are a few things to remember:

• Start knocking on doors and schedule time to talk with attorneys – No, I’m not saying send an e-mail and wait for attorneys to respond (or, more likely, not respond at all). Having face-to-face and one-on-one meetings can get attorneys to start dealing with collections and delegate collection responsibilities over the next two months. In a matter of 15 to 30 minutes per attorney, you can put together a game plan for the receivables that need to be collected by year-end.
• Help attorneys examine trends and patterns that will identify clients with payment problems – When meeting with attorneys, take time to review clients’ billing and payment histories, including the dates and amounts of last payments. Some clients may be dictating to the firm their payment terms simply because the attorneys have not properly taken control of the collection efforts. 
• Give the attorneys a few tips and ask that they provide you feedback when talking to clients  - If the attorneys offer to write letters to their clients, beg them not to. Inform them that collection efforts this time of year require direct and diligent contact. Ask your attorneys to provide realistic projections of how much they expect to collect by year’s end. Offer to provide any assistance they need, but also let them know that the firm’s leadership will not turn a blind eye on collections mismanagement.
The countdown to year-end begins!
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