Client Connection

Client Connection

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Are You Hearing Only What You Want to Hear?

Many law firms are still missing the message when it comes to managing and collecting their receivables timely. To their disadvantage, such firms still rely on a culture of collegiality among the attorneys to set the tone for meeting collection goals. They struggle with how they communicate to their attorneys what is required of them.
At the same time, attorneys have a knack for hearing only what they want to hear, especially on issues they do not want to deal with, like asking clients to pay their bills. Particular practices are faced with other factors that hamper their efforts to get paid. For example, family law clients may be prone to cash flow problems, corporate start-ups may not have cash reserves and e-billing clients are selective about what they pay.

Here are three things to keep in mind to make sure you are being heard:

  1. Firms that talk the talk but don't walk the walk will have weaker collection results.  Many firms believe that open dialogue between management and the attorneys will lead to effective collection efforts. They need to back up such dialogue by enforcing policies and procedures. Individual attorney autonomy will win in the end -- and collections will lose -- if all the firm does is talk about, rather than act on, the message.
  2. Make sure everyone is following the rules. Too often policies are not effective because leadership of the firm gives attorneys too much professional courtesy, allowing them to make exceptions to the rules. It's one thing to commit procedures to paper, but it's another to ensure attorneys are following the new rules
  3. Don't be misled by an increase in revenue or meeting budget. While certainly good for the firm, these are not necessarily indications that collection efforts are working. Take a hard look at receivables you are not collecting and how you are dealing with issues that are preventing timely payment, particularly for those receivables of more than 90 days. Such receivables are more of a challenge to collect and take more time and are often left to the side.

We invite you to learn more on our web-site at