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Jake KrocheskiWeekly Advisory Article

There Is No Better Time to Make a Splash in Getting Paid

Your firm needs to make it clear to attorneys and staff handling accounts receivable efforts what your A/R management expectations are; this includes details on how they are performing their work. We know everything is not black and white and there needs to be a fair amount of latitude for decisions based on individual circumstances. But to improve payment results, you should establish and communicate guidelines on how to manage day-to-day efforts when contacting clients about unpaid bills.

Timing is everything and there is no better time than now to make inroads. Why? Because law firms need to have positive cash flow. Yet firm clients are selecting how they pay to maintain their own cash flow needs. You are facing a double-edged sword. Do not think your firm can just go about trying to collect itself out of harm’s way by dealing with this as a one-time, all-hands-on-deck priority without ensuring proper techniques are being followed by those contacting clients about unpaid bills.

Start understanding how accounts are being worked daily by those handling collection efforts. Know if they are performing best practices, such as:

  • Monitoring the number of calls made versus the number of e-mails sent,
  • Reviewing the number of client contacts made daily compared to the number of messages left,
  • Evaluating the number of days between contact attempts,
  • Reviewing the quality of payment arrangements and timing of payment commitments.

The reality is there are many unsettling circumstances in today’s economy that will delay payments. But help your firm keep pace by ensuring it is performing the right follow-up efforts to increase the probability of getting paid.