Where, Oh Where Has My Billable Time Gone?

Posted by Lorie Robinson, Product Manager

December 19, 2013; 3:20 PM

Concept_time_is_money_shutterstock_62159641_250x164_RGB_72dpiRecently, the International Legal Technology Association (ILTA) published the results of its 2013 Technology Survey. Almost 500 firms responded, representing more than 88,000 lawyers and 189,000 total users. Buried among the detailed analyses of hardware, software, network, and telecommunication purchases and preferences was this nugget:

Question: What are you using for time entry on mobile devices?

Response: 80% None/Do Not Use

That’s more than 70,000 lawyers who are relying on their mobile devices more than ever for work, but aren’t using them to track their time. But with the myriad practice-management and time-tracking apps available for both iPhone and Android smartphones, why haven’t lawyers adopted them to capture and bill for every last minute of productivity?

Here at ESI, we’ve talked with lots of lawyers, who all make the same complaints about time-tracking apps:

  • I forgot to start the timer — Many apps require the lawyer to start and stop a timer to capture the duration of a task. That might work some of the time, but multi-taskers who are pulled in several directions won’t always remember to punch the clock.
  • The app is too difficult or cumbersome to use — There are over a million apps in the stores these days, but only a fraction are ever downloaded and even fewer are used more than once. Why? Because, if the workflow doesn’t match the way you think, you’ll never open the app again. It needs to involve a single, simple step so that it takes just seconds to create a record.
  • I don’t have an easy way to get the time records to my billing staff — Many lawyers have told us that, even if they do use a time-tracking app, it’s a challenge to get the data to their staff for billing. Yet, that’s where the cloud comes in: if the app could submit your records to the Internet, your staff could log in to access them from any browser.
  • I can’t export the data to my billing software — Most popular billing programs meet the Legal Electronic Data Exchange Standard (LEDES), which allows data from one system to be integrated into another. If the data you create in your time-tracker isn’t LEDES-compatible, then you can’t easily bill for it. And, if you can’t bill for it, you won’t get paid for it.
  • Even a great mobile app can’t track the time I spend on my desktop phone — This brings you back to setting a timer with your PC software or scrawling a handwritten note on a piece of scratch paper, neither of which is either foolproof or effective.

Our Solution: Abillity®

Abillity_a_logo_512x512_RGBWe’ve developed our new time-tracking service, Abillity, with an eye toward solving these common problems.

  • Abillity can be installed on Android-based desktop and mobile smartphones.
  • It automatically prompts you to submit a record at the end of a call.
  • Abillity lets you create and submit a call record with just a couple of taps.
  • With Abillity, all your data is stored in the cloud.
  • Abillity can quickly export LEDES-compatible records to a spreadsheet for uploading into your billing software. Simple as pie.

Just remember: if you can’t bill for it, you can’t get paid for it. Join the 20 percent who’ve put the power of their smartphones to work for them, and try a time-tracking app like Abillity today.

Abillity and the Abillity logo are federally registered trademarks of ESI (Estech Systems, Inc.). Any unauthorized use of these trademarks is prohibited by law.

Topics: BYOD