December 22, 2014 | Peggy Gruenke | Law Practice Management Consultant
So what can you focus on in December to help evaluate your 2014 numbers and plan for a stronger 2015?
Run the accounts receivable report and spend time on collections.
Looking at this past due invoice report, there may be another “oh crap” moment but also a sense of hope. This money, if collected, could be in your next paycheck before year-end and the holiday spending season.
December can be a tough month to do collections and you may be kicking yourself for not having been doing this all year or at least starting earlier. In December, clients are focused on the holidays and upcoming expenses related to gifts and parties. But it is also the time of year when companies give out bonuses. So your client may have an additional source of revenue in December to pay your invoice. Provide a small incentive and consider offering a discount if paid before year-end. If you represent businesses, they are usually looking to pay all their expenses before year-end, so do them a favor and send their bills frequently during December.
Tip: On active cases, bill every two weeks in December but include a letter explaining why the change in your billing process. You are a small business owner. They should understand and respect the fact that you are being proactive and working on your business’ year-end.
Here is an article that contains many more tips about year-end collections. (I can give you a link to an article I wrote about year end collections)
Review what is in your Trust account.
This is a great time of year to make sure you have been diligent about moving money from your trust account to operating account as fees were earned. It also great time to make sure all of your client ledgers are in balance.
Run your Work in Progress (WIP) report and see if there is any time or expenses sitting out there that you can invoice and pay yourself, transferring Trust funds to operating before year-end.
If you have money in client ledgers, run their individual client ledger report and send them a copy so they have a current record of all the transactions during 2014. This is also a great opportunity to stay in touch with your current clients and show them you are on top of things. Continue reading