Auto:Time is an extremely powerful feature for Criminal Law firms since it automatically records your activity in Smokeball, compiles all your activities and creates a time entry ready to review and bill through Smokeball Billing for hourly matters. Even for flat fee matters, it can also be helpful to send an invoice or invoice receipt that helps your client understand exactly everything you did along the way. Further, If you are charging a flat-fee for one time appearances, you'll have powerful business intelligence to revise fee agreements to ensure profitability on all matters.
Whether your matter is flat fee or hourly, Auto:Time helps you understand exactly how much time you are spending on your matters and in turn what is your profitability on each matter.
Understanding exactly how much time goes into hourly or one-time appearance matters can help you better draft engagement agreements (example: if time spent exceeds the flat fee rate, charge hourly rate for additional time).
How to utilize Auto:Time and Smokeball Billing for Criminal Attorneys
- Set up your default billing rate. Mark your time entries as billable under staff and users if your matters are mainly hourly. If not, unselect.
- When calculating the annual cost, take into account all expenses including rent, salary, and other bills. If unsure, try adding 10-15% to salary as a starting point.
- Smokeball will track all your Smokeball activity (documents, emails, calendar events, etc.) in Activity Intelligence and create billable entries for invoices in Smokeball Billing or non billable entries to show on an invoice in Smokeball Billing.
- Creating a flat fee entry for flat fee matters. When you are ready to send an invoice to your client, create a time entry for your flat fee. You can also create an invoice in Smokeball Billing. Note: you can set up an Activity Code for your services based on each matter for quick entry of the flat fee. Below is an example of a jail appearance.
- Jail: Jail appearances
- DUI & Traffic fees
- Travel, parking fees etc.