THOMSON REUTERS ELITE

WINTER 2014 EDITION

Forefront
 

PARTNER SPOTLIGHT

Select* Associates

Select Associates

Select* Associates is an applications software and professional services company specializing in the technology and information processing needs of law firms. With more than 100 law firm customers, including many in the National Law Journal top 250, the company continues to distinguish itself as a leader in the marketplace, delivering innovative software products and professional services.

Select* Associates is the author of “star*collect,” a software tool designed to support the management and collection efforts of accounts receivable. In addition, Select* Associates offers “star*targetCash,” a software product developed specifically to support firm-wide cash collection campaigns.

Select* Associates' team of seasoned professionals has served law firms for more than 20 years. They work with the company's clients to enhance and maintain its diverse array of information processing systems, including financial and accounting, practice support, and firm management applications.

 

Improving Firm Profitability, Effective Accounts Receivable Management,
and Accurate Cash Receipts Forecasting

There are a number of excellent tools available in the market which are designed to optimize the recording of time and preparation of billing invoices. However, most law firms measure profitability and base operational decisions on cash collections. The following observations and suggestions may be useful in managing accounts receivable, as well as accurately forecasting and measuring results of periodic collection campaigns.

Accounts receivable are not like fine wine; they do NOT improve with age.

The probability of collecting a receivable diminishes rapidly over time. The sooner a problem with a receivable is identified, the more likely a positive and higher dollar settlement will be achieved.

Establish a collection policy and communicate it early in the relationship with new clients.

Clients appreciate a consistent policy and will respond to timely communication in the event that issues arise. A firm should communicate credit and collection expectations to new clients at the time of engagement.

Lawyers and a firm’s collection professionals should collaborate for the best results.

When a firm’s collection professionals recognize an out-of-pattern payment habit that results in an significant overdue account, the assigned lawyer and collection professional may team up to communicate with the client for a timely resolution of any issues.

Reminder emails, notices, and phone calls provide important feedback early in process.

Often an unpaid receivable is an oversight. A simple email or notice to the client can quickly resolve many situations or immediately identify a more significant issue.

Periodic collection campaigns require collaboration between lawyers and their finance professionals.

Period collection drives, such as monthly, quarterly, and year-end, may account for a large percentage of a firm’s collections. In order to improve communication within the firm and maximize cash collections, it is important to have a disciplined method of accumulating and revising cash projections and to measure the campaign’s actual performance.

The firm/client relationship benefits from well managed receivables.

A client without delinquent receivables is far more likely to be a happy client and is also one that may choose to award a firm with additional business. A client that has unresolved receivables may be hesitant to request additional services, and the firm itself may be hesitant to provide future services. Keeping the cash flowing and the receivables paid are ideal for both the client and the firm.


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