As all law firms and lawyers know, tracking time of billable hours is a necessity for both generating revenue and also justifying client billing. Whether it’s a large firm with offices around the world or just a small single-attorney practice, billable hours and time tracking is essential to firm survival and client trust. Accuracy and detailed billing ledgers are paramount, enabling clients to have transparent breakdowns of any fees for which they are billed and also for any law firm's own internal accounting department and tax records.
If you are an attorney, then it's usually a given that time tracking your hours is usually one of your least favorite tasks! Even with recent software improvements, most lawyers or paralegals find that tracking billable hours on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis can feel quite tedious and like a never-ending process. Today most law firms use some kind of established time-tracking software for their needs. A few examples specifically designed for the law industry include popular programs like TimeSolv and Bill4Time. Those are just two examples of various programs in the current marketplace.
How can lawyers time track text message usage for client billing purposes?
Text message communications around the world are booming. GSMA Intellingence reported that at the end of 2018 over 5.1 billion people around the world have mobile services subscriptions! Most of these users are also sending or receiving SMS text messages on a daily basis. The mobile boom of the last twenty-five years has impacted not only how individuals communicate worldwide but how also business and law firms engage with their clientele. Each year more lawyers and attorneys are text messaging on a daily basis with both clients and fellow law colleagues about cases and work related matters.
As a result, there is an increasing need to capture the amount of billable text message minutes and hours that any attorney has with a specific client. A helpful solution to this pain-point is the software Decipher TextMessage. The desktop program empowers attorneys and law firms by giving them a quick and painless way to save and export daily and monthly iOS text message usage reports for iPhone or iPad devices.
Many law firms and lawyers are already familiar with Decipher TextMessage and use the software as part of their company's workflow to document, save, and print iPhone text messages. However, a recently added bonus feature of the software is the ability to export a monthly or daily message count summary for any iPhone or iPad text messages. The summary includes the total amount of messages and attachments that any lawyer has with a specific client. With the specific text message usage total, any firm can then apply their billing rates per message and incorporate the data into their time-tracking program.
Follow these steps to capture and save text message usage logs for law firm billing and time tracking.
Backup any iPhone or iPad via iTunes on a law firm computer or a lawyers personal computer.
Open Decipher TextMessage and select a client contact for whom you want to export their monthly or daily text message usage report.
Choose “Export” from the menu and select either "Monthly Message Count Summary" or a "Daily Message Count Summary."
Open the exported PDF containing the text messages summary and total message count. Enter the metadata into your firm’s time-tracking software application.
Here are a few examples of what exported text message usage counts look like for any law firm or attorney.
The daily iOS text message data export:
The monthly iOS text message data export:
Benefits for lawyers who track text message usage with clients
The ability to quickly tally a daily or monthly text message usage with any client saves lawyers and law firm staff precious time. It also means that one doesn't have to scroll through an iPhone or iPad and manually count the number of text messages sent or received!
There is also the added feature of being able to print or email the text message count summary to one’s accounting department or paralegal who might be assisting with the data input for any billable hours. Furthermore, Decipher TextMessage also has the option to export a specific date range with the custom message count functionality, in case you only need to summarize client communication via text for certain time period.
Privacy when exporting monthly text message usage totals for legal billing purposes
Any data text message data or reports exported or saved with Decipher TextMessage are private and local to the law firm’s computer.
No text messages or billable text message monthly data counts are stored on external servers or in the cloud.
The attorney, solicitor, or law firm controls all their own data!
Any further questions?
We hope this overview about how to capture and document text messages usage counts was helpful. If you have any questions about time-tracking and capturing iOS message data totals for your firm or office, feel free to drop us an email. We're iOS backup exports and we reply to everyone from either our San Francisco or Phoenix offices.