Managing expectations via the agreement schedule

  Most firms now divide their client agreements into a set of general conditions which are common for all clients, and a schedule which sets out the essential facts and details of the matter. This works well because (a) each schedule item aligns with the associated field in the practice system, (b) essential information is

Getting paid: Start with file opening

A practical plan to improve cash flow and client relations Some messages are worth repeating. This popular article appeared in the April 2006 edition of Proctor, but the message in this updated version is as relevant now as it was 10 years ago: ABSTRACT Many firms bemoan the difficulties with slow, combative, and non-payers. And

Bonus Systems – what to measure?

This is the second in this series. (Read Part 1 and Part 3) In this part, we look at bonus structures. We recommend four core principles… simplicity, clarity, consistency and fairness. Simple is best. Complex mixes of qualitative and quantitative can be unhelpful. Indeed, contestable qualitative measures can actually demotivate. Qualitative feedback is fine for

Reviews – be organised, consistent and don’t just discuss money

Large institutional firms are generally more organised than small firms in the employee review process. But there’s no reason why small firms can’t do it just as well. Here are some tips… Make your annual reviews part of your annual forward budgeting process. In other words, plan your costs and fees in the one exercise.

No Charge Time Entries – Winning the War

Itemised time billing is often experienced (rightly or wrongly) as a relentless one way bargain skewed in the firm’s favour. This can produce various payment issues, including discount demands, and eventually broken relationships. Judicious use of no-charge (N/C) entries for some itemised attendances can change this for the better. Don’t fret about throwing away money