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Andrew Woolley on Practice Management

Date:11 MAY 2010

Making it hard for clients to pay you

Andrew WoolleyI am often amazed at how far behind many law firms are. From other articles you will know my pet hate is to get a letter which simply acknowledges an e-mail from us but is also sent as a fax and sometimes even as an email too! Imagine the cost to that firm (or, worse, perhaps to their client?).

But I find that very large numbers of law firms do not take card payments offline let alone online. Do they not realise the advantages? I suggest some in this article.

How much does it cost you to employ people to deal with posting out bills, posting out reminders and doing general credit control let alone taking the cheques to the bank? A lot! I have to say that we expect soon to refuse to take cheques. We are by no means alone, you try to buy petrol or pay for a flight with a cheque these days!

Getting paid by card costs about 2% average at worst. Debit cards cost pence. It is cheap to set this up online and your web designer will know how - after all they will have done it before for all their other businesses! Then you have this possible scenario:

- Email the bill to the client, with a link to pay online
- Client clicks link and pays
- Funds go automatically into the account you select
- You don't need so many accounts staff

You might also be surprised to hear that many clients pay their bills within hours of receipt if you make it easy for them in this way. If you ask them to pay by debit card and explain it's to keep costs down, many will change to this payment method.

The costs savings are considerable and you will start to look much more fitted to being in business in this century!

Andrew Woolley is the Senior Partner of Woolley & Co solicitors which he set up in 1996 as the world's first 'virtual' lawfirm with no traditional offices but a network of home based lawyers. Click here to follow Woolley & Co on Twitter