Why choosing the right attorneys for mobile timekeeping is almost always a big mistake

In two preceding blogs, Peter Zver, President of Tikit North America, has discussed how to measure the impact of mobile timekeeping and the relevance and importance of new found time. In this, his third and last discussion of the topic, Peter concludes by pointing out a serious error of judgement made by many firms: the decision not to provision mobile timekeeping technology to all of their attorneys.

In my last two blogs, I covered how firms should measure the impact of mobile timekeeping technology, and the considerable impact that new found time has on firm revenue. I’m going to finish on this subject by quickly drawing your attention to a really common mistake that firms make in this area. Namely, they make assumptions about which attorneys will and won’t use the technology, and use these assumptions to decide who gets it. I’ll explain how this is a big mistake and why.

Bad decisions

So, here’s the pragmatic argument that firms use. Provisioning mobile timekeeping technology is a cost. We don’t know at this moment in time what the ROI will be. Let’s be conservative and only roll the capability out to a proportion of our attorneys. Then we can wait and see if it’s cost effective before we make a bigger investment.

Now in one sense I see the wisdom of that approach. Firms want proof of concept before they go all in. Though as I explained in the first blog of this series, they often go looking for their proof in the wrong places.

Putting that aside, an alternative perspective is that by denying a proportion of their attorneys access to mobile timekeeping, firms are in effect preventing some individuals from having the means to make the firm more money.

Viewed in that light, the decision to give mobile timekeeping to some but not all attorneys can be read as a bit self-defeating. This is simply because these days virtually everyone in professional services has a smartphone. As a consequence, everyone uses consumer apps. Everyone – to a lesser or greater degree – has by now developed a ‘mobile application reflex’: the nearly overwhelming desire, at every other thought interval, to check your device.

So why wouldn’t you make this reflex work to your firm’s advantage? Give everyone the capability and – because it’s such a simple consumer-type app – they will all begin logging time that would not be captured otherwise and thereby contributing to increased firm revenue.

The business benefits of mobile timekeeping

In the three blogs I’ve written on measuring mobile timekeeping, I’ve tried to outline how the impact should be measured and why it should be measured – because mobile makes a substantive difference to the revenue a firm can generate. There is generally, as I pointed out in blog two, a staggering ROI.

There are also additional business benefits. For one thing, attorneys tend to find mobile time capture easy and hassle-free. The interfaces are intuitive and, importantly, it takes less time to record time. A big bonus is that it eliminates the struggle that is month-end time reconstruction.

Relatedly, mobile timekeeping technology yields advantages for clients as well. They don’t like the inherent inaccuracies of month-end reconstruction. Mobile capture enables contemporaneous time recording which is inevitably more precise than when it’s done retrospectively. Clients get bills that they can see have razor-sharp accuracy. It keeps them happy. And that keeps them with your firm.

In conclusion, just remember that mobile timekeeping is not about how often it’s used, but about how much additional time it captures. The good news is that when you add up all those accurately captured and timely crumbs, you get a surprisingly big cake which can be enjoyed by firms and clients alike.

Read Peter’s other blogs here:

Blog 1 – When it comes to mobile timekeeping, are firms looking at the right measures of success?

Blog 2 – What is ‘new found time’ and why is it so important?