For most attorneys, billing and time tracking is a necessary evil. Tracking billable time can be an arduous task, but it’s important to stay on top of it; often practicing attorneys become so frantically busy that they are unable to recall what happened during the day. This scenario can be extraordinarily frustrating since lost time is lost money.
Billing and time tracking software can help to alleviate some of the problems encountered when attempting to track billable hours.
A good place to start when researching options is the ABA Legal Technology Resource Center, which provides a thorough summary of the different types of time tracking and billing software products that are available. Also useful is an ABA chart that compares a number of available products.
A few noteworthy products worth considering include Chrometa and the Saas based programs, Time59, and Bill4Time. Bill4Time is the only time tracking product included in the ABA’s chart. All three companies offer a 30-day free trial.
Time59 is a web-based time and expense tracking software product that also offers LEDES invoicing and Quickbooks-friendly exporting. Sam Glover offers a useful review of Time59 in this post at Lawyerist. Time59 costs $49.95 per year and can be accessed via mobile phone.
Chrometa is a time tracking application that you install on your PC, which tracks the work that you perform on your computer. Chrometa works in the background and keeps a log of all computer activity, which can then be reviewed and changed. Chrometa captures tasks that you might ordinarily forget about and provides prompts to input activities that occur when stepping away from the computer.
Chrometa sponsored my most recent lawtechTalk screencast. In preparation for that screencast, I had a chance to explore Chrometa last week. The interface is simple and intuitive and the software did a great job of tracking and itemizing all computer-based activity. Chrometa can be purchased by paying a one-time licensing fee of $99.
Finally, Bill4Time offers web-based billing software that can also be accessed using a mobile phone. Bill4Time tracks your time, provides invoicing and integrates with Quickbooks. Bill4Time is included in the ABA comparative chart referenced above and a 2008 review of the product from Technolawyer can be found here. Depending on your needs, Bill4Time costs between $19.99 and $39.99 per user, per month.