Lawyers are somewhat notorious for not doing any serious analysis of their Return on Investment (ROI) when considering new purchases. But in the midst of a recession, this would be a good time to start.
Some purchases are difficult to assess. A new computer, for example, is likely not going to make you markedly more efficient and could perhaps be put off.
However, software programs in the categories of Practice Management, Document Management or Document Assembly are a much different case. The math is so simple and so overwhelming that I am constantly surprised more people don’t do it.
Let’s say that a given piece of software saves you 10-12 minutes a day, or an hour a week. The overall cost of the software (including installation and training) is $800 per user.
So if you bill $200 an hour, and save an hour a week, the software pays for itself in a month! No matter how you adjust the numbers, the results are still spectacular.
While these are “soft” numbers, in the case of practice management/time and billing software, you are likely to capture up to 10% more billable time that otherwise would “fall through the cracks.” So if you bill even 1,000 hours a year (and most larger firms have quotas much higher than that) at $200 an hour (for yearly billings of $200,000), you are actually taking in $20,000 more a year.
So: think ROI. This would be a good time to implement those savings.