At Clocktimizer, our platform is always a work in progress. By that, we mean that we’re working every week to listen to what our customers want. We then use this feedback to make improvements. Recently, we’ve been focusing on improving our budget feature. We’ve added a number of new features to make tracking budgets as hassle free as possible. All the better to keep clients happy and avoid surprise write-offs.

How budgets work in an ideal world

Keeping a matter on track, budget-wise, is no easy thing. In an ideal world a budget should be easy to set up. You should be able to copy it from a fee arrangement, or create one with the help of templates. Once your budget is up and running, activities should be tracked automatically. When you’re reaching a threshold, handy notifications help you ensure you don’t over spend. With the increasing complexity of fee arrangements, you should also be able to track more than just spend. Notifications should be flexible, so you can be alerted when a seniority level is working out of scope. Finally, reports should be quick to set up, and shareable with clients in PDF format. Ensuring everyone is up to date and happy with progress.

Well, this is the picture our customers painted for us. Over the past year, we’ve been working hard to make it a reality. Here’s a few of the key features we’ve introduced to ensure that Clocktimizer can tick off everything on the wishlist.

Setting up your budgets

Not many matters start with a bespoke budget. Most similar matters will use a template. If the budget is bespoke, it is usually based on a fee arrangement that has already been put together. Because of this, Clocktimizer’s budget feature allows you to create and save budget templates. It also allows you to directly copy existing budgets to new matters. So you can save a lifetime of Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V.

We’ve also integrated our fee arrangement and budget functionalities. If you put together a bespoke fee arrangement for a matter, you can then copy that into the budget tracker at the click of a button. Clocktimizer will then go on to automatically track time logged under this matter for you.

Notifications not write-offs

Once you have a budget, the next challenge becomes tracking it. We wanted to make this process as painless as possible. Clocktimizer already tracks activities logged under a matter automatically. You can therefore get a real time view of how much budget has been used, and how well a matter is progressing. However, we have also improved how Clocktimizer notifies you of budget-use warnings.

Budgets can be set by more than one metric. Most commonly, budgets have financial thresholds. It’s why you can set alerts when 50%, 75% or 100% of the budget has been used up. You can do this on the individual task level; by phase; or for the entire matter. However, more complex budgets can exclude tasks or seniority levels from the scope of work. We have added functionality so you can be alerted if these out of scope activities occur. So if a Senior Partner starts doing out of scope due diligence on a matter, you will know immediately. Rather than when you’re wrapping up at the end.

Keep your clients in the loop

Working transparently with a client is important for law firms. It builds trust and ensures less queries during and after a matter is closed. However, offering that transparency can be difficult without an integrated system. For this reason, we’ve added reporting functionality to our budget feature. First, select whether you want to export reports in PDF or Excel and decide what information they should contain. You can then set up automatic reports to be sent to a client via email. It offers a pain free way of keeping clients in the loop.

To learn more about Clocktimizer’s budget features, and the rest of our platform, set in touch using support@clocktimizer.com or book a demo

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