By Legal Futures Associate Quill
Learnings from our ‘What’s new in legal billing’ webinar on 3rd November 2022
During our Halloween-themed webinar series, we rounded up the week with our final session sharing what’s new in legal billing alongside our professional partners, Legl.
Hosted by Quill’s Head of Client Success Clare Tuck, featuring Legl’s Customer Engagement Manager Tara Rickard, our half-hour event focused on three new major developments in billing – these being bulk requests, pay by bank and payment plans.
Here’s a handy summary…
How do Quill and Legl work together?
Legl provides an online payment portal tailor made for legal practices which, when used in conjunction with the MyQuill legal accounts and case management system, offers an easier securer way for law firms to process bills and their clients to pay bills.
Our combined software solution promises best-in-class, firm-branded digital interactions throughout the client experience, from onboarding to payments – the latter being the topic of this blog.
New feature #1: Introducing batch create pay requests
The premise of Legl is the capability to send unique payment links to clients in order to collect monies in a convenient, safe manner. Payments are made online in the matter of a few mouse clicks.
These links are pre-populated with information from MyQuill such as the matter reference, invoice number and amount. It makes your life easier from an administration and reconciliation perspective as well as making your clients’ lives easier by simplifying the payment process.
New functionality is now available in Legl to create payment requests in bulk for even more efficiency-boosting, security-enhancing, time-saving and other advantages.
You simply download a CSV-format template which the team at Legl will send to you, populate with the relevant client, matter and billing data, and finally reupload the CSV file into Legl to be sent out en masse.
By using the batch requests tool, your law firm can reduce administration, attend to multiple clients simultaneously, streamline payment collection and accelerate credit control – all the time retaining a secure hold on client monies in line with your SRA Accounts Rules, CLC Accounts Code or Scottish Accounts Rules obligations.
New feature #2: Introducing pay by bank
In a nutshell, pay by bank is a facility for clients to transfer funds directly from their bank account to yours. This uses open banking technology. These account-to-account payments are actioned from your clients’ banking app or platform without needing to enter any card details.
Amongst the many benefits of pay by bank are added protection against fraud and user error, frictionless authorisation of payments via a trusted source in seconds, instant collection of monies (as opposed to the typical three calendar days transfer period from standard digital payments), faster reconciliation due to pre-populated references, and capped pricing with easier visibility of every client payment – all from a single, fully integrated application.
When clients receive a payment request, they’re given two methods of payment – ‘Pay by bank’ or ‘Pay by card’, then a couple of clicks later, ‘Pay using your banking app’ (via QR code) or ‘Pay using online banking’ (via hyperlink) and finally ‘Authorise payment’. Payments couldn’t be simpler.
New feature #3: Introducing payment plans
With the ability to offer payment plans – more flexible and more affordable options – you can appeal to a wider audience, thereby growing your customer base.
As with other Legl functionality, the aim is to automate billing tasks, this time by scheduling instalment payments. Another major draw is reducing the risk of late, declined or missed payments so your law firm has a healthier cash flow with a greater level of certainty about when invoices will be paid and can build up cash reserves.
In the current climate of financial pressure, our payment plans have arrived at an ideal time. 55% of law firms claim not having enough cash to cover one month’s operating expenses, 59% of lawyers report dealing with late payments on a regular basis and 14% of what’s billed is written off every year by practices.
Payment plans are set up according to these three steps:
1. Enter the total and instalment amounts into Legl to automatically calculate the number of payments required.
2. Review upcoming instalments and due dates, as well as track progress over time.
3. Avoid delays taking future instalments with payments scheduled automatically and email reminders sent when payments are due – none of which requires human input thereafter for accounting and credit control activities.
An easy-to-use wizard guides you through the creation of payment plans in Legl, automatically populating with relevant data from your MyQuill database, and calculating figures – in a totally fool-proof way.
For clients, these are slick, consistent touch points with your brand. They’ll enter their card details for the first payment then every subsequent payment is processed automatically on the agreed dates.
How is payment data made available?
Close integration between Quill and Legl means there’s a lot of data being collected which is available for analysis and tracking purposes. The richness of this data cannot be overestimated as you gain valuable insights into metrics such as length of payment cycles, who’s making payments and other related KPIs which enable law firms to make important (and informed) business decisions and define strategies.
How can Quill users activate Legl?
When logged into MyQuill, there’s a ‘Money’ button in the left-hand navigation bar, denoted by a banknote icon, under which you’ll find the ‘Payment Requests’ area. If you don’t have Legl functionality activated yet in MyQuill, contact the Quill team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 0161 236 2910.
What are the associated costs for Legl?
The cost for Legl is £20 per month. Additional costs comprise 1.85% + £0.20 per transaction for UK cards, and 3.45% + £0.20 per transaction for American Express and international cards.