The Secret to Successful Timekeeping, as Practiced by Parsons Behle & Latimer
Parsons Behle & Latimer
Parsons Behle & Latimer is one of the largest Utah-based law firms and has grown to more than 140 attorneys with offices in Boise, Idaho Falls, Las Vegas, Reno, Salt Lake City and Washington, D.C.
Parsons Behle & Latimer set out to Improve internal processes and provide a simple way for attorneys to enter their time, whether they are on-the-go or working from one of the firm’s secure sites. With iTimeKeep’s help, Parsons was able to increase efficiencies in internal time entry processes and improve time entry performance firm-wide.
The key to a successful timekeeping implementation is much more than choosing the right technology.
Parsons Behle & Latimer is primarily a litigation practice today, but has a rich history of working in the areas of mining and natural resources since its founding in the 1800s. The firms is based in Salt Lake City, but has offices in several U.S. cities and works on-location at a number of secure client sites. Tatiana Subbotin works on the firm’s accounting team and is charged with optimizing the firm’s business processes. She works on-site at a secure client location along with a large team of attorneys.
As a firm, Parsons is extremely dedicated to maintaining accurate time cards through contemporaneous timekeeping. However, working at a secure site presented a number of timekeeping challenges since internet access was extremely limited. The workaround was messy and impacted timekeeping performance at the firm. Subbotin explained:
“We were having a lot of issues with time entry. The client office that the attorneys work from is highly secure, therefore there is limited internet access. Time was recorded in spreadsheets or documents, which were sent back to the firm for processing by 1 to 18 people. As you can imagine, there was a lot of data input error and time lags due to delays in sending the time records or availability of staff to process time entries. Time was lost, not entered, or entered late.” As it always does, these inefficiencies in the timekeeping process took its toll on the firm’s performance.
How iTimeKeep Helped
In seeking a time entry solution that would allow the firm to embrace an efficient time entry process and minimize the number of touches on each time record, Subbotin identified iTimeKeep as the best solution for the firm, as it would allow timekeepers to enter their own time:
“iTimeKeep was the best choice for the firm based on the fact that the platform is simple to use and learn, and could be used by our teams on and offsite, while still giving staff continual and immediate access,” Subbotin said.
As the firm moved forward with their iTimeKeep implementation, they partnered with Bellefield’s customer success team to perform an official launch, which included pre-launch communications to the firm’s timekeepers, such as emails to introduce the platform. On the launch date, Bellefield hosted training classes for timekeepers and staff. This was beneficial because, as Subbotin points out, “change is hard, even if you are someone who uses technology quite a bit. It can still be intimidating to try something new or different, especially for those attorneys who have been keeping time by hand for decades.”
Parson’s also recently changed time and billing systems. Despite the steps being taken to transition the technology “behind the scenes,” the firm was able to complete their implementation without disrupting access to iTimeKeep or the ability of attorneys to enter their time.
Results, Return on Investment and Future Plans
With iTimeKeep, Parsons was able to achieve its initial goals and continue to improve upon its timekeeping performance. Subbotin explains “I was able to accomplish the mission of enabling off-site attorneys to enter their own time contemporaneously, so that time entry doesn’t happen later that night, tomorrow, or at the end of the week. We are now practicing real-time time entry. I feel strongly that neither of these goals could have been realized without iTimeKeep.”
Since its launch, Parsons has increased its active users on iTimeKeep by 114%. Timekeeping velocity, which was initially several days has been decreased to less than one day, which means that Parsons has achieved true contemporaneous time entry.
This is remarkable success and cannot be attributed to iTimeKeep alone. While having the right solution is necessary to practice “one experience timekeeping,” time entry that can take place anytime, anywhere and from any device; the firm’s internal culture must be aligned with the technology in order to achieve maximum results. Attorneys at Parson are committed to time entry and have a deep understanding of the benefits of contemporaneous time entry as well as the costs of reconstructive time entry. It is through the combination of technology, policy and practice that true success in timekeeping can be achieved – and it exists at Parsons.
Moving forward, Parsons strives to continue to increase the number of timekeepers firm-wide using iTimeKeep in order to maximize its timekeeping performance as an organization.