McGlichey Stafford: Being proactive with automation strengthens client relationships


As the manager of the A/R and billing department for McGlinchey Stafford, Tina Roberts likes the fast pace of supporting a business law firm.

“I perform all the front-end collection work with clients and billing attorneys, and oversee the cash receipts function,” Roberts said. “I love my role because it’s fast paced, requires sharp attention to detail and leads an important function within our business.”

A midsized firm with 170 attorneys, McGlinchey delivers full service, scalable solutions for clients nationwide by leveraging bold innovation, diverse talent and leading-edge technology across its growing networked platform.

Roberts’s department includes 14 people, and many have cross-functional responsibilities. They implemented ClientPay less than a year ago.

“Prior to ClientPay, we didn’t process credit card payments,” Roberts said. “When we decided to start accepting credit cards, we knew we needed a processing company tailored to law firms that would allow us to deposit into both trust and operating accounts. We wanted to increase our overall efficiency.”

Roberts said ClientPay’s user-friendliness enabled the firm to make a seamless transition.

“The support team at ClientPay was very helpful; they made the transition into processing credit cards very smooth for us,” Roberts said. “Our department has been able to jump in and utilize all the different aspects and features. Honestly, we’re very thrilled with it.”

ClientPay has helped her department improve turnaround times, getting the firm paid in a more timely manner.

“As our business grew, the benefit of having the option of processing credit card payments outweighed the processing costs,” Roberts said. “ClientPay helped us reduce turnaround time between invoices being issued and payments being received.”

In addition to automating with ClientPay, the firm uses Aderant Expert technology to streamline workflows in the billing process.

“Using Aderant Expert technology has allowed us to meet our internal customers’ demands around pre-bill execution as well as our external clients’ expectations,” Roberts said. “It has also helped us to make system enhancements to streamline our processes, such as the way we process and push out our pre-bills. It’s been very beneficial to use.”

Relying on Partners to Fill the Gap

The security ClientPay provides also helps the firm meet its clients’ demands. Roberts values how ClientPay handles storage of clients’ credit card data and supports McGlinchey’s PCI-compliance efforts.

“Having a partner to handle the service for us is a huge step toward a better client experience,” Roberts explained. “ClientPay filled the gap that we couldn’t fill ourselves.”

ClientPay also enables the firm’s clients to pay however and whenever is most convenient for them.

“By implementing ClientPay, we can offer our clients another form of payment method beyond what we offered before,” Roberts explained. “Being able to send clients a URL to make a payment is what we believe has significantly decreased turnaround time.”

Clients have shared positive feedback with the firm about being able to pay online.

“Several clients were elated they were able to pay with a credit card and do it themselves on their end,” Roberts said.

Being Proactive in Automating the Billing Process

Having recently gone through the process of bringing her A/R and billing department to the next level, Roberts has recommendations for others looking to do the same.

“First, be proactive in seeking methods to automate the billing process,” Roberts advised. “Be sure you have the right technology in place to support business initiatives. Also, seek input from external stakeholders and ensure that your departmental initiatives are aligned with company mission statements and values.”

Having already completed these efforts, her department was able to quickly pivot to support the firm’s changing needs when COVID-19 hit. With automated payment processes and workflows in place, Roberts’s team had a fairly smooth transition to working virtually.

“The ability to accept a credit card payment when people aren’t in their office to cut checks or have checks signed is helpful,” Roberts said. “Being able to send a link remotely has been very helpful to us.”

They’ve continued streamlining the department to operate more efficiently as many continue working remotely.

“We’ve had to adjust by streamlining and automating as many processes as possible,” Roberts said. “We implemented new communication methods to connect everyone while working remotely in terms of how we handle edits, pre-bills, and our day-to-day workflows.”

However, dealing with the complexities of securing revenue for a law firm remains an ongoing challenge.

“The biggest hurdle that makes an A/R function in a law firm more difficult is it’s a service industry, so the product is intangible,” Roberts explained. “If the benefit of the service isn’t immediate, the services are instantly devalued by the client, whether justified or not.”

Despite the challenges of the work, Roberts enjoys it.

“Building relationships is by far the most rewarding part of my job,” Roberts said. “I work with talented and compassionate colleagues who have a passion for serving clients each day.”

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