Meltzer Hellrung is a business immigration law firm that works with a wide variety of clients, from entrepreneurs starting their own businesses to Fortune 500 companies. Their goal is simple: to help American businesses manage the complex process of obtaining U.S. visas and green cards for employees in need.
“The common theme running through most of our petitions is technology,” said Matthew Meltzer, Partner at Meltzer Hellrung LLC. “Our client may be an insurance company, but their petition is generally for a high-skilled worker - like a software programmer or engineer.”
Partners Matthew Meltzer and Matthew Hellrung were familiar with existing law firm billing software - and its’ high level of complexity. The traditional way law firms bill is based on increments of time - 6 minutes for an email, 12 minutes for a phone call, or 30 minutes for client research.
Immigration law firms are unique in that they manage a repeatable process with a standard end result. Given the predictable nature of the business, they almost always bill a flat fee. “We negotiate a flat fee up front,” said Meltzer. “Our clients don’t care if we spend two hours or twenty hours, as long as the end result is delivered.”
Around the time the firm launched in September of 2014, the partners began looking for a simple, cloud-based invoicing solution. “Invoiced met both those metrics, and scaled as we grew,” Meltzer said.
Meltzer Hellrung has managed virtually all customer invoices via Invoiced, as they adopted it very close to the opening of the firm. As they’ve increased their client base, they’ve also learned more about how to best leverage Invoiced functionality. Here are a few functions in Invoiced that have the biggest impact on Meltzer Hellrung’s day-to-day operations. They can:
Create categories for different types of fees. The key use for this is clearly distinguishing attorney’s fees versus government filing fees. Clients can see the fees broken out on each invoice.
Track multiple payments on the same invoice. Many of Meltzer Hellrung’s clients pay in chunks (rather than in full). They can record a payment on an invoice and easily see the balance outstanding.
Record notes on payments to remind themselves of a payment source. “Sometimes we get an unknown wire, and we can easily refer back to Invoiced to find out where it came from,” Meltzer stated.
View outstanding payments easily. Before sending out a petition, Meltzer Hellrung will frequently check the outstanding payments page to see if an invoice has been paid.
Change invoice numbers for confidentiality reasons. “We don’t necessarily want clients to know how many invoices we send out as a firm, so we customize them,” Meltzer said. “Client A will receive invoice Client A_number one, so they only know how many invoices they receive from us.”
Send invoices via Invoiced’s email function - or their own. “Certain clients prefer we email them directly with the invoice, while others are happy to receive their invoice through the system. We like having the flexibility to do both,” said Meltzer.
As Meltzer Hellrung has grown, they increasingly make use of the reporting function. Sale by item is a critical function - they can choose a time period and see the breakout between attorney’s fees and government filing fees (based on the categories mentioned above).
“Invoiced makes it easy to complete invoices, track their status, close them, and report on them,” Meltzer said. “We’re not expending additional energy on invoicing, and we like it that way.”