A New Orleans-based law firm is launching a call-billing app that will allow users to track the time and duration of client phone calls with precise billing statements.
The Acadiana Law Firm, LLC, operated by New Orleans attorney Thomas Ainsworth Robichaux, is rolling out Talk-Time, an app which allows users to designate their native mobile phone contacts as clients. It will then track all calls, texts and emails to or from that client with date, time duration, and other data central to those who track by hourly rates.
“At billing time, the user can export the data via email attachment or directly to other compatible apps,” said Robichaux,” and event make manual notes for each entry.”
While there are other time management and billing apps out there, this is the only one that tracks the data in real time, said Robichaux. The app is initially only usable for Android phones.
“Most apps merely allow the user to make manual entries on their device, something that could be accomplished with basic apps such as Notes. A few will ‘mine’ your phone for data, something that may have security and privacy implications,” said Robichaux. “Talk-Time makes time tracking almost completely automatic.”
Each Talk-Time client that is tracked may have multiple case names or numbers assigned by the user, so after a call is over, the user gets to choose the case name or number and enter an optional note. Other than that, once the contact is designated as a client, it’s all done for you. No more stopping to write down the details of the call in a notepad or type it into an app, said Robichaux.
“Talk-Time isn’t just for attorneys who have billable hours, either,” said Robichaux. “It’s equally as useful for consultants, experts, psychologists and other counselors whose time on the phone may be billable. It could also be useful to employers to track calls from employees to customers, making sure that there is a record of all mobile calls in and out, even if the time itself is not billable.”
For attorneys, one of the best features of Talk-Timeis that of the sub-client, a contact designated as an expert witness or opposing counsel on a case. The sub-client is associated with a primary client and the data for those calls is collected under the primary billable client’s name, said Robichaux.
As for security, all of the data collected stays in the app on your phone. It is never transferred to or accessible by Talk-Timeoutside of the app itself. It only ever leaves the app when the user exports it, so your data is as secure as your phone is, he added.
Robichaux explained his brain child and why he came up with it. “One of the leading ways that attorneys, consultants, and other similar professions lose money is by leaving it on the table. It is often impossible to make note of all calls when driving, very busy, or clicking over from call to call. Then, when it comes time for billing, it is difficult to remember every phone call made, with revenue being simply lost. This app ensures that every minute of billable time spent on the phone is accounted for,” Robichaux said. “I thought of this over 10 years ago, yet still no one had done it so, I decided to bite the bullet and make the investment in its production.”
Once the app is launched, the download will be free with a 2-week trial and unlimited exports. After the free trial is over, the cost will be one cent per minute exported. This means that a user who exports 10 hours of billable time pays $6 for the export. Alternatively, users can pay a flat $19.99 per month fee for unlimited exports.
“We’ve already had attorneys declare that they will be switching to Android just so they can use this app. It’s that useful,” said Robichaux. “For a small firm or a struggling solo practitioner, those recovered billable hours can make the difference between financial success or not.”
Robichaux and The Acadiana Law Firm are offering a free beta version for people who sign up before the app is officially launched on December 1, 2018. You can sign up for the free beta test version at www.talk-time.usthrough November 30.
The beta version will be available after Thanksgiving via download on Android because Apple would not let Robichaux’s app access native contacts the way that he needed to in order to make the app work correctly. “I hope that with the success we foresee on Android we can get Apple to see the benefits of the app and get an iOS version launched within a year or so,” Robichaux said.