Cash Flow 101
Clients often prefer the convenience of paying with a credit or
debit card. Accepting credit cards
allows law firms to benefit from
immediate cash flow and helps
eliminate “the check is in the mail”
and other common payment delay
tactics. With most merchant accounts, credit card deposits are
available within 24-48 hours. It
makes fiscal sense to let Visa and
MasterCard banks manage credit
lines, handle collections and late
Credit Worthiness of Your
Most law firms do not generally
perform a credit check when
accepting new clients. As a result,
you may have little insight into
your client’s true ability to pay.
Every time an invoice goes unpaid
or payment is late, your firm is
essentially extending credit to clients and putting your receivables
Unfortunately, a legal bill is one
of the easiest expenses not to pay.
Historically, law firms do not re-
Credit card acceptance is a practice management tool often
overlooked as a means to increase revenue and cash flow.
Opening a merchant account to accept payment is a simple
process and gives you more control of your receivables.
AMY PORTER, CEO
The LawPay Program is a custom payment solution designed by
AffiniPay for attorneys. LawPay complies with ABA and state
requirements for managing client funds.
To learn more, log on to www.LawPay.com or call 1-866-376-0950
Why it Pays to Accept
port to credit agencies or enforce
late fees. It is also tricky to sue
a client for unpaid fees. Take advantage of the card bank’s underwriting department. If a Visa or
MasterCard bank does not take the
financial risk on an individual,
why would you?
Merchant Account Basics
If you decide to accept credit
cards, ensure the processor you
choose understands the specific
needs of a law firm. Look for solutions that enable you to accept
payment in a professional manner.
There are many options available
which include secure web-based
programs, online invoicing and
smart phone applications. On average, fees for a merchant account
range from 2 to 3% of transactions.
Separating Earned and
One key feature to consider
when opening a merchant account
is the ability to separate earned
and unearned fees. To stay in
compliance with the American Bar
Association and most state guide-
lines, your merchant account should
prevent comingling of funds by
correctly depositing any unearned
fees or advanced payments di-
rectly to your trust account. Most
importantly, a compliant merchant
account must protect the trust
account from any third party with-
drawals, including processing fees.
Your Website Can be a
Consider encouraging clients
to pay on your website by adding
a “Pay Invoice” link. This gives
clients a convenient way to pay
through the click of a button,
drives more traffic to your website
and increases visibility of your
The Bottom Line
A merchant account can be the
key to resolving payment and cash
flow issues. It provides payment
flexibility as well as convenience.
In addition, offering credit cards
as a payment option has been
proven to attract clients and win