A few weeks ago, a client asked my firm to bill under "contemporaneous time entry".
What is contemporaneous time entry?
Contemporaneous, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, means “existing, occurring or originating at the same time.” Applied to the practice of time entry, contemporaneous time entry occurs when time is recorded as a task is being completed. It’s real-time time entry.
Until recently, contemporaneous time entry in the legal field wasn’t practical, or even possible because time entry was confined to the office. Since most attorneys are always on the go spending the majority of their time out of the office at meetings with clients, court dates, or logging hours at home during evenings and weekends, contemporaneous time entry was not a feasible option.
Recently, however, mobile devices have changed the way that we work and have presented new opportunities to increase productivity on the go. Mobile time entry brings timekeeping to the field, allowing legal professionals to enter their time as they finish each client meeting, phone call or task by dictating or entering time into an app on your smartphone.
Why not just save it for later? You could. And, that’s probably what you’ve been doing up until this point. Contemporaneous time entry contrasts with reconstructive time entry, which occurs when time is calculated using historical data such as calendars, phone logs and emails.
However, there is a growing body of research that suggests that reconstructive time entry is less accurate and takes more time to complete than contemporaneous time entry.
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