Ask five practitioners to define the term "practice management," and the chances are you'll get several different answers. Several of these would probably incorporate time and billing. To be precise, however, practice management and time and billing are related, but they aren't quite the same thing.No one knows how and why these two terms started being used interchangeably. Most likely, it's because time and billing is an integral component of practice management, and because many of the early practice management offerings on the PC were essentially time and billing applications.

That's not to say that time and billing isn't an important part of any firm's practice management strategy. There aren't many practices that have clients that send in their money without being reminded. Getting a bill out in a prompt and reasonable time is important to maintain good client relations. After all, if you can't be bothered to send a bill out until months after the services have been rendered, how can you expect the client to react quickly upon receiving it?

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