With tax season here and everyone scrambling to file, I’m reminded of a very important topic. How organized are you when it comes to your legal nurse consulting business?

You might want to ask yourself the following questions to see if you’re as pulled together as you think: Do you have unlabeled boxes of information lying around or is it easy to find what you need? Are you able to recall if the case at hand is a defense or plaintiff case when new records arrive? Do you know which attorney client sent you the case?

After you have worked with the same attorney client for a period of time, don’t always expect a call when they send you new records regarding a case you’ve already worked on or paperwork for a new case that they want you to work on.

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When it comes to managing your case load, I suggest keeping an Excel spreadsheet with information including the case name; the name of the client or firm; case status; the dates you received and completed the case; and the dates on which you filed an invoice and received payment. I also like to specify whether the case was a medical malpractice, personal injury, independent medical examination, etc. This way you can search your records to see how many plaintiff cases you did that year, or how many IMEs you did that year. You can also keep track of whether you were a consulting expert or testifying expert on case.

Being organized can help you visualize the type of work you’ve completed during a given period and may help guide you into pursuit of a specialty. In addition, if you are an expert witness, many attorneys on the opposing side will ask you how much plaintiff vs. defense work you do. This is an easy way to track that information and answer truthfully.

As your business grows, you may even find that you need an administrative assistant or bookkeeper. If this happens, sit down and talk with your accountant about the best way to handle these needs. Sure it takes money to pay professionals, but this is money well spent.

Staying organized will help you in all areas of your business, but if you find you have questions when it comes time to file your taxes, go to an accountant! Tax codes change too frequently, and you don’t want to jeopardize valuable information that could help your business grow.

I like to say, “I have people that do that,” so I can focus on what I do best: working on medicolegal cases for my clients and delivering quality services to keep them coming back for more.