March 18, 2024 at 1:44 pm

Company Told Their Accountant To Stop Making Necessary Phone Calls, And It’s Cost Them $125k So Far

by Trisha Leigh

Source: Reddit/AITA/Shutterstock

So many people take great satisfaction in doing their jobs well. Sometimes, the fact that none of your superiors just know how well, though, can come back to bite your.

OP works for a law firm in a specific billing arena – and she’s good at it.

I’m a bookkeeper working for a law firm, specializing in receivables and trust accounting (keeping track of what money in the trust account belongs to whom, and what we can do with it).

We also work for a lot of insurance companies on their specialty lines, for example, if a bank makes an insurance claim because it discovered one of its clients was running a ponzi scheme through their accounts, but insurance refuses to pay out because bank employees were involved, which is excluded by the policy, and the bank sues over this, we would represent the insurance company.

Insurance companies have lots of rules for how you bill them, words you can and cannot use, activities you can and cannot bill, etc. and it’s part of my job to know these guidelines and make sure our bills are compliant with them.

Unfortunately, many of these insurance companies use a third party administrator (TPA) to review their bills, and adjust them if not in compliance with the guidelines, and they’re often wrong. This leads to appeals, which have their own requirements, that I also must know.

The result of all of this is that in order to get these bills done properly, and collect as much as possible on them, it takes a lot of communication with our vendors, and lawyers, and the claims counsel at the insurer.

Recently, some lawyers got their panties in a bunch and told her to stick to her pay grade.

For most of my time at this firm, I have simply reached out as needed to anyone I need to clear up billing issues, and keep the issues requiring a lawyer’s attention to a minimum.

Additionally, nearly all of the claims counsel have told me to reach out to them as needed for billing issues.

The lawyers’ value is in providing advice to our clients, not in billing minutiae that I am perfectly capable of dealing with, and my job is to support them by dealing with the minutiae. Or so I thought…

It turns out a bunch of lawyers were unhappy with me reaching out to claims counsel whenever I needed to, and not making the request to the lawyer to reach out to claims counsel for whatever I needed.

Okay, fine. It’s not like I don’t have other work to keep me busy for the rest of time, you want to deal with this stuff, you go ahead.

She’s doing just that, despite the fact that it’s costing them a bunch of money.

Needless to say, the lawyers were (still are) completely oblivious to the amount of work my job entails (I guess that’s my fault for doing a good job all these people years). So far we’ve missed several appeal deadlines, resulting in about $25,000 in foregone revenue.

There’s a method for most insurers for appeals after the fact, but it doesn’t really work for, “we didn’t email you before the deadline, would you please approve it now anyway?”

The managing partner asked me if we could do an appeal after the fact, he’s spent a week working out how to say, “yeah, it’s our fault, but would you please still fix it for us?”

There’s another $25k in appeals due on Monday which we need claims counsel to approve, so the TPAs will process the appeal, and the lawyer who has to get me the approval is away Thursday and Friday.

There’s another probably $50k in appeals on other files which are due by the end of the month. I could fix everything with a couple phone calls, but I’m not allowed to make them.

Claims counsel won’t reach out to me unless they need to (I dropped enough hints that they understand what is happening, and are supporting my malicious compliance), so we’re both watching the clock tick down…

I wish I had $125k to toss away because I didn’t want to let someone make a phone call.

OP is not going to be the one to blink first.

I bet she already knew to cover her rear.

Source: Reddit/AITA

For more reasons than one.

Source: Reddit/AITA

No one trusts the lawyers. Unsurprisingly.

Source: Reddit/AITA

They’re not likely to take any blame themselves.

Source: Reddit/AITA

Maybe she could use this to get a raise.

Source: Reddit/AITA

This is actually a super satisfying story.

Even if it is about lawyers.

If you liked that post, check out this one about an employee that got revenge on HR when they refused to reimburse his travel.