Time is money when it comes to the smooth running of a modern-day American law firm. During 2017, it was reported that lawyers only spend approximately 28% of their days on billable tasks with as much of 48% of their time being lost on various administrative jobs such as billing, payment collections, and other accounting tasks. Thanks to vast technological advances being made in terms of accounting software suitable to law firms, a lot of previously lost time can now be utilized in performing income-generating tasks such as meeting with new clients and making court appearances.
Here are a few of the most popular software applications available at present:
Clio is a cloud-based law firm management solution that aims to reduce the amount of time lawyers spend on admin. Whether your firm specializes in accountability cases or criminal law, Clio can offer you effective time-saving solutions. The software allows you to manage your legal cases and documents, track deadlines, action billing and payment collections and perform a variety of legal accounting tasks. The platform offers ease-of-access from mobile devices with independent iOS and Android applications. One of the greatest advantages of Clio is that you only need to pay for a monthly subscription – there is no need for a network administrator to maintain the software. Clio is also ultra-secure, allowing you to store sensitive information on the cloud which you can access from anywhere.
QuickBooks is one of the best known online accounting solutions available and caters to both individuals as well as small businesses (including law firms). The platform is a very well-rounded accounting application that offers solutions in terms of bank reconciliations, expense tracking, invoice drafting, managing financial reports and payroll solutions. QuickBooks has been around since 1983 so they have an established reputation. While all the add-ons may overwhelm you at first, their user-friendly interface and superb customer support system will make their integration into your firm’s accounting needs both easy and uncomplicated.
Xero has risen substantially in popularity over recent years and can support the requirements of law firms in terms of time and payroll management, billing, inventory tracking and fixed-asset depreciation. Xero is easy-to-use and because it is web-hosted, there is no need for downloads and installations. Xero is best utilized by smaller law firms and includes in-depth user guides and a very efficient customer support system. There are a variety of plans to choose from, depending on your needs, as well as a 30-day free trial, which will supply you with enough time to make an educated judgment of the product before spending money on a subscription.
As the name implies, Legal Files is a good fit for a law firm, especially one looking for an efficient way to create and manage documents. It is predominantly used by corporate legal departments, university legal departments, insurance companies and various government departments. The platform allows lawyers to manage their cases, emails, and contracts as well as automate their inter-office workflow which can result in a lot of time being saved. There are a variety of Legal files packaging options available that require a once-off payment after which you can utilize the software as you please.
Although all of the above-mentioned software applications are reliable and effective by all standards, it is important to research all your options in-depth before choosing one for your firm. Once you have established your exact requirements and measured up the pros and cons of each software option, you can go ahead and make an educated choice that will be of the most benefit to your firm in the long run.