Law practices often believe that they can use regular accounting software because they believe that money is money. However, law practices have a lot of things to consider just to bring in money. They do not offer a service that is paid for immediately. Legal fees are handled in so many different ways that you need special software to handle the influx of cash into your office.
1. How Do You Pick The Software?
Legal accounting software comes in every shape and size. You need software that was designed for a firm of your size, and you must invest in upgrades to that software to keep it running. You should ask your staff which programs seem to be the easiest to use, or you might have an accountant help you choose the right program.
2. Billing Reminders
You need a program that offers billing reminders, but these reminders are not like standard invoices you’re used to. You need to show how much work has been done, how much the retainer was, and what the court might be paying for if that is the case. Your billing gets very complicated, and you cannot send text or email reminders.
3. Court Reporting
This would be a very hard thing for you to do and remain professional if you do not have a legal program. It is better if you have used a program that prints a letter that people will take seriously, and you must have a program that will show the court what they want to know. If you are not reporting to the court correctly, you cannot stay aligned with the regulations of your jurisdiction.
4. Quick Reporting
You need a way to check how many billable hours all your lawyers have worked, and you must have a way to let them report their own hours. Your lawyers are putting a lot of information into these programs, and they are reconciling their own billing in many cases. This means you need something that will have an easy tutorial, a place where customers can get questions answered, and a customer service team that works with you at all hours.
Security for your firm is of the utmost importance because you cannot allow your information to be lost or stolen. People cannot even know that you are representing your clients, and you cannot allow your billing information to fall into the wrong hands. Choose a program that allows you to protect yourself and all the people that trust you. Contact the software provider for security information if you have concerns.
The legal accounting program you have chosen to use must allow you to bill all your hours in the correct way, to report financial statements to the court, and to make certain you have kept track of the information that is private. The best program has better customer service, consistent upgrades, and a simple interface anyone in the office can learn.