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Tag Archives: law office billing software
Laptops were a huge boon to law firm productivity, allowing attorneys and other law firm staff to work from anywhere. It gave them the flexibility to adjust their work to their schedules now that they had access to attorney time and billing software places other than the office. However, today many attorneys find laptops to be limiting. Those computers that used to seem so light and small to use now appear cumbersome and awkward.
Cloud versions of law office billing software are taking the flexibility of a laptop to new levels. Legal staff is not only no longer chained to a desk but they aren’t even chained a specific computer.
Many attorneys like the option to do some work from home. They can do this by lugging a laptop back and forth, which is not only inconvenient but also makes them more likely to be crime victims. A laptop dangling from someone’s shoulder is a tempting target, and the thief not only gets valuable equipment but a copy of your company’s client information.
And alternative is to install attorney practice management software on a lawyer’s home computer. The problem is this means buying an additional license to the software and still limits the attorney to specific locations. It also can create problems with trying to keep multiple copies of the firm’s client database in sync.
The best option for today’s busy and mobile law practice is cloud-based software. Attorneys, paralegals and other authorized users have access to the firm’s software from anywhere with an internet connection, and from any computer without lengthy and confusing software installation or operating system limitations. Staff is able to see client information, record billable hours and expenses in the firm’s legal billing and accounting software, check calendars and to-do lists, and do pretty much anything that can be done in the office from any convenient location.
The more options an attorney has, the more productive that attorney can be. Give your staff more opportunities to work by using cloud versions of law billing software and other legal tools so they can decide when they are the most effective.
Attorneys need to get paid for their work, preferably without lengthy collection proceedings. For simple flat fee cases, a practice might require full payment up front before any work is done. In more complicated matters where the final fee isn’t easily predictable, attorneys ask for a retainer from the client. This amount verifies that the client has the resources to afford the attorney and ensures the attorney will get paid.
It’s not enough to just collect the initial deposit. Legal practices must have retainer management policies in place to handle ongoing retainer needs as cases go on. Today’s billing software for attorneys include retainer management features to simplify this process.
The most obvious aspect of retainer management is making sure that any fees billed come from the retainer rather than being billed to the client. Law office billing software will not only track all the fees and expenses associated with a case but will tie those charges to a case retainer, reducing it as needed.
Too many legal practices don’t pay enough attention to what happens when the retainer runs out. They know the office needs to contact the client for an additional payment, but the mistake they make is to wait until the money is gone and only then ask for more. Until the client pays up, the practice is using their own money to fund the case.
Retainer agreements should include a minimum deposit. This financial cushion gives the practice time to contact the client and receive payment before the funds are depleted. However monitoring the retainer balances of multiple clients by hand when each matter might have different retainer requirements is tedious and prone to error.
Rather than manual oversight, most modern practices use law billing software that reminds them when to ask for more money. They enter the minimum value for each client’s retainer and the legal software reminds the user when the balance is getting low so the client can be contacted for an additional deposit.
Don’t trust something as important as your practice’s cash flow to the good faith of your clients. Implement smart retainer management using legal billing and accounting software to maintain the financial health of your practice.
After more than 20 years in the business, we here at Easy Soft know we owe our success to a lot of people. We have a great team inside the company who build and improve our law office management product to make it the best law office management software you can find. Our enormous roster of satisfied customers–over 15,000 as of this writing–has given us great suggestions and feedback on how we can improve our products. Plus we’ve formed important strategic partnerships with bar associations to bring our products to you at a lower price.
Right now we have agreements with the state bar associations in Arizona, Maryland, Colorado, South Carolinaand Alabama. We also partner with both the New Jersey State Bar and the Middlesex County Bar Association to bring our legal software program to attorneys in that great state.
These partnerships benefit both Easy Soft and our customers. We get to reach a wider range of attorneys who can benefit from our law practice management software, and our clients save money. Lawyers who belong to one of the participating bar associations get a 10% discount on purchase of covered software products, including law office billing software.
But what if you aren’t a member of one of these bar associations? That’s where we can use your help. Current users of our products should contact their local bar associations and vouch for the quality of Easy Soft law firm management software. Tell them how invaluable our applications are to your practice and help them understand they would be doing lawyers in your state a favor by partnering with us to offer a discount.
For our part, we continue to work with bar associations across the country hoping to bring our solution to you at a discount off our already affordable prices. We are aggressively expanding our partnerships and hope to announce some new alliances in this blog very soon.
To find out more, visit our strategic partners page to find out which of our law practice management software titles are covered by your bar association. Get the discount by just entering the corresponding code into your order form.
You’re an attorney not an accountant so it can be easy to dismiss the financial details of running your practice in favor of actually practicing law. However aggressive bill collection is a part of a successful practice. Aggressive doesn’t mean nasty, but it does mean you need to stay on top of each client’s account. After all if you don’t think billing is important, why should your clients?
Attorney billing software takes much of the burden off your shoulders. The software tracks hours, expenses, payments, late fees and more. Once you enter a transaction you can let the law practice management software handle the math, generate invoices and print checks. However even the best lawyer billing software can’t take the place of the human brain operating it.
You need to have an overall idea of how your practice is doing financially but you don’t want to waste hours poring over ledgers trying to figure things out. You want to spend just a few minutes seeing the situation at a glance so you can spot any problems and act on them right away. The law firm billing software provides those kinds of financial overviews.
Easy TimeBill offers a quick overview of your finances and yet also gives you enough detail to act. When you click the Billing Matter button you are given a comprehensive view of all active accounts. The summary lists amounts for each client and matter that haven’t been billed yet and that have been billed but not paid. Click on any line in the summary to get a detailed list of all time and expense cards, invoices and general transactions associated with that matter.
One reason to use dedicated law office billing software rather than generic business accounting products is these legal software programs track financial details unique to a law practice such as retainer balance. It’s one thing to get an initial retainer, but you need to keep an eye on the balance and be prepared to take action when it gets low. Your generic software probably can’t warn you when a retainer balance is low, but our law office management software can.
Find out for yourself just how easy it is to automate your practice with our legal billing software. Download a demo of Easy TimeBill or our other products, or try the purchased products risk-free for 30 days.
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One of the most daunting tasks facing attorney is the administration of a trust. Nearly all law offices have a trust account to handle various transactions, and mismanagement of those accounts is not only a disservice to your clients but could also lead to legal penalties including disbarment. The parties don’t even have to have criminal intent. Simple mistakes can lead to serious penalties when it comes to trust accounting.
The law requires that a trust overseer use a proper accounting system and audit trail to account for every penny in and out of the account. In the past this meant contracting with certified accountants who had the skills needed to administer the funds but that is no longer necessary with today’s legal software programs.
A dedicated product like Easy Trust includes features designed specifically to make it easy for attorneys and other professionals to administer escrow funds with all the confidence of an experienced accountant. The trust management software automatically maintains a comprehensive audit trail so there is no chance of undocumented transactions. It enforces basic accounting rules to prevent you from making some of the basic trust accounting mistakes.
Your office must still maintain due diligence. Trust accounting software has the tools to assist in the administration of trusts but must be backed by policies that ensure all transactions are entered completely, accurately and in a timely fashion.
Easy Trust integrates with our law office billing software to handle all of your office’s bookkeeping and accounting needs. You can handle trust transactions from your office computer without having to keep track of paper documents and ledgers. Print out audit reports to document trust transactions whenever you need to.
Does this mean you can fire your accountant? Probably not. Even the best legal software won’t turn you into a CPA overnight. It’s still best to consult with a professional experienced with trust administration to ensure your system is set up correctly. However you can turn the daily bookkeeping tasks over to the law office management software rather than paying your accountant to do it.
Download a demo of our law practice management software and explore the many accounting features included.
Not all cases are created equal, and that means not all legal invoices are created equal. If you want to run the most profitable practice, then you need legal software programs that give you the flexibility you need to bill each client the right way. Easy TimeBill offers a range of billing options that can be customized to your particular practice, or even to each individual client. Here are some of the ways you can bill when using our software:
Hourly – Each person involved with a client’s case is called a Timekeeper by our law practice management software. Timekeepers range from attorneys to paralegals to bookkeepers or any other professional. Each Timekeeper can have up to eight billing rates or you can bill a custom rate for tasks that fall outside of your normal rate structure.
Fixed Fee – Routine tasks like a simple divorce financial settlement are often billed on a flat fee rather than at an hourly rate. When you classify a case as a fixed fee, our law office billing software will ignore any time cards attached to the matter. You will be able to create an invoice for any amount less than or equal to, but not greater than, the specified fee so you can’t accidentally bill the client too much.
Contingency – Once you have a judgment, enter the judgment and the contingency percentage and the law office management software will automatically calculate the amount owed by the client. You will then be able to create invoices up to this amount but no more.
Recurring – Attorneys who provide ongoing service typically charge a periodic fee rather than tracking every hour worked. You can use Easy TimeBill to bill recurring charges by entering the amount and the time period: weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually.
Product – No time cards or other standard fees will be billed on this case. As noted below, expense cards can be billed.
All of these billing structures also include expense billing. List expenses such as copying, court fees or meal are on an expense card and the law office billing software will automatically include those expenses on any invoices generated.
The Easy Soft design philosophy has always been that our legal software programs should be flexible enough to adjust to your business model and not the other way around. Contact us to find out more about his this product and our other law office management software can take the drudgery out of your legal practice.