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Tag Archives: software
The phone rings. You answer. You draw a blank and do not know who it is.
Short of dropping the phone or claiming a failed signal, you’re only going to have so long to keep someone on hold while you scramble for information.
If you have Easy TimeBill law office billing software, you’re saved. Click on Reports, then Admin, then Client List. Scroll down until you see the name. Alternatively, click on Client, then Conflict Search, then instantly search your address book for a match. No one likes to be forgotten, and with Easy Soft’s legal billing software, you’ll have the super-fast resources to refresh yourself as quickly as answering the telephone.
Keeping track of names of clients makes a difference, and so does keeping track of everyone making entries into the law office billing software. Easy Soft can be expanded to include as many timekeepers as you have in your firm. Adding timekeepers is a short, simple set of fill-in fields. Keeping track of which partner, associate, paralegal, or assistant is working on a particular matter should not be left to memory. Keeping your firm organized is just another great feature of our legal billing software.
Yet another aspect of the who game is the person calling for an initial consultation whose name sounds vaguely familiar. You open your attorney billing software and ask how the person was referred, but get the response, oh, someone in a case, I don’t remember who. Generally, this is code for referred because of something said by an opposing party. It’s up to you to do that conflict check, and our attorney billing software makes that a cinch.
Here at Easy Soft, our goal is to make everything you do easier to do, and that includes keeping track of names. Our legal software ranges from legal billing software to trust accounting software to divorce settlement software and more. All of our programs allow an indefinite number of clients and cases and licenses to be purchased for all timekeepers in your firm. Best yet, when you contact Easy Soft, you’ll never have to wonder who because we staff our phones with live operators, who will get to know you in order to help you with any questions you may have about our legal software.
With our commitment to customer relations and more than 15,000 customers, we’ve put our data management skills to work for you in every product we design.
This is what you will be saying out loud to your computer as soon as you install and start using Easy Soft’s Easy TimeBill Lawyer billing software. Our attorney billing software does it all: time tracking, billing, collections, calendaring, to-do lists, notes, grocery shopping. Okay, not the grocery shopping. But the feeling you are going to get will have you thinking that even the grocery shopping must be done, too.
Just imagine getting to the end of your month, pushing a button, and having your client invoices appear courtesy of your attorney billing software. Daydream? Reality.
Easy billing starts when you install Easy Soft’s legal billing software in your computer. The installation takes only minutes, and our technical support operators are standing by, if you need help. Set yourself up as a timekeeper, including your hourly rate. Input a client by name and contact information. Click on new time card, select the client, timekeeper, and task, and then click on the clock to start billing. Within just a few minutes of the install of our law office billing software, and you’re billing with Easy TimeBill.
And, once you are inputting your time and expenses as you do the work, end of month bills will become as easy as clicking on new invoice.
Supervising billing matters through our legal billing software is as simple as clicking on billing and clicking on automatic reports like timekeeper’s time, client billing balance, and insufficient retainer balance. Within one month of starting to use our attorney billing software, you can start analyzing your practice habits and profitability.
In the case management section of our law office billing software, you can manage your address book, calendar, task lists, notes, and linked documents. When you click on the case management task list, you’ll see events organized by due date and client name and matter, as well as to whom the task is assigned to and the status of the assignment.
That’s it. It is that simple to get started with the attorney billing software that does it all, meaning that the only handwritten item on your desk is going to be that grocery store list.
The Bristol Herald Courier, a TriCities newspaper, serving Virginia and Tennessee just reported that a local attorney was formally reprimanded for the actions of his bookkeeper.
We have all heard the stories about attorneys who were subject to disciplinary action or disbarred for unintentional trust account management errors or borrowing trust account funds. Often attorneys have bookkeepers handle their escrow and trust accounts out of fear of making inadvertent errors. We even know another attorney who turned down the opportunity to take over a successful small firm because their escrow account ledger was written in pencil!
Virginia attorney Charles Jessee, Jr., mentioned in the TriCities newspaper, took over his father’s firm. His father had hired Anna Howell in 2007 to give her a new start. You see, she had pleaded guilty to embezzlement, but Mr. Jessee, Jr. did not know this. Howell secretly redirected the firm’s real estate escrow account checks by issuing stop payment orders, and then reissuing them as money orders which she used to pay off her own debts. When she was caught, Mr. Jessee, Jr. was reprimanded even though he had no idea what Howell was doing or that she had a criminal background.
While Easy Trust offers a solution that can help attorneys avoid the possibility of making unintentional mistakes with their escrow or trust accounts, lawyers will always have to be extra vigilant because any trust bookkeeping mistake can have severe consequences.
Trust account rules vary from state to state, but one constant for attorneys or anyone working in a fiduciary capacity is the over-riding fear of running afoul of strict requirements. Take the following steps and you won’t lose sleep worrying about your responsibility to comply with complicated trust account regulations.
1. Migrate from Manual to Automated Record Keeping
Review your firm’s trust bookkeeping procedures and identify which procedures are managed manually. Often, law firms enter each client’s transactions separately and issue trust checks manually. Manual bookkeeping is the root of several problem areas. Not only are manual processes time-consuming, but also mistakes are difficult to detect and reports are next to impossible to prepare.
A good trust accounting software program can easily replace ALL your manual bookkeeping tasks and provide you with total control of your trust accounting. You will:
• Simplify transaction entries, trust check printing, bank reconciliations, and generating reports
• Readily detect errors
• Maintain an audit trail for any changes made in your trust books
• Make it easy for your accountant to review your trust data and make appropriate corrections without shuffling through stacks of paper
2. Choose Your Trust Accounting Program Wisely
Don’t rush to embrace the first accounting program you find to manage your trust books. Many accounting packages that work very well for general operating accounts often lack features that trust accounting requires. For example, general accounting packages typically do not produce client ledgers easily and do not prevent trust accounting mistakes from occurring. There is typically no audit trail log and one can even go back to reconciled months and edit prior transactions. That’s not proper trust accounting! When you evaluate your trust program choices, consider the following questions:
• Does the program make deposits and disbursements in each client account very easy to enter, track and reconcile?
• Is the program designed to prevent common trust accounting errors, such as duplicate check numbers, client ledger overdrafts etc.? These are examples of problems that must be stopped at the transaction entry itself.
• Are required monthly reports such as ledger card balances, transactions, reconciliation and three-way reconciliation, etc. easily produced?
• Is there an option to print trust checks and/or deposit slips?
3. Avoid Commingled Bank Trust Accounts
A client trust bank account is a special kind of account. Today, many banks offer a particular type of trust account with separate sub-accounts for each client.
A bank account that allows you to manage individual client funds separately provides a double layer of protection for your firm because a bank can also alert you to any client ledger overdraft situation. Additionally, you will receive monthly client ledger trial balances from the bank, which you can then match with your office client ledger records.
4. Archive Closed Client Accounts
When a client matter has been completed, the balance on the client’s ledger is zero, and all transactions have been reconciled with the bank statement, you should “close” or archive that client ledger. Otherwise, over a period of time, you will be dealing with hundreds or even thousands of “open” client ledgers.
5. Protect Your Trust Software Data File
While a computer or software can be replaced, lost data is not easy to re-create. For trust accounts, always maintain a hard copy of each client ledger on a monthly basis. Make regular backup copies of your trust database files and store them at a remote location.
Automate Today and Put a Stop to Trust Fund Account Worries
Managing trust accounts is easier than you think. Start with a careful review of your firm’s trust accounting processes. Begin using trust account software designed to help you comply with state regulations. Remember, a client A’s money has nothing to do with client B’s money. Your trust books should only contain open accounts. And, make an iron clad rule to backup copies of data files and store them in a secure and separate place. Follow these tips and you will bring order to your trust bookkeeping, tighten controls and no longer worry whether or not you are in full compliance with state regulations.