Most attorneys understand that when it comes to ethics, perception is reality. An honest attorney can still get in trouble if it even appears that something questionable has happened. When it comes to ethics, attorneys can be presumed guilty until proven innocent. This is true in all aspects of legal…
Managing trust funds for multiple matters in a single bank account is a common practice in the legal industry but attorneys must be very careful not to let the funds intermingle. Each matter has to be scrupulously maintained as a separate entity and never “borrow” money from other matters in…
Businesses print their own checks because it’s quick, easy and cheap. Financial applications such as Easy Soft’s legal billing and accounting software have the capability built in so you don’t have to mess with formats and spacing trying to set it up yourself. Although we try to make the process…
Easy Soft specializes in making life easy for lawyers, our Technical Support Team and Business Analysts can introduce you to further administrative efficiencies you haven’t thought of—and won’t immediately discover.
software training, software setup, and practice customization. Today, we’ll discuss how an all-inclusive package is mandatory for even the most technologically savvy of attorneys and law firms.
Legal software purchasers beware! The sticker price of a software package may look like a bargain. But if you base your choice of law office billing software on price alone, your final costs may add up to an unpleasant surprise.
In the last post, we talked about how efficient billing is more important in the legal business than any other industry. This is true because of the frequency of billing and collections disputes, and because of ethics practices (the legal bar can put a spotlight on your billing practices).
It’s been documented: legal fees are harder to collect than fees for most other industries. With fees commonly climbing into the six- and seven-figure ranges, it’s not uncommon for clients to be either unable or unwilling to pay.
Legal software developer Easy Soft will exhibit Easy TimeBill at Beasley Allen Legal Strategies Conference & Expo, Montgomery, Alabama, Renaissance.
Finally, the most common and the most dangerous legal billing pitfall —failure to protect data integrity and implement secure measures.
A standard practice for most law firms is collecting client payments in advance (retainers) for legal services. Depending on the nature of your cases, types of fees and relevant state laws, retainers might be deposited in a firm’s operating account or in a trust account.
Every law firm, no matter how small or how limited the practice area, must have computerized conflict database and a procedure to check and log a conflict review.
One problem most law firms share is a pile of unpaid accounts receivables. Yet, your firm can easily embed tight receivables controls in your legal billing system and streamline your collection process with the right legal billing software.
While law firms focus on providing top quality legal services, often their high standards fall short when it comes to client communications such as invoice and payment reminders. Remember, the billing process goes hand in hand with your legal services and is a direct reflection of your firm.
An important workflow practice is to allocate expenses to client matters as soon as you incur the expense. A legal billing program that helps you track expenses ensures that the expenses for each case are added to the client invoice automatically when the next billing cycle occurs.
While setting up standard rates is a good thing, it doesn’t solve 100% of the problem. A Timekeeper’s hourly rates are not concrete. In certain instances, the firm may discount rates.
For attorneys, improper handling of retainers can result in disciplinary action. Time and again, attorneys are admonished for failing to handle funds properly. Client advances may need to be deposited in a trust account or in the firm operating account, a decision that must be made carefully because state rules vary and change from practice to practice.
Law firms are usually required to keep each task (called “matter”) completely separate from other matters for the same client or other clients.
We have all heard the stories about attorneys who were subject to disciplinary action or disbarred for unintentional trust account management errors. 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!
Trust account bookkeeping basics provides tips to bring order, tighten controls and improve state regulation compliance.