Being a lawyer is one of the busiest professions one can be into. It deals with both interactions with clients as well as keeping all the latest legal updates on one’s fingertips. Hence, lawyers often face the trouble of keeping a manual account of their billable hours, keeping track of fees and later organising these facts effectively. Another problem can occur at the law firm which is related to maintaining files for their income tax returns. Each and every law firm has to show how much money is earned. This is where they can then face the trouble of not having kept a proper log of their input and output. A solution which has come up off late is the use of legal accounting software, which makes this work much easier.
The advantages of it are:
- Managing retainers and billable hours effectively
- Setting up invoices for legal fees.
- Organising account operations
- Updating every detail mechanically.
Legal accounting software-why one should opt for it?
1) It saves time- it helps keep a record on what a lawyer is working and precisely bill the client. And there are specific software with timers that can be started and stopped in the programs and platforms a lawyer uses each day officially.
2) It helps save cost- legal specific software can track the difference between an out-of pocket cost(recording and filing fees) and a soft cost (photocopy and postage charges) and can properly account for them on the attorney’s financial statement.
3) Specific billing needs- since a bill is a representation of the law firm, it should look crisp and professional. Specific software allows for flexibility in billing arrangements like flat fee, retainer and contingency billing.
4) Trust accounting- legal specific software has built in software which prevents co mingling of funds or not allowing a firm to overdraw a trust account. This software has precise trust accounting records which reduces chances of non payment from clients.
5) Managing who owes money- it is a critical issue to keep track of who owns money to the attorney, collecting it and reflecting it properly as income of the firm. Legal specific software provides choices for how payments are applied.
6) Integrated accounting- having proper legal accounting software decreases chances of duplicate entry and reduces the occurrence of potential errors, while eliminating need of learning any other software.
Legal software suppliers
The Legal Software Suppliers association is the UK industry body for legal system developers and vendors. They are the ones behind most of the important legal accounting software of the world. Their aim is to develop obvious channels of communication to enable law firms to gain the maximum benefit from their selected software solutions. Many companies provide software solutions to law firms. Among them, Clio is the world’s leading cloud based legal practice management software. Likewise Houdini ESQ also provides software for the same function. Other suppliers are Filevine, LawcusCaseFox etc.
The availability of this software allows law firms to manage their day to day official work with much more ease and finesse.