Bookkeeping For Small Law Firm – Our Favorite Bookkeepers For Small Law Firms

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Intro

Even small law firms need accounting software to ensure their business runs smoothly. Trying to keep track of all of your billing on your own can lead to errors and increased frustration as you are forced to complete additional tasks at the end of a long day.  You can save time and money by investing in an online software that will track your bookkeeping for small law firm.

Track Your Time

In order to bill your clients properly, you should be utilizing bookkeeping for small law firm software that tracks the time you and your staff spend on work-related tasks. This will prevent you from over-billing clients and help your bottom line by not under-billing clients. A good legal software for bookkeeping for small law firm will help you track time with a cloud-based system and use that data to create detailed invoices.

Track Your Expenses

Your firm will also have expenses associated with various clients including support staff, travel and office supply costs. Forget saving receipts and trying to combine those receipts from a team of employees. Using an accounting software will help keep your staff accountable and make it easy for them to enter in various expenses as they arise. Having this option available can help organize your expenses by client and employee and help you keep an eye on the profit and growth of your business.

Automated Invoicing

After you have tracked all of your time and expenses, you will need to invoice your clients so you can get paid in a timely manner. Being able to automatically turn your expenses reports into an invoice, saves a lot of time. In a small business, having this option in your accounting software can even save you money by having less employees. Use the software to run daily invoices, prevent costly invoice mistakes, and customize invoices for your clients so you get paid faster.

Top Related: What Is Bookkeeping?

Trust Accounting

Dealing with trust accounting can come with a lot of responsibility. If you mishandle these client funds, you can run into legal problems with your clients and the state bar. Using an up to date accounting software, you can make sure current rules are being followed and safeguards are in place.

Detailed Reporting

When bookkeeping for small law firm, you will want to choose a  that has accurate reporting. Frequently check on the success of your law firm, the number of expenses, and billing. Reporting can identify weak links in your business plan, helping you increase your law firm’s grow and profit potential.

Bookkeeping for Small Law Firm

bookkeeping for small law firm

If you are new to accounting software or are looking to switch to a software that works more efficiently for your growing business, we have listed our favorite bookkeeping for small law firm. The software options are in alphabetical order and each software has its pros and cons. Keep in mind that some software solutions may work better for small businesses and others may be more suitable for larger corporations.

Bill4Time

Bill4Time was created to work for several professional niches but it’s specifically designed for lawyers and accountants. The software can handle all of your management needs including clients, reporting, special projects and accounting. Bill4Time even offers easy migration from other management systems.

Bill4Time features detailed timekeeping and billing functions that will keep your company from over or under charging your clients. Choose from popular billing strategies including hourly, contingencies or flat rate. Track time efficiently by using a simple timer on your phone, tablet, or laptop. Each attorney can charge different rates within the software and current pricing can be modified per client or for special projects. Easily see all of the time logged on the dashboard so you can get a grip on your expenses. Use Bill4Time’s payment system to accept payments through a QuickBooks integration, PayPal or general credit card processing.

If you are migrating your information from a previous software to Bill4Time, you might not want to alarm your clients about the change. Bill4Time will help you duplicate the design of your old invoices to make a seamless transition. This feature alone can save you a lot of frustration when starting a new software for bookkeeping for small law firm. Let the programming team work their magic cloning your old invoice structure while you focus on taking advantage of all the advance billing options.

Additional features include the ability to set schedules, complex accounting tasks, organize important documents and more. Bill4Time has a generous document storage system so you can always access necessary documents from the cloud. Personalize your invoices with a company logo and custom text.

Bill4Time offers a free trial and three tiered plans to meet your specific business needs. Legal Solo is $30 a month for 1 user ($20 for additional user), Legal Pro is $50 a month for 1 user ($20 for additional user), and Legal Enterprise is $100 a month for 1 user ($25 for additional user). While Legal Solo will work for most small law firms, reasons to upgrade include customized invoicing, detailed reports and premium support.


Clio

Clio was specifically designed for law offices. It currently serves over 150,000 legal professionals. It helps streamline all of the day to day processes and is trusted by thousands of lawyers to help manage their businesses. Users rave about the on-demand educational tools, customer support and the ability to reduce admin staff.

Clio is an all-in-one management system that allows users to set up client documentation and case work, schedule and time-track client hours and appointments, accounting tasks, business reporting and more.

Clio seamlessly integrates with Xero and Quickbooks to oversee your firm’s finances and keep the accounting running smoothly. Clio is compatible with all smart devices. Anywhere you can access the internet, you can also access Clio. Works with all platforms including Android, iOS, Mac and PC.

Additional features include bank-grade security, fastcase research, mobile app, matter management and trust accounting.

Clio has a free trial available and three tiered plans. The Starter Plan is $39 a month per user (paid yearly, $49 if paid monthly). The Boutique Plan is $59 a month per user (paid yearly, $69 if paid monthly). The Elite Plan is $99 a month per user (paid yearly, $109 if paid monthly). In order to accept payments, you will need to invest in at least the Boutique Plan and the Elite Plan includes priority support, matter budgets, and campaign tracker.


CosmoLex

CosmoLex is a web-based, cloud platform that is designed with small law firms and solo lawyers in mind. It accelerates all of the mundane tasks and keeps your business profitable and professional.

CosmoLex features include delegating tasks, a schedule organizer, record keeping, eBilling, business and trust accounting as well as accurate timekeeping and billing.

The billing process through CosmoLex is automated so you do not have to worry about collecting money from your clients. The software also accurately tracks client hours and business expenses.

A secure client portal is used to capture all of the relevant documents you need including sensitive client information.

To save you time and money, CosmoLex has built-in accounting software so you will not have to go searching for third party applications. The software supports business and trust (IOLTA) accounting. This helps prevent errors when linking to a third-party accounting application. No need for a QuickBooks subscription with CosmoLex. LawPay is also free so you can freely receive credit card and retainer payments at a lower cost.

If you are not the most tech savvy, you will appreciate the ease of use CosmoLex software provides. Get up and running in no time, without extensive document reading or training. The software also loads super-fast which is great for quickly entering information or for those with a slower internet connection.

CosmoLex is endorsed by over 20 State Bar Associations and has over 10 years’ experience providing you with the tool you need. Customer service, training and on-boarding is always free, no hidden charges here. CosmoLex even takes your suggestions to heart by implementing popular requests into software updates. Not sure how long you will need software for bookkeeping for small law firm? CosmoLex does not believe in long term contracts so you can rest easy knowing you can cancel at any time for any reason.

CosmoLex offers a free trial and one pricing option. CosmoLex is meant for small to medium businesses. If you need advanced features or support for a large firm, CosmoLex might not be the right software for you. However, small firms and solo lawyers will appreciate getting all of the features for one low price without having to upgrade. Pricing starts at $49 per month for one user (billed annually) or $59 per month per user (billed monthly).


Legal Files

bookkeeping for small law firm

Legal Files encompasses legal case and matter management for large scale corporations, government agencies and more. Legal professionals can have their conversations and critical documents together all in one place.

Legal Files is cloud based and can be used from several devices such as phones, laptops and tablets. The software automates day to day operations such as admin work.

With Legal Files everyone in the organization will have access to the most up to date files including calendars, images, tasks, contacts, important case information and more. The software even integrates with email programs you already use such as Microsoft Outlook and Google Mail. Using the cloud and familiar integrations helps promote collaboration throughout your organization.

With Legal Files software you can automate the process of FOIA records requests. You can even see reports on response times and types of requests. FOIA records requests are more complicated than general record requests since they require a lot more hand holding. You have to log and track the request, capture contact information, review the request for validity, assign that request, search for responsive records, review those records, apply exemptions or redactions if necessary, communicate with the requestor and even collect payment. All of these processes require a certain response time and without an automated process, records can get disorganized very quickly.

Legal Files automates the entire FOIA records retrieval process, keeping your law firm in compliance. Many law firms choose Legal Files for this very purpose, since organizing a chain of employees for this task can be daunting.

Users of the program state that there is a learning curve but not enough to discount the usefulness of the software. Legal Files does provide setup and user help through its customer service.

Legal Files offers a free trial and a custom quote-based plan. After contacting the vendor, you will be offered a licensing package that requires a one-time payment. Once this initial cost is paid, you can use the software without the financial burden of monthly subscription costs.

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Less Accounting

bookkeeping for small law firm

LessAccounting offers small businesses a cloud-based software option for categorizing and recording expenses and sending invoices. It is a great application for general accounting tasks, does not contain a lot of bells and whistles and will keep you abreast of how the money in your business flows, and assists with general reporting and contact information.

This software is meant to replace tedious bookkeeping that would otherwise be done by hand. It does not come with features you would not use anyway. Use its core features to help your business grow. LessAccounting provides you with the basic information you need to make critical business decisions.

Quickly create proposals that can be converted into sales summaries and attach proposals to contacts. Keep track of custom pricing. Send personalized invoices and track payments as they are made. Set up recurring invoices for long term projects and accept PayPal payments.

Use the powerful CRM to import data for all of your contacts and customers. Import address books from Basecamp, Highrise, Gmail and more. Custom reports allow you to segregate lists and run reports based on client name, date and more.

Even track your mileage and log your business trips. When tax time rolls around, you might just save a little more money with minimal effort.

Integrate LessAccounting with services like Wagepoint, stripe, PayPal, Invoice Sherpa, ZenCash, Basecamp and more. Plus, easily connect to thousands of financial institutions, banks and credit cards.

LessAccounting has a free trial and an affordable $20 a month fee. Pricing can increase for more custom features. The $20 a month fee includes invoicing capabilities, invoice reminders, budget tracking, receipt management, and more. If you are interested in comparing LessAccounting to more well-known software packages like QuickBooks and Xero, visit their website lessaccounting.com to see the comparison.

Top Related: Freelance Bookkeeping


PCLaw by Lexis Nexis

PCLaw is built for law firms and has over 30 years’ experience helping firms run their businesses more efficiently. The software is an all-in-one solution offering you a quick glance at your company’s financials, calendars, expenses, tasks, client matters and more.

PCLaw features integrated accounting and billing to keep you on track of your expenses and profits. Send bills to your clients automatically through e-billing. This significantly decreases the amount of time it takes to get paid. Forget to bill for your time? PCLaw tracks all of your activities so you never under-bill or over-bill your valued clients.

A unique feature of PCLaw is the added security of Legal Trust Management. You no longer have to worry about malpractice as PCLaw keeps your firm compliant.

Use the management system to complete your tasks with more accuracy and on time. Keep on top of your business by utilizing PCLaw’s over 50 legal-specific reports.

If you are interested in PCLaw for your company, you can contact them on their website lexisnexis.com. The software offers a free trial, a free consultation and demo and custom pricing.


QuickBooks Online

A lot of people may have heard of QuickBooks or even already use it. A lot of freelance accountants, small businesses and startups rely on QuickBooks Online to accurately provide bookkeeping for their business. QuickBooks Online offers everything from tax prep to expense tracking all in one platform.

Use QuickBooks Online to integrate with your current payroll provider and payment processing applications. Monitor your business’s financials in real-time by running detailed reports from your laptop, tablet or phone.

Easily access data from different bank accounts and even different businesses. QuickBooks online keeps your financial data secure by providing back up options and convenient ways to download spreadsheets.

Always have up to date information for everyone in your business to view, from the owner, to the accountant, to sales. QuickBooks Online keeps everyone on the same page.

Only need a few features? QuickBooks Online allows you to use only the features you need for a manageable monthly fee. All plans include receipt capture, expert support and app integration such as PayPal and Square.

QuickBooks Online offers a 30-day trial and three tier plans. Simple Start ($20 a month) allows you to track expenses, profits and sales, unlimited invoicing, sales tax tracking, and includes one user and accountant access. Essentials ($35 a month) adds bill paying, multiple currencies, sales quotes and up to three users with accountant access. The top plan, “Plus” ($60 a month), adds inventory tracking, PO creation, profit tracking and up to five users with accountant access. There is an option to add on payroll services to your monthly fee.


Sage 50cloud

Sage 50cloud was created for small and medium-sized businesses to provide support and automation for taxes, inventory, invoicing, budgeting, credit card processing, payroll and more. The app even includes best practices for accounting so you can stay on top of your business transactions.

Use this hybrid program as a desktop app while at the office and a cloud software to access data and storage while on the go. You can even connect to your bank accounts or access financial reporting from any device.

Sage 50cloud’s add-ons can eliminate the use of other software and decrease your expenses. Add-ons include EFT, payroll, tax prep and e-filing, Sage Payment Solutions, MS Office 365 and more.

Plus, Sage 50cloud’s user friendly dashboard allows users to view budget and revenue trends, edit client info., and send professional invoices.

Additional features include: custom pricing, forecasting, multi-currency, e-bill, print paper checks, tax management and more.

Sage 50cloud features a free trial and three tier plans. Sage 50cloud Pro Accounting is $44.97 per month and includes one user with Microsoft Office 365 integration. Premium Accounting is $69.62 per month and track expenses. Quantum Accounting is $175.87 per month and offers enterprise-level accounting, up to 3 users and fast processing.

TimeSolv

TimeSolv is perfect for capturing all of your billable time and business expenses. Great for lawyers and other business professionals, the customizable software if all-encompassing as it is user-friendly. It is also cloud based and is compatible with Apple and Android devices.

TimeSolv has many payment integrations, making it easier for your clients to send you money accurately and on time. The convenient client portal allows them to make secure payments, review their payment history, restock trust funds and more.

Sync your data with Quickbooks whether you are near an internet connection or not. Quickly itemize your transactions to understand how your business runs on a day to day basis.

TimeSolv is currently offering new customers a unique buy-back offer. If you are under contract with another cloud-based software and you have already paid that vendor, TimeSolv will pay your early termination fee so you can get started with TimeSolv right away. Since TimeSolv is a BBB accredited business, there is no reason not to make the switch.

Additional features of the software include a user-friendly interface. Enter in expenses and hours logged even when you are not connected to the internet. Use TimeSolv’s templates to send personalized invoices via mail or email.

Take advantage of the over 30 reports that TimeSolv can generate to make sure you are always on top of your growing business. Integrations includes QuickBooks Online, Dropbox, NetDocuments, LawPay, AccountEdge, and more.

Easily convert your old data from ProLaw or Timeslips to TimeSolv. You will not have to worry about losing data or starting over, since TimeSolv keeps your business data organized and secure. Create tags and folders to keep your documents organized and attached them to projects and matters.

Additional features include migration help from older platforms, an easy to use mobile app and accurate backups. All of TimeSolv’s customer support is based in the US and all have expert experience in legal billing and invoicing.

TimeSolv starts at $34.95 per user and discounts are available for paying annually. There is also a free trial available. TimeSolv is also free to use for public service organizations.

Xero

Xero is one of the most popular financial apps. It is designed to make small business easier and the platform is user friendly. If you have accounting gaps in your law firm, Xero can not only close those gaps but make you wonder why it took you so long to invest in an industry leading accounting software.

Founded in New Zealand in 2006, Xero continues to grow in the Australian, American, UK and European markets. It has also been listed in Forbes as the World’s Most Innovative Growth Company (2014 and 2015).

For as little as $20 a month, you can have a professional software system that competes at the corporation level but is easy enough for a small business novice to use.

If you are interested in an accounting management system that can grow with your business and follow your business money trail, Xero is a worthwhile option. You do not even have to schedule advanced trainings to use the software. With Xero, you can quickly monitor your business all from the same page including basic data entry to complex accounting operations. Stop fumbling with paper receipts and get your records in line with Xero. Xero is easy to setup from day one. They even offer an Express Setup, guided by the help center that can provide you with the exact formula to get you up in running in no time.

Xero’s two-factor identification prevents financial fraud. For every transaction in the app, you will be asked a series of questions to prevent errors. Easily categorize your invoices and control purchase orders.

Get the best reporting with Xero. Get a summary of all of your business activities, balance sheets, cash flow, and income. Plus, easily calculate expenses per client, aged payables and more. Use the business performance tool to get a net value per sale. Get a solid ROI by using the management reporting feature. You can even run payroll and get tax support for more than 20 US states.

Additional features include: bank reconciliation, free unlimited email support, multi-currency, 1099s, segmented smart lists, fixed assets, GST returns and more.

Xero includes a free trial and three tier plans. The Starter plan is $9 a month but limits you to 5 invoices and quotes, 5 bills and 20 bank transactions. The Standard plan is $30 a month and includes unlimited invoices, quotes, bills and back transactions, plus 5 payrolls. The Premium 10 plan includes all of the above plus up to 10 payrolls and support for multi-currency all for $70 a month.

Wave

Wave was built for small businesses (less than 10 employees) and entrepreneurs. It has served over 3.5 million customers since 2010. Its business platform has the ability to complete complex accounting, invoicing and receipt scanning. Wave is also free, making it a perfect addition to startups or businesses that are making the leap to an online software system. You can even migrate your information from another accounting software like QuickBooks in three easy steps.

After creating your account, you are free to dive right in. Simply access your account anywhere there is an Internet connection, on your laptop, tablet or phone. Plus, Wave backs up your data on a regular basis so you do not have to.

Wave monitors your expenses, gets your payments from clients quicker and takes care of your employees and time-consuming tax work. Quickly send out professional looking invoices and receipts. Get payments by credit card through the software. You have access to unlimited back and credit card connections. Get reminders when bills are due and automatically set up recurring invoices. Easily pay your team with direct deposit and provide them with accurate online pay stubs.

Tax time is a breeze. Since Wave keeps all of your files in the right places, all of the numbers are always at your disposal. Additional features include: unlimited invoicing and receipt scanning, exportable reports, bulk transaction updates, multi-currency support, automatic transaction reconciliation, double-entry software and multi-business in one account support.

Wave is one-hundred percent free, but they also have a free trial available so you can take a test drive to see if Wave is the right software for you. You do not even need a credit card to sign up. If you want to add payments (per use) or payroll (monthly) there is a small add-on fee. However, this fee also provides you with free live chat support for paid services. If you are new to accounting or just need help with the details, Wave also offers a service called Wave+. Wave+ provides you with accounting coaching and bookkeeping services to keep your business on track.

Wave has a deep desire to see you succeed. In order to better understand the platform or just network with other users, they have established a Wave Community. Feel free to ask questions, share your tips and get to know other Wave users.

ZipBooks

If you are looking for a good quality software for bookkeeping  for small law firm that has a free starter plan, ZipBooks is an excellent choice. The free plan offers unlimited vendors and customers, bookkeeping and invoicing. You will also be able to accept credit cards, PayPal and easily connect your bank account for complete business management.

ZipBooks also enables you to create invoices, track your time and expenses and integrates with all of your favorite business applications such as Slack, Google Drive, Google Chrome, Google Apps, and Asana. Once you have connected your bank account, you can run accounting reports and reconcile bank statements.

The dashboard allows quick views of accounts receivable, invoice age, paid invoices, and time tracking by employee. The features make ZipBooks a quality contender for law firm accounting software. While the basic plan is provided for free, there will be small fees for some integration products.

ZipBooks offers a free trial and four tier plans. The three paid plans start at $15 a month up to $125+ a month. While the free plan is a great option when you are just starting out, you may find that you prefer the upgraded pay options such as additional automation, secure document sharing and even access to a ZipBooks Scholar that sends you monthly reports.

Zola Suite

Zola Suite is a modern system that gives lawyers and law firms a cloud experience that works wherever you have an Internet connection. High-tech features including fingerprint scanning and business card capture make updating the database a seamless experience.

Zola Suite keeps all of your important data secure in one place. You can also schedule meetings, court dates and track your hours. The main administrator, employees and clients have secure access to critical data so everyone will always be on the same page. Collaborate with your staff on documents and make unlimited revisions. Zola Suite attaches all of your conversations to the appropriate client or case so you can cross reference details efficiently.

Zola Suite offers a free trial and three tier plans. The Core plan is $59 a month paid yearly ($69 if paid monthly), the Enterprise plan is $79 a month paid yearly ($89 if paid monthly) and Enterprise Plus is $89 a month paid yearly (no monthly pay option available). All plans include similar features including: full legal accounting, secure client portal, calendar, task management, invoicing, payments, priority support and more.

Conclusion

It is important to choose a bookkeeping for small law firm software that meets your needs. Stop trying to keep accurate records by hand, save paper receipts or risk over-billing your valued clients. Bookkeeping software is essential for your growing law firm. You can accurately bill your client for your time and expenses. Run reports to quickly oversee the ebb and flow of your profit and loss. Consistently use the software to improve your billing, increase profits and grow your small business.

All of the above software options are a great way to automate a part of your business that should not eat away at the time you spend gathering research, meeting with your client and helping them win their case. Choose a software that works with your budget, can accommodate a growing business and save you time and money by being easy to use and only offering you the features you really need.

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