As we approach the end of the year, many legal professionals will be thinking about making some tax-deductible expenditures to give their firms a little extra shine and reduce their tax bill in the process.
While it’s a great idea to grab some new gear while improving your tax position, you don’t want to eat into your profits unnecessarily, so it’s essential to invest in things that will give you the best return on investment (ROI) possible.
With that in mind, we’ve created this list of five essential purchases law firms can make to create a better working environment for the whole team and maximize their tax benefits at the same time.
1. Office furniture
First impressions are important, especially for walk-in clients who are looking for professional legal representation. Spending some of your hard-earned money on new furniture might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but it helps present the right image to anyone who walks through your doors.
Bonus activity: once you have your office fitted out with new furniture, you can get professional photos taken of your office and use that content to update your website and social media.
One of the most straightforward purchases law firms can make when looking to maximize their tax benefits is a set of new computers for the office.
You may need to do this more often than you expect. The average lifespan for a desktop computer is 5-8 years, and 3-5 years for a laptop.
By investing in new hardware for your team, you can increase efficiency and minimize the time they spend dealing with lag or other issues that come with working on older processors. Plus, they may qualify for a 100% special depreciation allowance, so check the IRS rules.
3. Website and digital marketing services
Just as how your physical office gives an important first impression to prospective clients, your website similarly makes an important impression to anyone searching for legal representation online.
Luckily, almost all of your website design and marketing expenses are tax-deductible.
But with so many website design options out there, it can be tough to choose the right one for your firm. Make sure you do your homework and find a provider that understands the unique requirements of the legal field so you don’t have to spend extra time and money fixing avoidable problems later.
Once you’ve got a quality website up and running, it’s not enough to just hope people stumble across it—you’ve got to create quality content that search engines will recognize and show to potential clients.
Along with web design, digital marketing services such as content creation and search engine optimization are also tax-deductible, which means that you can really get the most out of your deduction by investing in something that continually generates business for your firm.
If possible, work with a company that provides web design and digital marketing services. This ensures that there’s no disconnect between different teams and every aspect of your online presence is managed by someone who knows what your firm needs.
4. Educational resources
If you’re not learning, you’re not growing. Consistently educating yourself and your staff can go a long way to making work easier for your team, and keep you ahead of the curve when dealing with new developments in the legal field.
The IRS allows businesses to deduct expenses related to professional development, like training courses, CLEs, conferences, and subscriptions to legal research tools. Now is the perfect time to take full advantage of any educational resources your team needs to succeed.
5. New technology
Last, but certainly not least, on our list is investing in new technology. Implementing legal-specific software solutions at your firm practically guarantees a great ROI because they can provide a wealth of features that can streamline your operations, increase efficiency, and save time and money.
Some great tech solutions out there are:
Client relationship management software
Legal client relationship management software (CRM) can go a long way in helping your firm grow and scale by making it easier to foster new relationships with new leads and existing clients.
CRM is a centralized platform that tracks information about leads and clients and helps with essential functions like:
- Client intake
- Contact management
- Document management
- Client communication
- Appointment scheduling
- Lead tracking
- Lead management
File sharing and eSignatures
Two great tech tools that save time and money and cut out the headaches of chasing down clients for signatures, or spending days waiting for important documents to arrive at your door or in your inbox, are secure file sharing and eSignatures.
With the right file-sharing software solution, you can easily send and receive documents from one secure location, eliminating long wait times for critical or time-sensitive documents, while utilizing an eSignature creates a secure, easy way for your clients to sign important documents with the click of a button.
Practice management software
From providing you with solutions that streamline your workflows to document management software that keeps you organized and ready for anything, the right practice management software is an excellent investment.
Some key features to look out for in practice management software are:
- Time and billing tools to ensure you’re not losing a second of billable time
- Trust accounting features to keep your firm compliant with local regulations
- Electronic payment processing to make things convenient for your clients and get you paid faster
Practice management software can work in tandem with your CRM and the other solutions you rely on so that you can manage everything related to your firm within a single platform. Now that’s a worthwhile investment!
Set your firm up for success and save money this tax season with CosmoLex
As you wrap up your books for the end of the year and move forward with an eye on the future, it’s essential to evaluate the tools and resources your law firm relies on to operate effectively. The right investments can not only maximize your tax benefits but also help your firm grow to new heights.
If you’re ready to invest in new solutions for your law firm before tax season rolls around, making the switch to CosmoLex can take your firm to the next level.
From practice management software to keep things running smoothly, to web design and SEO to get the right eyes on your firm, CosmoLex has everything you need to enhance the way your firm operates and save money while you do it.