November and December can be joyful months, but they are also known for piling on the stress: there are financial and reporting requirements to attend to, an increase in family obligations, and some appealing extracurriculars that your team might not want to miss.
If there were ever a time that your law office could use a boost in productivity and effectiveness, this would be it. Thankfully, technology can help you optimize your practice management, simplify your billing and accounting software, and help you stay compliant.
Here are four major areas of focus for law firms, as well as how CosmoLex can save you time across each one.
Legal Practice Management
Legal practice management is a complex proposition—law firms require software that can handle all of the normal functions of a business while also managing tasks specific to the legal field.
Standard functions include:
- Capturing of information
- Task and document management
- Recording file relationships
- Mote tracking
The ideal practice management software should simplify this process by allowing shared calendaring, automated email archival, internal chat, internal commenting, and document storage.
Cosmolex offers all of these features, as well as legal-specific functions like a complete matter details view, matter relations tracking, a client portal, automated document assembly, and legal-specific integrations and syncs.
One of the complications of legal billing is that many firms use two different tools: a legal-specific billing and practice management tool and a separate, more general accounting software program. This can cause a range of problems—from difficulty capturing costs to problems with receiving invoice payments.
CosmoLex can help by providing legal-specific billing functions and by providing an integrated accounting and billing system.
Legal billing involves timekeeping, tracking matter expenses, invoicing, and collection. Because CosmoLex is set up specifically to meet the billing needs of a legal practice, it has both hard and soft cost entry accommodations, LawPay integration, and bulk trust to operating account transfer options.
CosmoLex also offers mobile access, a live timer with integrated timesheet, pre-bill review, batch invoice generation, electronic delivery, and accounts receivable reminders.
A legal accounting system has to manage both business accounting and matter accounting, all while maintaining compliance with the regulations of the field.
Legal accounting requires:
- Tracking firm expenses
- Managing client funds
- Performing reconciliations
- Running accounting reports
With legal accounting, problems often arise around integrating separate billing and accounting systems, ensuring accurate postings, maintaining trust compliance, and managing fee allocation.
CosmoLex helps by offering a built-in Chart of Accounts with legal-specific categories, accommodating retainer management and check printing, and providing import and bank feed functions. CosmoLex is also set up to make reconciliations easy and automatic and has built-in features for productivity and compliance reporting.
Trust accounting compliance is another major area of concern for law firms – and a huge source of unintentional ethics violations. Trust accounting requires separating operating accounts and trust accounts, managing accurate ledgers, and familiarity with the compliance requirements of trust accounts. It also requires timely bank reconciliation.
To simplify trust accounting, Cosmolex offers matter selection required for retainers funds, separate ledgers for operating funds and trust retainers, safeguards against overdrafts, and built-in reconciliation and reporting.
Between eliminating workflow redundancies, automating tasks like invoicing and running reconciliations, and streamlining day-to-day practice management tasks, CosmoLex can save you significant amounts of time. And although saving time is always nice, it is particularly appreciated in the final months of the year.
After all, time saved can always be put to better use—whether that be dreaming up big plans for your firm’s future, spending a little extra time with family, or finally treating yourself to a well-earned long winters’ nap.