Can I use a general accounting program like QuickBooks for timekeeping?

CosmoLex Team

Many general accounting programs like QuickBooks allow companies to track the time each attorney spends billable activities for a given client.[1][2][3][4] You can then use the time entries to generate an invoice.[5][6][7][8] References 1. Time Tracking Invoices in QuickBooks 2. Tracking Time in QuickBooks Desktop and Online: The Differences 3. Tracking Time in QuickBooks 4. Accounting Software just for Law … Read More

Can I use a general accounting program like QuickBooks to track reimbursable costs?

CosmoLex Team

There are two types of reimbursable costs, and . Soft costs are those costs that the client’s fee agreement allows your firm to bill for even though your law firm doesn’t write a physical check to a vendor for the item. These include items such as copies, general postage, facsimiles, etc.[1][2] Hard costs are those costs attributable to a specific … Read More

Can a general accounting program like QuickBooks apply complex rate structures and non-traditional fee arrangements to invoices?

CosmoLex Team

Most general accounting and billing programs do not have the ability to apply complex rate structures and non-traditional fee arrangements when creating invoices. Quickbooks, for example, will allow your law firm to set up different billing rates for each employee or for specific matters or tasks, but only in the Professional or Accountant versions of the software.[1] In the lower … Read More

What is the difference between a hard cost and a soft cost for a law firm?

CosmoLex Team

A hard cost, also known as a direct cost, is one that is paid directly to a vendor on behalf of a client for services provided in association with a specific client matter. [1] Hard costs typically include court reporter fees, filing fees, mediation fees, hearing transcript fees, etc. Good law firm practice management, through the use of a legal … Read More

Can I email invoices to legal clients?

CosmoLex Team

Since legal invoices are communications between lawyers and clients that may reveal an attorney’s strategy or legal advice, some states consider them to be privileged. [1][2][3] Therefore, law firms should check with their state bar association to determine what they need to do when emailing privileged information to clients, as those requirements could apply to emailed invoices as well. Most billing … Read More

How do I track clients with overdue balances?

CosmoLex Team

In a recent poll, small and solo attorneys named billing and collection matters as among the top three challenges in running a law firm. [1] Reports tracking clients with overdue balances, such as the aging accounts receivable report, are the starting point of all collection activities. [2] These reports allow law firms to print a list of past-due invoices for each client … Read More

What are effective collection methods for law firms?

CosmoLex Team

A “cash-flow crisis resulting from inadequate [Accounts Receivable (AR)] collection practices in a growing business is generally the greatest threat [a] business will ever face.”[1] Small law firms and solo practitioners are especially susceptible to having inadequate AR collection practices because they often do not have a dedicated billing staff, and attorneys do not have the time available or the … Read More

Can general accounting programs like QuickBooks send out bill batches?

CosmoLex Team

Many general accounting programs can generate identical invoices for multiple clients at one time through a process called .[1][2] This is different from printing or emailing personalized invoices to clients through a or process.[3][4] Since law firms create personalized invoices, they do not need a batch invoicing feature in their accounting program.  What firms need is for the program to … Read More

Do I need to track my time for a contingent fee case?

CosmoLex Team

Contingent fee arrangements occur when a law firm provides services to a client in exchange for a percentage of future recovery in the matter. Because the law firm doesn’t collect a fee unless the client receives a recovery, and because the fee collected is a percentage of the total recovery, law firms generally do not send out monthly invoices to … Read More