What steps can I take to protect my firm from embezzlement?

CosmoLex Team

You can protect your law firm from embezzlement by setting up , getting to know your employees, and looking for suspicious behavior. Setting up Internal Controls Internal controls are processes and systems businesses put in place to protect company assets, including bank accounts.[1] It is best to prepare written fiscal policies and procedures detailing the internal controls you want your … Read More

What goes into a law firm’s disaster recovery plan?

CosmoLex Team

A (a “DRP”) must be flexible enough to address all sorts of disasters that can affect a law firm’s ability to function whether it affects IT infrastructure only, IT infrastructure and the physical premises, the ability of key personnel to provide services to the firm, or the safety of physical premises when occupied by firm personnel.[1] The ABA and most … 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

Does my law firm need a disaster recovery plan?

CosmoLex Team

Many law firms believe that they do not need a , a plan to get the firm up and running after a disaster strikes, because they do not operate in an area affected by hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, or floods. But disasters come in all shapes and sizes, and can include smaller things such as fires, cyber attacks, theft, unexpected loss … Read More

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

How do I draft a business plan for a law firm?

CosmoLex Team

A business plan is a road map for the first three to five years of a law firm’s existence.[1] It is an important business management tool as it allows your law firm to develop a strategy for making a profit before you even open your firm.[2] If you intend to ask for outside financing, banks and private investors will want … Read More

I want to open my own law practice, what are the first steps?

CosmoLex Team

Opening a law practice can be challenging for an attorney. Many attorneys don’t have business degrees and have never run a business in the past, so it can be overwhelming for them to know where to start when opening a law firm. The following is a high-level overview of the steps to take when opening a law firm: Step One: … 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

What is a break-even analysis?

CosmoLex Team

Law firms, like most businesses, are created to generate a profit for the partners.[1] Generating revenue alone does not guarantee that firm will earn a profit because businesses only generate profits when their revenues exceed expenditures.[2] The “” is the point at which the revenues begin exceeding the firm’s expenses.[1][2] The first step in a break-even analysis is to determine … 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