Integration: The Key To Successful Practice Management
Law firms across the United States know and understand that there are a plethora of different solutions that can be used when it comes to practice management. Many firms employ a number of different solutions to fully manage their front and back office chores.
Attorneys know that managing a law firm goes far beyond simply practicing law. The actual management of a law firm can bring about a number of different needs including:
Time Tracking and Billing
Calendaring & Tasks
Each of these areas presents different challenges and require different capabilities to effectively manage a law firm.
Using Multiple Systems Will Cause Multiple Problems
With so many different needs, law firms often use multiple solutions and systems for practice management. This can cause problems for law firms for a number of different reasons:
Multiple Points of Data Entry– A law firm’s accounting needs can only be efficiently met when there is constant communication between the billing and accounting systems. If the two systems’ data does not sync up, costly legal accounting errors are undoubtedly on the horizon. When using disparate practice management solutions that are not integrated with one another a firm is required your to enter information multiple times in multiple systems, increasing your opportunity for error. 90% of small law firms surveyed noted that synchronization between practice management software and accounting as one of their main concern.
Lack of Legal Specific Solutions– While there are many systems and solutions that can be used to manage a law firm, it doesn’t mean that they should be. Law firms have very specific needs and requirements that must be fulfilled. Employing nonlegal specific solutions to manage your legal practice is like stepping up to a tee box and planning to drive a golf ball 300 yards with a putter. You could do it, but it’s an awful idea and you will more than likely be unsuccessful.
Law firms have extremely specific and strict requirements when it comes to their business and trust accounting. The myriad of general business management and accounting solutions simply do not fulfill these needs. In order for these systems to perform appropriately in managing a law firm, there is a great need for customization, integration, and human intervention that can lead to unexpected costs and errors for the firm employing these systems.
Why invest in an integrated practice management system?
With law firms having so many needs that contribute to total practice management, what are they to do? Integrated practice management systems can solve a number of problems faced by law firms using a number of disparate systems.
Manage Your Entire Practice Inside One Solution
Legal billing software, legal practice management software, attorney trust accounting software, law firm accounting software can all be brought together in one system to give law firms one seamless service that saves enormous amounts of time and money.
Bridging The Gap Between Practice Management & Legal Accounting
Using an integrated practice management system gives a law firm the ability to bridge the gap between practice management and legal accounting through built-in business accounting and IOLTA trust accounting.
This allows a law firm to prevent the commingling of funds and remains audit ready by easily performing 3-way reconciliation reports.
Integration of Business Accounting– The truth is lawyers are not accountants, but they operate in an industry with some of the unique accounting requirements. So unique that many accountants have trouble navigating the legal accounting landscape. An integrated practice management system makes legal accounting easier for both lawyers and their accountants. Built in business accounting eliminates the need for firms to enter data multiple times into multiple systems.
Integration of IOLTA Trust Accounting– Every lawyer knows the importance of accurate trust accounting. They are also familiar with how difficult accurate trust accounting can be. Integrated practice management systems that feature IOLTA trust accounting solutions can help a law firm remain compliant with the following features:
Individual client trust ledgers
Add or disburse client funds
One-click withdrawn of trust funds for invoice payments
Print disbursement checks
State-compliant reports, including three-way reconciliations.
Practice management is no small task for a firm. It surely can be complicated, but it absolutely doesn’t have to be. The key to successful practice management is aligning all of the different needs and systems a law firm requires and brings them together into one system to reduce errors, improve the ability to remain compliant, increase the ability to understand a firm’s greatest income sources, and make it all easy and accessible through the cloud and automation. CosmoLex is the one practice management system in the industry that has integrated legal time and billing, business accounting, trust accounting, calendaring & tasks, and document management into one easy to use solution.