These days utilizing technology effectively is one of the main contributing factors in the continued success of a business. Deciding which software is essential for your business can be hard. There is so much software available to help businesses of every kind to operate more smoothly and profitably. With good research, however, you can make good software choices that will help take your business to the next level. In this article we focus on the software that can help with the operation of law firms. Whilst law firms have some software requirements specific to their industry, much of this software advice is relevant for all types of business.
Here is our list of essential software every law firm should use to maximize the potential of their practice.
Invoicing and Accounting Software
It is vital to implement the best accounting software to simplify the financial side of your law firm. It is so important to research the best legal accounts software available and sync it with other software for the various financial operations in your business. By computerizing your firm’s accounts, you reduce the chance of human error which will make your numbers more accurate. Coordinating your invoicing and accounting software will make the finances of your business always be up to date with no calculation mistakes.
When calculating a client’s invoice, it is very important to keep the invoicing system as simple as possible. Quality invoice software will streamline the invoice process and provide you with more accurate invoices that are always up to date. Look for invoice software that uses minute to minute data when creating your bills. This will mean that every chargeable minute and expense will automatically be updated to the invoice, meaning that you won’t have to go back through your diaries and manually write up an invoice where mistakes could easily be made. Once the client pays the fees, your accounting software will automatically run its calculations and update, leaving you free to focus on your clients.
As many law firms charge clients by an hourly rate, efficient timekeeping software is essential in making sure your time calculations are accurate so that you can bill your clients correctly. Manual timekeeping can be very time consuming and tedious, so accurate timekeeping software is very important. There are excellent timekeeping programs available for computers and even apps that you can install on your smartphone. Again, your timekeeping software can be synced with your invoice software and your overall accounting software, enabling you to keep a perfect up to date record of your law firm’s finances and operations.
Online Electronic Payment Software
These days, the payment preference of most people is automatic or online payment. One recent survey found that 60% of bills today are paid online or automatically, and additionally, 50% of clients were more likely to hire a law firm that accepted online payment. It is very important therefore that your law firm has accurate and easy to use online payment software. Decide on the different types of payment that your law firm will accept and set up your payment software accordingly. The more types of payment you will accept, the more options your client will have which will improve your client’s overall experience. When clients are satisfied, they are more likely to continue using your law firm and are also more likely to recommend your services to any friends or family members that are looking to hire legal representation. Sophisticated online payment system software keeps your client’s financial details safe and enables quick and hassle-free payments from their home computer or cellphone. Link your online and automatic payment software to your accounting system to update your financial records.
Each case that you are working on will generate thousands of pages of documents, many of which will contain private or highly sensitive data. As with any valuable information, you should never store this on your computer as it could be easily hacked and the data compromised. There are many document software options available which will help to keep your legal files safe. Even free storage databases like Google Drive are protected by constantly updated security measures which make them almost impossible to hack, but there are also other paid subscription storage programs that are tried and tested for storing legal documents. These include programs like NetDocuments and Worldox, which store documents on clouds, allowing easy sharing of information between lawyers and firms.
Document Conversion Software
Just because you are looking to computerize your law firm does not mean that everyone else is as forward thinking as you are. There will be many times in your practice when you have to deal with hard copies of documents that are really old or have not yet been digitized. The most versatile document type is widely recognized to be PDF and so an essential piece of software, not just for law firms but for all businesses, is good PDF conversion software. You will use PDF for legal documents, for invoices, for payslips and for any other document that your law firm produces or uses. PDF conversion software enables you to scan paper documents and immediately create a digital version for your records and to be shared or edited as is necessary. The number one PDF software available is Adobe Acrobat which is used by individuals and businesses all over the world.
In this day and age, computerizing the business operations of your law firm is pivotal to the success of your business. By utilizing the best software available, your firm will run more smoothly and efficiently, with fewer mistakes made and less time taken for administration, accounting and document management; time that can now be dedicated to your clients’ needs. There are thousands of software developers selling programs which are designed specifically for law firms so conduct careful research to see what other firms are using and benefiting from. Identify the areas in your business where relevant software would bring advantages and seek out the best programs available on the market to implement in those areas.