5 Reasons Accounting Professionals Should Work with Lawyers

I am about to give you my top 5 Reasons Accounting Professionals Should Work with Lawyers and provide you with a FREE preset template for the chart of accounts that you can use over and over again for your new law firm clients!

A law specific chart of accounts to import for free?  Caring = Sharing! Many of you already know I have begun to niche my accounting business into specializing with working with law firms. It is a journey and a process. My absolute favorite client to work with are attorneys.

Here are my top 5 reasons:

  • 1
    Professionalism: it’s a two-way street. The attorneys respect our knowledge and we respect theirs.
  • 2
    Lawyers are busy! They don’t steal your time. When you have conversations around their practice, they stick to the topic at hand.
  • 3
    Document requests to attorneys are handled almost instantaneously. Rarely do I have to ask a second time.
  • 4
    Lawyers’ higher level of education allows for high-level advisory conversations.
  • 5
    Law firm work is compliant based and detailed. Handling trust accounts must be done according to laws, rules and regulations - you can charge a higher fee for this higher-level work.

A Typical Scenario....

Here is the scenario: Your brand new client is an attorney. He is starting a new law practice after leaving working for a large, multi-attorney firm. You, as the accountant, sign up for QuickBooks Online and LeanLaw. QuickBooks is the accounting program in the cloud.  LeanLaw is an app for law firms that integrates seamlessly with QuickBooks Online. It makes the attorney's work much easier, automating tasks and making invoicing their clients simple.

The program, QuickBooks Online, automates much of the old tasks that were often done manually just a few short years ago.  You’ll understand more as I show you how to set up the chart of accounts using the pre-formatted spreadsheet below.

First Steps: Download Our Template

Starting at the very beginning....  Think of it as step 1.  

Step One:
Sign up for QuickBooks Online (QBO). There are really only two choices in this step.  As demonstrated in the video, pick Essentials or Plus version. When you sign up, be sure to fill in the law firm information by selecting Account Settings located under the Gear Icon. You will need to be able to answer information such as: company name, tax return type, FEIN, company facing email, etc.  You automatically get a generic chart of accounts with each QuickBooks Online file.  

Step Two:
Start by fine tuning the chart of accounts.  To help you get started, I am sharing this spreadsheet which can be used to quickly streamline your bookkeeping and new file setup. The spreadsheet will help you to start to make it more in line with attorney specific accounts. You can add or modify it based upon the type of law firm.  

The Video Demo....

In the video below, the steps above are demonstrated. And because the spreadsheet is pre-formatted, this import will take you literally seconds to upload:

1. Navigate to the gear button (top right of screen).
2. Click import
3. Select chart of accounts
4. Make your way to the excel spreadsheet that you have downloaded from this post.
5. Click import.
6. The import will do its magic for you.

The spreadsheet is your baseline. So before you import, you may want to change the account names to the specific type of law practice. If there are accounts that you know are for this particular type of firm, add them to the spreadsheet prior to the import.

Another Scenario....

These spreadsheet is also great for the customer who is in QuickBooks Desktop but would like to start over in QuickBooks Online with a clean file. It is the perfect opportunity to clean up those lists. Remember the steps outlined can also be used to import customer, vendor, and product lists.

I hope this post and spreadsheet helps you with creating your new file using LeanLaw and QBO.  Once you start down the road to specializing and niching out your accounting practice, the forms, the on boarding, everything becomes easier.  There is a flow.  And a time-saving strategy in place. This is probably the number one reason to niche. A tried and true workflow process that can be used again and again. 

Upcoming Webinar on Wednesday....

Did I mention the webinar we have coming up on Wednesday at 3 pm EST/12 noon PST regarding

 How to Niche Your Accounting Firm to Work With Law Firms and Attorneys? 

 It is being presented by LeanLaw (my favorite app for law firms) and is hosted by Jonathon Fishman, Brandy Derrick and myself. Sign up here

And don't forget to follow us on our Facebook group or on our page, QB Community Live so you don't miss any of the good content and the webinars we are sharing!

If you have any questions or would like to see a future video on another topic, please reach out to me on Facebook.

Lynda Artesani

Lynda Artesani is the president of Artesani Accounting. Her firm specializes in working exclusively with the legal industry. She is passionate about helping her attorney clients migrate to modern cloud-based systems and become future-ready.​ ​ She is a Top 100 ProAdvisor, an alumni member of the Intuit Advisory Board and a member of the Intuit Trainer Writer Network. She also runs a Facebook group and a private group called The Accountant's Law Lab. It is a place where members can learn how to work with attorneys and law firms. Lynda lives in Southwest Florida. She is a registered yoga teacher and in her free time, you will find practicing yoga or walking on the beach.​