The BEST Workflow When Working with Attorneys as an Accountant
If you have been following my blog, you know I am passionate about my work with attorneys as a specialist in the legal industry. I love the app stack I use, which makes me not have to do lots of data entry. I've had multiple people ask, "What is your workflow?" "What apps do you use?
I'm going to break it down piece by piece. If you're thinking of specializing, don't skimp on your tools. Having the right pieces together is essential because they'll save you time, and then the automation will improve your accuracy.
Also important is to stick to a workflow. Below is my workflow--the one my team knows--the preferred one. The pinnacle accounting software that I use is QuickBooks Online Advanced. It has the user roles and the automation necessary to do less manual typing. This workflow works in sync.
Let's start at the top with the initial client touch. Our firm uses Liscio. We want our client communication to be secure and seamless. We can meet our clients where they want to be. We can even text them from within the program. Documents are easily stored and quickly found and retrieved using tags.
QuickBooks Online Advanced
This product is the top tier of Intuit's lineup of products. Because it's the top-tier, it has all the bells and whistle's that we need to automate many tasks in a workflow. The custom fields feature allows me to give clients what they need in the program. Want to track a matter ID and file number? Custom fields will enable me to tailor the platform to the client's practice area with minimal setup. There are also workflows for accounts receivable that allow me to remind a client when an invoice is unpaid and when it is past due. There are so many more features that Intuit has put inside the program within the workflows area.
I could speak for hours and hours regarding my favorite time in billing software for attorneys. This program seems to change daily. We call it Easter eggs every day. They keep adding new features and setting themselves apart from other programs out there with the ability to customize and work within some of the crazy compensation plans that the attorneys dream up. There's a reason why Intuit has chosen LeanLaw to be their premier app for attorneys and law firms in the mid-market space. But it doesn't stop there; it's affordable and works well with the solo attorney. It handles trust accounting perfectly without worrying about a file being overdrawn. It makes light work of tracking trust accounts.
Gravity legal is a merchant service provider that works directly with LeanLaw and QuickBooks Online Advanced. We instruct our clients that you can use Gravity Legal for any payment that needs to deposit into the trust bank account. With Gravity, you can guarantee that the merchant service fee will be deducted from your operating account, keeping your law practice and trust accounting in compliance.
Intuit Merchant service
We recommend Intuit merchant services for attorneys with many accounts receivable or even just some accounts receivable. Is it the most inexpensive merchant provider in town? No. But by far, the main reason is automation. You will save hours in your workflow by implementing Intuit merchant services QuickBooks and LeanLaw. Additionally, you will find that automating payments and deposits, especially for a client with heavy accounts receivable like an immigration attorney, will make your work more precise and perfect.
This app is used for receipt capture. The IRS insists on receipts and is critical with law firms to capture all advanced client costs. Automation tools are in place to upload receipts and attach them to the transactions. This software has "smart" learning capabilities using AI. It's simple to use, and there's an ability to add notes. I love that you can have the attorneys use the app and upload the receipts, so we get that Birdseye view instantly and no receipts are missed.
Reach Reporting is a high-level tool. We don't use it for all clients, but this tool is invaluable for midmarket that has compensation reporting needs or even need to track per attorney when the client wants to track realization rates or utilization rates. It is a bit pricey but worth every penny because it will validate your data. It gives you the ability to customize individualized report screens for the attorneys. Think of it as the attorney's report card. It also allows us to stay on top of tracking compensation plans. We connected to the data source, so we are validating every penny.
We have done our homework and spent time researching what will work.
As you can see from the above, our firm uses several tools. Each works in synchrony with the other. That's what makes this workflow so powerful.
Would you like to learn more about our workflow and how it can work at your law firm? Contact us!