The Best Workflow When Working With Attorneys As An Accountant

Legal Workflow for Accountants

I’m fortunate to be known as a person who works with attorneys as a specialist In the legal industry.

 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. It is important to have the right pieces put together because they’ll save you time and then the automation will improve your accuracy.

Also important to stick to a workflow. Below is my workflow--the one my team knows--the preferred one. Only one component or cog in the wheel has changed. And that’s Hubdoc because the app changed and it’s more specific because it’s related directly to Xero. I use the accounting platform QuickBooks. 

Let’s start at the top for my pre-sale, the initial client touch appointment. For that, I use Hubspot and 17 hats. But what about after the sale?  Here is my top app-stack.

Liscio

Communication and client document exchange are at the heart of my onboarding process.   For this part of the work, I use, Liscio.  It is my client communication and document storage app. But it is much more than that.

Liscio gives me the ability to have the client upload documents, and the documents are stored right on the clients' account. I can communicate with my customer with texts too! Liscio  gives me that quiet space. I can assign tasks for my client and I can make them recurring.  

Compliance and security are two boxes I check off with Liscio.  I can safely store logins and keep notes.  The Liscio vault and dispatch are easy to use.  The best part is it is easy for my customers too.  They download the app and they are good to go--from anywhere.  

QuickBooks Online Advanced

QuickBooks Online Advanced is the top tier of Intuit 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 biggest feature is custom fields. Custom fields allows me to tailor the platform to the clients practice area. There’s also workflows for accounts receivable and that entry and much much more.

LeanLaw

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 finding "Easter Eggs" every day. They keep adding new features and working to set themselves apart from other programs out there.   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 it works well with the soul of attorney too.  It handles trust accounting perfectly. No more worrying about a file being overdrawn. It makes light work of tracking trust accounts.

Gravity payments

Gravity payments is a merchant service provider that works directly with LeanLaw and QuickBooks Online Advanced. We instruct our clients that you can use gravity payments for any payment that needs to flow into the trust bank account. Then the best part is the bank or merchant fee is deducted from the operating bank account. This will keep your clients books in compliance.

There is a simple, built in feature "trust request".  It couldn't be more simple than + click>trust request.  Let the automation happen!

Intuit Merchant service

For any attorneys that have a lot of accounts receivable or even just some accounts receivable, we recommend Intuit merchant services. Is it the cheapest in town? No. But by far the main reason is the automation. You will save hours in your workflow by implementing the use of Intuit merchant services QuickBooks and LeanLaw. Additionally with automation, you will find that automating pieces of this workflow especially when it comes to a client that has heavy accounts receivable like an immigration attorney, will make your work more precise and perfect.

Dext

Dext software is used for receipt capture.  Automation tools are in place to upload receipts and attach them to the transactions.  This app has smart learning capabilities using AI. It’s simple to use and there’s an ability to add notes. I love the fact 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. This is crucial with law firms as we want to capture all advanced client costs.

Reach Reporting

Reach Reporting is a high-level tool. We don’t use it at all clients but for midmarket that have compensation reporting needs, or even needs to track per attorney when the client wants to track realization rates or utilization rates, this tool is invaluable. 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.

As you can see from the above I have quite a few tools. Each works in synchrony with the other. That’s what makes this workflow so powerful. I took a lot of time to research what will work. I really do try to stick to it. Not to waiver when a client wants to use a different software. My team knows all of these pieces that they need to know. They specialize in them. It’s a repetitive system which is what it is designed to do.

If you're in accounting a bookkeeper and want some extra help working with attorneys, join our private group, the Accountants Law Lab.

If you're an attorney who knows your books are not quite right or you need accounting services, call us! We are more than happy to help. If you are an attorney and want to use my awesome workflow and automate the heck out of your processes, contact us!

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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.​