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Law Firm Operations
Controlling Expenses
The goal of all law firms is to be profitable, but achieving that goal can be difficult for some lawyers. Generating income is, obviously, the first step towards making a profit; of course, income can only be generated if billable hours are accurately recorded and invoiced to clients, and if payments for those invoices are collected. Moreover, all firms, no matter their size, must spend money to make a profit. The transactions of money flowing out of the firm are recorded as expenses in the firm’s accounting system. Profit is determined by the amount of income that exceeds a company’s expenses incurred to generate the income itself. Therefore, it is important for all businesses, especially law firms, to control operating expenses, which in turn requires timely and accurate accounting, organization and analysis of financial information.
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Law Firm Operations
Best Practices in Collecting Accounts Receivable
Picture this: a new client retained the firm, timely work was performed, invoices were prepared and sent to the client and yet those invoices remain unpaid. Sound familiar? Many law firms have very high accounts receivable balances that are aged over 120 days and these high and aged invoices directly affect the firm’s overall financial health. While it may be daunting to try and collect payments that are long overdue, many times, it requires no more than a simple conversation or the adoption of credit card payments.
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Law Firm Operations
Zola Suite Feature Spotlight: Effective Rates Report
Measuring the productivity and profitability of your timekeepers is rarely straightforward. There is, of course, the hourly rate and total billable hours for any given matter, but that fails to look at all the different variables: differing rates by matter or client and time spent on the matter that can’t be billed to the client (or is eventually written off).
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Accounting & Reporting
Zola Suite Feature Spotlight: LEDES Budgeting
Electronic, or LEDES billing is a necessary, and often dreaded, process at many law firms. Between enforcing timekeeping with the appropriate LEDES codes, generating invoices that are in alignment with the client’s requirements and successfully submitting these invoices to various clearinghouses, e-billing can be time-consuming and downright frustrating for the back-office. With Zola’s advanced LEDES…
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Law Firm Operations
Zola Suite Feature Spotlight: Vendor Reports
Law firms work with dozens, or even hundreds, of different vendors each month. Without the right tools, tracking all of the contracts, invoices and tax information for these companies can be a full time job. Zola Suite’s robust vendor management tools help firms efficiently manage all invoices and outgoing payments (including the ability to cut checks and even associate expenses with a matter). Zola’s dedicated Vendor Reports provide a holistic view of all payments, outstanding balances, expenses to be passed along to a matter and tax information.
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Updates from Zola
Zola Suite Feature Spotlight: Split Billing
Zola Suite’s Split Billing Feature allows users to divide the invoiced amount for services and expenses on a singular matter between multiple parties. Users can set unique rates for each client and split percentages independently for fees and costs. Once Split Billing has been configured on the Matter-level, users can generate invoices as usual. Using the previously-entered percentages, this tool generates a unique invoice for each billing client listed with its own unique invoice number. Each invoice will include the Matter, as well as each individual billing clients’ contact information.
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Law Firm Operations
Succession Planning Basics: What You Need to Know and Why You Should Start Now
In many firms, “succession planning” is important, but not urgent. It is human nature to deal with tactical issues and delay any strategic initiatives, but many professionals do not have an end-goal in mind. Many believe that they will “die at their desks.” However, no one can remain in a leadership role forever. Succession planning is a critical component to maintaining and growing the business by maintaining current talent and developing future leaders. It is a continuing process and has to become part of the culture.
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Updates from Zola
Top Zola Suite Releases of 2020
Each year, the Zola Suite development team releases hundreds of updates and dozens of new features to help law firms be more efficient and profitable. While it can be difficult to narrow down our list of favorites, Zola Suite users have spoken, and based on their feedback, we’re pleased to share our top 10 releases of 2020.
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Law Firm Operations
Controlling Receivables
Controlling receivables directly affects a firm’s financial health. Therefore, it is imperative that a law firm has an organized and detailed method for collecting client payments in a timely manner.
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