Your accountant may be great at handling small business accounting, but you need to be sure your accountant understands the differences between law firm accounting and other small business accounting requirements. It is your responsibility to make sure your books are correct. When vetting both accounting professionals and accounting software, having a basic understanding of the key distinctions between general business accounting and legal accounting can be critical to making the right decision for your firm. In this two-part series, you’ll find some core tenets of legal accounting that pose unique challenges when it comes to bookkeeping and reporting. Cash […]
We’re experiencing an unprecedented time in history, one in which most people are no longer working from their regular offices. For this reason, access to data from remote locations has become more important than ever.
Congratulations! Your firm has decided to move to a new practice management, billing or accounting platform. You have gone through the analysis, made a selection, and now comes the big question – What data should be brought over to the new application?
How do you measure productivity and predict profitability?
With time-based billing, the simplest way is billable hours. How many hours can (and should) timekeepers work in a period of time and how many of the worked hours are billable? If we assume only two weeks of vacation per year and a forty-hour workweek, the formula will look something like this…
All law firms are required to maintain accounting records for client funds deposited in trust accounts. Finding the right software solution to assist with the necessary record-keeping for those funds requires a complete understanding of the bar association rules. Trust Accounting Basics Client funds are held by lawyers for many reasons. A lawyer may hold client property in connection with representation, settlement funds or legal fees and expenses paid in advance. Bar associations have very specific rules that regulate the safekeeping of client funds, and law firms are required to deposit these funds in a separate bank account to ensure […]
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has disrupted normal business life currently and for the foreseeable future. “Business as usual” is no longer a realistic expectation. We should expect a new normal once people are permitted to reoccupy their office space.
What should law firms do to ensure their employees’ safety and make certain that policies are compliant with revised labor laws and public safety?
Change is never easy, but often necessary to stay relevant in today’s fast-paced environment. Firms should regularly review how things are done and look for ways to improve. An especially good time to do this is when implementing new law practice management (LPM) software. Firms that cling to outdated or inefficient workflows often miss out on many benefits that can save time and money.
Law firms cannot escape uncollectible fees and unrecoverable costs. Fees and disbursements that are not paid by a client have a direct effect on the firm’s profitability. Most service industries report income based on the cash method of accounting. As a result, income is recorded only when received. The only bad debt expenses will be the result of client costs that cannot be recovered. Any fees that are billed but not paid by the client represent lost income.
You’ve just heard from a client that they want you to start billing them electronically — and they don’t mean by email. They mention LEDES. What is LEDES? What do you do next?
“LEDES” stands for Legal Electronic Data Exchange Standard. LEDES billing is simply submitting your bill in a special format. The electronic bill is uploaded to a service, or clearinghouse, that reviews the bill to make sure it complies with certain rules and that all the calculations are correct. If the bill is approved, you will get paid. Let’s take a step-by-step look at the LEDES billing process.
Disasters can take many forms for an organization. They might include a compromised computer, a power outage, severe weather, an active shooter situation, a bombing, or a virus. Some of these situations are not as severe as others, but all need a plan to protect employees, clients, business partners, data, and files.