During our Building The Perfect Accounting System For Your Law Firm webinar, Micky Denning of Kahuna Accounting covered four trends in accounting addressed by Doug Sleeter that attorneys should take into consideration when building an accounting solution for their firm. By taking these trends into ‘account’ (see what we did there?), attorneys will be able to lay the groundwork for a successful, simple and seamless accounting system that will improve your firm’s financial visibility and efficiency for years to come.
Rather than getting an all-in-one accounting software package that has many universal features—many of which may not apply to the legal industry or your specific needs—’chunkification’ introduces the concept of shunning bulky software in favor of modular, narrowly-focused solutions doing one task and doing it well. With the rise of APIs, integrations, and communication between different solutions, chunkification allows lawyers to assemble a roster of best-of-breed solutions that address their requirements.
An added benefit of chunkification is that if lawyers come across a new solution that they find works better, or a new solution arises to address market trends, they can easily swap out one piece of the system rather than having to endure a dramatic overhaul of their software and processes. Some suggestions for piecemeal accounting solutions include Xero (for accounting), Clio (for time tracking and invoicing), ZenPayroll (for payroll management), and LawPay (for payment processing).
When people think of bookkeeping, they primarily think of data entry—laboriously poring over ledgers and spreadsheets and manually entering individual line items. The reality is that with modern solutions, you can successfully run your accounting without having to type a single number. Today’s accounting solutions allow for integrations with billing and invoicing software, payroll software, and even your bank accounts. Invoiced time entries and payment amounts can be automatically synced across without lifting a finger. Simplify and automate your accounting processes with a modern accounting system and bid farewell to spreadsheets forever.
The right tools for your legal accounting will not only provide you with a user-friendly interface to accomplish your accounting tasks, but should make it easy for you to get professional advice. While lawyers may be familiar with accounting principles, they’re not accountants, and the right accounting tools will provide a platform for you to collaborate with accounting experts in real-time, whenever you need it. For this reason, cloud accounting solutions that allow permission-based collaboration are certainly preferable to locally hosted solutions that require lengthy back-and-forth email chains to resolve.
Like all modern business solutions, your accounting system should also provide you with mobile access from any device at any time, particularly in an industry such as legal where mismanaged funds can have disastrous consequences. Having always-on access to your financial and accounting information can provide enormous peace of mind, as well as the opportunity to add entries in real-time or correct any accounting errors without waiting until you’re back in the office.
For busy lawyers, mobile access to their management solutions is essential—make sure you’re choosing an accounting solution that supports mobile. To thrive, modern lawyers need to be skilled money managers. By utilizing the technology and tools available with an eye to these emerging trends, you’ll be able to become a more successful and empowered business owner.
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