Being in the field of law requires extra attention for every single aspect of business. But who can concentrate on clients when you still have to track the time you spend on cases, calculate rates, prepare/send/collect invoices, and so on? Wouldn’t it be better to have a solution that automates most or all of the above? Consider yourself lucky, because such a solution does exist: it is called online accounting software.
These cost-friendly solutions, available anytime from anywhere, are capable of handling multiple things at once without the need to download anything to your computer. You can create estimates/quotes that you can turn into invoices and easily manage your clients and even track the time based on their respective cases. If you think the solution is not enough in itself, you can always rely on the integration with third-party apps.
Online accounting solutions come with a bunch of features that you’ll never need in your law practice, but there are some that are indispensable for legal practitioners. Let’s take a look at the features that are an absolute must:
With online inventory management you can keep track of all types of services your law firm provides and determine their respective price tags as well. This feature is also the key to easily create new quotes and even invoices: you just have to pick a service from the inventory and add it to your quote/invoice.
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Legal services have no consistent pricing, therefore clients always want to know approximately how much they have to pay if they retain your services. Your accounting software can help you in that too: pick a client, choose your service and your quote/estimate is ready to be sent. What’s even better is that if your client accepts your terms, you can easily turn quotes and estimates into full-fledged invoices.
With accounting software you can easily track all your expenses and attach them to the final invoice. Had to pay extra for a legal document? You can have the accounting solution process the receipt for you to be turned into a claim in the form of an invoice.
Not all accounting solutions have this feature, but if you have such a solution, or your software allows integration with a third-party time tracking app, consider yourself very lucky. The time tracker allows you to invoice billable and unbillable work times to your customers based on the delivered work time.
You can have a real-time view of your business on the dashboard of the online accounting solution with just one glance. You’ll stay informed when you are paid, what is due for you, how much money you have on your bank account and so on.
Integrating Other Software and Services
One of the above features is missing from your online accounting solution? Or you have a tool you don’t want to ditch just because you purchased new software? Or you just want to make your accounting solution even better than it currently is? Through integration with third-party apps, all of the above can be solved. Most accounting companies support and offer an API, so you only have to import data from your existing software to your accounting solution once in a lifetime; this means you can manage multiple software from a single dashboard, saving you not only time, but money as well.
You can integrate PayPal to your accounting solution which can substitute your bank account (the feed of which is constantly displayed on your dashboard), while also giving you the option to get paid faster and in a much efficient way. You can also use WorkflowMax which is not just a time tracking device and CRM, but it can also create quotes, invoices and reports too. You can manage your inventory in TradeGecko, and use the powerhouse that is Google by using Google Apps for file storage, business report exports and even real-time video meetings.
Online Accounting Solutions Recommended for You
When you select an online accounting solution, it must contain all features you deem necessary or it has to be capable of integrating solutions you use. Here are two fine examples of accounting solutions for law consultants: Xero and FreshBooks.
Trusted by over 600k businesses all over the world, Xero is basically the Tesla of the online accounting market with its unique, innovative yet easily comprehensible and customer-friendly solutions. It has all features a decent business needs: you have the option to create estimates/quotes and easily turn them into one-time or recurring invoices with just a few clicks. It lets you track your expenses and manage your list of clients, whether you are in the office or on the road using the iOS/Android app. The software is also capable of integrating with over 400 different third-party apps so you can turn your Xero account into a true workforce. As a Xero client you can choose from three pricing plans each providing a 30-day long trial period and 24/7 customer service.
Over the years FreshBooks became a true competitor of Xero by providing outstanding services for cost-friendly prices. The software comes with everything you need: easy invoicing, expense tracking, automated workflow, the option to turn on online payments and detailed business reports. FreshBooks comes with built-in time tracking and project management features that can be further enhanced by choosing one of the 14 third-party add-ons the software can integrate with. The company also provides an excellent iOS/Android app that is capable of almost everything the desktop version offers. FreshBooks is available in four barely different plans with a 30-day long free trial.