Practice Management Software. Until recent years, high technology approaches to management often required IT infrastructure and significant expense allocations. But now there are many choices available to firms of all sizes for easy-to-install and easy-to-maintain management software programs.
These tech tools can enable even the smallest law firms to automate billing, collections, financial statement generation, document generation, docketing, calendar management and other key aspects of practice.
There are even programs for real-time tracking of payables, receivables, unbilled time, matters in the pipeline, pitches, presentations and other key data.
With regard to electronic billing management, 71 percent of law firms recently reported to Law.com that they have clients who now require e-billing capability (which automatically scours your bills for items inconsistent with client billing instructions and individual client billing agreements). So having a sophisticated electronic billing program is particularly important.
Some of the PC-based and cloud-based practice management programs that law firms have increasingly implemented or utilized in recent years include:
- Tabs3.com (billing and financial management software for law firms);
- The Clio program, found at GoClio.com (time slips, billing and document management for small firms);
- HoudiniESQ (which is free for solos and offers remote data storage and retrieval service)
- Firm Manager, an online service for solos from LexisNexis; and
- TimeMatters, a comprehensive practice management kit with multiple programs from LexisNexis.
Note: The author of this blog posting does not endorse or recommend any of these programs, but merely offers a recap of programs mentioned by participants at FirmFuture and by the trade press.