The Best Legal Accounting Software for Lawyers: A Guide

Compared to QuickBooks Online and TrustBooks, Xero doesn’t offer the same level of customization capabilities for lawyers. However, this accounting software for lawyers allows you to send invoices and quotes, capture bills and receipts, use multiple currencies, and more. Accountants play an integral role in every business—law firms are no different. Legal accountants often prepare financial statements, help with forecasting, and record expenses. Which is why we created this round-up of the best accounting software for lawyers you can try for free. Prior to purchasing software for your legal practice, it’s important to understand your organizational needs and how a practice management solution can help meet those requirements.

  • Law firms use accounting software to record and monitor the money that flows in and out of their business.
  • Real-time updates and collaborative features enable seamless communication and efficient management of financial tasks, reducing the time spent on administrative duties.
  • As a fully customizable legal accounting software platform, QuickBooks lets you manage retainers based on your state’s specific IOTLA programs rules.

Cloud-based accounting software providers prioritize data security, employing advanced encryption and security protocols to protect sensitive information. QuickBooks Desktop is the classic, full-featured accounting software that runs on Windows PC’s. QuickBooks Online is Intuit’s cloud-based (web-based) edition, which provides much, but not all, of the classic Desktop functionality. Accounting software is an essential part of any law firm’s legal tech toolbox. There are QuickBooks resellers that are experienced with implementing it in the legal space.

At the same time, you can reduce time spent on bookkeeping and reactive time tracking. Interestingly, tax deductions can ease the burden when used correctly—yet not all lawyers are up-to-date on their tax deductions. Many lawyers go to one or the other extreme—they either claim everything (and possibly more than they’re allowed to), or they’re so afraid to overstep they miss out on tax deductions. When it comes to accounting for law firms, whether you handle it yourself or hire someone, your bookkeeping system must maintain a consistent schedule for carrying out bookkeeping tasks.

Features:

Clio and QuickBooks for lawyers also help you make the most of the money you’re already earning—by making it easier to stay organized and account for everything. In addition to improving efficiency, QuickBooks also makes it easier for lawyers to stay organized. A more organized lawyer means more peace of mind regarding cash flow, client information, and invoice automation. Yes, QuickBooks lets you customize invoices to reflect your practice’s logo, information, and billing rates.

  • Here’s a sample P&L for a law firm that looks like what I typically see.
  • But leave the actual accounting to separate software (which it may integrate with).
  • And you’ll get access to conflicts management, trust accounting and ABA task codes.
  • However, if a firm fails to separate revenue that covers incurred costs from actual revenue, their records will be off.

Consider whether your firm would be best suited for combined practice management / accounting software (or separate software for each), and consider the specific features your law firm needs. Next, we recommend that your firm makes an inventory of the specific capabilities and features that you require in your law firm accounting software. For this, you should confer with both your legal team and your accountant.

Legal software your entire firm can agree on

Legal bookkeeping takes place before any accounting can occur and is an important administrative task for any law firm. Dealing with spreadsheets or manual accounting is time-consuming and leaves you at increased risk of human error. Suppose  you choose accounting software that automatically syncs payroll functionality with time-tracking and expense apps. In that case, you can also generate pay runs with the click of a button, for better efficiency.

Cloud-Based Solutions

It allows for more meaningful financial management that isn’t influenced by the ups and downs of cash flow. If you want your firm to stay compliant, be financially successful, and grow, you need to have an accurate and clear bookkeeping system for your law firm to follow. This could mean taking on bookkeeping tasks in-house or hiring a professional bookkeeper with experience working with law firms.

What is legal practice management software?

Create beautiful one-off or recurring online client invoices that are customized for your law firm. Set up automatic reminders to take the work out of chasing your legal clients for invoice payments. Manually inputting financial data and managing transactions takes time and puts you at risk of unnecessary error. That’s why using the difference between direct costs and indirect costs the right financial management software saves time. Notably, QuickBooks states that it saves customers an average of 40 hours per month). This integration also helps your firm manage financials beyond traditional billable hours—such as supporting your firm in offering diverse fee arrangements to fit clients’ different needs.

Terms, conditions, pricing, features, service and support are subject to change without notice. Find more of what you need with these tools, resources, and solutions. Manage them based on your state’s specific rules within your Chart of Accounts. You can go with an accrual or cash accounting method in the US, and the difference is mostly about timing. When it comes to key accounting concepts, it’s really about organization.

TrustBooks

Clio works with your accounting software to help you manage your firm’s profitability, compensation, financial health, and more. Law firms are famous for the high volume of paperwork they must manage. Additionally, attorneys must keep track of their time for billing purposes, which is challenging when they have multiple clients or are working on contingency. LeanLaw’s trust accounting engine tracks trust and operating accounts based on industry and state bar compliance standards.

ProLaw is desktop/server-based, so it can be run on-premise or within a Private Cloud. ProLaw also offers ProLaw Workspace, an optional web interface to the ProLaw system. But leave the actual accounting to separate software (which it may integrate with). When it comes to protecting data, you’ll enjoy Clio’s industry-leading security. QuickBooks Online uses encryption to help protect client information.

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