Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a practice management app with a new billing component and deep integrations (see article below), an app for tracking referral fees vis-a-vis other lawyers, a cloud dashboard for New York lawyers, and a business book summaries service. Don't miss the next issue.
One of the underappreciated benefits of cloud applications is their ability to integrate. This becomes especially powerful when the integrations are among first-party applications.
Firm Central … in One Sentence
Thomson Reuters' Firm Central is a cloud practice management application with a new billing component.
The Killer Feature
Firm Central integrates with a growing number of Thomson Reuters services. These exclusive integrations give Firm Central bragging rights as a one-stop practice management system for small law firms.
For example, you can search Westlaw from Firm Central, and access recent research. When using Westlaw, you can save research to a matter in Firm Central. Citations in documents stored in Firm Central contain live KeyCite flags.
Other key integrations include Deadline Assistant, Doc & Form Builder, Case Notebook, CaseLogistix, and Practical Law. Deadline Assistant calculates court deadlines and enters them into Firm Central calendars. With Doc & Form Builder, you can auto-populate forms with client data from Firm Central.
Third-party integrations also exist, chief among them Microsoft Office. You can save Word documents to Firm Central, and move email directly from Outlook into integrated Firm Central matters and folders. The email messages you move into these folders become accessible in Firm Central.
"Many of the features we've added in recent months came as recommendations directly from our customers," Managing Director, Small Law Firm Segment Karl Florida tells us. "The result is a highly intuitive, customizable, and affordable product that offers integration with Westlaw, Practical Law, and much more — all wrapped within the utmost security for our customers and their clients."
Other Notable Features
When you first log into Firm Central, a customizable Home dashboard displays your calendar, tasks, notifications, and recent activity. You can pin integrated services such as Westlaw and Practical Law along the side. Universal search and buttons for adding contacts and documents reside on all screens.
New in Firm Central is Time & Billing. A timer facilitates contemporaneous time entries. You can use the timesheet for multiple entries. Firm Central includes standard ABA billing codes (you can create your own custom codes). A dashboard displays all matters and their status such as outstanding balances. Settings enable you to customize billing parameters.
The Pre-Bills workflow enables you to apply discounts, write-offs, and other adjustments. QuickBooks Online integration eliminates double entry when invoicing and applying payments. Firm Central's trust accounting, including three-way reconciliation and reporting, gives you the ability to track retainer deductions and balances.
A secure client portal enables you to share documents, deliver invoices, and even assign tasks. Before accepting a new client, Firm Central's conflict checker searches all contacts, matter information and the full text of documents (including stored legal research). The resulting conflicts report features live links to relevant documents.
What Else Should You Know?
Firm Central offers three plans — Core ($40 per user per month), Essential ($65 per user per month), and Premier ($105 per user per month). Essential adds the new Time & Billing component, while Premier adds Deadline Assistant. All plans include KeyCite. Learn more about Firm Central.
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