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Centerbase Offers a Cloud Practice Management Path for Firms With Complex Billing Requirements

By TechnoLawyer | Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers cloud practice management software for law firms that crave the billing and automation features of legacy software (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of a federal tax law research tool that facilitates point-in-time analysis and redlines showing changes, a legal research service that now provides insights on the judges overseeing your cases in certain federal practice areas, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

Many law firms find cloud practice management products alluring but lacking in functionality compared to legacy on-premises products. The market seems ripe for cloud practice management software that bridges this gap.

Centerbase … in One Sentence

Centerbase is cloud practice management software with billing and workflow features for law firms with complex business processes such as revenue allocation rules.

The Killer Feature

Before giving me a demo, Founder and CEO John Forbes tells me, "Our sophisticated billing functionality makes Centerbase a great option for law firms looking to move to the cloud from older, server based software such as Time Matters, Timeslips, and Juris."

Forbes is referring to features like the Matters Dashboard, which has functionality similar to Time Matters' Power Views. You can configure the Matters Dashboard to display just about anything related to a matter, including billing information.

You can also configure settings such as trust account thresholds, timekeeper rates, and compensation rules on a firm-wide basis or at the client or matter level. These rules can encompass factors like partner commissions and origination credit. You can also create rules specific to your practice area. For example, your state may require allocating overpayments by clients to a trust account.

Centerbase supports financial controls such as closing dates that lock posted transactions, prebill approvals, write-offs, and adding trust replenishments to the amount due on invoices. Customizable Invoice Templates enable you to create different invoice designs for certain clients or matter types. Invoice delivery options include email, PDF, and ebilling protocols such as LEDES, the latter of which you can configure to accommodate any system. Centerbase also supports credit card payments from a payment button in email invoices.

Centerbase includes a number of reports such as accounts receivable, fee receipts, and timekeeper analysis. The company routinely adds reports based on customer requests. Certified consultants can create custom reports for you.

"Centerbase increased the productivity and efficiency of our entire firm," says Kenneth Sheets, partner at Payne & Blanchard, which switched from Juris. "The team over at Centerbase has been there with us throughout the transition process, making it easier on everyone."

Other Notable Features

If Centerbase doesn't support a process in your firm, you can create a Workflow using the company's free Database Designer. These Workflows can automatically generate and assign tasks to lawyers and staff, send automated email, generate documents from templates, fill in form fields, and create new records. Potential uses include client intake, project management, and referral tracking. You access Workflows from the Custom Actions menu in the Matters Dashboard and other dashboards.

Centerbase takes a unique approach to email and document management. An Outlook add-in can file email messages and attachments in the corresponding matter. Time slips can be created in Outlook when you view or send an email. For documents, Centerbase can appear as a mapped drive in Windows such as on your file server. Any documents placed there become available in Centerbase and vice versa. Centerbase includes 5 TB of space.

What Else Should You Know?

Other key integrations include on-premise Microsoft products, Office 365, and QuickBooks Online. The Centerbase Mobile app provides access to everything on your iPhone. Most importantly, you can enter time on the go. Centerbase costs $52 per user per month. Learn more about Centerbase.

How to Receive TL NewsWire
So many products, so little time. In each issue of TL NewsWire, you'll learn about five new products for the legal profession. Pressed for time? The newsletter's innovative articles enable lawyers and law office administrators to quickly understand the function of a product, and zero in on its most important features. The TL NewsWire newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Accounting/Billing/Time Capture | Practice Management/Calendars | TL NewsWire

If Practice Management Software Were Designed for Litigators Here's What It Would Do

By TechnoLawyer | Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Coming today to LitigationWorld: Litigator Keith Turner has been searching for practice management software for more than 20 years. He has used Amicus Attorney, Bill4Time, Clio, MyCase, and others. In this issue of LitigationWorld, Turner builds his dream practice management product, tailor-made for litigators. Read about Turner's next-generation concepts for billing, email, contact and task management, and more all in an effort to tell litigators and their teams what to do next. Also, don't miss the LitigationWorld Pick of the Week for alternatives to "and/or" and why you should use them.

How to Receive LitigationWorld
All practice areas evolve, but none faster than litigation. Written by successful litigators and other litigation experts, LitigationWorld provides you with practical tips related to electronic discovery, depositions, litigation strategy, litigation technology, and trial presentations. LitigationWorld also features in-depth litigation product reviews with accompanying TechnoScore ratings, as well as links to the most noteworthy litigation articles in other publications so that you'll never miss anything. The LitigationWorld newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Accounting/Billing/Time Capture | Coming Attractions | LitigationWorld | Practice Management/Calendars

Three Secrets to Practice Management Software Success

By TechnoLawyer | Monday, March 6, 2017

Coming today to SmallLaw: Veteran consultant Donald Coker has seen it all when it comes to implementing practice management software. But he doesn't want to see it all. He wants every law firm to have a seamless, successful experience. In this issue of SmallLaw, Coker reveals three essential ingredients that ensure success for any major technology project but especially practice management software. Also, don't miss the SmallLaw Pick of the Week to learn how to write more effective email messages.

How to Receive SmallLaw
Small firm, big dreams. Written by practicing lawyers who manage successful small firms and legal technology and practice management experts who have achieved rock star status, SmallLaw provides practical advice on management, marketing, and technology issues in small law firms, as well as comprehensive legal product reviews with accompanying TechnoScore ratings. SmallLaw also ensures that you won't miss anything published elsewhere by linking to helpful articles (and podcasts and videos) about solo practices and small law firms. The SmallLaw newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Coming Attractions | Consultants/Services/Training | Email/Messaging/Telephony | Law Office Management | Practice Management/Calendars | SmallLaw

Legal Technology's Promise Remains Unfulfilled; Cloud Storage Security Concerns Not "Overblown"; ABA Model Rule 8.4 and the ABA's Priorities

By TechnoLawyer | Thursday, March 2, 2017

Today's issue of TL Serendipity contains these articles:

David O'Connell, Legal Technology's Promise Remains Unfulfilled

Tom Trottier, Cloud Storage Security Concerns Are Not "Overblown"

Michael Caldwell, ABA Model Rule 8.4 and the ABA's Priorities

Don't miss this issue — or any future issues.

How to Receive TL Serendipity
Our most serendipitous offering (hence its name), TL Serendipity consists of contributions by TechnoLawyer members who have important information to share. You'll no doubt enjoy it because of its mix of interesting topics and genuinely useful knowledge, including brutally honest product reviews and informative how-tos. The TL Serendipity newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Backup/Media/Storage | Coming Attractions | Online/Cloud | Practice Management/Calendars | Privacy/Security | Technology Industry/Legal Profession | TL Serendipity

The Untold Story of Time Matters Plus 11-Step Plan for Law Firm Success

By TechnoLawyer | Thursday, February 23, 2017

Coming today to SmallLaw: We all know that Time Matters was a pioneer in the early days of practice management software and remains in wide use today. But what's the back story? This SmallLaw exclusive reveals for the first time the back story on Time Matters as told by its founder, Bob Butler. Learn about why Time Matters might not exist were it not for two plane crashes, the law firm that helped Time Matters get off the ground, the features that fueled its growth, and the inside scoop on the LexisNexis acquisition. Also, don't miss the SmallLaw Pick of the Week for 11 steps to achieving financial freedom.

How to Receive SmallLaw
Small firm, big dreams. Written by practicing lawyers who manage successful small firms and legal technology and practice management experts who have achieved rock star status, SmallLaw provides practical advice on management, marketing, and technology issues in small law firms, as well as comprehensive legal product reviews with accompanying TechnoScore ratings. SmallLaw also ensures that you won't miss anything published elsewhere by linking to helpful articles (and podcasts and videos) about solo practices and small law firms. The SmallLaw newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Coming Attractions | Law Office Management | Practice Management/Calendars | SmallLaw

Key Products in Use at Our Law Firm; Review of Ergotech Freedom Arm and Samsung 32-Inch Display; Old Software on High-Res Displays; Dragon Fix

By TechnoLawyer | Friday, February 17, 2017

Today's issue of TL Serendipity contains these articles:

Blair Clark, The Key Products in Use at Our Law Firm

Douglass Morrison, Review of Ergotech Freedom Arm and Samsung 32-Inch Monitor

Caren Schwartz, How to Run Old Software on a High-Resolution Display

Larry Allen, Dragon Fix for Extra Lines in Word Documents

Don't miss this issue — or any future issues.

How to Receive TL Serendipity
Our most serendipitous offering (hence its name), TL Serendipity consists of contributions by TechnoLawyer members who have important information to share. You'll no doubt enjoy it because of its mix of interesting topics and genuinely useful knowledge, including brutally honest product reviews and informative how-tos. The TL Serendipity newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Accounting/Billing/Time Capture | Business Productivity/Word Processing | Coming Attractions | Dictation/OCR/Speech Recognition | Email/Messaging/Telephony | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Monitors | Practice Management/Calendars | TL Serendipity

My Elusive Search for Practice Management Software; Reviews of OneDrive, TheFormTool; How Dropbox Syncs; USPTO Website Woes

By TechnoLawyer | Thursday, February 16, 2017

Today's issue of TL Serendipity contains these articles:

Donald Lowrey, My Elusive Search for Practice Management Software; Reviews of OneDrive, TheFormTool

Bobby Abrams, Deciphering How Dropbox Syncs

Kristie Parker, The Sad State of USPTO Forms

Don't miss this issue — or any future issues.

How to Receive TL Serendipity
Our most serendipitous offering (hence its name), TL Serendipity consists of contributions by TechnoLawyer members who have important information to share. You'll no doubt enjoy it because of its mix of interesting topics and genuinely useful knowledge, including brutally honest product reviews and informative how-tos. The TL Serendipity newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Backup/Media/Storage | Coming Attractions | Practice Management/Calendars | Technology Industry/Legal Profession | TL Serendipity

CosmoLex's Bank Data Feed Automatically Downloads Checking, Trust, and Credit Card Transactions

By TechnoLawyer | Thursday, February 16, 2017

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers practice management and legal accounting software that can download bank and credit card transactions for faster reconciliations (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of practice management software with a Dropbox-like mechanism for sharing files with clients, software for managing trademarks and other IP assets, practice management software for personal injury lawyers, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

Online banking is a modern marvel we all take for granted. However, reconciliation remains a tedious process. PDF bank statements may save trees but they don't save time. Instead, your legal accounting software should be able to download transactions directly from your bank on daily basis.

CosmoLex v4.6 … in One Sentence

Launching this week, CosmoLex v4.6 is cloud law practice and financial management software that securely retrieves checking, trust, and credit card account transactions.

The Killer Feature

CosmoLex's new Bank Data Feed technology integrates with all major banks, more than 2,000 community and regional banks, and credit card providers such as Chase and Citibank. Login verification occurs directly with each bank. Role-based permissions enable you to restrict user level access to Bank Data Feeds as well as other areas of CosmoLex for internal security.

You can review and accept transactions one at a time or in bulk from a Bank Data Feed instead of entering them manually. This may make sense for credit card statements. You can assign transactions to matters or a general ledger account.

For bank and especially trust accounts, you can instead use the Bank Data Feed for daily reconciliation. CosmoLex automatically matches the transactions your staff has entered with those from the Bank Data Feed and identifies any discrepancies.

"We identified an inability to utilize bank data feeds as a glaring weakness across the law practice management industry," says Rick Kabra, CEO of CosmoLex. "This new functionality is another example of how we continue to separate ourselves from the rest of the industry. Giving firms the ability to automatically import bank data feeds increases the value of our offering exponentially."

Other Notable Features

As Kabra intimates, CosmoLex offers general ledger and trust accounting, which obviates the need to use general accounting software. The CosmoLex Accountant Program enables your accountant to use CosmoLex for free. CosmoLex works with QuickBooks formatted checks (the company also sells its own line of checks). Financial data permeates the software. For example, the Matters Dashboard lists unpaid balances, unbilled balances, and available client advances whether in trust or operating accounts.

CosmoLex adds trust transactions as a liability as a safeguard. You can enter hard costs such as a filing fee and pay it from a trust account. LawPay integration enables your clients to pay bills or fund a trust account online with a credit card.

Several integrations enable you to access your data outside of CosmoLex. The calendar integrates with G Suite and Office 365, while the document management system can use Box, Dropbox, or OneDrive as its data store. Also, Auto-Match technology files forwarded email messages and attachments in the correct matter.

Other features include task management with automated workflows (e.g., court deadline calculations), a client portal for securely chatting and sharing documents with clients, matter notes, and conflict checking.

What Else Should You Know?

Version 4.6 includes an enhanced Data Import tool to make it easier to migrate from your existing software to CosmoLex. This free tool imports clients, matters, bank transactions, accounts receivable, and trust account balances. If you need a turn-key accounting data migration, CosmoLex certified consultants can handle it for a one-time fee. CosmoLex costs $49 per user per month if paid annually ($59 if paid monthly). Learn more about CosmoLex.

How to Receive TL NewsWire
So many products, so little time. In each issue of TL NewsWire, you'll learn about five new products for the legal profession. Pressed for time? The newsletter's innovative articles enable lawyers and law office administrators to quickly understand the function of a product, and zero in on its most important features. The TL NewsWire newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Accounting/Billing/Time Capture | Practice Management/Calendars | TL NewsWire

My Legaltech Discoveries; Straight Talk About Legal Software Upgrades; Dragon Help; Cloud and Legal Technology Skeptics Speak Up

By TechnoLawyer | Friday, February 10, 2017

Today's issue of TL Serendipity contains these articles:

Neil Squillante, My Legaltech Discoveries: Lexis for Microsoft Office, PhraseWizard, Centerbase, Litify, Symphony OCR

Jeff Stouse, Straight Talk About Legal Software Upgrades and Annual Maintenance Plans

Roy Greenberg, Best Places to Get Help With Dragon

Michael Schwartz, Why I'm a Cloud Skeptic

Danny McDonald, Why I'm a Legal Technology Cynic

Don't miss this issue — or any future issues.

How to Receive TL Serendipity
Our most serendipitous offering (hence its name), TL Serendipity consists of contributions by TechnoLawyer members who have important information to share. You'll no doubt enjoy it because of its mix of interesting topics and genuinely useful knowledge, including brutally honest product reviews and informative how-tos. The TL Serendipity newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Business Productivity/Word Processing | Coming Attractions | Dictation/OCR/Speech Recognition | Gadgets/Shredders/Office Gear | Legal Research | Online/Cloud | Practice Management/Calendars | TL Serendipity

LEAP Adds Secure Client Collaboration to Its Practice Management Platform With LawConnect

By TechnoLawyer | Thursday, February 9, 2017

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers practice management software with a new Dropbox-like technology for securely sharing documents and communicating with clients (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of software for managing trademarks and other IP assets, practice management software for personal injury lawyers, a court docket service for receiving alerts about cases of interest, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

The ABA's duty of technology competence seems poised to become the latest regulation adopted by all 50 states. While the rule doesn't provide specifics, many law firms have interpreted it as requiring a more secure approach to client communication and document sharing.

LEAP … in One Sentence

LEAP is practice management software that recently added secure client collaboration tools.

The Killer Feature

LEAP's new LawConnect "storage and collaboration platform" enables you to securely communicate and share documents with clients. Most competing offerings (often called "client portals") require setup before you can use them. LawConnect functions in a Dropbox-like ad hoc manner. This approach means you can share a document in seconds even if you've never previously used LawConnect.

Select one or more documents within a matter, click the LawConnect button, and choose the people with whom you wish to share the document. Recipients receive an email message with a secure link to create a LawConnect account after which they can access the document. Within LEAP, icons let you know which documents are shared and whether clients have viewed them. You can revoke access anytime with or without notifying the client.

LawConnect also facilitates secure client communication. Email notifications let you know a new message exists. LEAP's in-app notification system likewise keeps you apprised of new messages.

Other Notable Features

LEAP offers integrated timers and a timesheet for capturing time contemporaneously or after the fact. A number of technologies automate time capture. For example, Auto Text enables you to store frequently used descriptions, and enter them with a few mnemonic keystrokes. Also, LEAP lists unbilled activities that don't yet have time entries. The LEAP mobile app records billable time on the go.

In addition to capturing more time, LEAP may also get you paid faster now that it integrates with RapidPay (powered by LawPay) for online credit card processing. You can add a RapidPay link to invoices you send.

LEAP also integrates with Microsoft Office for document assembly. LEAP includes many forms (a.k.a. templates) plus you can import and create your own. These forms, which work in both the Online and Windows version of Word, can pull data from any field in LEAP, and incorporate "if/then" statements and other sophisticated logic. You can link applicable forms to a Task so that those assigned the task have everything they need. When you create a document or email message, LEAP prompts you to bill for it.

In addition to capturing documents created through automated forms, LEAP can also import entire folders during initial setup. Similarly, your existing scanning workflow can be redirected to save documents in LEAP (the Android and iPhone app contains a document scanner for mobile scanning). LEAP captures email via the Outlook add-in.

What Else Should You Know?

LEAP works on all platforms. You can use your choice of native apps for Windows, iPad, iPhone, and Android. It also runs in your web browser. LEAP includes a Google- and mobile-optimized website for your law firm to help you attract new clients. Learn more about LEAP.

How to Receive TL NewsWire
So many products, so little time. In each issue of TL NewsWire, you'll learn about five new products for the legal profession. Pressed for time? The newsletter's innovative articles enable lawyers and law office administrators to quickly understand the function of a product, and zero in on its most important features. The TL NewsWire newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Practice Management/Calendars | TL NewsWire
 
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