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Smarter Practice Management Software Designed to Save Time

By TechnoLawyer | Thursday, April 12, 2018

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers all-in-one practice management software with a variety of automation tools to save you time (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of document assembly software that resides within Microsoft Word and offers a simplified way to create templates versus traditional products, practice management software that transforms legal billing from a multi-day process into one that takes minutes, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

There's a growing divide in the practice management world between products that include everything a law firm needs and those that expect you to add functionality through an ever-increasing array of third-party integrations. One thing's for sure — the latter approach costs more and imposes a complexity tax.

Perfect Practice … in One Sentence

Perfect Practice is all-in-one practice management software with an emphasis on automation and customization that includes case management, billing, accounting, document assembly, internal messaging, shared calendars, and more.

The Killer Feature

All practice management products contain innumerable fields for storing information. In Perfect Practice, you can make most fields a Smart Field, which acts as a trigger for nearly any function you want to automate.

For example, you can configure a Smart Field to retrieve and auto-populate data when you select a client name, generate a form requiring additional information, perform a series of calculations when you enter a property value, etc.

"We implemented a Smart Field to automate tasks that our Intake Team had to run on every new file that we received," says Nicole O'Brien, Director of IT Client Services at Woods Oviatt Gilman. "This allows our users to just click one button and take 15 minutes worth of tasks down to less than one minute."

Smart Fields work via SQL queries. Depending on your firm's needs, you can configure Smart Fields using preset functions that don't require any knowledge of SQL, create your own customized queries if you have SQL expertise, or take advantage of optional consulting services from Perfect Practice.

"The power of Smart Fields is limited only by one's imagination," says Perfect Practice Chairman Monty Helin. "Unlimited Smart Fields can be added in 30 seconds or less."

Smart Fields become even more powerful when combined with DocuTrac, the document assembly component of Perfect Practice that works with Microsoft Word, WordPerfect, and PDF forms. DocuTrac templates consist of questionnaires that generate a document after you enter the required information. Any field in these questionnaires can be a Smart Field to save time and reduce errors.

Other Notable Features

Perfect Practice greets you with a customizable dashboard that shows you whatever you want — your unbilled time, tasks, meetings, etc. Collapse dashboard panels, add, remove, or rearrange them, and drill down to more granular views.

In keeping with its focus on automation and customization, Perfect Practice makes extensive use of Checklists to automate workflows and assign the next task in line to the right person. Each Case has its own dashboard with a tickler so that you can review these activities and who performed them.

Perfect Practice ships with practice-area-specific templates to get you started. An Outlook add-in enables you to file email in the applicable case. You'll find an extensive set of reports in Perfect Practice but if you need a report that doesn't exist you can create it using Quick Reports. HIPAA-compliant security enables you to set password rules, limit access by role or individual user, monitor user activity, and even restore data after an error or tampering.

What Else Should You Know?

Perfect Practice costs $60 per user per month or you can license the software on an annual basis if you prefer. You can install Perfect Practice at your firm or use it on a hosted basis. You use Perfect Practice via the Windows desktop application or your web browser, including a mobile-friendly view on smartphones. Learn more about Perfect Practice.

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: Coming Attractions | Practice Management/Calendars | TL NewsWire

The New Clio Experience Promises Administrative Salvation

By TechnoLawyer | Friday, March 23, 2018

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers practice management software that reduces the time required for administrative chores such as legal billing and filing client-related email (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of a Microsoft Outlook add-in that predicts where to file your email and even lets you know when a colleague has beat you to it and already filed the same message, a cloud practice management system that has added financial and trust accounting to complement its billing features, obviating third-party software such as QuickBooks, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

They say that time is money, but not all time is equal in the legal profession. The more non-billable time you and your staff spend on administrative tasks, the less time you can devote to billable client work. A practice management pioneer has partnered with law firms to eliminate these inefficiencies.

Clio … in One Sentence

Redesigned based on observing lawyers as they work, Clio is a cloud practice management platform with a new approach to billing, email management, and other law firm workflows.

The Killer Feature

Clio's product team spent time at over 60 law firms. They discovered that moving existing billing workflows into software offers only modest improvements. Therefore, one focus of the "new Clio experience" is getting bills out and getting bills paid in minutes rather than days.

For example, Batch Billing includes new customization options such as the ability to generate detailed or aggregate invoices, treat services and expenses differently, and select unique invoice themes to make your bills easier for clients to review. The Draft Bill page has a new layout for fast reviews without scrolling. Click the Edit button on a draft bill to change the address, add or revise descriptions, change rates, apply discounts, and even add time and expenses without leaving the invoice.

You can bulk approve and deliver invoices via email or to the Clio Connect secure client portal. Clio also streamlines payment handling, allowing you to approve a bill and apply funds held in trust to that bill in a single click. You can even apply a single payment to multiple invoices.

"We've taken nine years of learnings from working with the best law firms in the world and incorporated them into the largest, most important product release in Clio's history," says Jack Newton, CEO and Co-founder of Clio. "It is a re-platforming of Clio on a new set of web technologies making it an order of magnitude faster."

Other Notable Features

Also new is Clio's Outlook add-in. With one click, you can bulk file email messages and attachments in Clio after which these messages appear in searches and on the corresponding matter's dashboard. This integration also adds a timer to Outlook, enabling you to start the clock when you read or compose a billable email message, and save these time entries to a matter.

In addition to all the new features, Clio has also improved the user experience. The menu ribbon has moved to the side and is collapsible to increase visibility. The search box is larger, searches run 10 times faster, and search results include custom fields for more precision. The "Create New" menu and Timer are now omnipresent at the top for universal access from all screens. All records in Clio with no associated billing display an "Add Time" button to ensure that you don't overlook any billable events.

"Clio is slick, fast and intuitive," says lawyer Jason Morris, Owner of Round Table Law LLP. "The parts of the interface you need most often are always there with no scrolling."

What Else Should You Know?

Clio offers more than 90 third-party integrations — far more than any other product on the market. The new App Directory categorizes these integrations by function and practice area. Clio offers three plans — Starter ($39 per user per month), Boutique ($59), and Elite ($99). Marquee integrations such as Office 365 and QuickBooks require the Boutique or Elite plans. Learn more about Clio.

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

Best Credit Card Rewards; Reviews of FineReader, Time Matters, Dragon Professional Mac; Smart Homes

By TechnoLawyer | Friday, March 23, 2018

Today's issue of TL Serendipity contains these articles:

Question of the Week: Which Credit Card Rewards Do You Like Best?

Mark Olberding, Review of FineReader 14

Bobby Abrams, Review Of Time Matters

Melissa Carpenter, The Smart Home I Want

Brad Pearce, Review of Dragon Professional (Mac)

Mark Olberding, Smart Speakers Are Too Creepy

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 | Law Office Management | Practice Management/Calendars | Privacy/Security | TL Serendipity

AirPods Connection Lag, Gantt Charts in Litigation; Reviews of OneNote, Cognitive SEO, Time Matters

By TechnoLawyer | Friday, March 9, 2018

Today's issue of TL Serendipity contains these articles:

Neil Squillante, Revitising AirPods After a Year: The Connection Lag and a Workaround

Brad Pearce, How I Use Gantt Charts for Litigation Matters

Michael Jones, Review of OneNote

Gyi Tsakalakis, Review of Cognitive SEO

Holly Payne, Review of Time Matters (AMP)

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 | Collaboration/Knowledge Management | Coming Attractions | Email/Messaging/Telephony | Gadgets/Shredders/Office Gear | Law Firm Marketing/Publications/Web Sites | Practice Management/Calendars

All-in-One Accounting, Legal Billing, and Practice Management

By TechnoLawyer | Thursday, March 8, 2018

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a cloud practice management system that has added financial and trust accounting to complement its billing features, obviating third-party software such as QuickBooks (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of an online video tutorial service to help lawyers prepare clients for depositions, mediations, and trials, cloud billing software for small firms seeking a standalone solution without practice management bells and whistles, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

Most cloud practice management products include billing features but require integration with third-party software such as QuickBooks Online for general ledger and trust accounting. This increases overall costs and cuts into efficiency. One company is betting big on one product doing it all for law firms.

Centerbase … in One Sentence

Centerbase is cloud billing, practice, and document management software that recently added fully integrated accounting, offering front and back office functionality in one product.

The Killer Feature

Centerbase's redesigned and customizable Dashboard now includes accounting data, providing full visibility into your firm. See your schedule, tasks, active cases, recent payments, open bills, marketing analytics, work in progress, etc. Click any data object and drill down for more details.

The navigation column on the left demonstrates Centerbase's deep feature set — Calendar, Matters, Contacts, Timekeeping, Billing, Documents, Reports, and of course Accounting. Each of these major areas has its own specialized dashboard. For example, the Accounting dashboard shows monthly income and expenses, top accounts receivable, bank accounts, and quick links to all accounting functions.

"A large segment of law firms wants to move to cloud-based practice management software but haven't made the jump because the majority of products require a third-party accounting integration," says Centerbase CEO and Founder John Forbes. "Centerbase fills this void by including legal specific accounting software right within our powerful billing and practice management software package."

ADLI Group, a 19-lawyer firm in Los Angeles, recently switched to Centerbase for its accounting (the firm was already using Centerbase for all other aspects of its business). "Centerbase has proven to be a necessity for growth," says Director of Operations Nicolette Hachem-Sawaya. "It is user-friendly and fast, which the attorneys enjoy, yet modifiable and accurate for the business and accounting departments. It's been a pleasure working with the Centerbase team that allowed our firm a smooth transition."

Other Notable Features

Centerbase's payment processing showcases the efficiency gains from having accounting and billing in the same product. Transactions automatically debit and credit the accounts you designate during setup. Batch processing and preset rules facilitate complex procedures with one click such as applying client payments to multiple invoices or simultaneously paying a bill and replenishing a retainer. Matter-specific rules can override firm-wide rules for payment handling. LawPay integration enables clients to pay via credit card.

The trust accounting tools comply with ethics requirements, preventing mishaps such as applying funds to a client bill from your operating account or from an inadequately funded trust account. You can apply payments from trust accounts via check or ACH, and generate a Trust Transfer Report for clients.

Think of a QuickBooks feature and Centerbase has it. Securely connect your bank accounts and credit cards for faster reconciliations. Customize the layout and design of your invoices. Generate consolidated invoices showing all fees for a client across multiple matters. Add vendors and pay their bills, and simultaneously charge reimbursable expenses to clients. Post journal entries. You can even print checks designed for QuickBooks.

What Else Should You Know?

Centerbase also overhauled the Report Creator. Select fields, customize columns, and create a custom report to display any data you need to visualize. Centerbase costs $62 per user per month or $52 without accounting (Centerbase integrates with QuickBooks so you can migrate your accounting on your own timetable). 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

iPad Outfitted to Replicate a PC; Cloud Redundancy; Reviews of Kaspersky, Time Matters

By TechnoLawyer | Friday, March 2, 2018

Today's issue of TL Serendipity contains these articles:

Rob Perelli-Minetti, How I Outfitted My iPad Pro to Give Me 90% of a PC's Functionality

Robert De Vries, Cloud Redundancy: Look Past the Hotspot to the Carrier

Mark Olberding, Why I Stopped Using Kaspersky

Michael Schwartz, Review of Time Matters 16.1

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 | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Networking/Operating Systems | Practice Management/Calendars | Privacy/Security | TL Serendipity

Reviews of Zola Suite and Kurent; Encrypting Your Windows PC

By TechnoLawyer | Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Today's issue of TL Serendipity contains these articles:

Stephen Silverberg, Review of Zola Suite (Practice Management Software)

Donald Coker, Review of Kurent (Cloud Billing Software)

Tom Trottier, Tip: How to Encrypt a PC Running Windows Home

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 | Coming Attractions | Email/Messaging/Telephony | Networking/Operating Systems | Online/Cloud | Practice Management/Calendars | Privacy/Security | TL Serendipity | Utilities

Reviews of HomePod; Using Office 365 for Case Management; Tabs3 as an Alternative to Time Matters

By TechnoLawyer | Friday, February 16, 2018

Today's issue of TL Serendipity contains these articles:

Neil Squillante, Review of HomePod

GK Ganesan Kasinathan, How We Use Office 365 as Our Case Management System

Edie Owsley-Zimmerman, Tabs3 as an Alternative to Time Matters

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 | Coming Attractions | Entertainment/Hobbies/Recreation | Gadgets/Shredders/Office Gear | Practice Management/Calendars | TL Serendipity

Drafting on an iPad Pro; Reviews of Mighty Text, RingCentral, Microsoft To-Do; Yesterday's Tickler Is Today's Feed or Dashboard

By TechnoLawyer | Thursday, December 7, 2017

Today's issue of TL Serendipity contains these articles:

Miriam Jacobson, How I Use My iPad Pro for Drafting Legal Documents

Ernest Marquez, Review of Mighty Text and RingCentral for Text Messages

Keith Turner, Microsoft To-Do Close to Greatness

Donald Coker, Yesterday's Tickler Is Today's Feed or Dashboard

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 | Collaboration/Knowledge Management | Coming Attractions | Email/Messaging/Telephony | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Practice Management/Calendars | TL Serendipity

Reviews of SmartAdvocate, MyFax; Dragon Dictation Agonistes; Time Matters Advice

By TechnoLawyer | Friday, October 27, 2017

Today's issue of TL Serendipity contains these articles:

Philip Franckel, Review of SmartAdvocate

R. Wagoner, Dragon Dictation Agonistes

Peter Salerno, Review of MyFax

Michael Schwartz, Advice for Law Firms Sticking With Time Matters

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: Coming Attractions | Dictation/OCR/Speech Recognition | Email/Messaging/Telephony | Practice Management/Calendars | TL Serendipity
 
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