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Billing and Task Management Software You’ll Never Outgrow

By TechnoLawyer | Friday, May 18, 2018

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers billing and task management software designed to handle any financial model you devise, including the option to outsource drudgery such as mailing bills (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of a major practice management update, including a new Android and iOS app that automatically captures time for calls and email, a new marketing automation and client intake platform designed for law firms, including tools for email newsletters and electronic signatures, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

Law firms rarely charge a simple hourly rate. Instead, most have sophisticated billing needs. Also, a firm's billing model can change because of a new client, partner, practice area, etc. Ideally, you want billing software that can handle any financial model you devise.

TimeSolv Legal Billing … in One Sentence

TimeSolv is cloud billing software with extensive and flexible tools for time and expensive tracking, trust accounting, billing, and task management.

The Killer Feature

If you can think it, TimeSolv can track it. TimeSolv accommodates different billing rates based on the lawyer, task, matter, and other factors — even UTBMS task codes. Law firms often use split billing to incentivize behavior such as rainmaking. TimeSolv can split bills in any proportion, including granular controls such as splitting hours at different rates.

When creating a new matter, choose a default billing arrangement that you expect to use for most time entries. Timekeepers can override this default when necessary. For example, if a case goes to trial, you can use TimeSolv's Task Then Timekeeper setting to charge a premium trial rate.

"TimeSolv is hands down the best legal billing program available today," says Eva DeVincentis of O'Kelly & Ernst, LLC. "Not only is it easy to use, but if you find anything that you need it to do, just reach out to the staff at TimeSolv and before you know it, they've updated it with your request!"

Other Notable Features

TimeSolv greets you with the Time Entry dashboard. A calendar lists the time entered each day as well as totals for the month. To the right you can create time entries before or after the fact with tools such as a timer you can start and customizable abbreviations for entering lengthy descriptions (a cheat sheet lists all stored descriptions). Entering expenses works similarly.

Your support staff can use TimeSolv for free, which is helpful if some lawyers in your firm track time manually and send it to their assistant. Security controls can prevent support staff from doing anything other than entering time. These controls are also useful when working with contract lawyers.

When it's time to transform your firm's billed time into revenue, you can generate a list of Draft Bills by parameters such as client, date range, etc. You can view draft invoices and drill down to individual time entries to make adjustments. If you don't finish your review in one session, icons let you know which invoices you already reviewed. TimeSolv offers trust accounting so you can apply available trust funds during the review process.

You can use TimeSolv's Client Portal to deliver bills, and clients can pay via ACH or credit card thanks to integration with LawPay. You can also email and print bills, and submit bills to ebilling systems. TimeSolv can even print and mail your invoices via its add-on AutoMail service. For the ultimate in delegation, TimeSolv offers Outsourced Legal Billing in which a U.S.-based team preps your drafts bills, obtains your approval, and then sends the final versions, including to ebilling systems.

What Else Should You Know?

TimeSolv offers two-way sync with both the desktop and online versions of QuickBooks. A companion Windows and Mac app called TimeSync captures your time when offline. An extensive suite of task management and budgeting tools enable you to create workflow templates, automatically enter time upon task completion, and even offer flat fees. Learn more about TimeSolv Legal Billing.

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 | TL NewsWire

Amicus Attorney Update Includes New Mobile App, Document Management, Court Rules, and More

By TechnoLawyer | Friday, May 11, 2018

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a major practice management update, including a new Android and iOS app that automatically captures time for calls and email (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of a new marketing automation and client intake platform designed for law firms, including tools for email newsletters and electronic signatures, a cloud application for paperless deposition exhibits with tools for focusing the deponent's attention and monitoring their actions, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

Capturing billable time on the go is significantly more challenging than doing so from the comfort of your office. Only a mobile app connected to your practice management and billing system can bridge this gap — and the more automated the better.

Amicus Attorney … in One Sentence

AbacusNext's Amicus Attorney (Amicus) is a popular practice management and billing system with a new Android and iOS app launching this week that automates time capture.

The Killer Feature

Open the new Amicus mobile app, and you'll see a list of recently-accessed case files. Above this list you can search for a file not listed. Within a file, tap on a client's telephone number to place a call. Amicus hands off the call to the Phone app. Email works the same way. Amicus even creates a subject for the email message and adds a salutation and your signature to save you time.

When you finish the call or send the email message, your phone reverts back to the Amicus mobile app, which shows you the elapsed time in a pop-up and asks if you want to record the details for a time entry. After tapping "Yes" to capture the time, Amicus automatically fills in the client and matter, date, time, and duration of the call or email, and a description. You can make edits if necessary. This time entry syncs back to the Amicus server.

"Practicing law is complicated, but your practice management software doesn't have to be," says Chris Cardinal, Executive VP, Software Development. "Amicus Attorney makes it easy to stay on top of a busy practice, and with the new mobile app your mission critical data is always at your fingertips."

Other Notable Features

Amicus now integrates with Abacus Payment Exchange (APX), enabling you to process ACH and credit card payments. You create an APX account within Amicus. Once approved, you can enter credit cards manually or your clients can access and pay bills directly via the secure Amicus Client Portal. APX charges a flat fee of 3% of each credit card transaction. ACH payments are free and there's no monthly fee for having an APX account.

The Amicus team also focused on making you more productive. The enhanced document management system adds technologies typically found only in dedicated systems. For example, you can "check out" documents to prevent others from working them. Amicus automatically creates a new version of a document when someone make changes, enabling you to revert back to any prior version. An import tool migrates documents from existing locations to Amicus to get you started.

You'll likely create many documents using Precedent Workflows. This tool captures your processes, automatically assigning tasks and making any applicable templates available within the task. Autofill blanks to assemble documents and automatically create a time or fee entry with the ebilling task code required by your client.

If you practice litigation, the recently introduced integration with Abacus Court Rules calculates all deadlines based on a trigger such as the trial date. Coverage includes federal courts and courts in 10 states. You can add these deadlines to the firm calendar and to personal calendars.

What Else Should You Know?

You can run Amicus in your firm or in Abacus Private Cloud, the latter of which frees you from having to maintain a server and prevent security threats. "Amicus gives me the ability to be a great advocate for my clients, and still have a life outside the office," says Peter C. Merani, founder of Law Offices of Peter C. Merani P.C. Learn more about Amicus Attorney.

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 | Online/Cloud | Practice Management/Calendars | TL NewsWire

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

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

Kurent Offers Billing Software Without the Complexity of Practice Management

By TechnoLawyer | Friday, January 26, 2018

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers cloud billing software for small firms seeking a standalone solution without practice management bells and whistles (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of a legal research service that helps you get up to speed in new area with checklists, interactive forms, practice notes, and a new way to mine SEC filings for agreements and clauses, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

It's easy to get bogged down in practice management software with features you don't need. One company found that many small law firms only care about three core features — entering time, creating and sending bills, and getting paid. So, the company used its expertise to create a new product catering to these desires.

Kurent … in One Sentence

Tabs3 Software's Kurent is a cloud billing system with tools for managing hours billed, expenses, accounts receivable, receipts, and more.

The Killer Feature

"After more than 35 years of making Tabs3 billing software, we know that most solos and small firms just want a simple way to get their bills out," says President and CEO Dan Berlin. "Kurent is designed as an easy-to-use billing software without expensive practice management features that clutter the billing process, and it's made by us, the experts in legal billing."

Kurent's top navigation bar exemplifies this simplicity with always present buttons to enter a fee or cost, or create a new matter or invoice. From here, you can also search every record in Kurent.

Each major function in Kurent has a dashboard with charts showing Key Practice Indicators and one-click access to the underlying records. For example, the Home Dashboard lists your recent activity, recent matters, billable hours versus your target, and notifications about items that need your attention such as unbilled activities and overdue invoices. Click any item to drill down for more details or to make changes.

"Kurent is seamless and easy to use," says Jim Krzyminski of the Law Office of James M. Krzyminski, "Everybody's happy that we switched. It's all in the cloud, so we can safely access our files from anywhere."

Other Notable Features

Kurent's side navigation panel takes you to each dashboard - Home, Firm, Matters, Contacts, Invoices, Fees, Costs, Receipts, and Reports. The Firm Dashboard keeps you apprised of the financial state of your firm with charts showing top clients, accounts receivable, unbilled activities, cash receipts, new matters, and billing history.

As you would expect from the company behind Tabs3, Kurent supports custom rates for matter type or client, write-offs, LEDES-compliant eBills, contingency and flat fees, and batch invoicing. Choose from several invoice designs, customize invoice and fee details, and add your firm's logo.

Kurent further streamlines financial management through integrations with LawPay and QuickBooks Online. When clients use the payment portal to securely pay by credit card via LawPay, Kurent automatically updates their account when the payment posts. The QuickBooks integration keeps your accounting records in sync without having to retype anything.

Kurent's dashboards are designed to minimize your need for reports. When you do need a report, choose from accounts receivable, aged accounts, write-offs, unbilled activity, receipts, and many others. Use simple checkboxes to add columns and data to reports. You can export reports in CSV or Excel format.

What Else Should You Know?

Kurent costs $26 per user per month with an annual commitment ($29 if you pay monthly). If you switch from another product, the Kurent team can import your existing data at no charge. Kurent offers a 30-day trial with no credit card required. Learn more about Kurent.

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 | TL NewsWire

Windows 10 Home v. Pro for a Lawyer's PC; Factors to Consider When Buying a Wi-Fi Router; Tip for Texting From Your PC; Review of OneNote

By TechnoLawyer | Thursday, December 14, 2017

Today's issue of TL Serendipity contains these articles:

Mark Olberding, Windows 10 Home v. Pro for a Lawyer's PC

Jeffrey Mitchell, Why Some Lawyers Need Windows Pro

Steve Perlmutter, Tip: Windows Home Doesn't Support Encryption

Ernest Lorimer, Three Important Factors to Consider When Buying a Wi-Fi Router

Bobby Abrams, Tip for Texting From Your PC via Pushbullet

Jeffrey Wilens, Review of OneNote

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 | Collaboration/Knowledge Management | Coming Attractions | Email/Messaging/Telephony | Networking/Operating Systems | Privacy/Security | 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

Review of Centerbase (Next-Generation Practice Management)

By TechnoLawyer | Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Coming today to SmallLaw: We have witnessed The Innovator’s Dilemma over the past 10 years as startups wooed tens of thousands of lawyers to cloud practice management software without much of a fight from the companies behind legacy products. Now, the disrupters face disruption themselves as a new wave of startups seek to offer “next-generation” cloud practice management software with the extensive customization and deep feature set of the legacy products. One such product is Centerbase. Does it deliver? Find out in this review by lawyer and legal technology consultant Seth Rowland. Also, don't miss the SmallLaw Pick of the Week to learn why Google has become more important than your own website.

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: Accounting/Billing/Time Capture | Coming Attractions | Law Firm Marketing/Publications/Web Sites | Practice Management/Calendars | SmallLaw

Review of PhraseExpander; Pros and Cons of Software Subscriptions; Reviews of Office 365, Asana, Acrobat DC

By TechnoLawyer | Friday, September 15, 2017

Today's issue of TL Serendipity contains these articles:

John Creahan, Review of PhraseExpander

Michael Kelly, Software Subscriptions Are Fine If the Price Is Right: Reviews of Office 365, Asana, Acrobat DC

Connie Brooks, Software Subscriptions Come in Two Varieties, One Good, One Not

Tom Trottier, Four Questions to Consider About Software Subscriptions

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 | Online/Cloud | Practice Management/Calendars | TL Serendipity
 
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