Lawyers take on demanding work, whether it’s defending their client from a criminal charge or negotiating the terms of a divorce. Their main focus is providing stellar legal results for their clients, but as we all know, any business requires strong and steady financial systems to survive and thrive. This is where you and QuickBooks® Online comes in.
The legal industry is a unique beast, and any bookkeeper or accountant looking to pursue legal clients or grow their current legal repertoire should know some of the key pain points and how a system like QBO solves them. We had the privilege of interviewing Jennie Moore, one of our fantastic QBO Partners and a whiz when it comes to all-things bookkeeping. Check out her bookkeeping service, Moore Details Bookkeeping. Below, she shares insights on all-things QBO for law firms and lawyers.
Provide an efficient system
Lawyers have a limited amount of time to handle their firm’s business operations, and chances are, they are doing so while on the go. QBO offers a mobile system that lets lawyers access their numbers in an easy-to-read format, all in one place, during a break in court. It also ensures that all affected parties, whether it’s lawyers, paralegals or office staff, are looking at and making decisions based on the same information. Moore says this is key for a law firm and is a strong selling point for bookkeepers who use QBO.
Law firms are particular about any client and service provider they take on. If you are looking to work with lawyers, chances are that you should be too. Before pursuing any legal clients, take a step back and establish a workflow that lets you determine whether any of your past and future clients come into a conflict of interest with your potential law firm. Doing a search ahead of time will save you from pursuing law firms you won’t be able to work with, and from any last minute scrambling.
The cloud is an excellent place to store information since it allows access from anywhere, but keep in mind that a lawyer’s business frequently handles sensitive information. Having the right security measures in place will save you a lot of trouble in the long run, and plus, no one wants to have a lawyer unhappy with them. Moore recommends providing an overview of how the data will be utilized, who will have logins to which types of information, and ways the firm and its lawyers can take extra safety precautions.
A law firm may be responsible for large amounts of money held in trust, and it’s your job to ensure that this remains accurate at all times. You need to establish a good system that lets you easily reconcile the trust account and track any money moving in and out of the accounts, which should also include keeping lawyers informed of the accounts’ activities. Moore works very closely with the lawyers to make sure everything is setup accurately and correctly. If that is done correctly, the firm can easily add new clients and grow their business seamlessly.
Different pricing models
Billable hours have long been the norm in the legal industry, but some lawyers are moving towards value pricing to appease clients. Lawyers may also charge based on disbursements. Before tackling the legal industry, evaluate how your workflow would be affected by the different types of billing and whether you have an appropriate system in place to handle it. Moore works hard to offer value pricing to the law firms she works with and has seen great results from this less-traditional model.
How have you worked to get your law firm clients onto QBO? Share any tips, comments or questions in the comment section.