Most legal billing software websites bombard you with lists of features, often making it difficult to tell what’s important and what’s not. Even more worrying is the idea that you may later realize the software you’ve chosen is missing a key feature you now need.
To avoid falling into this trap, it’s helpful to get a wider view of the essentials of great legal billing software before you buy yours. That’s why we’ve put together this list of the top 5 features you can’t afford to miss in your new software:
#1 Time Tracking No Matter Where You Are
Efficient and easy time tracking makes up the core of any law firm software, so how do you decide whether it has everything you are going to need? One important feature here is the ability to track time even when you don’t have access to the internet. This makes traveling simpler and frees you from worrying about the availability of an internet connection.
Your time tracking software should also be able to work seamlessly on multiple platforms such as a PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Android phone, etc. enabling you to enter hours efficiently and flexibly. Combined, these features enable you to work from any place at any time.
#2 Flexible Invoicing
Flexibility needs to be at the core of any legal billing software. Whether it’s something simple that is often left out, like the ability to customize your invoice with your own logo, or something a bit more advanced like automatic interest or tax calculation, you need adequate flexibility in generating invoices to meet your customers’ needs.
It might be obvious to check if your particular electronic billing codes are supported, but other features may be less noticeable until they’re absolutely necessary. The ability to edit invoices after-the-fact in MS Word, for example. It’s these features which really show that the software has predicted your needs and is working to get ahead of them. When it comes to something as important as invoicing, you can’t afford to neglect a detailed look at invoicing features.
#3 Comprehensive Reporting
An often under-appreciated element of legal billing software is the ability to produce detailed and understandable reports. Even if it’s taken for granted, this capability is still incredibly essential. When you have entered all of your time and sent all of your invoices, you need to be able to see and understand the big picture.
If you have the option to create detailed, easy to comprehend reports, you can quickly analyze everything from billable hours and productivity to revenue and commissions per attorney. For example, one single report can be the difference between complicated spreadsheet calculations versus an effective option to calculate compensation based on revenue collected as originating or contributing attorneys on a matter.
#4 Manage and Plan Your Matters with Project Planning and Budgeting
If benefit of budgeting and project management features as part of your legal billing software doesn’t seem obvious, you’ve probably never experienced them. Incorporating project management means keeping closer track of everything that’s going on, easily estimating fees for a matter, and delivering per the budgeted plan.
#5 Integration with QuickBooks
In addition to an effective billing solution, most law firms use QuickBooks desktop or online to manage accounting and payroll. It is essential that your billing software integrates easily and comprehensively with QuickBooks. For example, would it not be ideal if a check written for a court fee in QuickBooks automatically appears in the billing software ready for invoicing without the need to re-enter the expense. Think about the diligent effort required to include all expenses manually in two applications.
Great Customer Service
Customer service is not a feature but it cannot be ignored. Quality customer service often doesn’t seem so important until it suddenly becomes vital. Finding a software provider ready to train you on their software and resolve any issues that might arise can save a lot of time in the long run. For example, having unlimited access to legal billing experts is essential to clarify a client’s account balance or to decipher an error received from the LEDES billing submission site.
What Does It All Add Up To?
In the end, you are bound to find the legal billing software that best matches your firm’s particular needs through careful online research, but there are some universals which you can’t afford to ignore. In one sentence, they boil down to easy time tracking, flexible invoicing, effective reporting, budgeting with project planning, QuickBooks integration, and customer service with free training.
TimeSolv Legal provides flexibility and features essential for legal billing. Working with top-notch legal billing experts makes billing a breeze.
So before you choose your legal billing software, ask yourself if it’s going to give your firm everything it deserves.
If you would like to make that process go a bit faster, check out the powerful legal billing features offered by TimeSolv Legal and signup for our free trial with free fast-track one-on-one online training.