Accounting/Bookkeeping Considerations for Law Firms
Operating and growing a successful law firm presents several significant challenges. From managing client expectations to maintaining practical legal expertise, lawyers work countless hours to stay on top of the requirements of their practice. Unfortunately, this leaves few (if any) resources for the management of the financial aspects of their growing businesses.
Lescault and Walderman specializes in working with individual attorneys and small-to-medium law firms, helping them design and manage financial management systems for their practices, and allowing them to focus on their functional areas of expertise. Following are a few of the key law firm accounting/bookkeeping services that we offer:
IOLTA Reconciliations – One of the most unique challenges related to the ongoing financial operations of a law firm is the management of IOLTA accounts. These accounts, used to store and allocate client retainers during the course of legal proceedings, must be carefully scrutinized and managed to ensure compliance with state and federal laws. Law firms must be sure to avoid the overdrafting or comingling of these closely-monitored funds.
Billing – Considering the costs of operating a law firm, billing systems must be efficient and accurate. Fortunately, there are several software solutions that “plug” seamlessly into existing bookkeeping systems. With hours valued in the hundreds of dollars, implementing efficient and effective billing systems can lead to faster client payments and be the difference between substantial success or frustrating failure.
Client Cost Tracking – Closely related to billing, client cost tracking ensures the proper allocation of costs to each individual client. Failure to track client expenses means the firm is assuming costs they should not be responsible for. Deploying a cost tracking system that is accurate and intuitive can help associates to better track costs “advanced” on behalf of clients and seriously impact the overall profitability of every case handled.
Case Management Software – Case management software allows multiple legal professionals to collaborate on multiple individual cases in real-time. Sharing notes, research and updates with everyone involved can help to improve the outcome of each case. Ideally, these solutions should include time tracking and be able to be linked and mapped into accounting systems for billing purposes.
Cash Flow Management – As with any business, cash flow management is critical to the smooth ongoing operation of today’s law firms. Solid accounting systems provide valuable information that allows attorneys to make good business decisions and ensure appropriate expense management, all to the end of producing a steady cash flow.
If you are an attorney or law firm office manager seeking an experienced accounting/bookkeeping team to help you design and implement the right financial management system for your practice, contact us at 866-496-2042 for a free consultation.