Alisanne Steele | TheSoftwareConsultant | Saturday, April 14, 2018
Upgrading a practice management system is a big decision for any law firm.
When your existing solutions have often been adapted to over many years to fit working practices to the software workflow, staff feel comfortable using them, and there is often the fear that change will disrupt day to day business. Also, if the current system isn’t ‘broken’, many feel that ‘don’t fix’ is the best (in)action.
How do you know when it is time for change? Here are seven signs that the time is now:
- End of Life or Out of Support solutions
Most on-premise solutions are only supported for the current and previous editions of their products. If your solution is over two-years old it is most likely out-of-support.
Upgrading due to an unsupported failure is far more harmful and costly to your practice than periodic planned changes.
- No (Or Limited) Compliance Features
The Alphabet soup of Compliance regulations is becoming a factor for many firms. Personal Data Privacy regulations, PCI, and GDPR affect more firms than most are aware of. And new and pending legislation in many states will have a significant impact on working practices.
The risk of non-compliance is increasing for law firms as they grow in size, scope, and geographical areas of practice.
- Clumsy Integration Across Business Functions
Seamless integration across all your business solutions is essential to improving efficiency, productivity and, ultimately, profitability.
If your practice management system does not integrate core business functions such as billing and accounting and enable the automatic transfer of data between them, you will have a large amount of manual and redundant workflows in your practice.
Trending all-in-one solutions can offer increased efficiency over even the tightest integration between separate matter and case management, billing, and accounting solutions.
- No (Or Limited) Access from Mobile Devices
Whether you provide mobile devices to your staff, allow for a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) environment, or have a mixture of both, mobile devices that contain firm data are becoming the norm, rather than the exception.
Your practice management system should accommodate this change in working culture. When desired, secure remote access to data and systems will empower key staff whether they are in court or travelling to a client meeting.
- No (Or Limited) Data Customization
Your practice must respond to almost constant change in the working environment, client expectations, compliance regulations and other unknowns.
The need to modify and refine your business processes and workflows to be more efficient, respond to client needs and maintain compliance needs to be supported by your matter management solutions and not hindered by rigid or outdated systems.
- Invoicing Process is Time Intensive and Dated
The old adage is true, ‘Time is Money’. Time entry, invoice production and review should not be a cumbersome process. You should not be burning through reams of paper as part of your billing workflow.
Time entry should be intuitive, quick, and available to all billable staff. The review and delivery process should be efficient, on-screen, and pass between staff without killing forests.
- Management Reports are Not Timely
A recent survey of law firms in the U.S. found that over 70% of those firms do not use their billing or matter management software to identify trends, key clients, slow paying clients, or timekeeper contribution and profitability.
For many this is due to the fact that Management Reports that every Law Firm should run are not available real-time and depend on a single staff member to produce if they are available at all.
The days of waiting weeks to know what happened in the past should be behind us. Real Time reporting is critical to proactive management of your matters, clients, and practice.
If even one or two of the seven signs above describe your current matter management solution, it is Time for Change.
The time and assets re-invested in Matter Management solutions that fit the needs, processes, and workflows of your practice will increase efficiency, productivity and, ultimately, profitability.
As always, we are here to get you on the right path!
BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) Lunch & Learn – Co-Sponsored by the Washoe County Bar Association
Friday, May 4, 2018
11:00 a.m. to 1:00 pm (Q & A 1:00 to 2:00 pm)
2 Hours CLE Ethics Credit
Bruce Thompson Federal Courthouse