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August 17, 2012

Practice Management Software for Law Firms

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A wide variety of law firms need software to stay efficient at keeping track of billable hours and scheduling appointments while making it easy to get the bills out every month. There is a variety of software available. For example, ProLaw, Abacuslaw, Time Matters, Firm Manager, Tabs3, etc. are all available for law firms to choose from. Each solution varies based on price, functionality, compatibility, and security. Ultimately, law firms want to find the best fit for them regardless of what people recommend or what are considered the best on the market. Our goal as a Managed IT Service providers is to support the solution currently in place by making sure all the computers, servers, and underlying network at your office function properly or help you transition into a different solution. Perhaps, you are a new firm and need guidance in this area too. Here are some things to think about when purchasing a new practice management solution for your law firm:

1. Is the software compatible with Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh operating systems?
2. Is the software compatible with smart phones and tablets?
3. Is the software compatible with Microsoft Office?
4. Does the software integrate with Microsoft Office and if so, how?
5. When we purchase the software, how much does the licensing cost?
6. What is the cost and process involved when we add a new employee?
7. What are the best practices for backups?
8. What reports can we run and can we see examples?
9. Can our invoices be customized and can we see examples?
10. Will our software integrate with our existing general ledger such as QuickBooks?
11. How much does software maintenance cost and what is the cadence in regards to renewing?
12. What type of training is required to get our staff up-to-speed?
13. Approximately how much is the initial installation?
14. How much time is required for our partners and staff to get from the purchasing stage to being fully up-and-running?
15. What are some common problems existing users have and what is the company doing about it to solve them?
16. Is their three other customers that use your software we can contact to discuss the product?
17. Will our existing computers, servers, and network support the software?
18. Does this software support a telecommuting employee environment?
19. Can we access the software via a web-browser?
20. What is the process to recovery from a software crash?

These are twenty questions that should help a law firm get the process started in terms of finding a compatible solution. Once you get farther down the line, the vendor will start having specific technical questions about your computing environment and that’s where we can help ensure the software gets implemented on a stable/compatible environment.

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