The Law Firm Opportunity For Accounting Professionals – Fast Start Guide
9 Things You Can Do to Attain Law Firm Clients
Now that we’ve gone over that lawyers make for great clients, how to get them as clients and how accounting professionals can help attorneys, we’d like to get you up and running with your new focus on attorneys.
Here are a few quick tips to start making this happen:
- Get familiar with law firms. This means knowing legal lingo and legal practice areas. Speaking law firm language goes a long ways to building trust. All law firms bill differently: hourly, fixed-fee, hybrid.
- Know the software tools related to timekeeping and invoicing for law firms. You don’t need to be an expert on practice management, but you should know the leaders in the industry and have your preferred tools. This knowledge will allow you to better communicate how you work with a law firm. Lawyers will look to you for guidance.
There is a real difference between supporting QuickBooks Desktop and TimeSlips vs. QuickBooks Online and LeanLaw. Both do similar things, but the latter solution offers the flexibility of the cloud and the efficiency of automation.
- Know the rules. Study trust accounting. It’s well documented from the State Bar associations. Your value-add is that you can assure the law firm is compliant in their trust accounting. This is meaningful because we’ve encountered firms that are about to stop accepting retainers because they are too difficult to manage. With LeanLaw’s automation and built-in compliance, trust accounting becomes streamlined.
- Make sure you communicate your expertise via your online and social marketing efforts. LinkedIn, Facebook, your webpage, and most importantly your QuickBooks Online Pro Advisor page. Anywhere a client may want connect with you, make sure you articulate the service, expertise and value you bring to their firm.
Try to be specific to the types of law firms that you serve. Think through the value you bring and what they need to read/hear to initiate a phone call.
- Interview an attorney or three. Make a call, buy an attorney a coffee. Listen to their pain points and think about how your offering can make things easier. Think: workflows. Ask them how they invoice, from start to finish. You want to get a sense of how you would improve that for a firm. Feel free to reach out to us. We coach accountants and bookkeepers all the time.
- Identify the size of firm that fits best for you. Solo, Solo + (solo attorney plus staff), micro (2-4 partners), small law (5-10 partners) or larger firms. Each group has their own needs and accounting requirements. Don’t think you can be all things to all firms. Pick your niche and be perfectly clear as to why you are best suited for these folks.
- Productize your offering so it’s perfectly clear to your clients what you’re selling and how you work with them. Develop a workflow around how you work with clients, from onboarding to monthly efforts. As you develop your services, you can begin to charge for different activities, such as:
- Monthly account reconciliation
- Invoicing & accounts receivable
- Monthly trust reconciliation
- Partner compensation tracking and reporting
- General firm reports
- Client analysis, which clients are the best ones
- Timekeeper analysis and reports
- Let folks know you’re available: cultivate the trusted referral. Your new opportunities will come from folks that know you and think you’re capable. Let your community know that this is a new focus. Make some calls, send some emails. This will generate leads. Create a “leave behind” — a one sheet that speaks to your capabilities for law firms and your offering. This can be useful when you’re introducing yourself to folks that will be referring. It’s the calling card that they can use to introduce you to the rest of their firm. This will build credibility.
- Set a goal. Fill in the blanks: I am going to add X number of law firms over the next Y period of time. From that statement, back out what work you need to do to cultivate the leads you need to close that many firms. Set specific targets and track your work. You will begin to see the pattern: If I do a certain amount of outreach, I get a certain amount of leads, and from those leads I will close a certain amount of new clients.
If you have more questions about how to get started or would like to be a part of our LeanLaw Accounting Pros, give us a call or:
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- Law Firm Referrals
- Free LeanLaw Account
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- New Feature Access