QuickBooks Online Advanced, is a great fit for small to medium-sized law firms. With features like custom fields, user permissions, and an app stack within QuickBooks’ ecosystem, this accounting tool combined with a LeanLaw Accounting Pro is a robust way to manage your firm’s financials.
Lynda Artesani, a law firm accounting expert (Artesani Bookkeeping) has been helping law firms for the past 20 years. Over that time, she has refined her advocacy and embraced new technology to better serve her clients. What used to be a job that entailed going into her clients’ offices to “do the books” has turned into an online management system that is ultimately more efficient, accurate and most importantly, insightful.
QuickBooks Is the industry leader, with more than 200,000 Pro Advisors — accounting professionals who are proficient in QBO software. Having your pick from hundreds of thousands of bookkeepers and CPAs who know how to use QBO is a huge advantage.QuickBooks Online ProAdvisors are trained and certified. LeanLaw took the lead from Intuit and created their own type of ProAdvisor: we call them LeanLaw Accounting Pros (LAPs).
QuickBooks as a Platform
If you think of QuickBooks as a platform of apps — like iTunes — you’ll understand its power. LeanLaw, the top rated legal app in the QuickBooks Online app store has a native integration with QBO that benefits law firms with:
- Real time synchronization
- Attorney compensation tracking reports
- Automated timekeeping pushed to invoicing
- IOLTA infrastructure
LeanLaw customizes QuickBooks Online for law firms.
When you have QuickBooks paired with other legal apps, you have what we call a best in breed “tech stack.” This is the alternative to legal practice management software. Here’s an example:
- QuickBooks & LeanLaw for accounting
- Box.com or Epona / Microsoft 365 for document management
- Gravity Legal for trust accounting and payments
- Office 365 or Google Workspace for client communication
QuickBooks Online Advanced is enhanced for the bigger law firms with more complex workflows. QuickBooks Online supports up to 250 accounts in your chart of accounts – if you have more than that, you’ll need to upgrade to Advanced. And with that upgrade comes benefits.
Some law firms generate a massive volume of invoices each month with varied terms and methods of payment. You would need at least one full-time employee to manage a workflow like that. Multiple invoicing is a feature only available in QuickBooks Online Advanced. Lynda has a law firm client who is able to mass-produce many templated invoices for their high-volume of clients in just a few clicks. That workflow used to take all day and involve printing, envelopes, stamps and the postal carrier.
She also pointed out that if your invoice is more quickly received, it’s also more quickly paid – especially if you tie it to online payment systems like Intuit’s Merchant Services. Increased cash flow from timely payments gives law firms the freedom to make more expansive operational decisions. Again, the triangulation of the ProAdvisors, the apps, and the platform create an automated, modern workflow.
Custom User Permission
With larger law firms, there is a need for user permission levels in areas like accounts receivable. Lynda told me of a law practice with four administrative assistants in accounts receivable for the firm. Each person had a slightly different area of accounts receivable for which they were responsible. Lynda set it up so that one admin had the access needed to see when the deposits settle into the bank. There was no need for this person to see the other side of the bank account or the checking account at all. With Advanced, she was able to get the right information into the right hands – in a way that was selective, efficient and secure.
Redeploying Staff to More Valued Tasks
When you have your financial operations automated and outsourced to a true law accounting expert, you will have just freed up your time or your employee’s time to work on more valued tasks. For you, to focus on your casework. For your employee, to value-added tasks.
When you switch your day-to-day bookkeeping using cloud-based software like QuickBooks Online Advanced and LeanLaw and combine that with the expertise of a LeanLaw Accounting Pro like Lynda Artesani, you are opening yourself and your law firm up to new productivity ad profitability.
You can take more time off. You can do more pro-bono work. You can spend time with your family. Having the right software and the expert in law firm accounting will save you not only money but time as well, in the long run.