LeanLaw has a program, LeanLaw Accounting Pros, that matches accounting professionals who are fluent in both QuickBooks Online as well as LeanLaw software with law firms looking for that kind of expertise. The LeanLaw Accounting Pro program also provides monthly online meetups, education on how to service law firms – including sales coaching, and referrals for new clients. Our goal is to create community, collaborate and educate ourselves and our clients.
This article will give you some tips on how to capture the law firm client, whether it’s a solo lawyer or a mid-market law firm, LeanLaw Accounting Pros are trained to be experts in law firm accounting.
Best Fit for your Practice
First and foremost, you must decide what kind of law firm you would like to support – as you begin niching into these clients. Attorneys have vastly different types of practices: Contingency attorneys work on spec, litigation attorneys work by the hour and transactional attorneys charge a hybrid of flat and hourly fees.
Another issue to consider is the size of the firm: how many lawyers? How many timekeepers in general? Do they take retainers? If so, you will need to become fluent in trust accounting. There are strict rules for handling retainer fees, so you must become an expert. It’s not difficult, just detail-oriented.
Helping your potential client understand your services and having those services tailored to their needs is a critical first step to show them that you are an industry expert. They know you do AP / AR / Payroll. What they don’t know is that you know law firm accounting.
Be clear on what you offer to your clients:
- Outsourced Invoicing
- Trust accounting & reconciliation
- Advanced reporting, including compensation tracking.
And how often will this work be done? By you or your staff?
How To Price Your Services
LeanLaw can review and identify legal billing packages that you can offer as a solution to law firms to upgrade their invoicing workflow. Just as important, we will go over the concept of charging flat fees for your services. LeanLaw believes in value-based pricing over the hourly fee: if both parties understand the time and costs involved, the relationship will proceed more smoothly.
One of the perks of being a LeanLaw Accounting Pro is that several times each year, Loren Fogelman of Business Success Solutions provides free webinars to our members on how to earn more, work less and price your services for maximum value for both you and your clients.
Your Marketing Materials
Your website is the first impression you will give to a law firm and will most likely be a referral. What do you want the attorney to see?
When you convey that you understand the principles of law firm accounting, whether that is faster AR collections, reconciliation of trust (compliance), or advance reporting, your website should first present your expertise and value, not what you functionally do. That comes later as the attorney explores your site.
Law firm clients are pretty sophisticated – and they expect you to be just as detail-oriented and professional as they are.
When you understand how a law firm operates and what the needs of the various stakeholders are, you can tailor your meeting based on whether, say, you meet with the law firm manager or one of the attorneys. Do you know what questions to ask during these initial meetings? What you’re trying to do is a probe for pain points — what isn’t working?
Remember, they are taking the meeting for three reasons.
- They are starting a new firm.
- They are outsourcing tasking that was internal.
- They are moving from someone that isn’t meeting their expectations.
All three instances have different opportunities and needs.
You’ll also need to inquire for how much help they would need to onboard them to QuickBooks and LeanLaw. These kinds of questions will show them your expertise and professionalism.
LeanLaw would like you to grow your accounting practice focused on law firms. We are working alongside QuickBooks Online Advanced to capture the midsize law firm market. We’d like you to join us and we’d like to help you get there.