Choose an Integrated Legal Accounting Solution

Are you a law firm? Accounting solutions can be standalone, linked to your billing solution or integrated as a single solution.
Why go with an integrated solution? You can read about the benefits by going to Benefits of an Integrated Accounting Solution and requesting the article. Interested in discussing options for integrated cloud or desktop solutions? Please contact me.

Kurent – Cloud Based Time Tracking and Billing

Looking for a legal billing solution that is cloud based? Software Technology Inc (STI), well known as the developer of Tabs3 and PracticeMaster, has added a new product to the lineup.

When Kurent was first released a few months ago, we were impressed with the thought that went into the workflow and the ease of use. However, it was lacking some features we thought were essential before our clients would be interested. The key missing feature was batch billing. Now, that has been addressed and we think the Kurent is an excellent choice for those looking for a cloud based legal billing solution, if they do not need trust accounting.

Kurent has an easy to navigate interface. Down the left you have quick access to Matters, Contacts, Invoices, Fees, Costs, Receipts and Reports. Across the top is quick access to add fees, costs, matters and create invoices as well as search and a timer that will capture your time and let you add details later if needed. Most information can be added on the fly.

The Home page gives access to recent activity, recent matters, notifications and “my hours” and “my notepad”. The Firm page gives graphs showing AR, Unbilled Fees or Costs, Cash Receipts, Top Clients, new Matters and Billing History. Ledes billing is supported.

Kurent includes videos to help you get started as well as easy access to support if needed.

If you want to take a closer look you can start a 30-day free trial, or contact us for a demonstration.

 

Cosmolex Gets New Features and Look

The strength of Cosmolex has been it’s inclusion of billing and accounting, no other software needed. Now, Cosmolex has expanded the capabilities to offer additional functionality and it is targeting mid-market firms beyond the solo to 5 user for which it has been known.

Cosmolex has introduced a new user experience along with new features. The new features include custom search and additional reporting options, as well as the ability to create and report on custom fields. Cosmolex has also added the ability to download a database of Cosmolex merge fields and then add these fields to word templates for document assembly.

You can read more about what’s new in an article published by our friends at Insightful Accountant. Or contact us for information, a demo. You can also sign up for a free trial.

QuickBooks Online Backup

By now most businesses recognize the importance of regular backups. With cloud based systems users often feel backup is not important as the cloud vendor provides the backup service. However, cloud vendors make backups for their convenience, not yours. What does this mean? If the vendors server crashes or some other event happens, they can recover all the data – Great! But what if someone gets access to your system and wipes out a bunch of information? What if you import 100 transactions and then realize they were done wrong? Can you ask the cloud vendor to get you back to yesterday or last week? Often times the answer is no and since you can’t do a backup that can be restored when you desire you may have to do a lot of manual work to get to where you need to be.

You may be able to download data from the cloud system, but can you restore it? This is not to say you should use a cloud based solution, only that you need to be aware of this limitation and decide how to proceed from a position of knowledge.

With QuickBooks Online firms have sometimes chosen to download to QuickBooks desktop as a form of backup. While this can be uploaded into a new QBO company file you must do a complete review of the data each time you download as there are some differences between QBO and desktop that may cause the numbers to be different. In addition, if you have add-ins like Apps, when you upload into a new company file you will have to re-establish the links to the apps which, depending on the app, may have it’s own issues.

So what to do? With QuickBooks Online the best current answer is Rewind. Rewind lets you backup when you want, restore deleted items and undo changes. While it is not a complete backup and restore solution, since there is certain data (like payroll) that Intuit does not allow write access, Rewind gives you a lot more control and recovery than you has previously been available.

I won’t go into all the details, as Rewind has an excellent blog article that you can read at QBO Backup. If you are interested, or have questions, please contact us and we can help you get started.

Start the new year with good backup processes for all your software and keep your data safe.

Clio – Another look

If you are looking at Clio, especially linked to QBO, please check out my updated review in Insightful Accountant at Another Look at Clio

QuickBooks 2018

For some September means the end of summer and back to school. For accountants, bookkeepers and QuickBooks desktop users it means it’s time for a new version to be announced. This year Intuit has added new features that can benefit all users of QuickBooks. There are detailed articles on the new features written by my colleagues William Murphy at Insightful Accountant and Charlie Russell with Accountex Report. I have provided links to their articles for those that want more detail but here’s some highlights of what’s new.

  • Multiple monitor support for up to three monitors. Move full windows of QuickBooks to another monitor to see and work with more information at once.
  • Chart of accounts search. Find accounts in the chart of accounts based on any part of the name.
  • Cash/Accrual toggle on reports making it easier to switch modes.
  • Past due stamp on invoices.
  • Keyboard shortcuts for copying and pasting lines in transactions.
  • Inventory report enhancements.
  • Merge multiple vendors – QuickBooks Accountant and QuickBooks Enterprise Accountant only.
  • Secure web mail – you will no longer have to enter your password everytime you want to send an email.
  • You must have Internet Explorer 11 for use of many features of QuickBooks. Older versions are no longer supported.
  • Remain logged in so you don’t have to login every time you open or switch companies. While this is a great convenience, it does reduce the security of your data so think carefully before turning this on.

If you have questions about the new features or would like to discuss upgrading your QuickBooks contact us, we are here to help