Are You Using The Right Practice Management Software For Your Needs?
With the growing competition among law firms, how can you get a step ahead of the others? And, how can you compete against the huge legal enterprises with virtually unlimited budgets? The answer? …By using the right practice management software.
Selecting the right practice management software is critical and can help your law firm “do more with less.” We’ve seen firms get nearly 30-40% increases in their caseload just by using the right practice management software and with no other changes.
What Should You Consider When Selecting Practice Management Software?
With the right practice management software, you can save time, money and grow your legal business in today’s competitive environment. You can streamline your workflows and increase your efficiency.
It’s critical that you consider your unique needs. With dozens of different software packages out there, here are a few things to take into consideration:
- Do you want an all-in-one solution with billing, marketing, and client intake?
- Do you want it to be in the Cloud or stay on your own server?
- What is your budget?
- Do you have money set aside for implementation and training? (Don’t skimp on this. A system that doesn’t integrate with what you already have, or that no one really uses, is wasted money.)
- What other software will you need to integrate it with? (Microsoft Office is a given, but will you need to integrate it into your billing system or document management software?)
- Does your IT provider have experience with any of the solutions you’re considering? (This doesn’t mean they need to be an expert, but they should know about the more popular packages and how well the software vendor’s support team will address your needs.)
- Do you have the time to change systems? (Most law firms are extremely busy; and you’ll need to set aside time for training, conversion, and for your staff to learn new ways of doing things.)
- Do you have the right teams onboard? (This means your IT provider, the software vendor’s team, and your own team. Not everyone will embrace new software at the same pace; but if any key people are opposed to the change you can’t expect to gain the benefits from migrating to a new practice management solution.)
What Other Things Should You Look At When Reviewing Practice Management Software?
You know that you’ll need to import your existing data into any new practice management software. Ask your IT provider how easy it will be to migrate your firm’s data into the new software and what the resulting formats will be.
Will The Solution Integrate Well With Your Accounting Software?
Will it automatically sync with your accounting and billing software? If you have to track billable hours, this is another thing to consider. And if you manage both trust and operating accounts, will your new solution handle these tasks as well?
You need both accounting and billing elements that will save you time. Will your accounting software automatically reconcile the accounts in your practice management software? You want them to integrate seamlessly, so you aren’t duplicating tasks and wasting time.
How About Eliminating The Paper In Your Work Life?
- Will the practice management software you’re considering provide unlimited online data storage for your documents?
- Can you use it to eliminate the use of paper invoices?
- What about the need to mail letters to your clients? Will it provide secure online communication so you can send letters electronically?
All of this will save paper and time printing and mailing. Online storage lets you and your employees access documents from anywhere you have a secure internet connection, increasing productivity and flexibility.
Will The Practice Management Software Let You Process Credit Card Payments Securely?
- Will you be able to email invoices to your clients using the new software?
- Does it come with invoice reminders?
- Can your clients securely pay you online?
When your practice management software includes online financial services, this not only offers convenience for you but your clients. It also streamlines your operations.
Who Is The Software Provider?
- Is the software provider located in the U.S.?
- Are they reputable?
- How long have they been in business?
- Will they be around when you need them?
- How about customer service? Do they have a 24/7 hotline?
- Do they back their software and provide easy returns if it doesn’t work for you?
If you’re working off-hours and run into a problem, you need to know that you’ll have support.
How Secure Is The Software?
- Can the software vendor guarantee that your data will be secure?
- Will you be able to easily restrict users’ access to specific files, documents, and cases?
Ask all the hard questions about permissions, settings, client access, and more to ensure your data is 100% secure.
Is It Easy To Use?
- Is it set up to be intuitive and easy to navigate?
- Will you quickly be able to search for the information and documents you need?
- How about training?
- Will you have to pay extra for training when you hire new employees?
Speaking Of Paying – How Much Will It Cost Compared To Other Solutions? What Will You Get For Your Money?
- Is the pricing structure easy to understand and transparent? Make sure you know what you’re getting for the price you pay.
- How about your ROI? Will it provide the value you’re looking for?
Calculate your Total Cost of Ownership and Return on Investment. How long will it take for you to realize savings from using this solution?
Attorneys who want to compete in today’s technology-driven environment need up-to-date practice management software. But, it’s often perplexing trying to decide which one to choose. This is when you need an IT Consultant who can help you ask the right questions and find answers for them; one who can help you find the practice management software that best fits your law firm’s needs.
Regardless of whether you’re in the market for new software or not, it’s always good to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in the world of Detroit IT solutions. Visit our Learning Center for the up-to-date information you need.