The right legal accounting software system can make a world of difference to a law firm, be it a solo practice or a large, multi-office setup. Think hassle-free record-keeping, smoother workflows, efficient billing, and more time to focus on cases. To help you get to the right accounting solution for your legal practice, we have ranked the best options out there, backed by our solid methodology and helpful tips. Let’s get started!
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Part of the Sage Group since 2017, the San Jose-based Intacct offers a cloud-based suite of accounting solutions. Sage Intacct has been named the preferred financial management solution by the AICPA and is used by thousands of businesses of all sizes to improve company performance.
Everything Your Law Firm Needs, All in One Place.
Built to be a “total law practice solution,” CosmoLex is a law practice management platform that integrates many essential functions into a single cloud-based application. The product helps solo attorneys and small law firms manage their practice, billing, and accounting with a single login.
Online accounting software, built for your business.
Part of the Zoho Office Suite of SaaS applications, Zoho Books has won the trust of multiple businesses worldwide, and for a good reason. Known for keeping up with ever-changing business trends, it is the ideal solution for any venture requiring scalability and flexibility.
Smart, simple online accounting software for small business.
Industry veteran QuickBooks has been used by SMEs since the 1980s, but with many features that add to its functionality, scalability, and customizability, it caters excellently to large businesses as well.
Accounting software built for owners.
Offered by Canada-based 2ndSite Inc., FreshBooks is an invoicing and accounting app run on the SaaS model. Over 20 million people across 160+ countries trust this solution which wins praise from businesses of all sizes for its usability, affordability, and strong automation and customization features.
Built for Today's Busy Firms
Founded in 2008 as the first cloud-based legal practice management product, Rocket Matter comes packed with useful features for billing, time tracking, online payments, trust accounting, and case management. Thousands of law firms have opted for Rocket Matter for its features and award-winning customer service.
Law practice management software made easy
Thanks to an intuitive interface and robust practice management features, Practice Panther is popular with law practices of all sizes in 150+ countries. Designed to make the lives of lawyers and paralegals easier, this software helps streamline workflows, boost profits, and increase client satisfaction.
Practice more. Manage less.
With offices in Seattle and Pittsburgh, Bill4Time offers a cloud-based practice management solution focused on time tracking and billing for lawyers, consultants, and freelance professionals. Designed for convenience and affordability, it is the software of choice for small and large law firms alike.
AI based automated timekeeping for Lawyers
California-based LawGro is known for its AI-powered timekeeping solution that combines additional case management, invoicing, and document management functions. Several innovative features and real-time analytics have made the software a popular tool for hundreds of solo practices and small law firms.
In this section, we cover important topics such as the need for accounting software for law firms and the benefits law practices can expect from them. Subsequently, we consider the essential features of such solutions.
The discussion in this article is limited to the required features in accounting software for attorneys, which are in addition to “core” accounting functions. We focused on them as the main criteria for selecting the top solutions to cater to law practices.
Accounting for law practices is based on the same fundamental principles as general accounting. However, the legal profession’s nature makes certain accounting aspects more significant than others. For example, efficient billing and time-tracking are critical. Simplified client relationship management can make a vital difference. Trust accounting, considered in greater detail below, is an important aspect.
Many solo practices and small law firms either try to get by with manual accounting or rely on general accounting software. While the best accounting systems can sometimes do the job just fine, using industry-specific software is a better option in some cases.
Listed below are just some of the gains a law practice can expect with the right accounting system.
Manual bookkeeping or using Excel takes up a lot of time. Even simple accounting software would automate many of these accounting processes, saving users valuable time. Both simple tasks like sending payment reminders and complex ones like staying tax-compliant can be made less tedious with accounting software for attorneys.
Accurate recording of financial data is particularly crucial in the legal profession. As a practice grows, the data it operates grows exponentially. Given that even the most careful humans make mistakes, attorney accounting software minimizes the potential for errors, which means you can be more confident about your books and compliance.
With accounting software, it’s very easy to track your practice’s cash flow. You have all the vital information in an easy-to-understand format, including your bank balance and pending invoices. You can easily figure out which areas of your practice are doing well and which ones aren’t. Having all this information at your fingertips makes it all that easier to strategize for higher inflow.
Managing interactions with clients is the lifeblood of a law firm. High-quality law firm accounting software either has built-in CRM features or offers convenient integrations with leading CRM software. These features not only help you track and develop client relationships but also ensure clearer communication.
Relationship management also extends to your in-house team. Most leading accounting solutions offer payroll features that simplify handling staff salaries and perks. Then, there are time-tracking features that let your legal team record their working hours more efficiently. The best legal accounting software will handle these processes smoothly, making for happier staff.
Through accurate and clear information on vital financial aspects, accounting solutions keep you better informed about your law firm. The reporting functionality, often with a high degree of customizability, makes it easier for your team to understand the story behind the numbers. Many accounting products even include high-quality business intelligence that provides valuable insights on improving different business aspects. The visualization features in many of these tools meanwhile make it easier to present data to in-house teams or external stakeholders.
The above benefits accrue from having the right features in your accounting solution. In our evaluation of accounting software for attorneys, we looked at the essential features for any law firm. These features are briefly described below to help you out in your search for the right accounting product.
Before moving on to advanced modules, we ensure the accounting system gets the basics right. A law firm’s bookkeeping needs to be meticulous, making it even more necessary that the software ticks all boxes in general accounting. Automatic reconciliation of accounts, easy categorization of expenses and income, and simplified tracking of all financial data are just some of the features we consider in identifying the best law firm accounting software.
A unique function carried out by many law practices is the management of trusts, where the practice holds funds or assets for the benefit of another party. Trust accounting involves clear identification of assets held for different beneficiaries in sub-accounts, careful recording of any expenses carried on by a trust, and several other tasks to remain compliant.
The software features used for trust accounting are, in principle, no different from those meant for regular bookkeeping. However, because of the additional complexity in managing trusts, these features should be robust enough in legal trust accounting software to keep the process smooth and compliant with rules.
Efficient management of accounts receivable is particularly important for a law firm. In fact, this aspect is such a significant aspect of law firm accounting that we have also considered billing software with basic accounting features for this article. Whether it’s billing software or accounting software with robust billing features, it must simplify tasks like creating and sharing invoices and tracking payments. The best attorney accounting software will also allow multiple payment options for clients’ convenience.
Time tracking is related to efficient billing but important enough to mention separately. Accounting for the time spent by team members across different cases is one of the greatest challenges for a law firm. Even today, the accountant going around the office rounding up time records from the firm’s attorneys is not a rare sight. The right accounting software for law firms will allow syncing time records with invoices to make the collections process smoother and more accurate.
Time tracking is also one of the factors that make it useful to have cloud-based legal accounting software. The ability to access the system from anywhere makes it easier for the team to log hours.
Payroll management involves several repetitive tasks that can be easily automated for greater efficiency. Accounting software syncs payroll with time tracking, billing, and expenses to make it easier to generate pay runs. The software must also simplify the handling of payroll-related taxes and aspects like leaves and health benefits.
This functionality not only streamlines billing workflows but also simplifies the time-consuming task of tracking client data. Law practices often have repeat business with the same clients, making efficient relationship management tremendously valuable. As discussed earlier, many law firm accounting software products incorporate CRM features.
Accounting solutions can make managing taxes a hassle-free process in several ways. They can ensure accurate recording of data to save time when filing taxes. They can help you easily apply the right tax to an expense category or client invoice. Sometimes, they can even help prepare your taxes. We evaluate the extent to which the accounting system helps with the many taxation aspects, including providing clear information on the firm’s tax liability.
Creating reports on sales, taxes, expenses, and other metrics is easy for accounting software. The factor that separates the best from the rest is the range of reporting, the ease of accessing and understanding these reports, and the extent of customization offered. The right attorney accounting software will offer you valuable insights and let you prioritize metrics vital to your firm.
Besides the accounting features above, we also evaluate software on factors that impact the value a law practice can derive from using it. For example, given that lawyers often spend a good amount of time outside their offices, a cloud-based product is usually more practical for a law firm than a desktop-based one. Ease of use is an aspect most firms would appreciate as it saves time in figuring out different functionalities. Pricing is a particularly important criterion when identifying the best accounting software for small law firms. Customer support and feedback from past users are also among the factors we consider significant.
Sage Intacct is a powerful cloud-based accounting software from Sage Group. It’s a rare top-ranked general accounting solution that supports trust accounting. However, the complexity due to its range of features and extensive customizability may mean it is not the best small law firm accounting software. Firms looking for simpler solutions can try out other Sage group products.
Sage Intacct’s different modules are called products, and firms can choose the products they want to tailor the best legal accounting software for their needs. As a result, subscribers pay only for features they use and not for the entire set of capabilities.
Sage Intacct’s greatest advantage is its use of AI to automate many manual workflows, saving time and money. It uses a feature called “dimensions” to make the accounting process highly customizable.
Dimensions help you tag transactions and operational data with values. This helps add context to the data in a better way than when assigning transactions to hard-coded individual accounts. Once created, the dimensions can be used across receivables, payables, timesheets, general ledger management, revenue management, and so on.
Through these dimensions, this large law firm accounting software also helps simplify your chart of accounts, define your workflows, and capture transactions accurately in real time. Financial management is further enhanced through insightful reports that use dimensions that provide faster and more relevant answers to your business questions.
Law firms will particularly appreciate Sage Intacct’s AI-powered timesheets. The software’s Time Assistant ensures your team accounts for all work, including unplanned activities. Its Intelligent Time meanwhile keeps time entries fast and accurate and automatically alerts team members if entries are late or rejected. The use of AI also helps reconstruct the workweek across multiple cases to capture every billable moment. Sage Intacct’s mobile app is more efficient than other law firm accounting software in comparison, letting you enter, submit, and approve time from anywhere.
The app also complements the smooth expense management system. Expense data can be entered from anywhere. The person responsible for approval gets instant alerts, and once approved, the expenses flow automatically into Accounts Payable for reimbursement. All the expenses are readily trackable, letting you monitor profitability.
The Accounts Receivable module automates processes like creating, customizing, and emailing invoices, along with generating recurring invoices. You can attach relevant documents to invoices for better recordkeeping. Plus, multiple payment options help get fees faster. The high customizability comes into play here as well, with the freedom to define approval processes, set reminders, and assign owners to collection cases.
The final notable feature that makes this an efficient law office accounting software solution is the interactive visual explorer, rarely seen in rivals. With over 25 data visualization types and built-in advanced analytics, you get a deeper understanding of trends. These features are also perfect for sharing performance data with other stakeholders.
Pricing: Sage Intacct offers custom plans and does not disclose the pricing on its website. Interested users can fill out a form on the website. A 30-day trial is available.
Our law firm accounting software comparison continues with CosmoLex which comes with built-in legal accounting features, along with features for billing and practice management. A somewhat unique aspect is its pricing for small firms, with a flat monthly subscription fee covering all features.
While not comparable to general accounting software, CosmoLex can still handle most bookkeeping tasks for legal firms. So, you get ledger accounting based on a cash and accrual basis, a customizable chart of accounts, sophisticated revenue distribution calculations, electronic bank statement reports, and comprehensive management and financial reports.
This law firm accounting software automatically allocates invoice payments to the proper general ledger accounts, saving substantial time. It’s also handy with expense management, helping track accounts payable and write-offs. A relatively new and useful feature is to include hard costs (payments made to vendors on clients’ behalf) and soft costs (indirect costs like printing and phone bills attributable to a client).
CosmoLex handles trust accounting very well. You can manage individual client ledgers, make individual or bulk invoice payments using trust funds, track and disburse third-party lien claims, and generate trust recordkeeping reports. Printing disbursement checks or reconciling bank and credit card data is simplified. Overall, as a reliable legal trust accounting software, it ensures the minimization of common trust mistakes such as ledger overdrafts and commingling.
Given the importance of efficient billing for law practices, CosmoLex offers several features to that end. You can enter time and expenses on the go with its mobile app, use timecards for different activity categories to account for all billable items, and instantly post cost information as soon as costs are incurred to maintain compliance. The software even scans your practice management records for unbilled events and triggers alerts. With these features, the CosmoLex legal accounting software minimizes the chance of not getting paid for a genuine billable activity.
That’s not all, of course. You can generate batch invoices, send batch emails with personalized messages, and create customized invoices to reflect your branding. It’s also easy to send reminders for due payments to your clients, who can use CosmoLexPay for secure online payments. CosmoLex supports all UTBMS codes and actions and is also excellent for retainer management.
The final set of features concerns practice management. Keep your paper trail perfect with automatic matching of every entry to the right client. Create custom workflows to ensure everyone on the team is clear about their assigned work. Improve your document management with the built-in storage option of this attorney accounting software or through its integration with providers like Google Drive and Dropbox. Improve communication with clients through its secure two-way messaging system.
The most notable negative with CosmoLex is the absence of payroll features. Then, the mobile app is very basic and needs design improvement.
Pricing: CosmoLex has a subscription fee of $85/user/month billed annually or $95/user/month billed monthly. Firms with 10+ users can call the sales team for tiered plans. It offers a 14-day free trial and a 90-day money-back guarantee.
In recent years, Zoho Books has fast emerged as the preferred bookkeeping solution for many businesses worldwide, including as a trusted law office accounting software product. A unique benefit of Zoho Books is the easy addition of extra functionality through seamless integrations with other Zoho tools, including Zoho CRM and Zoho Invoice.
Zoho Books takes away the effort in running an efficient practice through features like real-time information for multiple users, selective access to clients, and taking snapshot history of transactions. It also helps that the developers keep coming up with regular updates based on user feedback. For example, the retainer invoice feature was added after hearing from lawyers and other professionals. This feature also makes it a dependable attorney trust accounting software.
With Zoho Books, it’s easy to keep all your transactions organized in one place. This helps save time in chasing overdue payments or tracking expenses. Invoicing features include customized invoices, automation of recurring invoices, and multiple payment options. You can also convert estimates and expenses to invoices with a click and use filters to find out which invoices need immediate attention.
Lawyers need efficient time tracking, and Zoho Books helps with daily or weekly logging of time or in real-time through the timer widget. The mobile app can also be used to log time and expenses. The timesheet module helps track the time spent by different team members across cases, while auto-billing converts the data to invoices.
This legal accounting software saves time in many other ways. You can set up your bank accounts for automatic reconciliation. The system can easily handle multiple bank and credit card accounts. With all relevant information neatly organized, you can make better-informed business decisions.
Zoho Books makes it easy to categorize all your expenses, which not only provides a clear picture of spending and cash flow but also proves useful for taxation. If any expenses are to be reimbursed, you can add them at the project level, and they get included at the time of billing. The software is excellent for streamlining expense report approval and exercising tighter control over business expenditures.
Another handy functionality that earns Zoho Books a place among the best attorney accounting software is the client portal. Through two-way messaging, you can share vital information with clients, and they can comment on relevant matters. The portal also helps provide clearer information on invoices, minimizing the likelihood of payment issues.
Apart from upfront insights on the dashboard, Zoho Books provides all-encompassing reports on your business health. While these reports are quite comprehensive on their own, you can also opt for advanced analytical features with Zoho Reports.
Some of the issues with Zoho Books arise from its relatively low popularity in the US. It’s not always easy to get professionals trained in the system. The third-party integrations available for Zoho are also fewer than more established law firm accounting software like QuickBooks or Sage Intacct. An unrelated issue is with the user interface, which is a bit clunky.
Pricing: Zoho Books has four subscription plans, with higher-priced plans offering more features: Free (one user + one accountant), Standard ($20/month or $180/year, three users), Professional ($50/month or $480/year, five users), and Premium ($70/month or $720/year, 10 users). A 14-day free trial is offered with all plans.
A versatile cloud-based solution, QuickBooks Online has excellent features that make it among the best accounting software for law firms, both large and small. Setting up trust accounting on its system can be tough, but you can easily overcome this issue through integration with the right billing product.
QuickBooks Online has four subscription plans, but the best option for law practices is the most expensive Advanced package. Useful features like batch invoicing, process automation, and advanced expense management aren’t available in the lower plans, making it a tad costly as small law firm accounting software.
Let’s look more deeply at how QuickBooks can help your law practice and if it’s worth the fee. In terms of overall bookkeeping, this software is among the best. Tasks like general ledger management, automated reconciliation with banking and credit card accounts, and efficient recognition of earnings and expenses are easily handled.
In terms of billing, it allows the creation of custom rates for different team members. You just need to add billable hours, and the software creates accurate invoices. It also offers time tracking functionality to capture hours by client, case, and activity. Staff can also record time on their mobile phones.
As fitting for the best law firm accounting software, QuickBooks simplifies tagging income and expenses to specific cases, creating recurring invoices, customizing invoice templates, and scheduling invoices to be emailed on specific dates. With support for all major credit cards and free bank transfers, clients can pay right from the invoice. Plus, you can easily track invoice status, send payment reminders, and match payments to invoices.
With the robust reporting features and the revenue streams dashboard, you can determine the cases or clients getting your practice the most income. You can set cash flow benchmarks to make informed decisions to grow your practice. Collaboration works very well with easy configuration of roles to delegate work. Moreover, with excellent access controls, case information remains secure
As fitting for large law firm accounting software solutions, QuickBooks Online offers very good payroll features. No matter how big your team, reviewing and approving salaries, adding bonuses, and offering direct deposits are all a breeze.
The other major advantage of this software is its vast number of integrations. With over 600 apps at your disposal, you can easily add additional functionality for billing, research, and case management.
Despite all that QuickBooks Online has to offer legal practices, there is one vital area where it misses out — while trust accounting can be set up with some effort, issues remain. You can’t segregate client ledgers or prevent overdrawing from a trust account. Three-way reconciliation, critical in legal trust accounting software, is not available. Managing checks and assigning lead attorneys also require too much work.
Pricing: QuickBooks Online’s four monthly subscription plans are Simple Start ($25, one user), Essentials ($50, three users), Plus ($80, five users), and Advanced ($180, more than five users). A 30-day free trial is available with all plans.
FreshBooks is an accounting solution focused on ease of use, popular across industries for its wide range of features. It works very well as an efficient law office accounting software but has one significant issue common to several top accounting systems—the inability to manage trust accounting.
FreshBooks is ideal for law firms looking for hassle-free bookkeeping. Its interface is simple to figure out, and even users inexperienced with accounting can easily benefit from its features to keep their debits and credits in check. Tasks like creating a chart of accounts, reconciling accounts with bank entries, and managing the general ledger and trial balance are a breeze.
A factor placing it among the best legal accounting software is its well-designed time-tracking feature to ensure lawyers capture hours worked from the office or on the go. The effort put into making the FreshBooks app highly usable helps tremendously in this regard. The app, of course, also comes in handy in other areas like uploading bills for expense management and communicating with your team and clients.
Invoicing is one of FreshBooks’ biggest strengths. You can create professional-looking invoices with your branding in seconds. The built-in automation functionality helps add tracked time and reimbursable expenses to invoices easily. For recurring payments, you can set up a billing schedule and have the system send automatically generated invoices.
FreshBooks has the necessary attorney accounting software features like setting different rates for different team members, sending automated late payment reminders, and adding late payment fees. Plus, it has support for multiple payment options that let your clients pay you directly from the invoice. On the whole, the billing features make it possible for you to get paid faster with a lot less effort.
Tracking expenses is equally convenient. Whether you enter expenses manually or upload receipts, the software saves time by automatically organizing them for you. The dashboard provides clear information on your cash flow situation, helping you plan ahead. This legal accounting software also has great estimation features that help share likely expenses in advance with clients and prevent later issues with payments.
Useful insights also come from all your financial data transformed into easy-to-comprehend reports. These reports come in handy during tax season, as well. The other major advantage of FreshBooks is its help with collaboration. Staying on top of different cases gets easier when you can delegate tasks smoothly and track progress. Then, there are features for efficient client relationship management, including a client portal.
As with QuickBooks, FreshBooks does not work well as attorney trust accounting software. You might be able to figure out a way to create separate trust accounts, but there are other related issues like three-way reconciliation. The solution is to link the system to a billing tool for law firms. However, note that FreshBooks offers far fewer app integrations than QuickBooks and doesn’t work smoothly with tools like LawPay.
Pricing: Users can choose from four subscription plans for FreshBooks. These are Lite ($15), Plus ($25), Premium ($50), and Select (custom pricing). These fees are for monthly billing; yearly billing can be cheaper. The two lower-tier plans have respective monthly limits of five and 50 billable clients, a possible issue in legal accounting software. A 30-day free trial is included in all plans.
Rocket Matter is feature-rich legal practice management software with robust trust accounting features to complement billing, document automation, case management, and reporting. We consider the product best suited to solo practices and small firms that do not need extensive general accounting functions.
Let’s begin with the functions that make Rocket Matter a trustworthy legal trust accounting software. Users can conveniently create separate trust accounts, including for different matters related to the same client. In the latter case, the software allows easy transfer of funds across the accounts. The trust and operating accounts comply with industry regulations, including the addition of LEDES codes and other information.
Given that most states require trust account reconciliation, Rocket Matter’s system is useful for syncing trust and operating account transactions. Other handy features include automatic retainer replenishment requests when accounts fall below a threshold and detailed trust account reports.
With the multiple timers available with this attorney accounting software, lawyers can track time seamlessly from one matter to another. Time-tracking is made more efficient with the Rocket Matter mobile app. Plus, you can track billable time and expenses directly from within your MS Outlook account or through MS Office 365.
There are many other handy billing features, including customization of invoices, the inclusion of flexible rates at a matter or client level, and the addition of taxes and discounts. LEDES billing is easy, and the intelligent invoice analysis feature automatically identifies billing errors to minimize invoice rejection.
It’s equally easy to offer clients staggered payment plans, manage recurring billing, keep cards on file for clients, and provide multiple payment options to clients. Law firm accounting software reviews also rave about Rocket Matter Pay—a quick payment processor that can get users’ accounts funded in as little as half a day.
Unlike software tools limited to accounting, Rocket Matter also helps with case management. You can easily access all case matters from the Matter Dashboard and rearrange widgets to highlight important information. You can access case matters from any device with an internet connection and see real-time case events in Matter Stream. You can also stay on top of open cases through the Milestone feature in the Matter Templates customizable function.
Legal project management gets easier with the ability to create phased workflows and sophisticated reporting. Kanban boards, unique among the best law firm accounting software, allow a valuable overview of different cases, while the internal messaging tool makes communication with team members and clients seamless. To further assist with collaboration, Rocket Matter allows easy sharing of files, organizing of conversations by matter, creation of events using natural language, as well as video conferencing.
Other plus points with Rocket Matter include integrations with tools like QuickBooks and Lawmatics, a robust contact management module, and high-end intelligence features for actionable insights. On the downside, this law office accounting software has simple document management, with basic templates, while the mobile app has rudimentary functionality.
Pricing: Rocket Matter has three subscription plans: Essentials, Pro, and Premier. When billed annually, the per-user/month fees are $39, $59, and $89, respectively. If billed monthly, the respective fees are $39, $69, and $99. All plans include a free 15-day trial.
Practice Panther is a popular law practice management platform with some built-in legal accounting features, particularly pertaining to trust accounting. It’s ideal as small law firm accounting software, offering basic accounting, robust case management and billing, and handy extras like CRM.
A key aspect making Practice Panther among the best small law firm accounting software is its intuitive interface. The easy-to-understand dashboard and linked functionalities are a delight to use.
The software allows easy time tracking, including outside the office, through its well-designed mobile app. Its custom reporting helps identify unbilled events and tasks, ensuring payment for every billable item. It’s also easy to create different rates for different matters and team members. As one of the best accounting software for law firms, it also simplifies number crunching to easily figure out which attorney, client, or case type is getting you the greatest earnings.
Practice Panther also offers invoice customization, as is the case with most top-quality legal accounting tools. Custom fields for retainers, contingencies, taxes, and other items can be managed easily. You can create and approve invoices through the app, and your clients can pay directly from the invoice.
The PantherPayments system further processes payments faster than third-party processors and supports major credit cards. The retainer payments are directly deposited into the correct trust account, and all payments are compliant with IOLTA, ABA, and state bar guidelines.
Practice Panther works quite well as attorney trust accounting software, not only allowing the creation of separate accounts but also making it easy to reconcile with bank accounts and track expenses. However, for even slightly more advanced bookkeeping, you will need a general accounting product like QuickBooks.
Apart from billing, the other highlight is case management. You can automate workflows, use templates to create tasks and events, and access all case data from any internet-connected device. The software’s excellent matter management tools help record data efficiently and collaborate with colleagues. There’s also a very handy conditional tasks functionality that keeps you from being overwhelmed with too many tasks at once.
Practice Panther is the rare law firm accounting software with built-in CRM. Automated client intake forms capture relevant client data effortlessly. The two-way messaging portal ensures clear communication and document sharing. We also like that the client portal in this software allows some customization, so it can reflect your practice’s branding instead of a generic display.
Other highlights include integrations with tools like LawToolBox, Apptoto, and Lawmatics, smooth document management, and excellent calendaring features.
The software isn’t perfect, however. Apart from the fact that additional accounting software for law firms may be required for complete bookkeeping, Practice Panther has some other issues. Its flat-fee billing doesn’t allow assigning items for clear categorization. Despite the ease of use, setting up workflow automation has a bit of a learning curve. Law firm accounting software reviews from past customers also indicate average support for users.
Pricing: Practice Panther has three per-user subscription plans: Solo ($39/month or $49/month), Essential ($59/month or $69/month), and Business ($79/month or $89/month). The lower fee for each plan applies in the case of annual billing. All plans come with a free 30-day trial.
Primarily billing software used by many law and consulting firms, Bill4Time is also good for practice and document management and some basic bookkeeping. It lacks advanced accounting features and works best as small law firm accounting software. However, even large law practices may find it useful in sync with a proper accounting tool.
Concerning accounting, Bill4Time can do slightly more than similar products in that it helps record credits and debits, track outstanding balances, and recognize expense entries. Trust accounting features are available with the two higher plans and include creating accounts for different trusts, tracking inflow and outflow, and other necessary functions.
Bill4Time also works as attorney trust accounting software because its e-payments system, Bill4Time Payments, is 100% compliant with IOLTA and ABA guidelines, PCI data security standards, and trust accounting rules for all US states. Other advantages of this built-in payment system include low transaction rates, faster payments, and exclusive payment-related reports.
For tracking time, you can use any device connected to the internet to record billable and non-billable time, record multiple time entries on one screen, and automatically convert appointments to time entries. It’s also easy to review daily and weekly time summaries to keep tight control of productivity.
The invoicing features of this law office accounting software are geared toward getting you paid faster and preventing any billable item from being missed. You can easily create customized invoices with different billing rates, batch invoices, and create invoice summaries. The invoices include all details needed for your clients to understand what they are paying for; plus, with multiple payment options, they can pay directly through the invoice.
The expense management module comes with UTBMS codes, saving time in categorizing expenses. Other handy features like mobile capture of receipts make it easy to record expenses for reimbursement. It’s also noteworthy that the Bill4Time mobile app’s features score over higher-ranked law firm accounting software in comparison.
For efficient practice management, there’s a customizable dashboard with all relevant case information and documents. You can set goals and optimize your client’s budget, design clearer workflows with prioritized responsibilities, and use the client portal for communication.
We particularly liked Bill4Time’s collaboration features, including customizable notification centers and shared schedules for people on a case. The search features are robust and let you use filters to find tasks by priority level, assigned employee, client, project, due date status, or completion status. Completed tasks can be automatically converted into time entries for smoother billing.
Bill4Time offers unlimited document uploads and storage. Easy customization of the storage method, movement of folders, and several other nifty functions make this legal accounting software excellent for granular document management.
The main negative is that Bill4Time requires QuickBooks for complete firm accounting. Then, handling recurring payments is less smooth than with competing tools, while the reporting offers limited customizability.
Pricing: Bill4Time’s three subscription plans are Time & Billing, Legal Pro, and Legal Enterprise. The annually billed fees (per user/month) are $27, $45, and $80, respectively. When billed monthly, the per-user fees are $29, $49, and $89, respectively. All plans include a free 14-day trial.
LawGro is a timekeeping product with some powerful legal practice management features. Its primary advantage is the use of AI to automate multiple processes. Given its few accounting features beyond trust accounting, we recommend it primarily as small law firm accounting software.
LawGro uses a system called MagicTime to automatically and accurately capture every billable minute in the background. Using AI, it also automatically categorizes and tags all captured activities to the right client and matter. If you are using a product like Clio for accounting, it also files time entries to your main law office accounting software with just a click. As a result, law practices can save substantial time and focus on other aspects like case research and client management.
MagicTime, the automatic time capture feature, needs to be installed once, and then it works continuously in the background. We like its intuitive interface that allows even new users to create and edit rules for capturing information. Several reviews confirm that virtually no training is required to start using the system, and our experience was no different. With the ease of playing around with capturing rules, you have immense control as well as flexibility on the activities that get recorded.
Moreover, LawGro’s apps for Android, iOS, and Chrome are highly rated in law firm accounting software reviews for easy access to data from anywhere. The software also supports multiple platforms, so you can capture activities from Gmail, Word, Outlook, USPTO, LexisNexis, court websites, and more.
Legal practices will appreciate several other features. For example, LawGro has full support for every UTBMS code and LEDES style of billing, so your filed timesheets are compliant with the applicable rules and standards.
LawGro is excellent for in-house collaboration. It has enough privacy and security features under the hood to make sure that your data is visible only to you and team members with access permissions. Similarly, with the option to share a detailed time log during billing, LawGro helps provide clear information to clients and improve collection rates.
Much thought has gone into making this legal accounting software good value for money, which is apparent from its many third-party integrations. Among others, the software works smoothly with accounting apps like Clio and Practice Panther, legal research tools like Casetext and Fastcase, and legal payment apps like LawPay and CPACharge.
The final advantage worth pointing out is the continuous addition of new AI features. While the AI system keeps improving on its own as it captures more data, the developers also plan to add features like the real-time prediction of billable activities.
However, there are some obvious negatives, too. LawGro is meant for a very specific task and does it well. For most other functions, you’ll need third-party attorney accounting software and other tools. Other issues include the inability to do a keyword search for case notes and difficulty in generating document templates.
Pricing: LawGro has three subscription options. The Starter plan costs $29/user/month with annual billing and $39/user/month with monthly billing. The Growth plan’s annual and monthly billed fees are $59/user/month and $69/user/month, respectively. For the Enterprise plan, firms need to contact the sales team for pricing. All plans include a free 7-day trial.
These reviews and guidelines will help you get to a workable shortlist. Now, it’s your turn to dig a little deeper. Below, we’ll give you the steps of how to go about it.
Start with figuring out the needs of your law practice which will lead you to the features you need from the accounting solution. How big is your legal team and how many team members will need to access the legal accounting software? How many cases do you work on average at any given time and do you deal with trust accounting? Depending on your type of law practice, do you work with recurring clients?
Answering these questions will help you make a list of the features you need, such as trust accounting, CRM, and payroll functionalities. We suggest that you divide the features into must-have and nice-to-have sections.
Set a budget for the legal accounting software and check if you can afford the solution that has the features you identified during the previous step. If it’s priced way over your budget, scrap the nice-to-have features section and try again. Make sure to consider an annual subscription since those usually come with a discount.