26 September 2011

Simple accounting software for lawyers

I regularly (and was recently by an old university colleague) get asked about simple accounting software for lawyers - i.e. where no trust accounting is required.  

  1. One question that has to be asked, unless you're a barrister, is whether you are completely sure you won't need at least something to help you with controlled monies or transit money.  See for example in New South Wales s 256 of the Legal Profession Act 2004. Your State may have other regulations. 
  2. A good starting point is to contact your professional association (Law Society of NSW, Law Institute of Victoria, Bar Association etc) and find out what other people are using. They probably won't want to recommend anything, but it is useful to know what other practitioners in your situation are doing.
  3. If you're just going into sole practice for the first time and you attend a practice management course, it's a good idea to discuss this with your fellow students and lecturers.
  4. The various law societies often examine and certify software - while this is normally only for trust account packages, you will often find that the same vendors offer other modules that will do the job for you.
  5. Be careful when purchasing cheap packages - if you want or need support one day you may not find it forthcoming!
  6. Ask your bookkeeper what he/she has used in the past, is familiar with, or can suggest.

Do you have any suggestions? Please post them in the comments.


© 2011 Andrew Calvin