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The best legal accounting software solutions (for law firms)

GoCardless
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Last editedMay 20222 min read

Legal casework can be complex and ongoing, involving hundreds of billable hours and the use of costly resources. Whether you run a small legal consulting team or a large law firm, you’ll need good legal timekeeping and billing software to keep track of payments. We’ll take a look at the best legal accounting software below, along with the top features to look for.

Why should you use legal timekeeping and billing software?

Juggling multiple clients, often at different rates, involves a great deal of paperwork. It can be difficult to manage all of this manually, even with the most talented accounting team. There are numerous benefits associated with using law firm accounting and financial management software:

  1. Improved cash flow through a real-time overview of your firm’s financial comings and goings.

  2. Automated data entry and payroll to save time on administrative tasks. Sync your contacts, invoices, and other details automatically.

  3. Automatically generate financial records to ensure your tax returns are accurate and filed on time.

  4. Track expenses and billable hours from a central and secure cloud-based location. This ensures that your invoices are complete.

Features of the best legal accounting software

Not all legal accounting software is created equally, but you should look for options that come with the following features.

  • Bookkeeping

  • Tax compliance

  • Invoicing

  • Time tracking

  • Expense tracking

  • Online payments

  • Bank reconciliation

  • Financial reports

  • Client management

Smaller firms have different requirements to large legal teams. Large law firms often have more established in-person offices, while small firms need to be able to keep track of billable hours on the go. Here are a few of the top options when it comes to the best legal accounting software:

  • Xero is ideal for both large and small firms. Those seeking large law firm accounting software will appreciate the ability to manage expenses for multiple solicitors, paralegals, and administrators all from a central dashboard. You can create one-off or recurring online invoices, customising them for clients. The accompanying app enables expense tracking and cash flow management on the go.

  • Clio is one of the UK’s most popular legal billing software for small firms, not only tracking billable hours but also helping you stay on top of late payments and balances. This improves cash flow for lawyers on retainer. As far as case management, you’ll be able to keep contacts and cases better organised for more efficient billing as well.

  • Hoxro is another option that works for both large and small firms. This cloud-based legal billing software produces invoices in a variety of different formats, whether you charge by the hour, or use contingency fees. You can adjust these as necessary and download them as PDFs to send to clients.

How to choose accounting and financial management software for a law firm

While the options mentioned above represent some of the best legal billing software available, you should still compare your options carefully to find the right fit.

Start by prioritising which features are most important to your business. Identify the areas where your business wastes time, such as time tracking and invoicing, looking for features that ease these administrative burdens. Is the system secure? Does it include an app for on-the-go invoicing? Is it user-friendly and easy to roll out?

Payment integration is also a key component to keep in mind. GoCardless integrates seamlessly with over 300 partners, including Xero as mentioned above. This gives you full control over both billing and payment collection from your invoices. Direct debit draws payment directly from your customer’s bank account, ideal for recurring charges like lawyer retainer fees.

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