Accounting, Tax and Consulting Services for Law Firms & Lawyers

best bookkeeping help for small law firm

To practice law legally, attorneys must also pass the bar exam in the state where they want to work, be it for a law firm or a company. In contrast, the CPA designation isn’t required to work in accounting within a company, but it is for a job at a public accounting firm. Or they can work in-house, overseeing the books and financial records as part of the staff for an individual public corporation or a smaller, private company.

best bookkeeping help for small law firm

The platform includes conflicts management and trust accounting for your law firm’s unique needs. Some accounting software helps prepare your taxes, or if your law firm hires an accountant to prepare your taxes, legal accounting software helps keep accurate records that are essential at tax time. Moreover, many online accounting tools have options to create useful online reports on taxes. Keeping accurate records of your law firm’s accounts is a challenging yet vital part of running a legal practice. Stay organized with law practice management software that allows you to keep track of everything from billable hours to time tracking.

Accounting software for lawyers and law firms

Even more importantly, all of these general ledger packages allow integrations with software specifically designed to help you manage your law firm. Clio integrates with a number of external accounting programs, including QuickBooks Online and Xero. It also has law firm bookkeeping an Accounting Export feature, which allows users to export time entries to other accounting software programs. That includes things like affordability, ease of use, and suite of features (client management, financial management, project management, etc.).

  • Clients (and employees) talk, and if your finances are in shambles due to negligence, that could spell disaster for your credibility.
  • Tax consultants might only be hired yearly to do your taxes, make entries, and clean your books.
  • Every financial transaction involves at least two accounts, including debit and credit.
  • You have vague terminology, premise-based and cloud options… and more.
  • But rules do vary by state, so consult your State Bar Association and a professional accountant before finalizing your accounting setup.
  • You recognize revenue when cash is received and expenses when money is paid.

This site does not include all software companies or all available software companies offers. For decades, a law degree was considered a guaranteed ticket to a high-paying career. As a result, law school enrollment soared, producing a huge number of law school graduates who, at times, have struggled to find job placements.

A step-by-step guide to mastering accounting for lawyers

Online payment services are more than just cloud software for law firms, they are a service that provides payment clearing, authorization and other financial tools to help manage your practice. CosmoLex is legal practice management software with end-to-end accounting. CosmoLex includes client management, time, billing, business accounting and trust accounting, eliminating the need for QuickBooks or other accounting software. When bookkeeping for lawyers, differentiating income from revenue is a common challenge because a portion of the funds are used to cover incurred costs and should not be factored into income. Deploying law practice management software is a simple method to track incurred costs in real-time and correctly subtract them from firm income.

With that clarified, let’s take a look at our list of top legal accounting software for law firms. Financial accounting is the process of documenting, summarizing, and reporting transactions generated by a law firm over time. These transactions are summarized in financial reports, including income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements.

Use financial reporting to optimize your finances

If you are a Xero user, you will also find a number of application integrations to help you manage your law firm’s accounting. In particular, most of these applications will help you manage your time tracking. IOLTA reconciliations will still need to be managed, and this is something your accountant or bookkeeper can help you do. With a 100% five-star review rating on the QuickBooks Online App Store, LeanLaw is quickly becoming a favorite among accountants and bookkeepers who work with law firms, as well as law firms themselves.

The Trust Reconciliation – the trust bank statement provides a third-party verification to the transactions posted to the trust account. Our recommendation is Bench for lawyers looking to grow their practice and spend more time on revenue-generating activities such as client development or billing. The best solution is to open up a business credit card and record expenses on that card, ensuring that you won’t forget them even if you are keeping up with your books on a weekly or monthly basis. Trust accounting causes a lot of problems for lawyers, so, in general, you’re going to need to follow a couple of steps to ensure compliance with IOLTA rules. Intermingling expenses isn’t a fatal mistake but it causes problems for your business when it comes to claiming expenses and tracking the financial health of your business.