Computerized Accounting Software Systems

Integrated Legal Accounting Systems

These packages begin with the principles of general accounting and financial statement package, and apply them to the specific needs of the legal market. In addition to offering all the features of the general accounting systems, they can (and usually do) incorporate conflict checking, calendaring (bring forward systems) and management reports specific to lawyers and law offices. They are usually available from local distributors, from sales offices or on the Internet.
Initial cost: Typically $1000 and up.
  • Full computerized accounting system.
  • Some integrated legal systems (conflict checking, calendaring, bring-forward systems).
  • Integrated time and billing.
  • May be expensive.
  • Require training to use the component parts effectively; may require a trained or experienced bookkeeper or accounting department.

Fully Integrated Accounting and Law Practice Management Software

These packages are the Cadillacs of the field. In addition to all the features of the integrated legal accounting systems, they offer modules for (or have already fully integrated) case and file management, full integration of time and billing into the accounting system and full office management reporting.
Initial cost: Typically thousands of dollars.
  • One-stop shopping.
  • Usually offer a full line of modules that extend the accounting system into a full accounting and case management system.
  • Integrate multiple offices.
  • Training in the systems is required.
  • Dedicated staff required to manage and run the system.
  • May be expensive.
Credits: Portions of the material on this page are taken from the paper, "Trust Accounting and Case Management Technology", by David Bilinksy, Practice Management Advisor, Law Society of British Columbia.