Actionstep Software

4.39 / 5 (73)

About Actionstep


Actionstep is a cloud-based legal practice management solution designed for growing and midsize firms. The integrated solution offers tools for managing cases, billing, invoicing and accounting as well as enables businesses to automate their workflow.

Key functionalities include customer relationship management that helps to keep track of new as well as existing clients. A client-facing portal allows customers to log in to an online portal from where they can view their case related information, make payments, track deadlines and more. Users can also add customized file notes, schedule appointments, set tasks, generate documents and send emails from their dedicated portals.

Actionstep also allows users to manage their accounting functions. Users can generate invoices for both fixed fee cases as well as time/appointment based cases. Actionstep is browser agnostic and can be accessed using a web-browser on Mac and PC desktops as well as mobile devices. The solution also supports integration with various external systems such as Google Mail, Microsoft Office, Xero, and HotDocs.



Read More

Supported Operating System(s):

Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Mac OS, Linux, Web browser (OS agnostic), Windows 2000, Windows 8, Windows 10

73 Reviews of Actionstep

Average User Ratings

Overall

4.39 / 5 stars

Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

4.5

Customer support

4.5

Functionality

4.0

Ratings Snapshot

5 stars

(41)

4 stars

(25)

3 stars

(3)

2 stars

(2)

1 stars

(2)

Likelihood to Recommend

Not likely

Very likely

Filter reviews by:

Sort by: Most Helpful | Most Recent

Showing 1-20 of 73 reviews

Do you use this product?Write a review

December 2017

Natalie from Counter Tax Lawyers

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

3.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

4.0

December 2017

Our firm uses Actionstep's workflows to increase efficiency & deliver better value to our clients

We are able to increase efficiency & deliver better value to our clients because we have built automated tasks, checklists, templates, data collection, and deadlines at every step of the process. We know in advance which team member will complete the tasks, and we have peace of mind that nobody will miss anything. We can gather data about our files and make decisions based on real insight into our firm, rather than gut-based guesswork.

Pros

Actionstep allows you to build custom workflows that you can use to manage any aspect of your practice. We believe in workflows so much that we dedicated an entire podcast episode discussing our experience with another lawyer obsessed with workflows too.

We have over 50 workflows that help us to structure processes within our tax-litigation files, as well as for administrative matters, such as asking for client testimonials. We give our team peace of mind that nobody will miss anything as we have built in automated tasks, templates, checklists, and deadlines at every step of the process. We can make sure that the most appropriate team member performs each task. The workflows are also a great resource to help train new team members because we created detailed descriptions of how to complete each task with links to our internal knowledge base to give team members additional support where needed.

In addition to custom workflows, Actionstep also allows you to gather custom data so that we can make more informed decisions.

Cons

Actionstep is unique and sophisticated. However, Actionstep falls behind its competitors and is underdeveloped in some key areas, such as budgeting capabilities, template user experience, graphical displays, mobile applications, and reports.

Prospective users should not underestimate the commitment and resources required to build workflows and implement Actionstep. Building workflows requires time, money and, most importantly, grit. Not everyone is ready to make this investment in the future of their firm. Although you can outsource the technology aspect of inputting the workflows to the system, you need people within your firm identifying the steps and tasks that you want to build into the system. We are a very process-driven law firm with a lean focus, so Actionstep is perfect for us, but if you aren't familiar with process mapping it can be a daunting task.

When you get over the initial investment of mapping your processes, you will see first-hand how quickly Actionstep improves your firm's ability to grow and deliver better value to your clients.

We hope that Actionstep will continue to develop its product to address its limitations and bugs. Actionstep has promised that it is working to address the concerns that our firm and other users raise in the LinkedIn user forum and UserVoice feedback. We hope that Actionstep continues to improve the product, and we look forward to more progress. If so, we expect to continue to use Actionstep for a very long time.

March 2017

Brahm from Brahm Dorst Law Corporation

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

4.0

Functionality

5.0

March 2017

Actionstep - Best Document Assembly, Versatile Workflows and Calendering

Of the products that I've tried, I found Actionstep to have the best document assembly, most comprehensive workflow system, versatile calendering and deadlining, and excellent outlook integration. The price is a tad higher compared to competitors, and because there is so much functionality, the learning curve and set-up time is a bit steeper, but in the long term it will enable incredible efficiency. For example, I converted my precedents for a chambers application to enforce a judgment against real property, and can now draft a chambers application, including Notice of Application, draft order and supporting Affidavits, in less than 2 minutes, perfectly drafted without any manual drafting needed (assuming that the relevant property identifier and party information has already been entered correctly). Now in theory, you could do the same thing with some other systems like CLIO (but not MyCase) and I have done it in CLIO. But it required a lot of custom field data and conditional logic, and so templates become very complex and unreadable and only work if certain assumptions are true (i.e. only one client, or limited number of Defendants). I spent a lot of time testing various law firm management systems, but I think that I have finally settled on Actionstep. I initially had been using CLIO which I chose without much research. After one year, CLIO's task lists and legal calender systems were proving to clumsy and inflexible for my litigation practice. I need to define deadlines backwards from a future date, i.e. 90 days before trial serve expert reports. Also, if my trial date gets adjourned, I want all the linked deadlines to move with the trial dates, and if my matter settles, I want to be able to remove all of the associated deadlines from my calendar. CLIO didn't do this, so I started researching new options and moved to MyCase because it had a very intuitive and functional workflow and calendering that did what I wanted, and was well priced with the cheaper subscriptions for support staff available. However, I soon became frustrated with MyCase because the document assembly was extremely weak compared to CLIO. Finally, I moved to Actionstep and found that it had all of the workflow and calendering functionality that I wanted, combined with document assembly that is extremely robust and powerful. If powerful document assembly is important to you, I strongly recommend Actionstep.

Pros

Document Assembly. Outlook Integration. Integrated workflows and calendaring. Knowledge-base and Wiki built in. Ability to associate more than one contact of a given type to a file (I often have files with more than one client, i.e. husband and wife).

Cons

A bit more expensive. Steeper learning curve because of all the features.

Response from Actionstep Software of

Replied July 2017

Thank you for the feedback Brahm!

March 2017

Malinda from Elder Law of East Tennessee

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

3.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

March 2017

Lots to love about this program

Overall I recommend ActionStep to other law firms. It has vastly improved our office workflow, and the various customizable features enable our employees to address clients' needs more efficiently. The ActionStep support staff are accessible and responsive to any challenges we face, whether they involve addressing problems or learning how to implement new features. What we love: - Workflows that are customized for different types of cases - Customized tasks that are automatically assigned to particular employees - Case dashboard: the "one stop shop" for all basic info related to a case (employees involved, clients, other important players in the case, calendar appointments, notes, etc.) - Contact records that exist independently of cases but may be linked to cases -- so updating a contact applies changes across the board - Newsfeed-style case notes with tag options to identify notes as "important," "call," etc. - Document folders with powerful search feature to easily locate documents - Integration with MS Office (Word, Excel, Power Point, Outlook) that allows case data to be merged into documents and e-mails and allows users to assign e-mails to cases - Ability to create letter and other document templates that pre-populate cases - Document portal that allows clients and other parties to securely exchange documents with the firm - Fantastic support staff and easy-to-follow tutorials The most challenging aspect of ActionStep is the initial setup (hence my three-star rating for "ease of use"). There is no sugar-coating it: the downside of all those wonderful customizable features is that someone in your organization has to do all the customizing. It's a lengthy process, and the initial data migration can also be time-consuming, but the friendly support staff are available to assist throughout the process. For us the end result has been well worth the challenging setup process. The ActionStep developers are constantly working on improvements to the program, including ways to make it integrate with other types of software and responding to users' suggestions. Occasionally the updates cause hiccups in the system, but they are typically short-lived. We genuinely appreciate the drive to improve the product and the responsiveness to users' wishes.

Pros

- Workflows that are customized for different types of cases
- Customized tasks that are automatically assigned to particular employees
- Case dashboard: the "one stop shop" for all basic info related to a case (employees involved, clients, other important players in the case, calendar appointments, notes, etc.)
- Contact records that exist independently of cases but may be linked to cases -- so updating a contact applies changes across the board
- Newsfeed-style case notes with tag options to identify notes as "important," "call," etc.
- Document folders with powerful search feature to easily locate documents
- Integration with MS Office (Word, Excel, Power Point, Outlook) that allows case data to be merged into documents and e-mails and allows users to assign e-mails to cases
- Ability to create letter and other document templates that pre-populate cases
- Document portal that allows clients and other parties to securely exchange documents with the firm
- Fantastic support staff and easy-to-follow tutorials

Cons

- Challenging initial setup (customization of features)
- Cumbersome process to unlock encrypted zip files after backup request
- Previous difficulty with calendar integration caused problems with client scheduling and has made us skittish about returning to use of the calendar, even though we see this as a high-value feature of ActionStep

August 2016

Scott from Bilhartz Women's Health Center


Ease-of-use

3.0

Value for money

5.0

Functionality

5.0

August 2016

Effective and Efficient Law Practice Management

Pros

I now have an almost complete solution to practice management. Before, I had no system, no way of keeping things straight. But then I started to become too busy to keep track of things in my mind, and it started getting chaotic. That's where Actionstep has saved my practice from disorganization. I track all of my time and do all of my billing from Actionstep. I keep my entire database of contacts on Actionstep. Trust ledger accounting is great. Tasks, calendar reminders, document storage, file notes. It's all great. When a client calls, I quickly pull up their file and *bam*, there's everything. There are many other useful features that I know I just haven't even tapped into yet.

Cons

- There is a pretty steep learning curve, and the user guides aren't always that helpful. Sometimes I find myself spending 20 minutes trying to figure out a very simple thing, like how to reopen a matter that I accidentally closed.
- Before using Actionstep, I kept everything on Google Drive. Great, Actionstep integrates Google Drive. But not as well as I would like it to be integrated. I had to do a series of workarounds with Google Drive to get it *sort of* how I would like it to be. When you open a new matter, Actionstep creates a folder on Google Drive, but the folder is only the matter number. So if you're typing a document and want to use File > Save As > Google Drive, then good luck finding the folder. Instead every time I open a matter on Actionstep, I immediately find the folder it creates on Google Drive, then rename it to my matter name.
- I would like a place to track mileage for business expense reimbursement. You can add things like this to matter disbursements, but I don't see a way to do it practice-wide.
- I haven't gotten the Google email integration to work properly. Actionstep puts odd things in the subject lines of my outgoing email, so I stick to using Google's platform for that.
- Document upload sometimes hangs when you try to do more than a couple files at once, but I'm not really using it because I'm keeping everything on Google Drive.

April 2017

Peter from Lawyers Conveyancing

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

April 2017

Why I love ActionStep - Australian Lawyer

After making my own practice management system (in the 1990's before there were any commercially made products available) and then trying numerous products over the years, I have finally settled upon ActionStep as the ultimate system. Why? Because ActionStep is the first to provide me with a set of tools, as well as a framework, so that I can customise the system as I please. I don't want to be told what's available in a system, and why it operates the way it does. I want to know what a system is capable of, and how I can make it do what I want it to do. ActionStep is the only system to gives me this freedom. On top of this ActionStep is secure, robust and easy to learn, and support is always there. I ask my own clients to review the service they have received from me, and I'm always pleased when a client is so satisfied as to write a review. So, when one of my providers gives me a product and service that exceeds my expectations, and continues to deliver with support and improvements, I feel duty-bound to let everyone know.

Pros

Its power, security and ease of use.

Cons

Can't think of any.

Response from Actionstep Software of

Replied July 2017

Thank you Peter!

March 2015

Bob from OTB Consulting

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Customer support

5.0

March 2015

Cloud legal practice management with the functionality of premise-based applications

The breadth and depth of Actionstep's features are quite impressive for a cloud-based SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) product. Its functionality can compete with the best of the premise-based practice management programs, and it has the "any time, anywhere" advantages of a cloud-based system. It offers unlimited custom case fields by practice type, so you can automatically have a statute of limitations field in a PI case and an Estate Plan Type in an Estate Planning matter. All fields can be used to merge documents and emails(!) using Actionstep's internal merge function or HotDocs. Your standard tasks and document/email merges can be created automatically as the case proceeds from one step to the next, so that when a bankruptcy case is filed a letter to the client with the 341 meeting date, time, and place is created automatically. Views can show filtered lists of cases, tasks, or appointments that need your attention. Any of these lists (think PI cases that have outstanding medical records requests, overdue high-priority tasks, or all court dates in the next 30 days) can be emailed to you automatically each day so you can prepare for your day if you schedule the email in the morning, or the next day if you schedule the email at night, without having to log into Actionstep. Because Actionstep has such a wide range of features, it can be challenging to configure it for your practice and to learn how to use it, but that's true whenever you compare a program with more functions (think Word) to one with fewer functions (think Notepad). If you don't need the additional functionality, stick with the simplest solution that meets your needs. But if you do need the additional functionality (case management, document/email management, billing, and accounting), then you may want to consider hiring a consultant to guide you through the implementation. (Do you prepare your own tax return or do you hire an accountant?) Full disclosure: We are an Actionstep Certified Consultant/Partner. There's nothing else on the market that has Actionstep's range of functionality in a cloud-based practice management system that can be configured for the specific needs of different practice areas, and tailored to an individual firm's practices and procedures. If you're looking for a complete end-to-end practice management solution, especially if you don't want the cost and potential headaches of a local area network, you should take a look at Actionstep.

March 2015

Charles from Drayson Law Ltd

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Customer support

5.0

March 2015

Welcome addition for UK law firms

We moved to ActionStep from a well-known cloud-based practice management system about a year ago. Although we are a small firm, the reality is that even small law firms have their share of admin and the need to demonstrate good procedures. We found that the other systems aimed at small law firms were certainly simple, but were too short on functionality. The biggest improvement for us was finally moving to a system which had a fully integrated accounts system. We also noticed big improvements when it came to extracting and reporting on data. ActionStep includes a very full set of features which would cater for much bigger organisations. This does mean that the initial set-up requires some thought and we'd recommend having a consultant guide you through the steps. It is possible to take things a step at a time, and the level of effort and complexity is proportionate the the benefits of the system. Our previous system was possible to use pretty much out-of-the-box, but we fairly quickly found that it didn't have the sophistication to do some fairly basic things. The workflow capabilities are a sound way to ensure that we adhere properly to procedures such as conflict searches, setting up new clients and new matters. By leading a user through the steps, there's no need to rely on the users having to remember to follow a policy document. Our office manual was over 100 pages long, but many of the requirements are now built into ActionStep. The trick is not to over-engineer this. You want a workflow which supports your work, not one which requires all the stars to line up before you can successfully start a new project. ActionStep is a new entrant to the UK market, with an HQ in New Zealand and operations in the US. There is now a local UK presence and we've also found that the NZ team are very adaptable to handling requests from the UK. Our consultant managed to be chirpy on the phone even when I knew we were calling in the very early hours of her morning. We've seen several significant new features rolled out during our use, so we're pleased with the ongoing investment in improvements. The latest time recording system has proved very popular in our office. There are a few features which the accounting system doesn't handle compared to our previous system (such as automatically posting VAT returns to HMRC) but the gaps have proved very minor compared to the gains from having the accounts system fully integrated with matter management.

October 2018

Anonymous

Verified Reviewer

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

3.0

Functionality

5.0

October 2018

Great if you have time to customize

The ease of keeping track of the lifecycle of our matters makes this well worth it. I spent hours following the tutorials on how to customize it to tailor it to my specific practice. But I think they purposely make them a little vague so you'll have to resort to hiring a consultant to tailor the program. Overall it's totally worth it, but I wish it was more user friendly to customize myself.

Pros

This software is an elegant solution for volume practices that categorizes matters in useful and dynamic ways, and is interactive so you can keep track of the progress of each individual matter.

Cons

It's expensive to customize because you have to pay for a consultant to work with you on it.

Response from Actionstep Software of

Replied October 2018

Thanks for your review, and I'm happy to hear your likelihood to recommend Actionstep is 8/10. I did want to clarify that we definitely don't try to make our tutorials vague. Our customers vary from IT Managers within larger firms, to solos, so it's a fine balance between making our guides too technical, and making them user friendly for all our customers.

August 2017

Jinny from County Government

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

August 2017

This product does everything that we were hoping for!

Pros

I think I trialed almost all of the major case management software companies out there and this company blew all of the others out of the water for me. The product is reliable and does exactly what we need. Before we purchased this product I had to do most of my work manually and things would slip through the cracks. This product has resolved that issue. I also love the document generation feature and how deeply the product integrates with Microsoft Office Suite. Not having to type each document from scratch saves so much time!

I personally enjoy how highly customizable the product is. I'm constantly pleasantly surprised to find new features it has that make my life easier. Some may complain that you need a third party firm to get you off of the ground and running, but I set up the entire system for my team by just reading their User Guide and talking to customer support.

The price was another selling point for us. We're a local county government agency operating on a small budget so this price tag works well within what we could afford. The customer support is phenomenal. They try very hard to make their customers (or potential customers) very happy. Having our cases in a secure cloud means that we can work from anywhere which has greatly improved the way that we work.

I would definitely recommend this product to anyone who is looking to get away from paper files and who wants to learn how technology can make your life easier and more organized.

April 2019

Krystal from Dugan & Giroux Law

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

April 2019

Legal Asst opinion

Before ActionStep, our office was using DropBox as our inter-office storage, which was not