Finding software can be overwhelming. Software Advice has helped dozens of law firms choose the right accounting software so they can accurately track billable hours and automate invoicing.

Showing 1-20 of 94 products

NetSuite

NetSuite is a business management software suite offered as a service that performs enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) functions. It is a horizontal package designed for an extensive range... Read more

Price:

Recent recommendations: 40 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
Business Size:
Learn More

Multiview

Multiview Financials is the flagship ERP system developed, sold, implemented, and supported by Multiview Financial Software. Multiview is designed for organizations ranging in size from rapidly growing small businesses to large enterprises... Read more

Price:

Recent recommendations: 38 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
Business Size:
Learn More

BQE Core - Integrated Accounting and Project Management

BQE Core is a cloud-based solution that offers integrated business accounting, project management, and business intelligence. It can support the operations of a variety of industries, including legal services, architecture firms, engineering,... Read more

Price:

Recent recommendations: 33 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
Business Size:
Learn More

Infor CloudSuite Financials

Infor CloudSuite Financials is a solution suite that provides financial functionality coupled with a source-to-settle supply management offering. The solution is role-based, mobile responsive and delivered in the cloud. It delivers... Read more

Price:

Recent recommendations: 7 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
Business Size:
Learn More

Sage 100cloud

Sage 100cloud is a market-leading cloud-connected ERP platform for medium-sized manufacturers, distributors, and professional service businesses. Financials, budgeting and planning, inventory, supply chain, production management, reporting,... Read more

Price:

Recent recommendations: 4 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
Business Size:
Learn More

Xledger

Xledger is a cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that caters to midsize and large businesses that helps them to manage day-to-day operations by automating routines ranging from bank reconciliation to invoice entry.... Read more

Price:

Recent recommendations: 2 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
Business Size:
Learn More

Zhub

zHUB is a Focus Softnet implementation partner. The FOCUS9 ERP Cloud software solution includes Advanced Financial Management, Sales Management, Accounts Receivables & Payables, Inventory Management, Manufacturing & Resource Planning,... Read more

Price:

Recent recommendations: 2 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
Business Size:
Learn More

Averiware

Averiware offers an integrated cloud-based enterprise resource planning solution. Key features include accounting and financial management, customer relationship management, salesforce automation, , supply chain management, and human... Read more

Price:

Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
Business Size:
Learn More

Beyond Software

Beyond Software is a project accounting and management software system available for small to mid-size companies. The system allows organizations to manage and execute around their projects by increasing visibility and creating accountability.   Industries... Read more

Price:

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
Business Size:
Learn More

Sage Fixed Assets

Sage Fixed Assets is a hybrid asset management solution that helps businesses track and manage the fixed assets through different steps of asset lifecycle. The solution offers integrated accounting features and multiple methods to... Read more

Price:

Recent recommendations: 2 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
Business Size:
Learn More

QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise

QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise is an accounting solution designed for SMBs across different industry verticals such as construction, nonprofit distribution, manufacturing, and retail. WIth QB Desktop Enterprise solution, any business... Read more

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
Business Size:
Learn More

QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Online is a web-based accounting solution that caters to individual accountants and small businesses. The solution helps with bank reconciliation, tracking expenses, drafting invoices and monitoring financial reports, among... Read more

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
Business Size:
Learn More

Microsoft Dynamics 365

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a financial management solution that helps businesses track and manage operations related to accounting, costing, budgeting, analysis and more. The platform offers a rule-based chart of accounts and dimensions,... Read more

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
Business Size:
Learn More

Xero

Xero can support the needs of law firms with functionality for time and billing to bill out at a flat-free, contingency or task-based rate. The software also includes features for inventory tracking and fixed asset depreciation. Read more

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
Business Size:
Learn More

Wave

Wave is an online accounting platform exclusively designed for small business owners, freelancers, and consultants. Wave's software provides features including accounting, invoicing, billing, payment tracking, payroll management, finance... Read more

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
Business Size:
Learn More

Happay

Happay is a cloud-based expense management solution that helps medium to large businesses manage and track expenses. It uses AI and machine learning technologies to automate processes related to expense claims management, reimbursement,... Read more

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
Business Size:
Learn More

QuickBooks Online Advanced

QuickBooks Online Advanced is a cloud-based accounting solution that helps small to large enterprises manage expenses, projects, invoices and more. It comes with a centralized dashboard, which enables users to gain insights into business... Read more

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
Business Size:
Learn More

TimeSolv Legal

TimeSolv is a cloud-based time tracking and billing solution that caters to accountants, consultants, architects, and freelancers, helping them manage daily business operations. TimeSolv integrates project management features such... Read more

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
Business Size:
Learn More

Zoho Books

Zoho Books is a cloud-based accounting solution suitable for small to midsized organizations. It features contact management, invoices, expenses, sales and purchase orders, project time tracking and inventory management. Zoho Books... Read more

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
Business Size:
Learn More

Zoho Invoice

Zoho Invoice is a cloud-based solution designed to help small businesses automate processes for tracking expenses and accepting online payments. Key features include project billing, time tracking, reporting/analytics, customizable... Read more

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
Business Size:
Learn More

Buyers guide


Last Updated: September 2, 2020

Legal accounting software is an essential part of an attorney’s practice management system, and frequently revolves around projects and time logs. Because law firms often bill as a function of time, work time and schedules should be highly organized to produce detailed reports for the inquisitive client.

Time can be broken down into date, activity and billable or nonbillable criteria. Goals for total annual billable hours can be recorded and compared to the actual hours worked for evaluation. In addition, software can arrange invoices based on the time logged.

We wrote this guide to help those in the legal field evaluate accounting software. We’ll explain the features and functionality to be on the lookout for, as well as best practices for evaluating systems.

Here's what we'll cover:

What Is Legal and Law Firm Accounting Software?
Common Features of Legal and Law Firm Accounting Software
Evaluating Legal and Law Firm Accounting Software
Key Purchase Considerations

What Is Legal and Law Firm Accounting Software?

Legal accounting software can help streamline the billing and invoicing process and provide law firms with valuable insight into their cash flow. Additionally, as firms deal with sensitive client data, using a legal-specific accounting software can help them remain compliant with laws designed to safeguard private client information.

Firms can purchase legal accounting software in the following ways:

Best-of-breed, or standalone. Law firms may choose to purchase a standalone accounting system if they are currently using case management software that doesn’t have an accounting module, or if their existing billing and invoicing solution doesn’t have all the accounting features they need to accurately track their bookkeeping.

Offered in suite, as part of a larger practice management system. The accounting module is bundled with other business functions, such as the client portal, document management system and marketing. Data transfers seamlessly between applications, which helps save time and reduce errors due to duplicate data entry.

On-premise, hosted on-site on the law firm’s internal servers. Usually sold via perpetual license, the law firm owns the rights to the software. They are charged a one-time, upfront fee and are responsible for supporting and maintaining the software on their own. Firms can make an additional purchase of software updates and upgrades from the vendor as needed.

Cloud-based, hosted remotely on the vendor’s servers. Typically, cloud-based products are sold via subscription licensing, which means the firm pays a recurring monthly or annual fee to use the software for that amount of time. The subscription fee includes the cost for vendor-supplied support, maintenance and automatic updates.

Common Features of Legal and Law Firm Accounting Software

While capabilities vary, legal accounting systems typically include the following:

Time tracking Most law firms bill hourly, so the ability to track the time spent on projects and bill accordingly is crucial. This feature often includes support for flat-fee, task-based, split, contingency and retainer billing. Also includes stopwatch timers, which can be set up to record billable time based on the fee arrangement. Some systems can pull data from other applications, such as calendars or document management, to fill in gaps in billable time.
Billing and invoicing Generate invoices based on the billable time logged by attorneys. Invoices can be sent through the mail or electronically over email and paid via credit card, electronic funds transfer or a secure payment gateway. Customization options allow law firms to personalize invoices with the firm’s logo and client information. Some systems can be set up to alert firms and clients when bills are past due and automatically calculate a late fee to add to the invoice.
Client portal Some systems include a client portal, which allows clients to securely submit files and make payments for services rendered.
Contact & client management Since client relationships are so important, a quality legal accounting solution will contain contact management capabilities, recording information for clients and related parties. Also referred to as “legal CRM.”
Project scheduling Manage your caseload with a tool that stores information like deadlines, events, documents, notes, action items, billing and payments. Can sync calendar with email and create tasks, set reminders and view scheduling conflicts directly from email.
Trust accounting Managing a client’s funds, whether in real estate, family/estate planning, bankruptcy or any other trust situation, brings an extra level of complexity. Trust accounting software will include features to support managing multiple financial accounts, tracking funds, designating escrow agents and credit and debit allocation.
General ledger Allows law firms to manage accounts payable (liabilities), accounts receivable (assets), bank reconciliation and client retainers. Includes login/access for accountant and/or bookkeeper. Helps prepare tax filings based on the information stored in the system.
Financial reporting Generate reports on trust ledgers, client payment history, attorney productivity and more. Filter data by practice area, case file, attorney, etc. and gain insight into business trends.

Evaluating Legal and Law Firm Accounting Software

Legal accounting software should be able to record billing and time information in different ways for flexible application. Although law work is often based on time billing, the right accounting software will provide a range of pay options, as listed above. A good software package can also come with abilities to report for multiple clients at different rates and organize the information according to user preferences.

When evaluating these systems, buyers should consider the following:

  • How deep are the schedule reporting abilities?
  • Does it include appropriate payment arrangements?
  • Is invoice generation linked to payment records?
  • Does it provide adequate project sorting, tracking and progress features?

Key Purchase Considerations

Law firms should keep the following considerations in mind as they evaluate legal accounting software:

Integration: In a recent report, “integration with other systems” was cited as a major challenge by nearly 30 percent of legal software users surveyed. To avoid a similar issue, firms can purchase legal accounting software in-suite, as part of a larger practice management solution. Alternatively, when purchasing a standalone accounting system, firms are encouraged to demo products prior to purchase to determine if they are compatible with existing business software.

Mobility: Even in the legal industry, telecommuting and working remotely is gaining in popularity. Mobile applications allow attorneys to track their time and view client information from any location, on any device with a mobile connection. As billable time ties directly to the accounting system, check with vendors to see how popular their mobile apps are and compare uptime, speed etc.

Security: Since lawyers deal with sensitive and often confidential information, ensure your accounting software has advanced security controls to restrict sensitive information to only the people who need it.