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What Do I Look for Before Buying?

Today’s savvy law firms understand what it takes to compete in today’s technology-driven environment. When you have the best technology money can buy, you can get ahead of the competition. This includes Practice Management Software. When your staff has an excellent practice management software program to work with, they get tasks done faster. They appear more professional. They don’t get stressed out during a long day. This equals a more efficient workforce that better represents your law firm.

With so many good programs now available, it can be hard to decide which one to choose. Many smaller practices leave this up to their IT people. But is this really the right strategy? Your IT guy might know all about computers and servers but nothing about legal software programs.

What Questions Should You Ask When Considering Legal Practice Management Software?

This is where a great IT Consultant can be a valuable resource. Of course, you need to work with a consultant who is familiar with the legal industry and up-to-date on all the practice management software now available.

Once you’re working with a good IT consultant, he or she can answer your tough questions. They should be able to show you how the various programs work and what is beneficial to each one. Every program has pros and cons.

Below are a few questions to get you on the right track.

How Hard Will It Be to Import Your Current Database?

When you think about having to import all your existing data into any new practice management software, it can seem mind-boggling. But working with a strong IT services team can make the whole process easier. They should be able to tell you approximately how long it will take to migrate your firm’s data into the new software. They should be fully aware of the entire process from end-to-end. This can prevent you from making common mistakes.

What About Our Accounting Software?

Your accounting and billing software is an important function. How will the new practice management program work with it? Are there going to be conflicts? Is there any way to test the two programs to make sure they’re compatible? These are just a few of the concerns that attorneys have. In the world of billable hours, you can’t afford to have glitches and issues cropping up all the time. Everything needs to be compatible so your transition is smooth as silk.

Are You Ready to Eliminate Paper Documents?

If you’re nervous about doing away with paper documents, don’t be. Many law practices are moving in that direction. But with so many documents to deal with each day, you’ll need ample online data storage for your documents. Everything from emails to invoicing can be securely stored in onsite and offsite Cloud servers. This will save paper, shipping costs, and lots of time. Online storage also allows you to access your documents from anywhere there’s a secure internet connection. This improves productivity and flexibility for you and your employees.

How Secure Is The Online Credit Card Payment Portal?

Everyone pays their bills online these days. It’s handy and convenient. Why should law firms be any different? You’ll see a rise in monthly income when you give your clients the ability to pay online. But they also need monthly paper invoices. This is something that clients of law firms will probably never get away from. Those paper invoices should include directions for how to pay online though. This will streamline your operations.

What Software Providers Are the Most Reliable?

With so many American businesses now working with offshore offices, it’s important to make sure you can get good solid support for your practice management software. Things are bound to go wrong occasionally. You shouldn’t have to sit on hold for two hours or speak to someone who doesn’t understand English. These are important considerations when checking out software programs. Do they have a 24/7 hotline? Do they charge extra for certain types of support?

How Secure Is This Software?

Security is a huge issue these days, especially for law firms. Just one security breach can ruin your reputation. That’s why it’s especially important that your new practice management software has the best security built in. Ask all the tough questions about the software’s security parameters.

How Hard Will It Be For Employees to Learn to Use The Software?

Many software providers include employee training in their overall pricing structure. This can be a good investment. You know that it will take time to train employees on the new program and get everyone up to speed. Your new practice management software should be intuitive and easy to navigate.

What Will We Get For Our Money? Comparing Prices and Features

The pricing structure should be easy to understand and transparent. You should be able to see what you’re paying and what you get with this price. Make sure you ask about the ROI. How long will it be before you start to make back the cost of your new practice management software?

Some of these questions are easy to answer and some are harder. That’s why you can benefit from working with a great Legal IT Consultant. You’ll have someone on board who understands what’s at risk and knows the answers to many of these questions. They’ll be able to make solid recommendations and prevent you from making costly errors.

Below are a few of the best-known practice management solutions:

PracticeMaster

http://www.tabs3.com/products/practicemaster/practicemaster.html

Clio

https://www.clio.com

Time Matters

http://www.lexisnexis.com/business-of-law/products/practice-management/time-matters

Needles

https://www.needles.com

Amicus

https://www.abacusnext.com

MyCase

https://www.mycase.com

Rocket Matter

https://www.rocketmatter.com

PCLaw

http://www.lexisnexis.com/business-of-law/products/practice-management/pclaw

NTConnections specializes in IT for law firms in the DC Metro area. We bring just the right measure of expertise to any IT problem. We can save you both time and money by helping you find exactly the right software and other IT products for your DC law firm.

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