Automation is an easy first step
If your firm relies on limited and outdated software tools, you may be hindering yourself with increasingly severe shortcomings. Meanwhile, your clients and competitors advance with the times. Only by modernizing your firm’s operations can you help it grow into a future without limitations. Read on to discover the many advantages you gain when you integrate your systems and automate law firm processes and tasks through a single, purpose-built platform.
Plus, learn how you can connect your people, processes and information in a transparent and efficient collaborative environment while maintaining the flexibility needed to scale and accommodate ongoing change with ease and confidence.
Business needs and challenges have evolved
For decades, law firms have manually managed client and matter information using Excel spreadsheets and other siloed applications, such as timekeeping, word processing, and billing software. Your staff members have likely had to manually copy details from hand-written notes and emails into disjointed systems of record. Assistants have had to access multiple lawyer inboxes to stay up to date. And billing specialists and billing partners have volleyed reams of paper prebills.
Then, the digital transformation became a catalyst for law firm process improvement. Paper records in file cabinets transformed into multiple types of electronic files and ever-growing amounts of data. Technological advancements have altered business-as-usual to such an extent that doubling or even tripling manual work efforts cannot keep up.
Legal process automation can provide the keys to solving modern challenges
The digital overload completely overwhelms traditional efforts to manage information and deliver cost-effective legal services. But practice management software equipped with legal process automation capabilities connect your firm to build convenience and consistency into daily operations. Sophisticated yet simple-to-use automation features enable a more in-depth focus on meeting client and practice group needs while significantly boosting productivity and improving firm, case, and matter management results. Work gets done faster and more accurately when everyone has quick, easy access to information, burdensome tasks are automated, and unnecessary activities are eliminated.
Change is difficult but worth it
Firm leaders may recognize how much investing in law firm process automation would benefit the firm. But choosing the right software, developing an implementation strategy, training, and supporting users can all seem so overwhelming. Suddenly, the status quo’s old software tools and manual solutions don’t seem so bad.
But it’s not about changing for the sake of change. When it comes down to it, a vast number of law firms continue to entrust their practice management to outdated, unsupported, or ill-fitting software. Automating mundane tasks enables lawyers and staff to deliver higher quality work in less time and with less effort to increase their ability to get more done. Lawyers who use modern legal practice-specific management software stay connected, up-to-date, and able to work wherever and whenever they’re needed. In turn, their firms are more competitive in their market and their systems are more adaptable to client expectations
Use automation to set the stage for streamlined end-to-end management
By 2022, 81% of corporate legal departments will require the law firms they work with to describe how they use technology to be more productive and efficient. With AbacusNext practice-specific software, you can introduce efficiency and efficacy into your workflows from the start. For example, standardizing each practice group’s intake forms and procedures sets the stage for more accurate and streamlined management throughout a matter’s lifecycle.
Accounting processes are ripe for automation. Research firm Ardent Partners reports increased use of B2B electronic payments, such as ACH, payment networks, commercial cards, virtual cards and wire transfers saying,
“Best-in-class organizations leverage the power of automation and efficiency to improve processes related to invoice receipt, approval workflow, and payment scheduling … [which] results in an average time to process an invoice that is 74% faster.”
Some companies have already automated their way to completely “touchless” billing and payment processes in which no human intervention is needed. Clients want to work with law firms that adopt digital billing practices that enable them to run more efficient operations. Firms that do achieve higher efficiency rates, too.
How do you know when it’s time to change?
In a recent survey, 94% of law firms say they plan to increase their use of technology to improve performance and address strategic challenges. Another 47% of firms plan to use technology to gain a competitive advantage, with 28% using technology to increase efficiency.
Law firms leaders often search for new technological capabilities that will support more agile and resilient operations. If your firm’s systems feel outdated or prevent lawyers from working productively, choosing a more modern firm management software can be a game-changer.
Essentially, you don’t want to get caught riding a scooter and choking on the fumes of competitors who are blazing ahead in sports cars. And, neither do your clients. They need guidance from lawyers who can help them embrace emerging trends and stay in the front of the pack.
Your search for the ideal practice management solution.
Upgrading your firm to a new legal practice management solution requires careful analysis, planning, and review. Once you’ve narrowed your selection of potential legal software solutions, additional factors to consider include:
- How will your vendor move all the data from your current systems, as well as from independent and unconnected sources, into your new software?
- Ensure you understand the software’s potential limitations, such as case naming conventions, custom fields, or the availability of email and document templates.
- Technology requires support and maintenance. Firm operations are disrupted when it’s unclear who is responsible for troubleshooting and resolving a glitch, outage, cyberattack, or other unexpected cause for downtime.
It’s essential to understand the vendor’s onboarding plan and familiarize yourself with any additional costs during the migration and implementation process.
Automate now for an unlimited future
Clinging to outdated work methods gets you left further and further behind. Connecting systems and automating law firm processes allows your legal team to scale based on the changing needs of your clients, practice groups, and the legal industry. Additionally, you can identify and assess what activities require your attention faster and more effectively with the capability to monitor your financial, case, and matter metrics.
Becoming more efficient opens doors for new opportunities that firms could never realize before with limited technology resources. Practice management software such as AbacusNext will help you prepare your firm for a limitless future with enhanced transparency, more in-depth insights, and the ability not just to adapt but to flourish in the face of new challenges.
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