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Zola Suite Blog Archives

Your accountant may be great at handling small business accounting, but you need to be sure your accountant understands the differences between law firm accounting and other small business accounting requirements. It is your responsibility to make sure your books are correct. When vetting both accounting professionals and accounting software, having a basic understanding of the key distinctions between general business accounting and legal accounting can be critical to making the right decision for your firm. In this two-part series, you’ll find some core tenets of legal accounting that pose unique challenges when it comes to bookkeeping and reporting. Cash…
While recent events have posed unique challenges to many law firms, the reality is that even during the most ordinary times, many practices have brittle technology stacks which can result in major disruptions to day-to-day operations when they fail. Forbes Technology Council recently published Technology: The Unsung Business Continuity Hero, an article written by Zola Suite’s CEO and Founder, Fred Cohen. In this piece, Fred identifies a few considerations that firms should take into account when determining whether their technology is designed to ensure business continuity. The post CEO Fred Cohen Featured in Forbes Technology Council appeared first on…
We’re experiencing an unprecedented time in history, one in which most people are no longer working from their regular offices. For this reason, access to data from remote locations has become more important than ever. Remote access isn’t a new concept but, up until now, there has never been a widespread catalyst that caused it to be universally prioritized. Previously, we might think about it when there was a disaster like a hurricane that kept us from our office for a few days or a week. Now, we are facing more uncertainty and possibly more permanent changes in our office…
We’re experiencing an unprecedented time in history, one in which most people are no longer working from their regular offices. For this reason, access to data from remote locations has become more important than ever. Remote access isn’t a new concept but, up until now, there has never been a widespread catalyst that caused it to be universally prioritized. Previously, we might think about it when there was a disaster like a hurricane that kept us from our office for a few days or a week. Now, we are facing more uncertainty and possibly more permanent changes in our office…
In the new normal since the Coronavirus, it is expected that 80% of lawyers and professionals will do some work via their smartphones. This statistic is indicative of a trend that we expect to continue for many years to come — the legal industry, like so many others, must embrace a remote workforce. To ensure effective collaboration across hybrid-teams, firms need to be prepared with the right safeguards for those on-site and the right technology to bridge physical distance for those who continue to work remotely. Preparing for the Return of On-Site Employees For employees returning to the office in…
Congratulations! Your firm has decided to move to a new practice management, billing or accounting platform. You have gone through the analysis, made a selection, and now comes the big question – What data should be brought over to the new application? To start, think about how far back you need matter, contact and related matter information, and how this data will be used. Once you’ve identified the “must-have” data, it’s important to consider what is feasible from a technical perspective and devise a plan that ensures business continuity. Understanding Your Starting Point: On-Premise Software vs. Cloud Application If your…
How do you measure productivity and predict profitability? With time-based billing, the simplest way is billable hours. How many hours can (and should) timekeepers work in a period of time and how many of the worked hours are billable? If we assume only two weeks of vacation per year and a forty-hour workweek, the formula will look something like this: 40 hours per week * 50 weeks per year = 2000 hours Billable Hours / 2000 = annual productivity Setting Reasonable Expectations In a law firm, billable hour goals are typically measured monthly or quarterly. In setting goals, it’s tempting…
The legal industry has learned so much from recent events. 1. Employees can work remotely. Prior to the pandemic, approximately 30% of the workforce worked remotely. Now, in the midst of the pandemic, approximately 85% of the workforce is working offsite. Going forward, it is estimated that 50% of the workforce will continue to work remotely. Due to this increase, it has become more important to ensure that remote workers are compliant with the firm’s technological policies. To this end, each firm should update their technology policy to include: Remote bandwidth speed requirements for all employees. Security guidelines for personal…
All law firms are required to maintain accounting records for client funds deposited in trust accounts. Finding the right software solution to assist with the necessary record-keeping for those funds requires a complete understanding of the bar association rules. Trust Accounting Basics Client funds are held by lawyers for many reasons. A lawyer may hold client property in connection with representation, settlement funds or legal fees and expenses paid in advance. Bar associations have very specific rules that regulate the safekeeping of client funds, and law firms are required to deposit these funds in a separate bank account to ensure…
As a complete cloud-based solution, Zola Suite allows you to access your firm’s data from any device with internet access whether you’re in the office, courtroom or at home. Using Zola Suite’s native iOS and Android apps, you can keep track of upcoming meetings and appointments, retrieve contact information and initiate calls, add or edit tasks, and access matter-related documents all on the go. You can even track time while you’re out of the office so you don’t miss a beat. Zola Suite also offers an Apple Watch app so you can efficiently track time with the tap of…
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has disrupted normal business life currently and for the foreseeable future. “Business as usual” is no longer a realistic expectation. We should expect a new normal once people are permitted to reoccupy their office space. What should law firms do to ensure their employees’ safety and make certain that policies are compliant with revised labor laws and public safety? Monitor the Health of Employees To Prevent Spread of the Virus To start with, firms should consider supplying all employees with disposable masks that have to be worn throughout the day. People with temperatures above normal should…
On April 22nd and 23rd, the Zola Suite Team hosted a virtual implementation training for 35 new partners led by our VP of Product, Raphael Lopez and Client Success Advisor, Liz Trincone. The six-hour training taught our partners how to lead the onboarding process and equip firms for success by leveraging Zola Suite’s front and back-office tools. You can view Zola Suite’s list of Implementation Specialists and other certified partners here. The post Zola Suite’s Newest Implementation Specialists appeared first on Zola Suite.…
Change is never easy, but often necessary to stay relevant in today’s fast-paced environment. Firms should regularly review how things are done and look for ways to improve. An especially good time to do this is when implementing new law practice management (LPM) software. Firms that cling to outdated or inefficient workflows often miss out on many benefits that can save time and money. How do you get started? When making the switch to a new practice management solution, you shouldn’t just consider what the firm does and how it does it, but also identify areas for improvement. I often…
Law firms cannot escape uncollectible fees and unrecoverable costs. Fees and disbursements that are not paid by a client have a direct effect on the firm’s profitability. Most service industries report income based on the cash method of accounting. As a result, income is recorded only when received. The only bad debt expenses will be the result of client costs that cannot be recovered. Any fees that are billed but not paid by the client represent lost income. Set Expectations Upfront There are many ways law firms can minimize lost revenue. One is to set client expectations at the outset…
You’ve just heard from a client that they want you to start billing them electronically — and they don’t mean by email. They mention LEDES. What is LEDES? What do you do next? “LEDES” stands for Legal Electronic Data Exchange Standard. LEDES billing is simply submitting your bill in a special format. The electronic bill is uploaded to a service, or clearinghouse, that reviews the bill to make sure it complies with certain rules and that all the calculations are correct. If the bill is approved, you will get paid. Let’s take a step-by-step look at the LEDES billing process.…
Our first discussion about disasters covered types of disasters and some basics needed to properly address a disruption in normal activities, including how to build a robust team. We subsequently outlined how to make use of staging areas, alternative facilities, and working from home in the second article. EDUCATION Employees: Educating employees is an ongoing initiative. While not every employee needs the same level of education, it is critical to continue the disaster education process throughout the year for all employees. Wardens: The level of disaster education for wardens is more intense. Wardens must be better prepared and be…