But when law firms aren’t paid in a timely manner? It can be a major problem.
When fees and invoices go uncollected and realization rates drop, it pumps the breaks on profitability, cash flow, and growth goals. Payment lags aren’t always the fault of the client. Inefficient workflows, poor communication, and inconvenient client processes all contribute to delays in payments. However, there are a number of simple steps law firms can take to get paid faster.
Law firms often wait weeks or even months to be paid after an invoice is sent, but there are ways you can take control over your payment timelines. Here’s where you can start.
Developing and communicating payment policies
1. Establish clear payment terms and conditions
It’s a best practice to set clear payment terms and conditions before signing on a client or completing billable hours. Clear payment policies don’t just provide you with legal protection if a client disputes charges. They also establish expectations for how the payment process should unfold and define obligations for you and your client.
These expectations are vital for building trust between you and your client. When clients understand their obligations, they can:
- Budget for legal expenses
- Understand their payment options
- Inquire about alternate arrangements for fees
- Avoid late fees
- Clear up questions before they become an issue
They can only do this if your payment policies are transparent, though. If your payment policies are long and packed full of legalese, your clients are less likely to follow them.
2. Share payment terms and conditions internally and externally
Once you’ve developed payment terms and conditions, your clients and your staff should be fully aware of them. For clients, this is something that should be addressed during the client intake process, ideally before signing any contracts or agreements. To ensure full transparency, consider including your payment policies on invoices.
Your team should also be looped into payment terms and conditions so they can answer questions confidently. In addition to training staff, it can also be helpful to add this information to any internal knowledge base you may have.
3. Create user-friendly invoices
Invoices are the unsung hero of law firm profitability. They may seem like a simple document that tells what a client owes, but they are much more than that.
A good invoice helps your client render payment with confidence that you have completed legal work in accordance with your contract. When you omit necessary details, however, such as details of work completed or precise due dates, you can damage client trust and increase the risk of compliance violations.
This is where using legal invoicing software can be of great help, providing guardrails that ensure your invoices include critical information like:
- Name and contact information of the lawyer or law firm that is sending the bill
- Client’s name
- Description of the legal services offered
- Date the services were rendered
- Trust account balance (if relevant)
- Date of last payment (if relevant)
- Total cost of services rendered
- Terms of payment (e.g. due upon receipt, net 30, etc.)
- Date the invoice is sent out
- Any sales tax or other fees that are due
- A link to submit electronic payment
Make sure to include your logo, brand fonts, and colors on your invoice. A professionally designed invoice template enhances brand recognition and adds to your law firm’s credibility.
4. Send invoices out on time
When your invoices are sent late or inconsistently, your clients may think that the same rules apply to their payments (even if your payment policies are clear). As a result, they will be less likely to take their payment obligations to your firm seriously.
When you send invoices out in a timely and consistent manner, you give your clients the opportunity to budget for legal services, review their legal fees, and ask questions if necessary. This demonstrates that you’re committed to client service.
Offering client-friendly payment options
Even if you serve limited practice areas, your clients have a range of payment needs. One client may need support with setting up a payment plan, for example, while another client may want to schedule withdrawals. Providing client-friendly payment options can make it easier for clients to settle their invoices and for your practice to maintain a strong cash flow.
Consider the options below:
5. Provide online payment options
Paying with cash or check is becoming less and less common. Clients expect to be able to pay for services with debit and credit cards, no matter the industry. In fact, some younger clients may not even use checkbooks.
However, the legal industry has historically been slow to embrace credit cards. Law firms have been particularly cautious about the implications for trust accounting compliance and credit card usage.
Law firms can mitigate compliance risks, while still meeting client expectations, by working with a legal-specific payment processor that’s embedded in their practice management system, like Tabs3Pay. Not only does this streamline the billing process (saving you lots of billable hours every month), it can provide clients the choice to pay by:
- Credit card
- Debit card
- ACH bank transfer
- Scheduled payments
Electronic payment options speed payment up for several reasons. To start, they are more convenient for clients. After all, it takes less time to click on a link in an email and pay via credit card than it does to hunt down a checkbook.
Funds also reach your bank account faster. When clients pay via credit card, payment can be accessed in as little as 24 hours, depending on your payment processor.
6. Allow for different types of fee agreements
Fee-based billing is a legal industry stand-by, but it’s not the only option out there. What’s more, it may not necessarily be the best option for your practice. Depending on which practice areas you serve, you may find that clients can pay faster and easier if you implement different fee agreements, such as flat fees, retainers, or contingency fees.
If you determine that a different fee structure is the right fit for your law firm, avoid surprises with your clients. Update your payment policies and communicate changes to your clients immediately to avoid confusion, payment delays, or write-offs.
Increase your profitability with Tabs3 Software
Tabs3’s suite of client and law firm-friendly payment tools offers a fully integrated suite of billing, accounting, and practice management tools designed to help law firms run more efficiently and profitably.
Tabs3 Software offers:
- Compliant online credit card payment processing with Tabs3Pay
- Calendars and matter organization tools
- Easy-to-use time-tracking functionalities
- Conflict of interest searches
- And more
The early bird gets the worm, but what about the proactive attorney? A less stressful tax season awaits. If you haven’t already, now’s the time to get a head start on the upcoming tax season.
Your law firms’ exact tax obligations and procedures can differ depending on:
- Entity type (Partnership, Limited Liability Company, S-Corp, etc.)
- Number of owners
No matter what, though, one thing stays (mostly) the same: Form 1099. If you’re wondering whether your law firm should be sending or receiving 1099s, the answer is likely both. Law firms of all sizes and business structures are required to generate and report them.
It sounds simple enough, but the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has hundreds of pages of regulations regarding 1099 forms. What’s more, the IRS recently reintroduced Form 1099-NEC, creating an additional layer of confusion about tax obligations for law firms.
Why law firms should pay special attention to Form 1099
Failing to properly report income and payments can lead to serious consequences for any business, but law firms, in particular, tend to receive extra scrutiny from tax authorities.
Litigation settlements, judgments, and attorneys’ fees are of particular interest to the IRS, and precise record-keeping is a must. Since law firms manage large sums of client funds, they make for easy audit targets.
In fact, certain tax laws specifically target law firms. Among these are laws that make attorneys responsible for a flood of incoming and outgoing 1099 forms.
Keeping track of all the requisite information and forms can seem daunting while managing your caseload. However, accuracy is crucial to avoid a notice or, worse, a penalty from the IRS.
Strategies for managing 1099s successfully
Having a concrete plan for the season can alleviate the overwhelming feeling that accompanies seemingly constant changes to tax laws and forms.
1. Track tax forms year-round.
Most people, and even businesses, pay the most attention to tax forms when they arrive at the end of the year. However, this strategy doesn’t work well for law firms, thanks to the sheer volume of 1099 forms to be sent and reported.
Tracking and providing forms at the time of payment, year-round, is the best way to prepare for tax time.
2. Make sure you’re using the right form for the right application.
It’s easy to get confused. To prepare for the season ahead, it helps to have a basic understanding of each tax form’s purpose.
By no means is the information below comprehensive, but it may help you better understand each form’s purpose and applications.
|The IRS reintroduced these forms in 2020 after noticing an uptick in freelance and gig work.||Form 1099-MISC serves as a catch-all for payments not covered by Form 1099-NEC.|
For law firms
|NEC stands for nonemployee compensation. Your firm needs to issue a 1099-NEC form to jury consultants, co-counsel, investigators, expert witnesses, and other professionals who were paid over $600 to assist in a case.||Clients should typically receive a Form 1099-MISC from the payor, not your firm, for all taxable settlement payments, such as punitive damages, back pay, and payments for emotional distress.
Many law firms choose to issue their own Form 1099-MISC for all settlements, because the IRS regulations sometimes consider an attorney a “payor” if they play a significant role in the management and oversight of clients’ settlement money.
Your law firm also needs to issue a Form 1099-MISC to any client who receives a refund from the firm’s direct income, rather than the trust account.
|Any clients who paid $600 or more for your legal services in the course of running their business should provide you with a Form 1099-NEC. Include each 1099-NEC form you receive with your law firm’s business tax return.||Any clients who paid you $600 or more for nonlegal services while running their business should provide your firm with a Form 1099-MISC.|
|1099-NEC forms must be provided to both recipients and the IRS by January 31, 2023.||The deadline for furnishing Form 1099-MISC statements to recipients (if amounts are reported in boxes 8 or 10) is February 15, 2023.
Meanwhile, Form 1099-MISC must be filed with the IRS by February 28, 2023.
For either form, the due date is the next business day if any of these dates fall on Saturday, Sunday, or a legal holiday.
3. Be proactive about recipient data.
For a complete filing, you will need each 1099 recipient’s legal name and taxpayer identification (or social security) number. Make sure you have these details handy well before the filing deadlines. You’ll also need to confirm whether the recipient of the form is a U.S. taxpayer.
Throughout the year, ensure any professional contracted by your firm fills out a Form W-9 to assist you in tracking and verifying this information.
4. Call in the experts.
In addition to using the reporting features built into your legal-specific accounting software, we recommend consulting with a tax professional about your firm’s specific obligations to report and send 1099 forms.
This is the best way to double-check that all incoming and outgoing payments are recorded on the proper form and in the correct blank.
Tabs3 Trust Accounting and Accounts Payable Software Make Tax Season Simple
With Tabs3 Software, 1099s can be prepared easily online by either your firm or your client (the trust account holder), depending on the payor.
When your firm is the payor, 1099 information can be combined with your accounts payable information to create a combined 1099 form or electronic file for even more convenience. Tabs3 Software has partnered with Nelco to provide Tabs3 E-file, a complete solution to filing your 1099-MISC, 1099-NEC, and 1096 forms. In just a few clicks, you can meet all federal, state, and recipient requirements. Nelco will even print and mail recipient copies for you.
To learn more about how you can enjoy a more straightforward and less stressful tax season with Tabs3’s robust reporting and compliance features, schedule your free demo today.
Disclaimer: You should always consult a professional accountant or CPA for any tax questions regarding your legal fees or law services at the end of each tax year.
While computer hardware started the digital age and catapulted our technology to where we stand now, software is what has transformed our daily lives, and what will lead to exponential growth moving forward.
But what is software, exactly? How did it begin? How did we end up here today, and where might we go tomorrow?
The answer is surprisingly complicated. Not because the history is unclear, but because the inherent properties of software have made it one of the most collaborative and influential global inventions of the modern era. With such an abundance of incredible breakthroughs, innovative scientists, and memorable moments, it’s impossible to identify every critical step along the way.
And it’s just getting started.
What is desktop software?
First, let’s take a step back and define what exactly desktop software is (and even then, the answer has changed over time).
Today, we understand software as a set of instructions given to a computer to help it accomplish a set of goals. Software in general is a collective term for applications, programs, and scripts that run on a computer or any other programmable device.
Desktop software can also be referred to as application software, and it’s typically installed over the personal or work computer. It’s a version of a service or web application located on your device, which allows that computer to interact with the application without directly connecting to the app’s website.
As a whole, desktop software today provides useful cross-platform solutions that don’t require intensive web services and don’t impact your computer’s core architecture. Desktop software is designed to be user-friendly, stable, responsible, and customizable to fit the user’s preferred operating system.
In other words, it’s a great option that gives you the best of both worlds when efficiently accessing information and services from your computer.
The early days of software
The first desktop software is difficult to trace, and even more difficult to trace outside of the origin of the computer. This is because as long as computers have existed, we’ve been telling them what to do. Furthermore, as mentioned earlier, the development of the computer and its software was an incremental process, with hundreds of individuals contributing to its development over time.
While the concept of the computer dates all the way back to 1822, it took a while for scientists and mathematicians to construct a useful model.
- 1822: English mathematician Charles Babbage conceives of a calculating machine run on steam power.
- 1890: Herman Hollerith develops a punch card system to use during the American census (his company would eventually become IBM).
- 1936: Konrad Zuse creates the first programmable computer.
- 1946: John Mauchly creates the ENIAC, a programmable computer, during World War II. The ENIAC was the first computer to house multiple sets of instructors. It was programmed mostly by women who had been previously working as human computers.
- 1948: The Manchester Baby at the University of Manchester is the first stored-program computer to execute a piece of software, created by Tom Kilburn.
- 1950: Kathleen Booth develops the first assembly language to make it easier to program the computers she worked on.
The 1940s can claim the first software, even if the idea of “desktop software” didn’t come around until decades later. The term “software” itself became popular in the late 1950s. Before that time, computers weren’t available commercially, and scientists mostly created their own programs (aka software).
Everything changed in the 1960s, when the Programma 101 became the first desktop computer sold to the average consumer. The Programma 101 offered the general public a desktop computer that anyone could use. The 65-pound machine was the size of a typewriter and had 37 keys and a built-in printer.
Desktop software through the years
At the advent of the personal computer, most software could only be purchased alongside the computer itself as a bundled purchase, directly through the manufacturer. When a customer bought a “minicomputer” (which could still clock in at upwards of 50 pounds), the computer did not come with pre-installed software. Any software had to be installed by computer engineers.
Microcomputers ushered in the age of the personal computer. The first generation of personal computers started with the Apple II, Commodore PET, and TRS-80, which were followed much later by IBM’s PC desktop system.
IBM began selling software in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, which was the first time commercial software was available to the average computer. This means that users could add different types of programs to any computer.
The first version of Tabs3 Billing Software was installed at a law firm in Lincoln, NE in 1979.
The 1980s were a big decade for computers, particularly personal computers. First, the Osbourne 1, the first portable computer, was released in 1981. While it was the predecessor to the modern laptop, it still weighed more than 24 pounds.
Also in 1981, IBM released its first personal computer, which included one of the earliest operating systems, the Microsoft MS-DOS. IBM’s brand recognition launched personal computers into mass-market use. The IBM PC led to the creation of a vast ecosystem of software for use with the platform.
Then in 1983, a company called Microsoft Corporation announced a Graphical User Interface (GUI) for its operating system. The product was first called Interface Manager, and Bill Gates would later change the name to Windows.
Microsoft 1.0 was introduced in 1985.
In 1991, the Linux operating system created the first major competitor for Microsoft (and it’s still one of the most common operating systems in Android phones and supercomputers today).
Prior to the 1990s, most software was distributed via floppy disks. With the rise of CD-ROMs, users could download programs faster and more efficiently.
Web browser software also emerged in the 1990s, bringing the Internet (and video games) to the masses.
Personal data assistants (PDAs) and smartphones flourished in the early 2000s, making it possible for consumers to take computers wherever they went. Operating systems such as Apple iOS and Google Android led to programs known as “apps” becoming commonplace.
Desktop software today
After evolving from manual programming to floppy disks to CD-ROMs, users can now download software directly from the internet, cutting out middlemen manufacturers and cutting down costs.
Software has also become increasingly complex, able to accommodate a variety of functions that would have been unimaginable even 30 years ago.
Take practice management software, for example. At first, practice management software was much more single-purpose: a program to track time and billing. Today, desktop practice management software encompasses a whole suite of services that dramatically reduce the time required to execute tasks. Many products are available on the cloud, but desktop options meet critical needs for law firms, providing them with deep functionality, security, and flexibility.
Just like the ENIAC helped replace human computers to solve complex mathematical equations, modern practice management software is a fully integrated ecosystem capable of replacing time-consuming labor with the speed of a machine. And just like the ENIAC in 1948, it’s not replacing people. It’s allowing people to work smarter, freeing up time to focus on the things that truly matter.
The future of desktop software
Computers and software are still evolving. Artificial intelligence is changing the face of technology at exponential rates, and advanced programs are capable of more and more every day. Desktop software is more important than ever, and its programs are becoming increasingly complex.
When it comes to software, the only limit is your imagination. With near-limitless possibilities as one of the world’s most innovative industries, it’s only going to get better from here.
Whether your goal is to run an entirely remote law firm in 2023 or you simply want to see more efficiency around the office, secure file-sharing can help your legal practice run better.
But let’s start with the basics: what is secure file-sharing? Secure file-sharing is an ethical method of sending sensitive documents digitally, using encryption and other technology to protect them from unauthorized viewers. To prevent hackers or identity thieves from accessing client data, the documents may be encrypted at rest, in transit, or both. Password protection and other measures add additional layers of privacy, as well.
This expedient, secure way to share legal files creates numerous opportunities for tech-savvy law firms to benefit from enhanced client relations and fewer operational silos. Below, we outline eight benefits of secure file sharing for a more profitable firm and more effective practice management.
8 Advantages of Secure File Sharing for Law Firms
1. The ability to incorporate eSignatures
An eSignature is a digital signature, which is typed or “written” on a touch screen using a finger, stylus, or mouse. eSignatures are legally binding, secure, and speedy. They’re also considerably more cost-efficient, compared to printing paper documents to collect wet-ink signatures.
Using secure file-sharing and eSignatures in tandem simply makes sense. The duo eliminates the frustrating bottlenecks and data-entry errors that plague the legal process when paper documents must be mailed, scanned, and stored.
2. Greater client convenience
Using technology to offer more client-centered service demonstrates that your firm values clients’ time and energy. Ultimately, this makes them more likely to work with your firm again in the future.
Sharing legal files securely and digitally creates significant advantages for your clients. It’s also an increasingly standard expectation for doing business due to the on-demand world we live in. Instead of waiting on the mail or driving to your office in person, file-sharing enables clients to review and sign important documents whenever, wherever it’s best for them.
In total, secure file-sharing and its counterpart, eSignatures, cut the amount of time clients spend reviewing and signing documents by 80%.
3. The potential of a paperless law firm
Evolving to become a paperless law firm creates boundless opportunities to improve your law firm’s business practices. Cutting paper doesn’t cut cash, though, at least not metaphorically. Switching to paperless systems saves most companies money. Plus, paperless firms may be able to reap state and federal tax benefits.
Environment-conscious clients and employees will also appreciate the impact made by firms that share files online: lower water usage, decreased CO2 emissions, less waste sent to landfills, and fewer fossil fuels burned by driving to review and sign documents.
4. Remote work becomes more realistic
Many lawyers, from junior associates to managing partners, appreciate the flexibility that remote work allows, whether due to an unexpected illness, family needs, or travel. While many law firms have returned to in-office work, others have adopted the remote work model permanently. No matter which camp your firm falls in, it’s crucial to stay agile.
As an added bonus, features that make remote work possible, such as secure file-sharing, make it possible to accept clients from a wider geographical area. Your firm’s horizons are expanded when time and distance are no longer barriers to share documents or collect signatures.
5. Improved client intake
The benefits of secure file-sharing extend far beyond completing legal work on client matters.
Secure file-sharing transforms the client intake process. When clients fill out paper-and-ink forms about their legal matters, legal staff must manually enter that information into your practice management software, often more than once. The repetition creates a large margin for data entry errors and pulls legal staff’s focus away from billable tasks.
By contrast, secure file-sharing empowers clients to complete the intake process faster. The need to complete onboarding paperwork in person is eliminated, and updating new clients’ personal information is instantaneous, no digging through file folders required. This reduces manual data entry errors dramatically.
6. Time-saving workflows
Your firm’s most important, and limited, resource is time. Secure file-sharing streamlines workflows and preserves limited resources by eliminating the need to compare calendars. What could your team achieve without wasting time waiting for schedules to align, or hounding clients to return yet another email and schedule an appointment?
Getting documents in front of the right eyes is as simple as sending an email. However, email places a size limit on the files you can attach, while secure file-sharing makes it easy to send files that are particularly large (as files tend to be in legal work). To make things even more expedient, many file-sharing platforms have built-in, customizable templates and document management software, too.
These features keep everything searchable and easily accessible for efficient workflows.
7. Improved data security
When it comes to legal work, compliance is key.
Few professionals handle such a large volume of sensitive data as attorneys. Depending on your practice area, clients entrust your firm with intellectual property, protected health information, potentially incriminating evidence, personal identifiable information, tax records, and more. Not only does the American Bar Association heavily regulate the way this information should be managed, but state and federal governments do so as well.
Secure file-sharing software makes following the industry’s strict ethics and client confidentiality requirements a breeze. Robust data encryption and password protected links offer a higher level of security than sharing files via email or the postal service and lessen the likelihood of a breach of confidentiality.
8. Faster, more fruitful collaboration
When your clients and colleagues can access important files at any time, from anywhere, there’s no need to meet in an office. Work is completed faster. Instead of stretching the feedback process out over a period of days (or even weeks) attorneys are able to make edits to legal documents in real time, rather than sending them back and forth, and waiting on them to be reviewed, several times.
Legal software solutions that work as hard as you do
Tabs3 Software now integrates with LexShare. LexShare offers maximum confidentiality in an attractive and intuitive interface, so sending and receiving files internally and externally is simple for every user, client, and colleague.
However, secure file-sharing is just one of the many user-friendly, flexible features that Tabs3’s industry leading legal software solutions have to offer your firm. Our software works reliably and effortlessly, so attorneys can spend more time focusing on securing and serving clients and less time troubleshooting or training on new software.
A review of your law firm’s finances and general performance is non-negotiable before the end of the year. Let’s walk through some key considerations to keep in mind as you wrap up Q4 so you can finish 2022 on a high note and set yourself up for success in 2023.
The end of the year is the perfect time to reach out to existing clients and touch base. Go the extra mile to let them know you value them as clients and make it clear that you continually strive to find new ways to serve them in the best way possible. Simple outreach expressing your gratitude for their business goes a long way. Your clients like to know they’re valued.
This time of year is also an opportunity to review how you’re welcoming new clients to your practice. Review your intake process thoroughly. Are there ways it could be improved? Is there something you could do to make the process simpler? Make a thorough assessment to determine where you could save time, and what would make the process a smoother experience for your clients.
If you have any outstanding client issues, now is the time to resolve them. Don’t bring lingering problem areas with you into the new year.
Hopefully, you’ve been keeping meticulous time records. If you haven’t, now is the time to start. Tracking time as you go plays an important role in billing accurately, setting appropriate rates, sustaining trust with clients, and maintaining compliance. It also provides important operational data for your practice by helping you assess whether your team members are working efficiently.
Take a look at your existing time records and other reports. Where can processes and workflows be streamlined to increase efficiency and profitability? Are workloads appropriately assigned? Are you making the best possible use of your practice management software and its features?
One way to do this is by updating your tech stack so you can reduce the time spent on tasks that could be automated. With legal practice software like Tabs3, you can access detailed reports to inform decision-making and automation tools to streamline your processes.
Don’t wait until the last minute to tackle your year-end accounting. Give your EOY accounting the extra attention it deserves to guarantee that you maximize your profits for the year. Make sure you prioritize the tasks listed below.
Look at cash flow
Make a detailed estimate of what kind of cash you’ll have on hand come the end of the year. Make sure you take into account quarterly tax payments, staff bonuses, old payables, reserves for capital improvements, and any other unusual end-of-year cash disbursements.
Be sure there is sufficient cash flow to cover operating costs for the first quarter of 2023.
Review your timekeeping
We know we mentioned this already, but diligent timekeeping is critical to both profitability and compliance. As we turn the page on 2022, check that all staff members are up to date with their time entries. As you move into the new year, set a goal for all team members to track their time on a daily basis.
Studies show that the sooner you capture your time, the more you realize. In fact, law firms that track time as they go generate 25-40% more revenue than firms that do not. That’s a pretty compelling reason to make a point of going into the new year with better timekeeping habits.
If timekeeping habits have been slipping lately, consider updating (or establishing) your timekeeping policies so everyone is on the same page about the hows and whys of timekeeping at your law firm.
Check in with accounts receivable
Don’t bring outstanding balances with you into the new year. The longer you wait, the less likely you’ll be able to actually collect. Once an invoice passes the 180-day mark, there’s a 56% chance it will never be paid. Create a list of outstanding balances and try to recover them before year-end. Anything deemed uncollectible should be written off before the start of 2023.
Be sure to account for unreimbursed client expenses, as well as attorney expense reports. Write them off by the end of the quarter.
Review your current retainers
Check in with your current retainer balances. There should be enough there to cover your remaining anticipated work and expenses. If not, request replenishment in line with your firm’s retainer policy.
EOY accounting deserves your extra care and attention. Do a thorough review of your budget. Do your EOY reports align? Where are the gaps, and what can you do to stay on budget for 2023?
Lastly, do an audit of which areas of your business were most profitable, and which were less so. Your law firm is a business, after all. Examine where your revenue is coming from.
If the vast majority of your revenue stream is driven by two main practice areas and a third area generates only a trickle, perhaps your resources would be best spent focused on your money-makers. Consider scaling back on the areas that show little return. And if you don’t know which areas your revenue is coming from, adjust your financial reporting so that next year you will. Don’t continue feeding resources into an area of your business that doesn’t show sufficient returns.
As you wrap up Q4, have a look at your marketing spend for the year. Where are you seeing returns? Double down on what’s working and cut whatever is not.
If you’re using legal customer relationship management (CRM) software, check whether you’re getting everything you can out of it. When used efficiently, a CRM with law firm-specific functionality will help you win more business, impress your clients, and maximize your billable hours.
Just as you should reach out to your current clients at the end of the year to express your gratitude for your business, you should also make the same gesture to your referral network so you can ensure you’re top-of-mind as you enter the new year.
You’ve already gone out of your way to make your clients feel appreciated. Now is the time to make the same gesture with regard to your staff. Thank them for their hard work! Start thinking about what opportunities you can provide for your team to grow and progress in their careers as you head into the new year.
Looking forward to 2023
Now that you’ve done a thorough analysis of the year to date, it’s time to set goals for moving forward. Outline these goals in clear, actionable ways, and get your entire team on board.
If there are improvements you can make in your client services by updating your tech, streamlining your intake processes, or automating day-to-day tasks, start implementing these changes now so that you can kick off a profitable and productive 2023.
Remote working. It’s not the same buzzword it was back in 2020 or 2021. In 2022, remote working has become an accepted part of today’s professional landscape.
16% of companies are fully remote and 40% have adopted hybrid work for their employees. There are now three times more remote jobs than there were in 2020. 97% of remote employees want to continue working indefinitely.
But how is remote work playing out for law firms? The legal industry has long been slower to adopt trends and tends to take more conservative perspectives on workplace culture. Still, where does that leave us in 2022? How has the landscape changed and what can your law firm do to make the right choices for how your practice operates?
Here’s what you need to know at the end of 2022.
Lawyers want to work remotely (at least some of the time)
Lawyers, like the majority of the working population, have embraced remote work. In an ABA report, the vast majority of attorneys (87%) stated their workplaces permitted remote work. A third of respondents stated that they primarily worked from home, but, intriguingly, another third of respondents stated they worked primarily in their office.
Attorneys that work remotely or on a hybrid basis reported that neither the quality of their work nor productivity nor billable hours have been negatively affected by their working arrangements. Women in particular stated they benefited from remote and hybrid work, as it helped them balance work and family responsibilities.
Technology that’s effective and efficient
Legal tech has helped bridge the gap between office work and work out of the office. In 2021, legal tech generated $27.6 billion in revenue worldwide and the market is forecasted to expand by over 4% annually through 2027.
While the drivers of the legal tech industry are complex and can’t be solely attributed to remote work, it has doubtlessly benefited from the development and expansion of tools used to power remote legal work. Tools that law firms rely on to work remotely include:
- Video conferencing software
- Communication tools such as messaging apps
- File-sharing and eSignature tools
- Cloud-based storage
Even tools that aren’t tied directly to remote work have thrived in the remote work environment.
Document automation, project and case management software, and online payment options have become more powerful, allowing lawyers to streamline their workflows and maximize productivity. What’s more, more and more of these tools are being built into legal practice management software, creating a more seamless experience for lawyers as they conduct their work.
Collaboration can happen easily (without compliance risks)
Tools like those detailed above have made working on legal matters between coworkers easy. Colleagues can use project management software to ensure everyone is on the same page with progress on legal matters. File-sharing makes it simple to exchange documents. Video conferencing allows attorneys, legal staff, and clients to meet regardless of location.
But can they do so and stay in line with legal compliance requirements?
Compliance questions need to be considered in all aspects of legal practice, but they have borne particular concern as law firms shifted into remote work. That’s because the protocol for maintaining security for client information required calibration.
Thankfully, with the right tools and policies, attorneys can strictly adhere to legal compliance standards.
Take, for example, implementing eSignature software to finalize critical legal documents. eSignature is not only recognized as legally valid but when practice management software, such as Tabs3, integrates with a legal-specific eSignature like LexSign, client data is protected by bank-level end-to-end encryption.
Client preference plays a big role in how remote work plays out
The client experience factors into how law firms consider remote work options for their practice. But which way is the wind blowing?
The answer is nuanced. While there is variation based on practice area, client demographics, and stage of a legal matter, many clients indicate that they prefer in-person meetings with attorneys during the initial stages of legal matters. However, they often prefer to receive updates through other forms of communication (phone, email, client portal, etc.) rather than coming into the office for a meeting.
Importantly, a 2021 survey by Thomson Reuters indicates that clients have not perceived a negative impact in their experience with their attorneys working remotely.
Tips for remote working in 2022
Regardless of how your law firm proceeds with its own approach to remote work, there are steps you can take to make it more successful for your attorneys. Follow the tips below to make working from home (or wherever your attorneys choose to open up their laptops) as successful as possible.
Establish a clear remote work policy—or ask for one
Inconsistent policies about how often your attorneys can work remotely and how they are expected to conduct their work cause stress, confusion, and decrease productivity. Clear, consistently implemented policies, on the other hand, give your team confidence and empower them to do their best work.
A robust remote work policy should cover the following concerns:
- Which team members can work remotely and how often
- Working hours
- Expectations for timekeeping
- Communication guidelines
- Technology usage
- Security and compliance protocols
Keep your tech stack up to date
The early days of remote working are gone. It’s not reasonable to expect attorneys to cobble together software and tools so they can do their jobs remotely.
Instead, attorneys expect that their employers have considered all the resources and guidance they need to successfully do their job out-of-the-office. That means your legal tech stack needs to be configured for attorneys and staff who are not in the office.
One of the most significant pieces of this consideration is legal practice management software. While the early days of the pandemic saw a boom in cloud-based software, desktop software has caught up by establishing efficient, effective processes to allow remote workers to access their software from anywhere.
With secure access to fully integrated law firm practice management software, attorneys can complete their most common tasks from home, including:
- Billing and invoicing
- Time tracking
- Planning and setting appointments
- Sending and receiving secure emails, legal documents, eSignatures, and more
- Managing progress of legal matters
- Compliant legal accounting
- And more
While it is possible to build out a solid tech stack for your law firm by combining different tools, your team may benefit from a comprehensive practice management system that combines all the tools they need.
Tabs3 has been an industry leader in on-premise practice management software for decades. But for Tabs3 users, desktop software doesn’t mean being confined to your desk. With Tabs3 Platinum Edition, you can access all the features of Tabs3 from wherever you work with Tabs3 Connect. You also get access to features like HotBackUp, Autorecovery, and more.
Security needs to be a priority
Security threats have been on the rise since before the pandemic, but the remote work boom kicked them into high gear. As a legal professional, you need to ensure the highest degree of security possible for your team and your clients. Steps you should take include:
- Provide privacy and security training for all attorneys and legal staff
- Limit access to sensitive data in your practice management system
- Assess your cybersecurity protocols
- Work with your IT professionals to ensure they have the appropriate certifications to protect your server
Remote work + Tabs3 is a winning combination for law firms
Remote work with Tabs3 Software is secure, compliant, convenient, and accessible. With more than 40 years of experience offering cutting-edge legal technology to law firms, we’re dedicated to following even the industry’s strictest compliance and data security regulations while offering attorneys a flexible working experience.
Check out the Platinum Edition product page to learn more about what Tabs3 Connect has to offer.
Request your free trial or schedule a walkthrough demo to see how Tabs3 Software’s fully integrated suite of software products can revolutionize the way your law firm functions on a day-to-day basis, whether remotely or in the office.
The end of the year is always an important period for goal-setting and preparation in a legal practice. From business planning to year-over-year analysis, Q4 is the time to set your practice up for success in the year to come, especially when it comes to finance.
While the end of the year is critical for any business, it is also a time to celebrate, travel, and spend time with loved ones. These things are important, and it’s equally important to account for these disruptions in your end-of-year goals. After all, the holidays can take weeks of productivity away from teams as they split hours between work and home.
At this time of the year, efficiency is the name of the game. With the right tools to help you accomplish your goals faster, it is in fact possible to achieve a balance between these competing priorities. From billing and trusts to accounts payable and long-term analyses, there are a number of systems that can help your team complete robust financial business planning, whether they’re in the office or working from home.
Stay on top of your goals and check off items on your to-do list faster by using the right software for your team. Tabs3 Platinum enables attorneys to work smarter, so they can spend more time doing what matters.
Deal with Overdue Accounts
Many business owners have experienced the frustration of trying to collect on past-due accounts. Before you begin, you need to know which accounts are past due and how late they are before you can take action. With Tabs3 Platinum, users can run advanced reporting on accounts receivable.
The Accounts Receivable by Timekeeper Report breaks down clients with receivables by working timekeeper. This helps your billing department understand which attorneys may need collections assistance, opening up opportunities to better support your team. The report also makes it easier to see how much each timekeeper is currently owed, which presents a clear view of priorities for collections.
If the customer is having cash flow problems, consider using Tabs3Pay to schedule payments ahead of time or offer payment plans for your clients.
Best of all, Tabs3 Platinum compiles all of your data for you faster than ever before. With its accelerator feature, users can get reports, filtering, and column sorting 10-30 times faster. For legal practices with large data sets, lots of users, or a congested network, this can save your team significant time.
Stay on top of appointments during the holiday season
It is all too easy to let meetings and appointments slip through the cracks with everything that goes on during the holidays. Emails can get lost in your inbox amongst the plethora of “season’s greetings” messages.
Rather than frantically tracking down colleagues or rummaging through your own inbox to find a meeting invite, use Tabs3 Platinum’s eNote and Exchange Connector features to stay on top of your team’s schedule even when you are away from the office.
eNote is an in-office messaging tool built into PracticeMaster. It allows users to send quick messages that won’t get lost in an email inbox, such as links to appointments or any other record for quick reference. When you receive an eNote, it pops up on your screen, and you can easily reply, forward, or dismiss it. With the Platinum Edition, you can send or receive eNotes on any internet enabled device.
On the other hand, Platinum’s Exchange Connector synchronizes PracticeMaster calendars and contacts with Microsoft 365. Through the Exchange Connector, appointments and contacts on your smart device are synchronized with PracticeMaster, even if your computer is off. By keeping information synced between devices, communication and keeping track of appointments is easier to manage.
As an added bonus, people at the office will be able to see appointments that you add on any device, so you don’t have to constantly go back and forth on scheduling.
Remote working for the holidays
The holidays are a time to gather with loved ones, relax, and look forward to the year to come. They are also a time when colleagues may rely on remote working to tie up any loose ends in the current calendar year. And with travel, remote working, and a hectic atmosphere, cyber threats are amplified during holidays. It’s important to ensure that your team is taking the proper precautions with sensitive financial and client data.
While remote working can be difficult without the proper software in place, Tabs3 makes it easy! Tabs3 Connect provides access to Tabs3 Billing and PracticeMaster when you are away from the office. Users can access the Matter Manager, clients, contacts, calendar, fees, and costs from a phone, tablet, laptop, or computer at home. So even if you end up on your in-laws’ desktop PC, we’ve still got you covered.
Furthermore, Tabs3 Connect allows attorneys to enter fees and costs, check their calendar, view documents, and more with ease from anywhere in the world. To protect data security, sensitive client information is stored on the law firm server, rather than on attorneys’ mobile devices.
To achieve secure remote access, pair a VPN with your remote access software of choice. Remote access software provides secure access to your legal practice management software through an internet connection between your office server and home computer. When configured properly, remote access software gives your legal staff secure access to all Tabs3 Software features from almost anywhere. With this method, only a minimal amount of data travels between attorneys’ home devices and office computers.
By working with a secure remote access software, you can spend less time worrying about security or data breaches, and more time achieving your end-of-year goals. With over 40 years of experience providing cutting-edge legal technology to law firms just like yours, Tabs3 software is built to uphold the industry’s strictest compliance and data security regulations.
Peace of mind features
To protect your data, Tabs3 Platinum enables HotBackUps, which allows users to back up data at any time, even when others are working. Users can start a backup whenever they want, or schedule them in advance to occur throughout the day. What’s more, they can control how many backups are stored on their server, and where the backups are stored.
Users can work without fear of data loss from poor network connections or power outages through the Auto-Recovery function. If something goes wrong, Auto-Recovery restores your data to a reliable, usable state, reducing the risk of data corruption.
See the results for yourself
You can achieve your end-of-year goals without working into the midnight hours or staying at your desk during the holidays.
Check out the Platinum Edition product page to learn more about what Tabs3 Connect has to offer. Request your free trial or schedule a walkthrough demo to see how Tabs3 Software’s fully integrated suite of software products can revolutionize the day-to-day functioning of your law firm.
October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Secure technology is important to all industries, but it is especially important for law firms to ensure high levels of cybersecurity.
As a lawyer, you are certainly aware that you have an ethical and legal obligation to protect your clients’ information. As stated in the American Bar Association (ABA) Rule 1.6: Confidentiality of Information, “a lawyer shall make reasonable efforts to prevent the inadvertent or unauthorized disclosure of, or unauthorized access to, information relating to the representation of a client.”
This means that, in the event of a cyberattack, even if you are not at fault, you and your law firm will be held responsible for any data breaches that affect clients. And data breaches are not uncommon. According to ABA’s 2021 Legal Technology Survey Report, 25% of respondents reported a data breach (such as a lost or stolen device, hacker, break-in, or website exploit) at some point.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect your firm and clients’ sensitive data against cyber threats: using secure tools, implementing effective backup and recovery, training employees to use best cybersecurity practices, and more.
Not sure where to start? Keep reading to learn about how Tabs3 can enhance your law firm’s cybersecurity.
Five ways that Tabs3 supports a secure legal practice
1. Secure file sharing
When you share sensitive documents via email, flash drive, or even paper files, you run the risk of having lost, misplaced, or stolen data. Even if your clients give you the green light to send unsecured information, it’s your responsibility to follow the law by protecting their confidentiality.
With software integrations like LexShare, a file-sharing software that provides bank-level security measures, you and your clients can collaborate from anywhere, sharing confidential information without compromising data security or compliance. Not only does this offer an extra layer of protection against hackers, but it also allows you to share files of any size, a feature often limited by email capabilities.
In a world that is becoming increasingly virtual, the thought of scheduling a time to meet with your clients to obtain a signature in person can be daunting. As noted above, though, companies and consumers alike are aware that choosing to share files and obtain signatures via email can increase your risk of data breaches.
This is where eSignature comes into the picture. With LexSign, you can share files and obtain signatures in just a few clicks. This feature significantly increases client convenience and improves your law firm’s workflows, and it also deploys secure cloud technology to prevent files from being tampered with, stolen, or lost.
3. Tabs3 Connect
While Tabs3 software secures the technology at your firm, you may be wary of accessing your information from another location or device and putting yourself at risk of a cybersecurity breach. It’s understandable that you would have this concern. But with the right software, there is no reason to worry.
Tabs3 Connect allows for secure, efficient remote work by providing mobile access to your Tabs3 software. Use your smartphone to enter fees and costs, access documents, schedule appointments, and more, without worrying about data security. Our state-of-the-art technology ensures that encrypted data stays where it belongs and will never be stored on someone else’s server or even on your device (should it be lost or stolen).
4. Data Encryption
While it’s important to protect your data when working remotely or when sharing documents, it is equally important to protect your internal files. Encrypting your files helps your firm protect data that contains sensitive information by preventing files from being read by software other than Tabs3 Billing or PracticeMaster.
This Platinum feature adds a layer of security to your data without compromising functionality. As an additional layer of protection, you can restrict access even further by determining which software users can interact with encrypted files.
5. Security benefits of on-premise software
While much has been said about the security benefits of cloud-based software, it’s important to distinguish the advantages of on-premises software. On-premise software allows law firms significantly more control over how software and servers are configured, as well as where and how data is stored. The ability to customize means that compliance requirements for personally identifiable information, data retention, and data storage may be easier to meet. You can work closely with your IT staff and any technology consultants to come up with a plan that meets your law firm’s unique needs.
On-premises software also is more convenient to access if your practice needs to conduct security audits. Security audits are a smart way to ensure that your practice is taking all the necessary steps to protect client information.
Secure your law firm with Tabs3
With Tabs3 Software, you can improve workflows while also gaining the peace of mind that your firm and clients’ sensitive information is safe from cyber-attacks.
October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, a collaborative effort between The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCA) to raise global awareness about cybersecurity.
Why is this important to law firms, though?
According to the American Bar Association (ABA)’s 2021 Legal Technology Survey Report, 25% of respondents reported a law firm breach at some point. With the vast amount of sensitive, valuable information involved in the day-to-day tasks of legal work, it’s no surprise that law firms, and their legal technology, are a common target for hackers.
To keep your firm and clients protected from cyberattacks, it’s important that you implement strong company-wide cybersecurity practices. Read on to learn more about the importance of secure technology for law firms.
Unsecure technology risks for law firms
Cybersecurity attacks can result in compromised communications, loss of access to essential information, data leaks, loss of trust in your law firm, and even malpractice claims.
These attacks don’t just impact your law firm, though. They also put your clients at risk. As a lawyer, you have ethical and legal obligations to protect your clients’ information. As stated in ABA Rule 1.6: Confidentiality of Information, “a lawyer shall make reasonable efforts to prevent the inadvertent or unauthorized disclosure of, or unauthorized access to, information relating to the representation of a client.”
Additionally, three ABA formal opinions you should be familiar with include:
- ABA Formal Opinion 477R: Securing Communication of Protected Client Information
- ABA Formal Opinion 483: Lawyers’ Obligations After an Electronic Data Breach or Cyberattack
- ABA Formal Opinion 498: Virtual Practice
Even in the event of a cyberattack, you as a lawyer can be held responsible for any privacy breach that affects your clients.
Five ways to secure your law firm’s technology
To protect your law firm from cyber-attacks, it’s important to stay up-to-date with technology best practices and implement company-wide cybersecurity policies. The five tips below are a great place to start.
1. Be cautious with emails
Emails are common targets for phishing scams. Some common traits of phishing include:
- Offers or statements that are too good to be true
- Odd requests with a sense of urgency
- Attachments that are unexpected or don’t seem to make sense
If you receive an out-of-character email from a colleague or client, check the email address to see if it’s legitimate. If you’re unsure about a link, hover over the link to see where it goes, and if it’s a popular site, be sure to check that everything is spelled correctly. If you find an email to be suspicious, it never hurts to get a second opinion or confirm with the sender through another form of communication.
2. Browse safely
Whether it’s a pop-up, fake site, or questionable link, one wrong click can harm your device in a matter of seconds. When you’re working online, there are a few steps you can take to avoid compromising your data or device.
For example, make sure you’re using Google Chrome as your default browser to access your preferred legal journal. This will allow you to add privacy extensions to block activity such as spying ads and hidden trackers.
It’s especially important to browse safely when you’re working remotely. If you’re away from your secure workplace network, use a virtual private network (VPN) to hide your IP address and keep your browsing activity from being tracked. This is crucial when accessing legal documents or transmitting client information.
3. Use secure passwords
How many online accounts do you log in to on a regular basis? Ideally, each of these accounts should have its own unique password. If your accounts share the same password, keep in mind that one compromised account likely means multiple compromised accounts.
In addition to having strong, unique passwords, you should also change them on a regular basis to keep them hack-proof. It’s also a good idea to enable two-factor authentication, which adds an additional layer of security to your accounts.
If you’re concerned about being locked out of your own accounts, consider implementing a password management tool such as 1Password or LastPass to keep your passwords safe, secure, and all in one place.
You’ll also want to train everyone at your law firm, from paralegals to partners, on how to create secure passwords and remind them of the dangers of sharing or reusing passwords.
4. Prepare an incident response plan
According to the ABA’s 2021 Legal Technology Survey, only 36% of respondents said their firm has an incident response plan (IRP). While implementing an IRP can be an expensive and time-consuming process, the aftermath of a cyberattack or data breach can be far more costly.
Your IRP should include provisions for cybersecurity issues and natural disasters alike.
5. Use secure practice management technology
With remote work on the rise, now is a good time to invest in practice management software that keeps your law firm up-to-date, efficient, and secure.
Secure file-sharing software eliminates the need for sharing sensitive information through emails, flash drives, and paper documents. Not only does this allow you to access your files from anywhere, but it also helps to protect your clients’ confidentiality and keep your firm compliant.
Keep your law firm secure with Tabs3
Our reliable, easy-to-use practice management software is designed to help law firms boost productivity, stay organized, and maintain client confidentiality. With secure file-sharing and e-signature features, clients can rest assured that their data is protected.
For added security, try the Platinum edition, which includes:
- Tabs3 Connect, which allows for more efficient remote work
- HotBackup, which backs up your data on an ongoing basis
- Auto-Recovery, which protects your data from power outages, lost network connections, and data corruption
The end of the year can often be a hectic time for any business. From strategic planning to client appreciation and wrapping up long-term projects, it can be overwhelming to enter this quarter without a structured plan in place.
Instead of diving in headfirst, eliminate unnecessary stress and administrative tasks by sitting down and planning out your priorities for the end of the year. By cutting out the “should do’s” in favor of the “must do’s,” you can establish clarity about shared goals amongst attorneys and legal staff, and give your entire legal practice the gift of an easier end of the year.
Here are the steps you can take in Q4 for a strong wrap-up in 2022, and an even stronger start to 2023.
1. Check in with your business goals
Ideally, law firms should evaluate business goals every quarter, not just to see if you’re on track, but also to make sure that your current business goals still make sense for your firm. But time is a precious resource, and it’s normal for larger business goals to get lost in the day-to-day of running a profitable operation.
If that happens, then Q4 is the time to check in on the goals you set at the start of the year. Take a look and assess them to decide if they’re still applicable. Then, pick your path:
- If they aren’t, set them aside and craft appropriate new short-term goals for the end of the year
- If your original business goals are still relevant, identify what steps you can take in the next few months to achieve them
This process is a good opportunity to reflect on why achieving certain business goals ended up taking a back seat. What could you do next year to ensure that they remain an ongoing priority?
2. Review your KPIs
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are the metrics we use to evaluate success. Q4 is the perfect time to review how you’ve performed against the KPIs you set for yourself. Where is there room for improvement? Where did you go above and beyond, and what made that possible? What KPIs are unrealistic, or impractical?
Focus on the KPIs that matter, and make sure that you’re reviewing your firm’s performance against only the most relevant metrics, so you can gain a more accurate picture of overall successes or opportunities for improvement.
3. Identify areas to improve operational and administrative processes
Operational and administrative processes can be some of the most time-consuming (and least billable) tasks in a business. In Q4, take the time to review them and evaluate how you can increase efficiency while eliminating pain points or redundant manual work.
For example, tasks related to billing and calendar tracking are all too often pushed to the last minute, or late in the evening when everyone else has gone home. Consider billing management software that can automate these tedious tasks and sync data to cut down on administrative work.
For example, Tabs3 Financials are specifically designed to increase efficiency and improve accounting processes for law firms. With minimal setup and no workarounds needed to satisfy bar association compliance requirements, you can print financial statements, write checks, reconcile bank statements, and manage client trust accounts in one easy-to-use and fully integrated system.
4. Analyze growth goals for next year
Review your strategic priorities for 2023 and consider where you can cut down on costs or increase growth. Whether it’s ramping up marketing efforts, improving billing efficiency, or growing your client base, there are always opportunities to enhance existing processes.
For example, perhaps you want to focus on attracting clients that are a better fit for your particular legal practice. Teams can use the billing and collections process to improve your client base. Take a look at your best clients and consider how you can optimize a retainer to incentivize them to continue with your practice.
Alternatively, look at clients that regularly pose slow-payment issues, demand excessive discounting, or are otherwise disproportionately problematic. Are these clients the right fit for your firm? Or would letting them go free up time needed to focus on clients who are a better fit for your team?
5. Connect with your clients
Many people use the end of the year to review what’s working and what isn’t, and that includes your clients. Build a strong fourth quarter by revisiting your client relationships and seeing how they can improve. Now is a great time to follow up on past clients, check in with your current ones, and listen to their priorities for the coming months.
If you understand your clients’ needs, you’ll be better positioned to advocate for your firm and discuss how you can help with their upcoming issues. This time is also ideal for sharing new services or end-of-year promotions with clients.
Furthermore, connecting with your clients and listening to their feedback with an open mind is an important opportunity to learn what your firm could be doing better. Rather than just shaking hands and thanking them for their business, capitalize on this interaction to ask for their thoughts about your services. When done right, this will make your client feel valued and heard, and provide you with important considerations to take back to your practice’s stakeholders.
6. Plan for the holidays in advance
Q4 is full of holidays and celebrations, and it can also be the month of endless client gifts: cards, gift baskets, and other tokens of appreciation pile up on countless desks. It can be hard to stand out from every other business.
To ensure your firm isn’t lost in the crowd, don’t treat the holiday season as a rote chore. Start planning early to brainstorm, plan, and execute a holiday marketing plan that fits your goals and priorities. Rather than just mailing out a standard gift, be intentional with your holiday plans. Tailor your gifts and marketing to your clients’ needs and be sure to leave time for connecting with clients and other practices on a social level.
7. Start your 2023 marketing plan
Marketing is an important part of any business, and that includes legal practices. Use this time to realistically evaluate your existing marketing plan and how you can improve it in 2023.
You can examine your marketing through a number of different lenses:
- Are you exceeding or underutilizing your marketing budget? If so, why?
- Are you intentionally focusing your marketing efforts with a clear plan for strategic growth priorities, or are you just going through the motions?
- Are your marketing efforts focusing on the areas of your practice with the most growth or profit potential?
- How are you evaluating your marketing? What data metrics are you using, and are those the right marketing KPIs?
- Are your marketing efforts reaching your desired audience?
- How can your marketing efforts be more efficient and deliver better results?
These are all important questions to ask when designing an effective 2023 marketing plan and can help build a better strategic agenda in the coming year.
Kick off a successful Q4 with Tabs3
With a robust suite of practice management, time tracking, billing, and accounting tools designed specifically to meet the needs of busy law firms, Tabs3 Software has all the necessities to help you achieve your law office’s goals, both in Q4 and 2023.
Experience the difference that Tabs3 software can make! Schedule your free walkthrough demo today.