Taking the Pain Out of Accounting

With reporting and reconciliation season upon us, paralegals’ thoughts naturally turn to better ways to keep track of financials and case matters. These days, those issues include the cloud.

A group of Ontario-based paralegals gathered on January 18 to get educated on what cloud-based practice management is, and how products such as uLawPractice can help to ensure compliance with regulations around proper financial reporting.

Held at the North York Library Auditorium, the free “lunch & learn” covered the basics of what cloud technology is, and how it can make routine but necessary tasks easier, while helping to ensure compliance with the Law Society’s financial reporting requirements. Presented by the Ontario Paralegal Network, the information session targeted solo and small legal services providers who worry about practice audits. Proper bookkeeping is not the main reason paralegals got into the field, but failing to meet minimum standards can have severe consequences. This is among the pain points that uLaw seeks to alleviate.

Spend more time on advocacy, and less on accounting, by leveraging cloud technology to seamlessly blend case management and bookkeeping
Terry Curtis, CEO of uLawPractice and an expert on cloud technology, said paralegals should assess various products before deciding which solution is best for their practice. Some products are not truly available any time, anywhere, Curtis noted. Privacy regulations may not be as rigorous as necessary, and some systems do not offer integration with existing products. Important points include operational, efficiency and return on investment issues.

During the demonstration of uLaw’s practice management system, from initial client interview, to closing-out a file, the large audience asked specific questions about functionality. Presenters explained how the Ottawa-based firm has worked with customers, continually adapting the system to respond to concerns and suggestions. Generated court forms, reports, invoices, and even customized letters to clients, are among the functions that have been tweaked based on uLaw client feedback.

uLaw’s system lets paralegals maximize time spent on client advocacy and revenue-generating activities, with minimal time devoted to meeting back-end, non-revenue generating financial requirements. This frees time for working with clients, with less worry about meeting Law Society requirements, participants heard. Accounting elements are pushed to the background, as the system tracks the critical elements of accounts receivable and payable, trust account updates, disbursements, docketing and invoicing. Rich data is always available and exportable. Users can generate ledgers, check trust account transfers, and study business assessment analytics.

Presenters explained some “stupid-proof” features that add peace of mind for uLaw clients, including a check that prevents overdraws on trust accounts.

To learn more about uLawPractice, or sign-up for less than $1 a day for a yearly plan, visit the firm’s site.

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