In association with LawWare: Software for practice, case and accounts management is an important tool for your legal business. But do you know the real extent of what it can do?

After the initial rush to implement new software, some legal practices don't take the time to find out the extra value that it can offer. That means you could be working more effectively if only you knew about your software's full potential.

Let's try to uncover a few of the hidden benefits that exist in many systems.

Client relationship management

All law firms know that looking after clients is their number one priority. Using the information you already have stored within client records and case files such as names, addresses, DOB, gender, marital status and email address you can produce mailing lists, mailshots and filter information to generate reports unique to your business.

A virtual strongroom

This ties in with client care. Each item held within a virtual strongroom can be categorised -allowing you to quickly find items and generate reports. Strongroom supports you to add review dates and use the notifications and onscreen displays to ensure you are alerted to items that require your attention. It's also a great mechanism for keeping on top of the needs of existing clients and generating new business by setting review dates for wills and other important documents.

Document sharing

Most good practice management systems should offer some form of file-sharing or "dropbox" mechanism. This allows you to upload files for your colleagues to view and edit, increasing productivity and saving time.

Risk assessment and AML

Software with risk assessment and anti-money laundering features puts you one step ahead of the game when it comes to compliance. The risk assessment features allow you to input responses to risk-based questions and determine if the MLRO (money laundering reporting officer) is required to authorise the client before concluding that the firm may continue to act for them.

Similarly, anti-money laundering features allow you to add identification details to clients' records. These can include scanned copies of verification documents to calculate the risk at client and case file level. From there, you can add notifications and create reports that will show clients with money laundering information missing or expired and clients with a high-risk assessment score.

Reporting

No practice management and accounts software is complete unless it provides you with the ability to create management reports both to evaluate your firm's health and meet legal requirements. At the touch of a button you can generate reports for:

  • Profit and loss statements
  • Designated and loan accounts
  • Fee and credit control
  • Client trial balances
  • Balance sheets
  • List of fees outstanding
  • VAT period end draft reports

Tip of the iceberg?

These are just some of the hidden gems within your software. Others such as budgeting, credit control, electronic signatures, outsourced postroom and electronic forms, not to mention simple shortcut keys that can speed up your work rate, are worth taking a look at too.

As one of our clients recently said: "Until I took a closer look at what our system could do when used at even a fraction of its potential, I didn't realise just how much it contained, how that could make me much more efficient and my life much easier."

Above all, the key to getting the most out of your practice management system is having a supplier that has a dedicated Client Relationship team that is willing and able to guide you.

The Author

Graham Dingley, Client Relationship Manager, LawWare Ltd.

If you'd like to find out more about the potential of your LawWare software, please contact us on 0345 2020 578 or innovate@lawware.co.uk for a Client Healthcheck

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