One Thing Firm Admins Must Know about Financial Management Systems
Law firm financial management systems offer a number of benefits to the firms and people who use them on a day-to-day basis. In addition to improving security and privacy, being environmentally-friendly by going paperless, and increasing efficiency, financial management systems offer benefits that are harder to quantify but just as valuable.
By providing users the ability to gain powerful insights from real-time data, your financial management system can help your firm reach both its short-term and longer-term goals by being adaptable, flexible, and accessible.
Adaptable to the User
Implementing a financial management system with tons of bells and whistles is not going to do your firm much good if people are not going to use it. Employees need to not only understand what the system is and does; they also need to understand and be able to see how it will benefit them in their day-to-day work.
According to this Harvard Business Review article discussing the challenges that can come with gaining employee buy-in for a new system, companies that are implementing new firm technology can “Win employees’ hearts and minds by emphasizing how the new technology benefits the organization and makes employees’ lives easier.”
One of the best ways to get employee buy-in for a new law firm financial management system is by ensuring the system is adaptable and flexible. You want your firm’s partners, associates, paralegals and support personnel to be able to truly use the system in a way that helps them complete their tasks or work, without getting bogged down with unnecessary information or features they’ll never need to access or use.
Your financial management system should allow enough flexibility to allow users to customize what they see when they log in, and to customize how they actually use the system. When your systems allows users to make it their own, you should have greater adoption which should, in turn, lead to greater satisfaction, increased efficiency, and productivity gains.
Another way implementing a law firm financial management system can benefit your firm is by increasing functionality, making all of the routine things you are already doing on a daily or weekly basis faster and easier.
Look for a system that allows users to create templates and processes so they don’t need to reinvent the wheel to handle routine tasks. Billing, accounts receivable, and collections are great examples of where having standardized, system-generated processes and templated forms and reminders can be invaluable.
Another routine task that can be difficult and time-consuming to manage without law firm financial management software is the conflict avoidance system for your firm. In some firms, this process is still very much a manual process. Using a financial management system solution can automate the process, its workflows, and reporting, helping to free up valuable time and energy that can be spent on other project-related work.
When you evaluate and ultimately choose a financial management system for your law firm, it is important to consider not only how the system can help your firm today, but also how it can support and help drive growth in the coming years. With that in mind, system functionality – and how it can benefit your current and future staff – is both an important consideration and a big benefit.
Be Where You Work
In years past, business was conducted at the office or the client’s location, and that was that. However, in today’s fast-paced economy where so much of our lives are connected to technology, that old way of doing business is no longer the norm. It should come as no surprise that 94% of lawyers surveyed in in the latest American Bar Association Legal Technology Survey reported that they use a mobile device at home for law-related tasks, either regularly or occasionally.
You need technology solutions for your firm that will keep pace, allowing the firm’s partners, associates and other firm personnel to work remotely – whenever and wherever makes the most sense. Choose a financial management system that allows users to connect securely over the internet and that offers mobile connectivity. Doing so will help you serve clients more effectively and efficiently, ultimately helping you reach both short-term and long-term revenue goals.
Choose a law firm financial management system that offers web access, integration with other tools and systems like Outlook, and mobile time entry. Doing so will give users the flexibility they need to accomplish system tasks whenever, and wherever, they are.
When your system provides the option of accessing real-time data and stored files and creating and reviewing dynamic reports from anywhere, you will likely find that productivity goes up. A flexible financial management system can also lead to an increase in your employees’ happiness – a metric that is hard to quantify, but that can provide long-term benefits to your organization and to its clients.
Does Your Firm’s Financial Management System Offer These Benefits?
When your law firm’s financial management system is adaptable, provides for flexibility and customization, and allows for mobile connectivity and collaboration, you’ll be on your way to meeting the firm’s growth, income, and productivity goals.
If your system does not include this type of flexibility, it may be time to explore making a change. Your firm’s partners, associates, and other firm personnel will thank you.