We selected PCLaw as the best overall all-in-one law firm accounting software because it offers everything you need in one package. At its core, the best accounting software for law firms makes it easier to follow accounting and bookkeeping best practices. It should be user-friendly, designed for the unique needs of the legal industry, and easy-to-access when you need it. In most cases, this means cloud-based legal accounting software that integrates with your existing tech stack.

  • While QuickBooks Online is extremely customizable, it has no legal-specific features that law firms need, such as trust accounting, legal billing, and legal-specific reports.
  • Tabs3 is part of the Tabs3 / PracticeMaster suite of law firm software.
  • You can go with an accrual or cash accounting method in the US, and the difference is mostly about timing.
  • They ensures compliance with state regulations and allow you to focus on what you do best – practicing law.

But they do not provide the “rest of accounting,” and instead integrate with applications like QuickBooks to complete the picture. Law Practice Management, Billing, and Accounting are three related but discreet functions. Each can be managed with different software (or in an all-in-one software suite).

Entering numbers manually often leads to mistakes and duplicated data entry in the accounting process. This results in wasted time, mismatched records, billing complications, and even compliance violations. There are QuickBooks resellers that are experienced with implementing it in the legal space.


QuickBooks Desktop is the classic, full-featured accounting software that runs on Windows PC’s. QuickBooks Online is Intuit’s cloud-based (web-based) edition, which provides much, but not all, of the classic Desktop functionality. Accounting is an essential function of any business, and law firms are no exception.

  • The chart of accounts for law firms should include the IOLTA or trust account, as well as a trust liability account (to offset and show that the funds in the IOLTA account are not the law firm’s).
  • Cloud-based solutions allow legal professionals to access financial data and manage accounts from anywhere, at any time, fostering enhanced flexibility and productivity.
  • As long as you have an internet connection, you can access QuickBooks anytime, anywhere on your device of choice.
  • Detailed guides, customer support, and training sessions are often available to assist law firms in adapting to the new system efficiently.
  • See how one law firm uses LexWorkplace to organize their documents and streamline their practice.

However, with online legal accounting software, it’s easy to quickly produce reports that give you the insights you need—whether you need reports on sales, expenses, taxes, or other metrics. Some even have report customization options to get a clear view of what you care about most. Clio is practice management software for case management, billing, accounting and client intake to support your firm’s practice at every stage of the client journey. You can track your billable hours using multiple timers to switch between cases. Use the app for iOS or Android to track time and access case information when you’re out of the office.

For law firms looking to streamline these aspects, Rocket Matter is a suitable choice. ActionStep offers critical features such as case and workflow management, time recording, and billing. It seamlessly integrates with popular tools such as Microsoft 365, Xero, and QuickBooks, making data synchronization across platforms efficient. Suppose  you choose accounting software that automatically syncs payroll functionality with time-tracking and expense apps. In that case, you can also generate pay runs with the click of a button, for better efficiency. We’ll also show you how legal accounting software can make the whole process easier (and more effective).

Keeping accurate records of your law firm’s accounts is a challenging yet vital part of running a legal practice. When it comes to accounting for law firms, there’s no one “right” method (though you may be required to take on the accrual method). Some software platforms allow you to use accrual-based books for monthly management of the firm while also creating cash-basis annual net income statements for preparing tax returns. Look into the pros and cons of both methods for your firm, then be consistent going forward to ensure your records are accurate and easy to track. Legal billing is complex compared with billing in other small businesses. Legal billing structures are unique, and lawyers are subject to strict ethics and accounting regulations.

Steps to Choosing Law Firm Accounting Software

A retainer agreement helps establish terms for your services and payment. Learn how to set up your own retainer agreements and improve stability for your practice. All QuickBooks Online plans come with a one-time Guided Setup with an expert and customer support. Track and analyze cases or clients that drive the most revenue to capitalize with better planning and resource allocation. Kelly is an SMB Editor specializing in starting and marketing new ventures.


TimeSolv offers a broad range of features including detailed time tracking, bookkeeping, invoicing, and expense tracking. It integrates seamlessly with tools like QuickBooks, Dropbox, and LawPay, which can help streamline workflow and improve efficiency. Sage Intacct boasts high-quality features including cash management, real-time financial dashboards, and revenue recognition management. It also offers strong integration capabilities with platforms such as Salesforce, Avatax, and Nexonia, ensuring a seamless work flow across various business functions.

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TrustBooks provides comprehensive Trust/IOLTA accounting with three-way reconciliation, trust audit reports and more. TrustBooks is cloud-based which means you run it from a web browser. Juris comes in two packages, Juris Core (it’s more entry-level product) and Juris Suite, it’s more comprehensive edition. Both come with rich accounting and a strong set of financial and billing reports. Tabs3 has been around a long time, and has a reputation for being a robust accounting platform, backed by excellent user support.

Why We Chose QuickBooks Online with LeanLaw

It’s also a strong fit for nonprofit organizations, which can use the software for free. Other systems allow for electronic fund transfer (EFT) payments via automated clearing house (ACH) processing as well as PayPal gateways. Automatically generates client invoices based on the billable time recorded in the system. Bills can be delivered via email, or electronically in Legal Electronic Data Exchange Standard (LEDES) format.

Types of Law Firm Accounting Software

And you’ll get access to conflicts management, trust accounting and ABA task codes. CARET Legal (formerly Zola Suite) is a good fit for legal professionals seeking a legal accounting software with strong CRM features. It is also a great fit for firms handling a large volume of documents every day, especially if you’re using Office 365 or Google Workspace. TimeSolv Pro, which offers basic legal billing and matter management features, starts at $27.95 per user, per month, for one to nine users. With CosmoLex, you can track and manage tasks and activities, capture billable hours, accept contingent, flat, or hourly fees, and accept payments with LawPay.

Some legal accounting solutions also handle trust accounting functionality including dispersing funds, maintaining accurate records, and printing checks. The software will also make it easy to run bank reconciliations regularly and manage client investments. Trust accounting is more specific to the legal industry; therefore, generic accounting options don’t usually offer these features. Legal accounting software helps law firms track time, bill clients, manage schedules and monitor business performance with financial reports.