Bookkeeping

Legal Billing/Accounts Receivable

Law firms generally operate on a "cash basis" which is a fancy way of saying that your income is based on the client payments you receive every month rather than on the invoices you send to the clients, whether paid or not.  Non-legal industry bookkeeping solutions such as Quickbooks (Online or Desktop), Wave, or Xero, do not handle accounts receivable on a cash basis, and they have a very specific way in which they enter the payments received into your system.  The person generating your invoices and entering payments received must have a detailed understanding of how the system works, because entering even just one payment in the wrong way can mess up your books for good. We are more than able to use the non-legal billing programs to bill for law firms, as our staff has experience with that.  We do recommend, however, that our clients use dedicated legal billing programs for all sorts of reasons, including that industry specific billing programs allow you to more easily bill for special legal services such as flat fee cases and contingent fee cases.


Our staff is well versed in generating statements and invoices in both dedicated legal and non-legal bookkeeping programs. Our staff has the knowledge to make sure that your legal bills are properly generated and that payments received from the clients are entered correctly into the system. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step to freeing you and your staff from the time consuming administrative task of legal billing.

Accounts Payable

Payments to firm vendors are the easiest transactions for staff to enter into a firm's bookkeeping system. If this information is entered incorrectly or is not entered into the system at all because the staff member was too busy to do it, then partners will have trouble making accurate financial plans for the upcoming month. For example, if the expenses aren't entered or are entered incorrectly, it could result in the firm thinking it has more money available for the upcoming month which could result in the firm spending money it didn't actually have. Since billable matters take precedent over bookkeeping tasks, it is easy for staff members to put aside bookkeeping tasks for weeks or months which could seriously impact your firm's ability to accurately forecast net income and funds available for firm obligations.


Our staff will not put data entry tasks aside as that is part of what we do all day, every day. When we handle your accounts payable you can rest assured that at the end of the month we will be able to reconcile your account quickly and you will have an accurate report of your net income and funds available for upcoming firm obligations. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards having up-to-date books.

Reconciliations

Month-end and year-end reconciliations are extremely important to the financial health of your firm. Reconciliations allow your bookkeeper to make sure that all data has been entered correctly into your bookkeeping system, that all payments were to legitimate payees, that all income received actually made it to the bank.  A reconciliation should be completed by a person who is not responsible for issuing the checks or for making deposits to the bank. This allows you to be sure that no one is issuing checks against your account and hiding that fact by not entering it into your bookkeeping system.  Reconciliations also help you guarantee that the firm's profit and loss statement and other financial reports are accurate at month end and year end so that you can safely rely on them for making financial decisions.


Our staff has experience reconciling accounts at month-end and year end. We take our responsibility seriously and will track down any discrepancies to determine whether the error was due to a data entry error, or whether it was due to something else.  We will report to you immediately if we find any problems so that you can deal with them before they get any larger. Contact us today and take the first steps towards having peace of mind that your books are accurate and that all of your income and expenditures are accurately recorded in your bookkeeping system.

Client Responsibilities

Whether your bookkeeper works remotely or on site, her success depends on your willingness to provide the most up-to-date financial documents in a timely manner. This means that you must have a system for tracking all financial transactions such as payments received, checks that go out, loans, etc. We recommend that you make a copy of all financial documents including checks received, accounts receivable credit card payment slips, loan documents, and payment confirmation emails from vendors.  It is imperative that you share these documents with your bookkeeper on a regular basis. We also recommend that you obtain copies of your bank statements as soon as they become available online and that you share the prior month's statements with your bookkeeper within the first week of each month. Month-end and year-end reconciliations can be seriously delayed if the bookkeeper doesn't receive the necessary information in a timely manner. We do our best to help you set up processes and develop systems to provide these documents to us.  The tools for success are in your hands.  Please contact us if you require help in developing efficient and routine processes to get your financial documents and data to your bookkeeper.