Centerbase Blog

CRM systems can help your law firm create a client-focused environment where your clients feel valued — while your firm reaps other benefits.

Improve Your Law Firm’s Client Experience With CRM and Intake Software

Client relationship management (CRM) systems can help your law firm create a client-focused environment where your clients feel valued — while your firm reaps other benefits. Through organization and enhanced efficiency, CRM software helps your law firm maintain and strengthen business relationships. CRMs can help you keep your eye on the prize by prioritizing clients and ensuring that no growth opportunity goes unnoticed.

But it can be hard to decide which CRM is right for you. Multiple law firm CRM options are available today in the market. In this blog, we’ll guide you through what to consider as you evaluate the best solution for your law practice.

When evaluating new technology, you should also think about your firm’s day-to-day operations and how those procedures lend themselves to your practice management software requirements.

How to Determine the Practice Management Features & Requirements That Best Meet Your Law Firm’s Needs

Recently, we wrote a blog about the timekeeping, billing, and accounting features you may want from your legal practice management solution. However, those requirements likely don’t include anything related to calendaring and task management, document and email management, workflows and automation, or communication tools.

When evaluating new technology, you should also think about your firm’s day-to-day operations and how those procedures lend themselves to your practice management software requirements.

Applying disciplined legal project management also helps lawyers build greater consistency around law firm processes, which, in turn, delivers greater predictability, meeting client expectations regarding cost and experience.

Why Law Firms Should Invest in Legal Project Management

Through proactive planning, risk management, budgeting, and resource allocation, legal project management helps law firms streamline the work they do on legal matters. Applying disciplined legal project management also helps lawyers build greater consistency around law firm processes, which, in turn, delivers greater predictability, meeting client expectations regarding cost and experience. Combine these benefits of legal project management with technology, and lawyers can achieve their growth and client satisfaction goals faster and with less effort than ever before.

When evaluating new technology, you should start with thinking more about your firm’s day-to-day operations and how those procedures lend themselves to your requirements.

Are You Getting the Timekeeping, Billing, and Accounting Features You Want From Your Legal Practice Management Solution?

You’re probably constantly in the process of putting together a requirements list to include certain solutions, but let’s dig a little deeper into the questions you should be asking to ensure you’re getting the timekeeping, billing, and accounting features you want from your legal practice management software solution.

Legal billing software can save your lawyers and firm hours upon hours by automating routine tasks.

Everything You Need to Know About Law Firm Billing and Collections

Billing seems like a simple process, and it can be. But you’re reading this blog post — and we wrote it — because we both know it’s usually not. There are ample opportunities for bottlenecks: delays in opening a new matter, attorneys not logging billable hours in time, reviewing attorneys sitting on approvals, bills being sent out late, and everything in between.

Your firm relies on getting paid and paid quickly to stay afloat. A clean, concise, and consistent billing process is the way to ensure that happens.

Software Consultant

Should Your Law Firm Work With a Software Consultant?

So you’re evaluating new legal technology; maybe you’ve already picked your vendor. Most software vendors today are set up for you to work directly with their team throughout your migration, go-live, training, and ongoing support period; however, they will also accommodate your firm if you choose to work with a practice management consultant.

How do you know if you should work with a software consultant? Use this blog as a guide to determine what will work best for your firm’s needs.

Law Firm Financial Reporting

The Eight Essential Financial Reports Your Law Firm Needs

Your firm might be brand new to data analytics, or maybe you’ve dipped a toe into the waters and have the basics down. Either way, keeping close, regular tabs on certain metrics and understanding financial reports will increase the effectiveness and efficiency of your firm and lawyers and, in turn, your law firm’s profitability. Technology can streamline this process and make collecting and interpreting your firm’s data easy.

This blog will provide a basic overview of legal reporting and analytics and tell you why they’re important and how they can help you intelligently run your firm. Then, we’ll go in-depth into the different kinds of financial reports your firm should be running to help you understand your bottom line.

Law firm matter management

A Law Firm’s Guide to Matter Management Systems

Your law firm’s matter management systems matter. In fact, they’re the lifeblood of your law firm. Why not look to tech to help achieve operational efficiency by moving to an all-inclusive legal technology platform?

So, where should you get started? Fortunately, this guide on matter management systems can walk you through the benefits of matter management and help you start moving forward to improve your practice.

4 Reasons Law Firms Are Moving Practice Management to the Cloud

4 Reasons Law Firms Are Moving Practice Management to the Cloud

If you are a law firm leader or administrator who is frustrated with the inconvenience of premise-based software, this blog post is for you.

We’ll explore the four big reasons that law firms are quickly moving to cloud-based legal practice management software and automating tedious aspects of legal operations, accounting, billing, and more: consistent availability, decreased downtime and IT issues, ease of internal changes, and improved security.

How to Begin Evaluating New Technology

How to Begin Evaluating New Technology

Many firms, upon deciding it’s time to evaluate new technology, make the mistake of immediately sprinting toward a solution, especially when they have been forced to react to address a sudden problem.

Diving headfirst into the search for a new practice management software completely forgoes a huge step (and arguably the most important one): meeting with the people who are going to use the software the most.

Centerbase

Paul Bridgewater Named Centerbase Chief Executive Officer and President; Appointed to Board of Directors

Centerbase, a leading provider of cloud-based legal technology for mid-sized law firms, announced today that Paul Bridgewater has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and President. Bridgewater succeeds current CEO and founder, John Forbes who has led Centerbase since its inception in 2015. Forbes will remain an active member on Centerbase’s Board of Directors.

Increase Your Law Firm’s Operational Efficiency With These Important Tips

Increase Your Law Firm’s Operational Efficiency With These Important Tips

If you’re the administrator of a small or midsize law firm, you’re probably wearing a lot of hats. In fact, you probably have a closet full! In short, if it’s part of day-to-day legal services operations, and it doesn’t involve the practice of law, it lands on your desk. (There is a desk somewhere under all of the piles, right?) That means when your firm’s leadership team wants to find new ways to increase efficiency and drive law firm profitability, those tasks are automatically yours too.

It’s a daunting task, no doubt. But fortunately, there are legal technology solutions that you can implement quickly so you can demonstrate progress toward your goal. Here’s a list of typical efficiency problems that plague law practices along with some suggestions for how to solve them:

Determining the right time to evaluate new technology

Determining the Right Time to Evaluate New Technology

Timing is everything. This old adage holds true even when thinking about upgrading technology. Maybe you’ve been on legacy software for years. Maybe you work entirely on paper. Perhaps you’re still dipping a fountain pen into an inkwell (by the way, if that’s the case – cool). Wherever you’re at, how do you know when it’s time to start evaluating new technology?

When firms begin to think about evaluating new software, two distinct mindsets come into play: reactive and proactive. Which one your firm holds will set the stage for how you kick off this process.

Law Firm Accounting Software

Your Guide to Legal Accounting Software

Mastering law firm accounting is no easy feat. However, the right legal accounting software can help you streamline these critical accounting functions. Join us as we explore what law firm accounting is and how legal accounting software (with the right features) can resolve your biggest accounting challenges and meet your firm’s needs.

How to Improve Law Firm Cash Flow

10 Best Practices for Enhancing Your Law Firm’s Cash Flow

No matter the current state of your law practice’s financial health, you’ll always find that there are opportunities to reduce costs, improve lawyer productivity, and get more cash in the door. If you’re struggling to keep your firm’s cash flow consistent, read on to discover ways you can take your law firm’s current cash flow to the next level.

Centerbase Acquires Legal Website Content Management System and Marketing Platform, Legalfit

Acquisition enables Centerbase to offer end-to-end client and matter lifecycle management, bolstering the company’s mission to power the growth of law firms. Centerbase, the leading provider of cloud-based legal technology...

In this article, we’ll introduce you to workflow, explain what workflow is, some of its benefits, and the different workflow tools available in legal practice management software to help you streamline your law firm.

Everything You Need to Know About Legal Workflow Automation and Why You Should Have It

What if we told you about a technology that would relieve 50% of the administrative burden from your legal operations professionals… would you be interested in hearing what we had to say? Of course you would!

In this blog, we’ll introduce you to workflow, explain what workflow is, some of its benefits, and the different workflow tools available in legal practice management software to help you streamline your law firm.

By getting the right legal practice management software in place, you’ll minimize friction in workflows, help lawyers enter time more regularly, and save the administrative staff at your firm time and headaches. Plus you’ll increase your firm’s profitability

Legal Time Tracking 101

It’s time to take your timekeeping to the next level.

We know the process of getting the lawyers at your firm to bill in a timely and accurate manner can be a struggle. By getting the right legal practice management software in place, you’ll minimize friction in workflows, help lawyers enter time more regularly, and save the administrative staff at your firm time and headaches. Plus you’ll increase your firm’s profitability. It’s a win-win-win-win.

If you’re looking for new ways to simplify your workload and manage all of your cases, you need a better system than Excel spreadsheets and a desk full of clutter. If you’re ready to look for a technological solution, look for a matter management and case management system that helps you keep every important detail in one place.

Matter Management vs. Case Management: Are They the Same or Different?

If you’re looking for new ways to simplify your workload and manage all of your cases, you need a better system than Excel spreadsheets and a desk full of clutter. If you’re ready to look for a technological solution, look no further than a matter management and case management system that helps you keep every important detail in one place. Read on for key features of matter management and case management software that can help you streamline your legal processes – leaving legal technology to do the legwork for you. We like the sound of that!

Every law practice can use dashboards to easily track financial metrics, make informed decisions, and grow their business.

16 Financial Metrics Your Law Firm Should Track With Dashboards

Dashboards help law firm leaders turn data into usable information to inform decision-making. A well-thought-out dashboard can benefit a law firm by driving productivity and helping the overall business development. Every law practice can use dashboards to easily track financial metrics, make informed decisions, and grow their business. Which metrics should your firm be tracking? Read on to find out.

At the end of the day, legal practice management software is superior to QuickBooks because it’s full-service technology with heightened functionality. It doesn’t fragment your processes and create more confusion. Instead, it streamlines workflows and incorporates billing and law firm accounting data to give unparalleled insights into your law firm’s overall health.

Should Your Law Firm Be Using QuickBooks?

Innovations in legal practice management software have changed the way that law firms do business. Technology is an incredible tool for law firms looking to streamline workflows and increase productivity, but how do you know which one to choose? While some software is fully integrated, others can only perform one function, like billing and accounting, client management, tracking metrics, or generating reports.

Let’s explore the most important features legal accounting and billing software should have. (Spoiler alert: QuickBooks is not the most efficient option.)

80% of a law firm’s revenue comes from just 20% of its clients. By focusing on retaining and improving the client experience for the top 20% of your current clients, you can significantly increase your revenue and grow your firm. One way to start the client experience off on the right foot is to offer a new client welcome kit.

6 Items to Include in a New Client Welcome Kit to Promote Client Retention

80% of a law firm’s revenue comes from just 20% of its clients. By spending too much time trying to turn unsatisfied clients into repeat customers, law firms ignore the happy, easygoing clients who make them money. This doesn’t mean ignoring other clients and their needs but instead using thoughtful business practices that allocate resources to get the most bang for your buck.

One way to start the client experience off on the right foot is to offer a new client welcome kit. Read on for six crucial items to include in your firm’s client welcome packet:

Legal reporting and analytics will undoubtedly help your law firm optimize its performance. Choosing smart legal analytics solutions and reporting tools makes it easy to develop a competitive advantage and keep your firm running smoothly all year long.

Give Your Law Firm a Competitive Edge with Legal Analytics and Reporting

The right reporting and analytics tools will undoubtedly help your law firm optimize its performance. Your firm’s leaders will be more empowered to make more strategic decisions because they’ll know just where the firm can and should grow, and where it should scale back. Choosing smart legal analytics solutions and reporting tools makes it easy to develop a competitive advantage and keep your firm running smoothly and efficiently all year long.

Find out how to maximize the value of your law firm data with the right tools here:

Since billing is arguably the most important administrative process in the legal profession, it’s a great place to start when you’re looking for ways to increase your firm’s productivity and profitability.

Billing Tips for Productivity and Profitability in an Insurance Defense Firm

It’s time to take your firm’s billing to the next level.

Since billing is arguably the most important administrative process in the legal profession, it’s a great place to start when you’re looking for ways to increase your firm’s productivity and profitability. In this blog, we’ll discuss some steps you can take to improve your insurance defense firm’s productivity and accelerate client payables.

The most important components of tax preparation are deadlines, organization, and documentation. With an awareness of potential tax deductions, and guidance from a skilled accountant, law firms can successfully navigate tax season.

A Law Firm’s Guide to Tax Season Preparation

Tax season can be a stressful time of year for law firm leaders and administrators, but there are some steps law firms can take to help alleviate that stress for a more seamless approach to tax season. The most important components of tax preparation are deadlines, organization, and documentation. With an awareness of potential tax deductions and guidance from a skilled accountant, law firms can successfully navigate tax season.

To continue to serve your clients most effectively, your firm must be operating efficiently. You must have a consistent cash flow that allows you to continue marketing campaigns, acquire clients, and hire new lawyers to do the work. The key to this is a comprehensive financial strategy.

The Complete Guide to Your Law Firm’s Finances

Financial well-being is an important piece of the law firm operations puzzle. To continue to serve your clients most effectively, your firm must be operating efficiently. You must have a consistent cash flow that allows you to continue marketing campaigns, acquire clients, and hire new lawyers to do the work.

The key to this is a comprehensive financial strategy. Here’s how you should get started building yours:

How can you take advantage of the benefits of modern technology to optimize the client experience at your law practice and maintain your clients’ confidentiality at the same time? There’s an easy answer: it’s called a client portal.

Why Your Law Firm Needs a Client Portal

While modern technology has changed the way that many lawyers connect with their clients, it hasn’t changed the fact that confidentiality is key when it comes to the attorney-client relationship. So, how can you take advantage of the benefits of modern technology to optimize the client experience at your law practice and maintain your clients’ confidentiality at the same time?

There’s an easy answer: it’s called a client portal.

One way that family law firms can make client intake easier for prospects is to offer a questionnaire that helps prepare clients for the information they need to share, so they can organize their thoughts and documents in advance.

A Family Law Firm’s Guide to Client Intake

Family law clients are facing some of the most trying situations of their lives when they find themselves in your law office. One way that family law firms can make the client experience easier for prospects is to offer a client intake form that helps prepare clients for the information they need to share, so they can organize their thoughts and documents in advance.

Read on to discover how an online intake form can help you make the most out of the intake process – and download our suggested template to get started on your own form today.

Firms want tools that help them handle routine tasks in a more efficient manner so they can save time and drive revenue. As such, two words will define the legal industry in 2022: streamlined and convenient. 

Ten Trends That Will Shape the Legal Industry in 2022

It’s no secret that the last two years have been filled with unprecedented challenges. Moving into 2022, the legal industry is taking the lessons learned from navigating these challenges and turning them into resources to support a successful year to come.

Firms want tools to help them handle routine tasks in a more efficient manner so they can save time and drive revenue. Keep reading to explore some of the trends that will drive these concepts and shape the legal industry in 2022.

By spending time now to build a strong legal operations team headed by an experienced, tech-savvy legal operations manager, you can modernize your firm and situate it to capitalize on future trends in legal operations.

What is a Legal Operations Manager?

You know that your law firm is a business, but only recently have firms started focusing on how to improve their business. By spending time now to build a strong legal operations team headed by an experienced, tech-savvy legal operations manager, you can modernize your firm and situate it to capitalize on future trends in legal operations. Join us as we uncover what a legal operations manager does and how having one at your law firm can increase efficiency.

Assembling a legal operations team might feel a bit daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Let’s take a closer look at what a legal ops team does and how you should go about building yours.

Your Guide to Building a Strong Legal Operations Team

A recent study from Bloomberg suggests that a third of law firms don’t have a dedicated legal operations function. If you’re considering whether your firm needs a dedicated legal ops professional, you may be wondering how deep to go down the rabbit hole in forming your team. Let’s take a closer look at what a legal ops team does and how you should go about building yours.

Every law firm should start 2022 with accurately balanced accounting that is ready for all that the new year will bring. However, doing so requires the complete closure of books from the 2021 fiscal year. While this annual process is typically easier for firms that have consistently updated their books monthly, those that wait until year’s end can still complete this important task successfully. This year-end closing process comes together through reconciling bank accounts, adjusting entries, and preparing financial statements for analysis.

Closing the Books for the 2021 Fiscal Year

Every law firm should start 2022 with accurately balanced accounting that is ready for all that the new year will bring. This year-end closing process comes together through reconciling bank accounts, adjusting entries, and preparing financial statements for analysis.

The following are some annual bookkeeping processes to help your law firm set the foundation for financial success in the coming year:

Evaluating end-of-year compensation for your attorneys may be the last thing (or, we’ll say it, most dreaded thing) on your to-do list as you work through closing the books for 2021.

Answers to Your 7 Biggest End of Year Attorney Compensation Questions

Evaluating end-of-year compensation for your attorneys may be the last thing (or, we’ll say it, most dreaded thing) on your to-do list as you work through closing the books for 2021.

There is some good news – you don’t have to go it alone. We were lucky enough to be joined on a webinar by Amanda Koplos, Executive Director, and Stephanie Donaldson, Controller, at Shuffield, Lowman & Wilson, P.A. They were gracious enough to share their own theories and best practices surrounding end-of-year compensation for attorneys. Here is what they had to say:

Tis the season for law firms to give back and expand on their charitable endeavors! Giving back helps firms solidify themselves as members of their communities with a vested interest in their people and their wellbeing, and also provides a powerful brand-building tool.

How Your Law Firm Can Give Back to the Community This Holiday Season

Tis the season for law firms to give back and expand on their charitable endeavors! Giving back helps firms solidify themselves as members of their communities with a vested interest in their people and their wellbeing, and also provides a powerful brand-building tool.

Join us as we explore the various aspects of law firm humanitarianism, including the benefits of giving back and some ways your law firm can serve its community this holiday season and throughout the year.

If you’re like most people, managing your clients’ funds is unfamiliar territory. Most of us don’t have an accounting background, and accounting isn’t a subject that’s included in law school curriculums. Join us as we give you a quick overview of the basics of attorney trust accounts and describe how you should manage settlement proceeds and other funds on behalf of a client.

Accounting for Lawsuit Settlement Payments: Tips for Handling Client Funds

If you’re like most people, managing your clients’ funds is unfamiliar territory. Most of us don’t have an accounting background, and accounting isn’t a subject that’s included in law school curriculums.

In this guide, we’ll give you an overview of the basics of attorney trust accounts and describe how you should manage settlement proceeds and other funds on behalf of a client.