Centerbase Blog

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.

By thoughtfully creating a budget ahead of the coming fiscal year, you can better align anticipated revenue and expense with your law firm’s goals. Successful budgeting involves critically thinking about your financial expectations so that strategies can be implemented to promote greater profitability and prevent financial pitfalls.

9 Tips for Setting Your Law Firm’s 2022 Budget

By thoughtfully creating a budget ahead of the coming fiscal year, you can better align anticipated revenue and expenses with your law firm’s goals. Successful budgeting involves critically thinking about your financial expectations so that strategies can be implemented to promote greater profitability and prevent financial pitfalls. These nine tips will help you build a solid budget for your law firm as you wind down this year and prepare for 2022:

Law firms are starting to embrace legal operations, realizing it has value for improving client service while driving down costs through better practice management.

The Evolving Role of Legal Operations in Law Firms

Are you running your law firm like a business? If yes, you’re ahead of the competition. If no, enter legal operations.

Law firms are starting to embrace legal operations, realizing it has value for improving client service while driving down costs through better practice management.

Let’s learn more about the evolving role of legal operations in law firms.

Wellness is not a one-size-fits-all concept because different people need different strategies to help them feel healthy and at their best. Wellness includes an improved work-life balance, better stress management, and a positive mindset that prioritizes self-care.

Everything You Need to Know About Wellness in the Legal Community

Studies show that mental, emotional, and physical health issues have become more common among legal professionals as they struggle to deal with the demands of their chosen careers. Wellness is not a one-size-fits-all concept because different people need different strategies to help them feel healthy and at their best. Wellness includes an improved work-life balance, better stress management, and a positive mindset that prioritizes self-care.

Firms are uniquely situated to address these issues by making wellness an aspect of their overall firm culture. Learn strategies to promote wellness here:

When law firm leaders fail to plan, implement, and enforce strict cybersecurity protocols, they are potentially exposing the firm to costly and damaging attacks. Though it will take some time and money to get adequate plans in place, when done correctly, it is one of the best investments a firm can make to deter fraudsters and keep client data secure.

Your Guide to Preventing Law Firm Cyberattacks

In this digital age, technology has become essential to the delivery of legal services. Law firms use tech tools for a variety of reasons, including matter management, calendaring, client communications, and billing. While this reliance on technology has helped law firms improve client relations and the provision of services, it has also made the legal industry a common target for cybercriminals looking to steal valuable client data.

When law firm leaders fail to plan, implement, and enforce strict cybersecurity protocols, they are potentially exposing the firm to costly and damaging attacks. Though it will take some time and money to get adequate plans in place, when done correctly, it is one of the best investments a firm can make to deter fraudsters and keep client data secure.

Centerbase Wins the NetDocuments Inspire 2021 Partner of the Year Award

Centerbase, a legal practice management software company that provides mid-sized law firms with a cloud-based platform to streamline operations, has been awarded the NetDocuments Inspire 2021 Partner of the Year Award.

Most law firm leaders do not enter the legal industry with an accounting background, but a basic understanding is important to ensure the proper management of your firm’s finances.

How to Navigate the World of Law Firm Accounting

Most law firm leaders do not enter the legal industry with an accounting background, but a basic understanding is important to ensure the proper management of your firm’s finances. Decisions about billing processes, the acceptance of payments, and trust accounting form the foundation for a firm’s financial success. Therefore, it is critical for law firms of all sizes to properly position their financial systems. It will not only save time and boost profitability but will also prevent several potentially serious compliance issues.

A lot goes into navigating the world of law firm accounting. Let’s explore some of those vital components:

Whether seeking to attract new attorneys out of law school, entice lateral hires, or retain current members, law firms are taking unprecedented steps away from tradition in hopes of engaging and keeping top legal talent.

The Evolving Dynamics of Recruiting and Retaining Law Firm Talent

The landscape of law firm recruitment is changing dramatically. Whether seeking to attract new attorneys out of law school, entice lateral hires, or retain current members, law firms are taking unprecedented steps away from tradition in hopes of engaging and keeping top legal talent.

Conventional considerations like compensation, promotion potential, and bonuses remain part of the equation, along with some new metrics of comparison. Let’s take a closer look:

Centerbase welcomes Bob Freeburg as Chief Technology Officer.

Centerbase Welcomes Bob Freeburg as Chief Technology Officer

Centerbase is pleased to welcome Bob Freeburg as Chief Technology Officer. The hire follows Centerbase’s recent growth equity investment from Mainsail Partners and underpins the company’s commitment to aggressive growth and strategic expansion.

A performance-driven leader with over 25 years of innovative technology experience, Freeburg comes to Centerbase from Curantis Solutions, where he started as Chief Technology Officer in March 2017 before being promoted to Chief Operating Officer/EVP of Technology earlier this year.

It’s been a challenging couple of years for the legal industry, requiring law firms to make unprecedented administrative shifts and difficult decisions about adopting new technology. Every firm, regardless of size, can maximize its current systems with evaluation, training, identification, and planning.

Is Your Law Firm Effectively Maximizing Its Current Legal Technology?

It’s been a challenging couple of years for the legal industry, requiring law firms to make unprecedented administrative shifts and difficult decisions about adopting new technology. Every firm, regardless of size, can maximize its current technologies, but it takes strategy and analysis to make that happen. With evaluation, training, identification, and planning, you can get the most out of your current systems. Read on to learn how.

Law firms nationwide are redefining the traditional law office by embracing virtual work, reducing their financial footprint, and promoting flexibility.

Redefining the Traditional Law Office

Law firms nationwide are redefining the traditional law office by embracing virtual work, reducing their financial footprint, and promoting flexibility.

Now, more than ever, it is important to be adaptable in all aspects of your business, including financially and operationally. The right legal technology tools can support remote and hybrid work arrangements while ensuring both productivity and client confidentiality.

Efficient client intake begins and ends with the systems and tools that law firms implement. The right legal practice management software can prove instrumental to handling this important start to legal representation, thereby enhancing clients’ experience at your firm.

How to Improve Your Client Onboarding Process

Last week we blogged about providing an outstanding client experience from intake through the end of representation, culminating in a successful attorney-client relationship. This relationship begins with the client intake process. Efficient client intake starts and ends with the systems and tools that law firms implement. The right legal practice management software can prove instrumental to handling this important start to legal representation. Let’s dig deeper.

Today’s legal clients expect an outstanding experience. With a client-centered strategy, you can work to deliver the level of value and quality that meets client needs. This starts from the initial consultation and continues even after representation ends.

Strategies for Providing an Outstanding Client Experience

Today’s legal clients expect an outstanding experience that includes innovation, convenience, and consistent communication, so implementing strategies that support client satisfaction should be an ongoing goal for your firm. This starts with asking what your clients need at intake and ends with collecting honest feedback at the end of representation. Read on for ways law firms can create a client-focused environment where all clients feel valued.

E-billing and simplified time tracking combined with multiple payment options are sure to make your billing easier for internal and external clients alike.

3 Ways to Simplify the Legal Billing Process

Law firms can simplify their legal billing process, and even expand their client base, by implementing the acceptance of credit card payments. E-billing and simplified time tracking combined with multiple payment options are sure to make your billing easier for internal and external clients alike.

The Mostly Legal Podcast Season 1 Finale

We don’t know what has gone by faster, this year or season 1 of this podcast. We were very fortunate to have so many great guests and as we gear up for season 2, we want to make sure we’re delivering content you want to hear! Check out this video and don’t be afraid to give us some feedback!!

Legal technology can play a major part in a firm’s succession plan, which is a crucial exercise in the future protection of law firms and clients alike.

Why Your Law Firm Needs a Succession Plan and How Legal Tech Can Help

Does your firm have a succession plan in place? Succession planning is a crucial exercise in providing uninterrupted service to clients. Legal practice management software keeps the firm’s various business components in one centralized location, which can make a transition easier and efficient to navigate. Read on for what a successful law firm transition plan consists of – and how legal technology can help.

Family and domestic relations law firm administrators often deal with three major challenges when handling their practice management duties – client relations, varied billing arrangements, and compliant trust accounting.

Navigating the Complex Client Relations and Billing Arrangements of Family Law

Family law clients have a lot on their plates as they try to care for their families and traverse the waters of domestic relations law. Family law firms can alleviate some of their worries by implementing legal practice management tools that promote excellent client service, streamline various billing arrangements, and promote accurate trust accounting.

Centerbase is excited to announce we’ve acquired Family Law Software, the leading workflow software for family law legal practices.

Centerbase Acquires Family Law Software, Expanding Customer Base & Family Law Practice Product Experience

Centerbase, a legal practice management software company that provides mid-sized law firms with a cloud-based platform to streamline operations, has acquired Family Law Software, the leading workflow software for family law legal practices.

Having an incident response plan in place before a data breach occurs is the key for law firms to address the cyber attack and minimize its impact.

Before, During, and After: Ensure Your Law Firm is Prepared to Address a Data Breach

Your law firm has fallen victim to a cyber attack. Now what? Ideally, your firm would already have a plan in place to minimize the impact of a data breach. If not, read on for a checklist of steps that firm attorneys and administrators alike can take to appropriately respond to a data breach – before, during, and after the attack.

The risk to client confidentiality is at an all-time high; however, with the right technology, your law firm can keep documents secure.

Maintaining Vital Law Firm Client Confidentiality: How Legal Tech Can Help

In today’s world of increased remote work and ever-evolving cyber attacks, the risk to client confidentiality is at an all-time high. With the right legal technology, including a secure document management system, firms can reduce the threat of data breaches and keep sensitive client information safe.

Centerbase is excited to announce a partnership with Mainsail Partners, a growth equity firm that invests in bootstrapped software companies just like ours.

When the Timing is Right: Our Decision to Team Up with Mainsail Partners

We find ourselves at an exciting moment in Centerbase history, with the announcement of an investment from Mainsail Partners, a growth equity firm that invests in bootstrapped software companies just like ours. It’s been a long road to get here and we look forward to having you join us in the next chapter of the Centerbase journey.

A law firm's billing department is at its most efficient when equipped with comprehensive practice management software, which helps to improve billing and accounting efficiency.

How Legal Practice Management Software Lessens the Workload for Law Firm Billing Departments

Your law firm’s billing department is at its most efficient when equipped with the right comprehensive practice management software to improve billing and accounting processes. Read on to discover ways, that with the right tools, you can maximize billing department manpower, making the department a trusted resource for all things revenue related.

Understanding your firm's billing data and the general cost of doing business are the keys to avoiding financial issues.

Five Tips to Avoid Common Financial Issues in Law Firms

Understanding your law firm’s billing data is the key to avoiding financial issues that could create sticky situations with clients. Getting a grasp on the cost of doing business will help your firm handle the principles of law firm finances with ease.