With the help of an accounting professional that is well versed in GAAP, knows the IRS standards and protocols, and is experienced in law firm accounting, your practice can operate more efficiently. It is important for attorneys to realize that it is more than simply accounting. It is no secret that when financial data is organized and well-prepared, there can be crucial insights made regarding the firm’s operation. When a law firm has a bookkeeper or accountant that knows his/her stuff, then the attorney can focus on running his/her business, while the books get taken care of by someone else who is qualified and well-versed in the matter. Does this sound exactly like what you are looking for? This is what Sound Bookkeepers offers. With over five decades of combined finance and accounting experience, we have represented lawyers who were being audited by the WSBA and we have a current MCLE course on trust accounting. Where did we get our training? Our CEO worked at the WSBA and then was personally trained by the lead auditor in how to correctly manage IOLTA accounting. We are here for you and will make running your practice that much smoother!
Another trait of a good accounting professional is when (s)he is able to help the law firm choose the tools that will work best for their practice. It is key to realize this is something that is not a one-size-fits-all and does need to be individualized. Different firms may need different software, so it is vital to choose an accountant that knows how to use the software that best fits your firm’s needs. Here at Sound Bookkeepers, we have experience in a wide array of software including, but not limited to, Xero, Freshbooks, LegalServer, Clio, PracticePanther, Lawpay, Gravity Payments, Square, Clover, Stripe, Box, Dropbox, and Quickbooks desktop and online. It is also very important for the accountant to be well versed in trust accounting. This includes knowing the rules and regulations that pertain to the state in which the attorney practices, seeing if the accounting and invoicing tools accommodate the requirements for the firm to be compliant, seeing what the workflow will be based on the lifecycle of a client trust account, and so forth. Overall, the bookkeeper is a sort of representative for the law firm and can deal with many third parties, such as banks, IRS, WSBA, Labor and Industries, Dept of Revenue, and Employment Security.
Also, a law firm needs more reports than most other industries, which only require balance sheets, accounts receivable reports, and so forth. Law practices, on the other hand, also need reports that relate to timekeepers, partner compensations, client profitability, and so forth. As a result, it is important for a law firm bookkeeper to be able to think outside of standard reports and create those reports which the law firm needs.
All in all, it is up to the bookkeeper to offer the right financial advice, handle payroll processes, deal with outside parties, and choose and be able to implement the right tools, in order to create the best accounting processes for firms. If you have a law firm, make sure that your accountant and/or bookkeeper is well experienced in this regard and can help your practice run at full capacity. If not, call us now for a free consultation.