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Time To Wave Goodbye To Excel

By Author: Ryan Sparrow
Total Articles: 16

For many years Microsoft Excel has been the answer to the prayers of businesses looking to upgrade their accounting systems and replace the outdated Lotus 1-2-3. When originally released, it had a vast range of templates with it that covered many different applications, and, of course, it was possible to add templates of your own. Many legal practices found that it was a much better system for holding client data and creating reports, and there is no doubt that at the time it revolutionised the way that we used to do these things. However, today, Excel is no longer the most effective system and has been superseded by far more superior systems.
The simple fact is that with Excel you have to enter everything manually. In order for the document to be accurate in every respect, a human being has to type in and organise all of the data. When you have several spreadsheets that need to be updated in order to display the latest accurate data, Excel becomes excessively time consuming, and things get even worse when you consider that in the legal profession we have to account for varied fee arrangements. Manually entering all this data and keeping it updated takes up a considerable amount of time that could be put to far better use, but nonetheless someone has to do it.
Fortunately, today we have legal billing software that takes a lot of these worries off our hands. That is, of course, for those firms that have moved with the times and upgraded their accounting systems. Most firms of solicitors have multiple clients with whom they need to share information on a variety of spreadsheets and those clients and other parties involved need separate records for their own bookkeeping. That means that everyone has to have access to the latest and most accurate information and if this doesn’t happen then disputes can arise because not everyone has the same figures. For instance, you might receive an email which needs to be dealt with by the accounts department and forward it accordingly, but because there is no centralised system with real time updates it becomes more and more difficult to work out what is the most accurate information.
When you are using Excel, it is hard to find a programme that wholly integrates with it, and it is even more of an issue if you have to import data from other systems that are not supported by Excel. This is why you really need to upgrade to the best legal billing software which integrates seamlessly with Microsoft Outlook and wave goodbye to Excel. In the 21st century, if you don’t have this you are at risk of losing vital pieces of information and being unable to locate them. When you have all your information in one place in the cloud, it means that anyone who has authority can access the information from anywhere at any time, and it is all automatically updated so that everyone knows that they have the correct figures.
Of course, some firms of lawyers are still wary of having vital client information “out there” in the cloud, and to an extent this is understandable because law firms are classed as high risk cyber-attack targets. However, if you choose a software house that has ISO certification in place this will not be a worry. All client data should be stored in the company’s own data centre and backed up as well, in order to comply with the requirements of the Solicitors Regulation Authority and include definitive data location.
Of course, lawyers regularly need to split bills up into different fee arrangements and this can often mean that the total billable amount has to be split up into percentages between several different individuals. This can, of course, be exceedingly complex, to say nothing of the time involved, and can naturally be subject to some costly errors. Excel acts only as a digital calculator and is therefore no use for split billing. This is another reason why you need the best legal billing software in the cloud which provides a variety of billing arrangements that can be split between the parties involved.

Resource Box: DPS Software provides complete practice management solutions for over 700 UK law firms. DPS Cloud, their managed IT solution comes with all the legal software applications you require and are the best legal billing software, as well as Microsoft Office licences and hardware support.

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