By Chris Pucci, CEO at Legal Futures Associate Osprey Approach
Practice and Case Management Software (PCMS) provides law firms with the digital tools to run their practice effectively. The software provides efficiency-boosting features and functionality that help to standardise, streamline, and automate time-consuming processes, enabling your lawyers to focus on delivering a high-quality service to their clients whilst maximising billable hours.
When implemented and utilised correctly, a PCMS helps to improve efficiencies, competitiveness, compliance, and client service across any sized firm.
“Osprey customers have reported an immediate 50% reduction in costs on stationery, printing and postage following initial implementation of its PCMS.”
When manual admin and errors are reduced and client expectations are exceeded, your bottom-line is positively impacted and the overall profitability of your firm can improve.
This article looks at the key features and tools within PCMS that have the biggest effect on profitability and why you should implement or improve your utilisation of them to future-proof your firm.
Agonising over tracking billable hours isn’t necessary with integrated time recording software, which helps to remove the time-consuming task of retrospectively recording time, whilst automating and streamlining the process to maximise billable hours.
With automated prompts, easy stop-start stopwatches, and mobile apps, time recording software provides the tools to record in real-time and easily integrate the task into your daily workload. This improves accuracy, reduces errors and speeds up the process so you can ensure no billable time is lost and your firm is working efficiently.
“There are numerous time-saving features within Osprey’s software that brings value to our firm. We use a call recording tool which emails us a copy, meaning calls are time recorded in Osprey using the Outlook Add-in. These features give the firm, and our clients, peace of mind that time recording is always accurate.” – James Newnham, Newnham & Jordan Solicitors
Utilising time recording software improves profitability because of the manual admin time saved but also increases the accuracy of billable time and helps time entries to be completed quicker, helping you to invoice clients and get paid faster.
Put simply, workflows exist to replace mundane, costly administration tasks. They are created in your legal software so that related tasks are seamlessly connected and dealt with in just a few clicks.
Workflows help to manage an entire legal case or can be used to assist with every day, simple tasks. For example, a workflow task may be used to prepare a client care letter.
Regardless of how you use them, tasks contained within workflows can be completed quicker and they ensure a standardised and reduced risk process for your firm to follow.
“The workflows meant that with a click a button, all the letters were created, and everyone involved was updated, and that was helpful and where we could really save time. Workflows, document production, and the different time saving features in Osprey make our tasks at least three times faster each day.” – Kelly Cirillo, Preuveneers LLP
Automated workflows have a huge effect on efficiency and productivity, which is why they’re so important for your firm’s profitability. They enable your team to work more effectively with reduced errors and increased focus on client experience so you can deliver quality, profitable services that give you a competitive advantage.
To discover the other transformational benefits of workflows and to learn more, download our free guide here.
A secure web portal
A secure web portal enables your firm to digitally communicate and collaborate with your clients and third parties; to securely share documents, provide updates on case progression, easily communicate, and collaborate on files, and digitally sign contracts and agreements. A web portal helps to modernise and improve the convenience of the service you provide to your clients and third parties, whilst also reducing the cost and increasing efficiencies on your internal processes.
Aside from the printing and posting costs you’ll save, and the hours spent manually chasing or following up with clients, the web portal enables your firm to offer a competitive and modern service to your clients. This helps to boost reviews, referrals, and recommendations so you can win new clients easier and grow your client base.
Integrated reporting and business intelligence
A PCMS also provides you with the ability to assess the performance of your whole firm. Because your case, client and financial data is centralised into one platform, the reporting and business intelligence tools can provide a more accurate representation of your firm. With real-time, up-to-date insight, you can make smarter, data-driven business decisions that help you progress, improve, and remain competitive.
With improved visibility of your firm’s performance, you can know exactly what works and what needs to be improved to better meet your goals. The firm-wide data you gain will help you spot trends, identify opportunities, and successfully forecast for the future. This puts you in control of driving your firm forward to meet your goals as well as improve profitability.
Cloud-based centralised database
By centralising your data and processes into a PCMS, you provide a single source of truth that enables your firm to work more effectively. A cloud-based centralised solution ensures data is effectively shared and remains accurate, and it enables successful remote working as documents can be accessed from a central location and helps provide a frictionless digital service to clients.
By reducing your firm’s reliance on physical files – and becoming a digital-first, paperless firm – you have the freedom to streamline tasks, offer a hybrid-working strategy and deliver a digital client experience. Profitability is improved initially through a reduction in storage, printing, and postage costs, but long-term, being a paperless firm ensures business continuity – avoiding risk of down-time – improves staff and client retention rates and enables automation to boost overall efficiency.
Improve profitability and run a successful firm
A cloud-based practice and case management solution, which includes the five elements above, will impact your firm’s performance to increase efficiencies, drive productivity, and streamline operations which all influence your bottom-line.
When first implemented, a PCMS can bring initial cost saving benefits but crucially, when implemented effectively, the software can continue to drive long-term efficiencies, increase productivity, and enhance client service which future-proofs your firm and maximises profitability.
Chris Pucci is CEO of Osprey Approach, which provides an all-in-one, cloud-based legal accounting, case and practice management solution to law firms of all sizes. With over 30 years’ experience in the legal software sector, Osprey’s products and services are designed to help make running a profitable, compliant, and efficient law firm easier.