February 25, 2009

Sample Chart of Accounts for Law Firms

Here is a link to two sample chart of accounts that Attorneys can use for their Law Firms. The Medium size chart of accounts was modeled after the American Bar Association.

Quickbooks for Attorneys Sample Chart of Accounts

February 11, 2009

Can Lawyers Use QuickBooks?

The answer is Yes. QuickBooks is the number one small business accounting software and for good reason. It is easy to use and reasonably priced. It allows you to keep track of your Trust account, Retainers, Billable Time, Clients and Income and Expenses. The key is choosing the right version for your law practice and setting it up right to begin with. I have written a book that is step-by-step on how to use in a Law Practice. You can find it at www.attorneystechnology.com.

QuickBooks has serveral versions available, Online edition, Simple Start, QuickBooks for Mac, QuickBooks Pro, QuickBooks Premier, QuickBooks Enterprise. Choosing the right one for your business can be confusing. First let me tell you that I do not personally recommend Simple Start for attorneys. The following questions may help you decide which version of QuickBooks to get.

Do you need more than 5 people to have access to QuickBooks? If so you need the Enterprise Edition. This will allow up to 30 users.

Do you need access to the QuickBooks file anywhere any time? If so and you don’t use things like pcnow or gotomypc you may consider using the online edtion for QuickBooks. The cost starts at about $9.95 a month not including payroll $19.95 a month. If you need more than one person besides your accountant to have access to the file you will need to upgrade to the online plus which starts around $34.95 a month not including payroll $19.95 a month. This is not my favorite choice because I find it cumbersome when it comes to tracking time and billing clients. Also one feature I don’t like is it allows you to delete stuff that can reallly cause a problem later.

Do you want to setup rates for individual clients? This is a biggie. If you want to be able to charge a different rate for each client or type of client you really need to get the QuickBooks Premier Edition. This not only allows you to setup rates for clients but rates for your employees.

Do you track time? If so and you want to bill your clients using the invoice method the QuickBooks Premier Edition is perfect for this. It allows you to see unbilled time and expenses on one screen and bill for it.

Are you just starting your Law Practice? If you are just starting your law practice and you still don’t know which version to get I recommend getting the QuickBooks Pro version.

The main differences between the Pro and the Premier version that could affect your buisness type is the Premier version allows you to set indivudal rates for your clients, for your employees and allows you to bill your time in one screen. The cost is about $199.00 for the Pro version and $399.00 for the Premier version. If you think you will need to set individual rates for clients and employees I really recommend making the investment for the Premier version.

February 8, 2009

Before Updating to QuickBooks 2009 Read System Requirements

The system requirements have changed for QuickBooks 2009. It does not work on Windows 2000. Make sure your computers are upgraded before you install. Here is a link to the system requirements. http://quickbooks.intuit.com/product/accounting-software/small-business-accounting-software.jsp

Operating Systems supported:
Windows XP (SP2 or later strongly recommended), all editions
Windows 2003 Server
Windows Vista (w/UAC on), all editions
Windows Longhorn Server (database only, not client)

My Customer List in QuickBooks is Sorted Wrong on Reports

I got a call from one of my clients and she was so frustrated because her customer list was sorted wrong on her aging report and customer sales report. I couldn’t figure out what she could have done so I had to see for myself. YEP it was messed up. This is how you fix this if the QuickBooks gremlin gets in your company file.

Go to the Write Checks Window.
When the window appears click on the Payee field and press CTRL and L.
The Names List window will pop up. Click on the Name button at the bottom.
Choose Re-sort list.

This should fix it.