You’re buried under a caseload that doesn’t seem to let up. Your paralegals are swamped. You’re due in court in the morning and have to meet with new clients in the afternoon. With a hectic work schedule controlling your firm, your financial records can suffer. If your law firm’s books are a mess, all hope is not lost. You can get your books under control much faster than you think. In the end, the time you spend straightening things out will pay dividends in the time you save by having accounts that make sense.
First things first—identify the problem(s).
You can say your books are a mess, throw your hands up in the air, and walk away. A better choice is to dig in and identify what is the root of your problems. Is your accounting system outdated? Are your accounts improperly synchronized? Are employees not recording correctly? Find your pain points and then you can determine if your system needs tweaking, repairing, or a complete overhaul.
Is your software up to date?
Outdated accounting software can be a huge problem. As software ages, developers stop supporting it and releasing updates. If you don’t upgrade your software, you could be missing out on new features that aren’t currently available to you. You may also be missing important updates to state regulations and tax code. Your banking site may no longer properly sync with the system. Old software also doesn’t play nicely with new hardware, so if you’ve recently updated your computer, you may be stuck running your accounting program on the old Windows Vista computer in the back corner of the office.
Instead of upgrading to a new desktop program, convert to cloud accounting software. QuickBooks cloud accounting allows you to work on any device with an internet connection. It never needs to be upgraded because site updates and improvements are released constantly. You don’t have to worry about compatibility or backing up data because it is all stored in a secure server.
Is everyone on the same page?
Are all of your employees responsible for entering their own hours and expenses or does that responsibility lie with a single person? However you choose to delegate the task of bookkeeping, make everyone aware of how to do their reporting. Digital record keeping is best. Snap a photo of a receipt and email it with a note for its allocation so you have a clear record. If your system is not easy and clearly defined, human nature is to procrastinate the task.
Are your bank accounts reconciled?
Proper accounting software imports your latest bank statement into your site automatically and updates the transactions. If you’re transferring the information by hand, you are wasting valuable billable hours! Once your banking information is up to date, you can reconcile your transactions with your ledgers. Don’t postpone this important task. Reconciling your client and trust ledgers is legally required by most states.
Would your bookkeeping be easier if it were mobile?
Do you meet with clients out of the office? Are you regularly traveling to court? Both of these require that you record your mileage. By the time you get back to the office you may forget to log your mileage or the office supplies you picked up on the way. Mobile accounting simplifies your books by allowing you to record transactions as you make them and apply them to the correct client account. You may find yourself doing business on your phone and tablet more often than your desktop computer.
No mess is beyond saving.
Regardless of how bad your books are, if you still feel overwhelmed after reading the above steps, you always have the option of calling in the pros. JADDE Financial Solutions is an experienced accounting firm that can perform CPR on your books to bring them back to life. As a matter of fact, the more challenging, the more excited we are to attack the situation. We will track down the root of the problem and turn your mess into a masterpiece!