Top Business Tools for Lawyers
Part 2: Day-to-Day Administration
In the first part of this series, we looked at organizational tools to help lawyers connect. Organization is an important way to improve workflow and ensure tasks are as streamlined as possible across a team. However, administration is just as important. Things like security, file storage and access, and invoicing are vital to the everyday running of your law service. If you’re still using older and slower methods, there are ways of making the administrative tasks of your business far easier and more secure. Consider some of the following web tools.
One of, if not the, best file storage solutions. The great thing about Dropbox is that its application is seamless. It looks just like any other folder on your computer but with the added benefit that its content is uploaded to the Cloud. This means immediate synchronization to any device that has Dropbox and connected to that account. It runs in the background, performing regular updates of files so you don’t need to worry about in-house server problems. Cloud is a secure solution to storing all your files. Dropbox has multiple package types with the personal account free to use and a capacity of 2GB. Paid subscription functions include mobile off-line and smart sync. This latter tool is useful in that when you open a file on a device, it automatically moves to the cloud, so the changes will be made on the stored version.
Do you send a lot of electronic forms digitally requiring signatures? When it comes to legal documentation for personal injury attorneys like you, there is an intrinsic need to acquire signatures for everything. PDFs are the most common portable document format. Quick and easy to read and a small file size which makes it ideal in most situations. However, they are impossible to edit without dedicated software. With HelloSign, you don’t need specialist software. The package allows users to edit PDFs and other similar difficult-to-edit files. But that’s not all it does. Signatures can be requested from up to 20 users at once which is then disseminated to all users. With a range of templates and the ability to design and brand official documentation, this is a great template for your formal paperwork.
Most security problems that any business faces concern the use of easy-to-guess passwords. Shockingly, the most common passwords that employees use include password01 and 123456. The other side of the argument is that users are asked to remember a variety of passwords across multiple devices and can’t remember them all. That’s why you need a password manager. With LastPass, users need to remember just one password. It can be downloaded as a browser extension. Once logged in, users can add and remove services and sites, alter the access passwords for those sites, and lock out potential hackers. It’s one of the most secure ways of protecting your data with strong encryption, the ability to add two-step authentication (a password accompanied by a second step such as a retinal scan or fingerprint, or a swipe card), and local only encryption.
All small businesses need accounts, but accounting is not a cheap option. You can’t afford to make cutbacks in the wrong area, or you’ll break the law. For small law firms, software packages are potentially expensive on top of hiring an accountant. However, QuickBooks is a cheaper solution tailored directly at small and medium enterprises. It helps you keep track of all your daily transactions such as expenses and income, billing, and general accounts. In its most recent release, it is targeted at freelancers, benefiting law professionals who work as a one-person business. You may directly connect to any of your business accounts including credit cards for instant updating of records through a Cloud based support service. When using the same QuickBooks account for both personal and business, it’s easy to keep these separate.
Did you miss Part 1: Organization?
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