It doesn’t seem that long ago that practice management, also variously referred to as case management or matter management, was a brand new category of software. Even today, though, we see many firms attempting to use their email program or a spreadsheet as a faux practice management system. What exactly is “practice management,” and what does practice management software do that these other programs do not offer?
The concept of practice management covers everything from procedures and workflow systems to the software tools that are used to manage the day-to-day business of a firm and provide efficient client service. Our consultants are experienced in breaking down and analyzing a firm’s workflow, and then recommending and configuring the software tools the firm will need to support its practice.
Practice management software generally provides multiple ways of looking at the same data, depending on the needs of the users in their various roles. Most importantly, it provides a case-centric look at all of the firm’s case data and defines a framework for setting up new and existing cases in a way that optimizes resources. Imagine being able to click on the name of a case and see every
- scheduled task
- case note
- phone call
- and related contact
either in chronological order or according to some other criterion. For most firms, this capability provides a huge efficiency boost when a user needs to find information quickly.
Nowadays, the number of practice management options is dizzying. There are still several strong on-premise options, and new cloud choices seem to be proliferating. It seems the question is no longer “Do we need a practice management system,” but rather, “Which one should we use?”
The decision to store the database on the firm’s server or in the cloud is often not straightforward. Many factors will influence the decision of whether to migrate to the cloud, including number and location of users and the complexity of the data the firm needs to store about each case. Crosspointe Consulting Group can assist with the selection of a software application that supports and enhances the firm’s procedures and provides all of the necessary functionality. The ultimate selection of software depends on these issues and the answers to questions such as:
- Do users work only from within the office, or do they need access from outside?
- How old is the firm’s file server and when will it need replacement?
- Do the firm’s professionals need access to the data via mobile devices?
- Does the firm have Windows PCs, Macs, tablets, or a mix?
- How do office procedures differ from one type of case to another?
- Does the firm generate a lot of documents that contain boilerplate text?
- Do you want the software to integrate with your company’s accounting software?
- What case reports does the firm need to generate?