In the last several years selecting a solution to manage your law practice has gotten considerably more complex. You have on-premise (client/server) solutions. Hosted practice management solutions. Web-based practice management solutions. Cloud-based storage options. You have case management with emphasis on time and billing functionality. Or case management. Or family law. Or docketing.
With such a crowded marketplace it can be difficult to know which solution is best for your firm. (We hear this from our clients all the time.) For that reason we’re releasing a series of blog articles that will provide an overview of the top legal practice management solutions, and who should use which.
Tabs3, made by Software Technology Inc., is a legal billing and accounting solution made for law firms. It’s a highly robust back-office solution for law firms that includes billing, AR/AP, general ledger and more. Tabs3 can be complemented by its front-office counterpart: PracticeMaster to add case management, calendering, workflows and more. Tabs3 has been around for over 35 years.
What We Like about Tabs3
In our experience, we find Tabs3 a very popular legal billing & accounting solution for firms that have grown past the solo or solo-plus-one size, and we think we know why.
- Tabs3 is a complete billing & accounting solution: its users will not have to bolt-on another piece of software such as QuickBooks to facilitate the rest of their accounting (trust accounting, payroll, AR, AP, payroll and financial statements).
- If your firm needs more sophisticated front-office (practice management) functionality, Tabs3 is complemented well by PracticeMaster (made by the same company, and developed to integrate with Tabs3). PracticeMaster includes workflows to automate repeat processes, calendaring, conflict search and more. The modular nature of these two products gives them a what-you-need-and-nothing-more quality.
The key and stand-out features of Tabs3 include:
- Flexible Billing. We’ve found Tabs3 billing platform to be incredibly robust and flexible, with options including including contingency, split fee, retainer, flat fee and progress billing. Create standard billing rates for each timekeeper or levels of timekeepers (e.g., partner, associate, etc.), or custom rates for any timekeeper and any client. You can also use contingency, split fee, retainer, flat fee, progress, and electronic task based billing (requires Taskbill). Then customize your statement to show exactly what you want. You can also set up simple or complex compensation rules for originating, primary, and secondary timekeepers. For example, Brad gets 10% of receipts from the Smith matter until he receives a total of $2,000.
- Faster Billing. You can print or e-mail your statements as PDFs. You can automatically generate all of the e-mails and PDFs at once and automatically insert the last payment date, outstanding balance, statement notes, and other client information into the e-mail. Print draft statements and track which are still under internal review.
- Workflow & Automation (PracticeMaster). Use Workflows to automatically start tasks or give you and your staff reminders after you perform a particular action. For example, when you add a new client, let PracticeMaster automatically generate a thank-you letter. With Workflows you and your staff will be more productive and see fewer errors.
- Conflict Search. Quickly identify possible conflicts for everyone in your firm. Search clients, contacts, documents, e-mails, and attachments. Advanced options like phonetic spelling and phrase match make your searches more accurate and efficient.
- Complete Accounting. Tabs3 is a complete accounting solution, and includes back-office functionality such as reporting, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Trust Accounting and General Ledger.
The Uptime Verdict
In our experience working with hundreds of firms, your firm should use Tabs3 if it needs a robust billing, accounting and reporting platform. And if your firm needs workflow management to streamline and automate processes (such as intake), conflict-of-interest-search, calendering or other front-office functionality, we advise you take a serious look at PracticeMaster as well. All considered, Tabs3 (and PracticeMaster) will grow with your firm: it suits small practices as well as mid-sized law firms.
Better in the Cloud
Leverage Tabs3 for your practice anywhere, without the need for on-premise servers and expensive IT support with a legal cloud platform such as Uptime Practice™. Tabs3, along with the right cloud solution, will give you access to your entire practice including your case management and billing software, your files, documents & email, anytime, anywhere.
Related: Tabs3 in the Cloud
See it in Action
Take a look at Tabs3 and Practice Master in action.