Tabs3 Review for Law Firms
Tabs3 Review | Originally published 1/29/2015 | Expanded and updated 5/8/2019.
In the last several years selecting a solution to manage your law practice has gotten considerably more complex. You have a variety of products, each focusing on different areas of managing a law practice. You have options for solos and small firms. Options for midsize and large firms. You have options that focus predominately on billing; options that are more all-encompassing. You have premise-based software, cloud/web-based software, and private cloud options.
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’ve spent the last several years studying, gathering feedback and writing reviews of the leading legal practice management software applications.
While there is no one-size-fits-all solution for law firms, there is one practice management suite in particular that is often a good fit for many small and midsized law firms. That suite is Tabs3 and PracticeMaster, by STI.
Tabs3 & PracticeMaster Overview
We’ll start our Tabs3 review with a high-level overview. Tabs3, made by Software Technology Inc. (STI), is a legal billing and accounting solution made for exclusively law firms. It’s a highly robust “back-office” solution for law firms that includes billing, AR/AP, general ledger and more.
PracticeMaster is the “front-office” counterpart to Tabs3. Technically a separate product, PracticeMaster provides the practice management functionality, including contact and case management, calendaring and more.
While the two products can be used independently, they’re better together, and provide a good all-in-one solution for law firms looking for a wholistic case management, billing and accounting solution.
Tabs3 and PracticeMaster have 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. While there’s a lot to like about the software, in our Tabs3 review we’ll touch on a few elements that stand out to us.
- 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). This becomes increasingly important as the firm grows past a few attorneys, and the firm needs broader visibility into the economics of the entire practice (and each individual case).
- If your firm needs more sophisticated front-office (practice management) functionality, Tabs3 is complemented well by PracticeMaster. PracticeMaster provides the nuanced management of clients and contacts, matters and the details therein, calendaring and form assembly. PracticeMaster also includes workflows to automate repeatable processes, conflict searching and more.
The modular nature of these two products gives them a what-you-need-and-nothing-more quality.