If you’re a partner or CFO of a fast-growing law firm, you can quickly run out of your most precious commodity: time. As a result, even gaining back just a few minutes in your day (maybe whole hours, if you’re lucky), can pay off in a dramatic way. One of the key benefits of QuickBooks® Online Advanced is the capability to get back more time for you and your team.
Advanced is designed to offer your law firm new insights that help you grow, as well as make it easier and more efficient to stay on track.
In this article, we’ll provide productivity tips for the following Advanced features:
- Batch invoicing
- Scheduled reports
- Bank rules
Get paid faster with batch invoicing
Depending on your client load and accounting software, invoicing can suck up hours of your team’s time. With QuickBooks Online Advanced, your team can quickly create an invoice and distribute it in several ways to get paid faster:
- Send a standardized invoice for standard services. If a handful of your clients only use one or two of your services, you can create a general invoice, and then batch send that specific invoice without having to personalize each one.
- Edit multiple invoices within the same window. Advanced allows you to see the invoices you’re working on in the same window. From this view, you can click on each one to make edits, while coming back to the main screen. No more sorting through multiple tabs.
Also, if your client records include details such as tax preferences, those specifications will automatically be applied to their invoice, even if you are sending invoices in a batch. And, if your clients provide you with bank or credit card information to pay invoices, you can automatically run those transactions through Advanced.
Automate tasks with workflows
In QuickBooks Online Advanced, workflows enable you to easily manage and automate repetitive tasks to save time and reduce errors. You can set up email reminders relating to client invoices, your own recurring bills, and add a memo to an invoice if certain requirements are met.
You know the importance of cash flow to your law firm; the last thing any client wants is to pay late fees on past due invoices. With Advanced, you can set up reminders about upcoming client payments to send yourself and/or your clients. Here are a few routines you can customize based on your needs:
- Send yourself a reminder that a client’s invoice is due. You can determine when you want the reminder sent (e.g., a week before the invoice is due, three days before, the day of). This feature allows you to reach out to the client directly or ask someone on your staff to do so, especially if you’re uncomfortable with sending the client a reminder email automatically. It’s also possible to only send late payment reminders on invoices over a certain amount.
- Send the client a reminder that their invoice is due. Again, you can determine the timing for this reminder and personalize the email subject field and message to the client. You can also send multiple reminders; for example, you might want to send a reminder a week ahead of time and then send another on the payment’s due date. The emails will always reference the invoice number, so the client is able to easily find the payment they need to make to your firm. You can also cc yourself on these reminders.
- Remind yourself about your own upcoming bill payments. If you record your bills in Advanced, you can use a routine to send yourself reminders about your own due dates. This feature is very helpful for any recurring payments, such as rent, utilities, and even loan payments.
- Update the memo field of invoices that are overdue. You can also include a specific note within the memo field of any invoices that are past due, a helpful feature for running reports and keeping a record for the client.
- Receive automated notifications when undeposited funds are detected. You can ensure that your cash flow remains steady by removing the lag time between receiving payments and depositing them. Simply set up the system to notify you when funds are ready to be deposited into your bank account. This feature eliminates the need to manually set up a reminder to make a bank deposit.
- Send saved invoices, with custom text, based on creation date. Never forget to send an invoice again with an automated feature that will send previously drafted and saved invoices based on the creation date. You also have the option of customizing the text on the invoice, providing the opportunity for content control.
Stay on top of your business with scheduled reports
This feature is most useful for viewing reports that you want to see on a regular basis – daily, weekly, or monthly. You can set the time period and the target run time and date (every Sunday night, every Wednesday morning, every quarter, for example). You can also set up QuickBooks Online Advanced to send you the report via email or attached as an Excel or Google spreadsheet.
Advanced also offers you access to smart reporting powered by Fathom that gives you an easy-to-read dashboard to keep track of your most important benchmarks. The reporting includes key performance indicators (KPIs) and revenue analysis. These presentation-ready reports are perfect for your next managing partners’ meeting or as recurring reporting for the partners via email.
Categorize transactions with bank rules
Bank rules will automatically download all transactions from your bank accounts and business credit cards into QuickBooks Online Advanced, so you can categorize and verify transactions.
The rules feature allows you to save data entry time and establish if/then statements that will auto-categorize your transactions, including batch categorizing the transactions from the same vendor. You can also set the system to look for keywords within invoices, fees, and split transactions. It’s important to first test your bank rules to make sure they are performing the way you intend. Incorrectly categorizing your transactions can cause a lot of headaches down the road, so testing out the rules is essential.
Free your team up to solve real problems
As an owner, partner or financial professional, your time is best spent working on your law firm, not doing repetitive tasks. Every hour you save is one you can use to sign another client or finish a major project. Tools like QuickBooks Online Advanced can help you boost your productivity, save you time, and help take your law firm to the next level.