Law Office Management —Version
is a Windows program that runs on 64- and 32-bit operating
systems, i.e., Windows 7, Vista, XP, 2000,
ME, or 98SE. Of the 20 or so programs we recently upgraded
in recent years, LOM5
profited the most. Even though LOM
was always a great program (one we've used ourselves everyday since
1994), its Borland Database Engine (BDE) foundation required more effort to learn and
strict adherence to BDE "rules".
LOM5 is comprised of three applications - ClientBase5 (CBase5),
BookBase5 (BBase5) and BillBase5 (BillB5). Each of
these fills a specific function in the billing system. CBase5
is a name and address database that stores client names, addresses,
telephone numbers and just about any other information you choose.
is a bookkeeping database designed to record law office receipts and disbursements, in particular, payments and expenses
related to specific clients. BillB5 is the third and final
partner that prepares the monthly billing by bringing it all together.
Also included is a fully functioning
calendar program, itemized statement spreadsheet, and
In overview, what LOM5
Prints your personal billing letterhead
or caption eliminating the need for pre-printed billing stationery;
Starts with a balance forward
that is automatically transferred from the prior bill;
Looks up the client’s name in CBase5 and
bill perfectly positioned for window-style
Adds specified charges
from BBase5 dated since the last bill, i.e., filing fees,
deposition costs, records acquisition expenses, etc.;
Credits any client payments
(also from BBase5) made since the last bill (or any date you choose);
Includes up to ten optional fill-in
fields for special entries
such as initial retainer charges, client discounts or whatever you
For clients on hourly fee agreements,
BillB5 integrates any
itemized billing statements you attach, i.e., tallies
and prints the itemized statement as a
Calculates the present balance due;
Automatically creates a new billing
file for next month with updated balance forward etc., and
Sends a bill or bills to your
word processor for final review, editing and printing.
you’d like to see what a simple printed bill looks like, click here.
you’d like to see what a bill with an attached itemized statement looks like,
That's a summary of how Law
Office Management works. Below is additional information about
each program component.
the gateway to the Law Office Management system.
Its purpose is maintaining names,
addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, and notes. Although there
are many name and address programs available for Windows, what makes CBase5
special is that it is designed to coordinate with BBase5
CBase5 displays your clients in two different ways - the List
View and the Table View. The List View is an
arrangement of client names allowing hundreds to fit on the screen at
the same time. If you have a list that contains 1,000 names or less, the
List View, when maximized, can put about 600 names on the screen at one time
making any name just a click or two away. Name and address programs work
best when information is easily and quickly accessible. CBase5,
excels here with its Fast Find function; double-clicking yields
complete, detailed information about a
see a maximized List View, click here.
The other view provided by
is the Table View. It presents names and addresses in a
spreadsheet format. While you can’t see nearly as many names
simultaneously, the advantages are you see more than just the name, and the
screen refreshes more quickly
which can be important for lists with over 1,000 names. We have about
see a maximized Table View, click here.
You may find the tiled view
preferable. CBase5 presents both the List & Table Views so
you can enjoy the benefits of both simultaneously.
see the combined List View/Table View screen, click here.
acts like Microsoft’s Windows Explorer allowing you to
alphabetize your client list on any field by simply clicking on the
column header. Looking for all your clients living in a particular
city? Just click on the City column and all your clients will be
arranged according to their city of residence. Click on any column twice
and your clients will sort in reverse order. Instantly. For manipulating
and studying the demographics of your client list, this quick, flexible
sorting method can’t be beat.
Another nifty feature of the Table View is its ability to hide
columns. Too much information? Screen too busy? Any of the sixteen
client record fields can be hidden in order to distill the client list
information into a more digestible view that's appropriate for your
viewing requirements, and monitor size and resolution. CBase5 memorizes your
There’s a special copy/paste feature in CBase5 that
permits you to click on any name and then paste it into any other
program. What’s so special about that? Well, the name and address are "postal-formatted"
in the Windows clipboard, so you could easily them into a letter – perfectly formatted.
We do this to our satisfaction with stamps.com. This
well with law office word processors such as Word for Windows or
WordPerfect. This method is not only quick, but it
eliminates errors that can occur when you retype names and
addresses in letters or on envelopes.
Features at Your Fingertips.
Some programs have nifty features that you must labor to find or use.
CBase5 isn’t shy. It flaunts its feature set by making all
functions immediately available either via right-click, pop-up menus, or
through the speed bar that provides one-click execution for sorting,
Compatibility. As we mentioned, CBase5
is not just an excellent name and address program, it integrates with
Law Office Management’s bookkeeping and billing modules to
form a complete office billing system.
Click & Run. You
won’t be wasting much time on the learning curve when it comes to
CBase5. As soon as you understand that each client you enter
must be assigned a client number and that no two clients can have the
same number, you’ve learned everything you need to know.
Labels. Send any
substantial client mailings lately? CBase5
can print client addresses on standard laser sheet address labels
(Avery No. 5160) or continuous feed dot matrix address labels (Avery No.
4013). Finally, if you like to keep a client list in your briefcase,
CBase5 can print a client “telephone book.” It looks like
a page from a telephone book, and it lists all your clients and their
telephone numbers. You can fit hundreds of clients on just a few sheets
of paper making it very mobile.
Fast Find. We
mentioned that you can sort your clients in a variety of different ways,
but there’s also a Fast Find feature that locates a client’s record by
simply hitting <CTRL><F> and typing a few unique characters from
any of the client’s sixteen fields. No hoops to jump through,
just instant access.
the second component of Law Office Management.
Its purpose is to log all financial transactions related to your law
practice including those that are unrelated to a specific client. What sets
BBase5 apart for standard bookkeeping programs is that it is
designed to coordinate with CBase5 and BillB5
so that a client's personal and financial information can be incorporated into a
client’s bill by BillB5.
Two windows – the Income Window for income and receipts; the
Expense Window for expenses and disbursements. That’s it.
From these two windows you can derive a vast amount of information as
we’re about to explain.
see a sample of both windows in a tiled view, click here.
Sorting. Both the
and Expense Window can be minimized or maximized, and both act
like Microsoft’s Windows Explorer allowing you to alphabetize
your income or expense transactions on any field just by clicking on the
column header. Looking for a particular check number? Just click on the
Check No. column of the Expense Window and you’ll find it
in a flash. Click on any column twice and the list will sort in reverse
order on the field or column on which you clicked. Maybe you’d like to
do a quick sort to segregate your expense categories or to see which
area of your law practice generates the most money. You can do it all in
BBase5 has incremental searching that speeds up data entry
considerably. Instead of waiting for you to press <TAB> and helping
with upcoming fields, BBase5 is making instantaneous
incremental suggestions with every keystroke. This may be one of the
BBase5 time savers. When it comes to dates and check numbers,
BBase5 doesn’t even wait for you to start typing; these
fields are filled as soon as you request a new record.
Filters. These are
BBase5’s most powerful tools. How much money did you make
in calendar year 2010 in the area of family law? Placing a filter on the
Income Window will tell you. What were your gasoline expenses
last month? Filters provide the answer.
see how you place a filter to determine how much a particular client
paid in 2010, click here.
are the entry point to BBase5’s exporting function. By placing a filter and
then exporting the filtered data to a tab-delimited ASCII text file,
you can open these files in any spreadsheet program, i.e.,
Excel, and prepare spectacular, balancing checking accounts, and informative reports. Pie charts,
line graphs, you have more power here than you’ll ever need and use. All
you need is a modest amount of spreadsheet savvy.
here to see a sample report of monthly expense subtotaled according to
BBase5 can print your checks if you have your check blanks
in the standard printer configuration of one check per sheet with the
check in the middle position. Of course this saves a significant amount
because you're doing your bookkeeping entry and check printing in one
step not two!
comes ready with income and expense categories that are tailored to
a law practice. Income categories range from Administrative Law
to Workers Compensation. You can also create income or expense
categories that are peculiar to your practice.
Puritas Springs Software's Law Office Management
in the form of a billing module that integrates the name and address
information from CBase5
and bookkeeping information from BBase5 to form an
complete and automated billing system. From
now on, the monthly billing will take only seconds. BillB5
also includes an itemized statement function that lets you prepare and
add itemized statements to your monthly billing statements. In
addition, it includes a greatly improved calendar function that
produces daily, weekly or monthly printouts and it's
entries can be imported by the Itemized Statement function.
see a sample billing file, click here. This is the view from which
you do much of your work, like adding bills, attaching itemized
statements, making financial entries that don't go into BBase5,
and adding client messages.
here to see a sample flat fee bill.
here to see a sample itemized statement bill.
Below are some other handy
Sometimes a client with a prolonged case questions his or her bill and
you need more than just a copy of their latest monthly bill.
can produce billing histories in a flash. By changing one field in the
billing record (the date of the last bill), you can present a client
with a comprehensive history showing each and every charge and credit to
their account as well as an itemized statement of services rendered over
whatever period of time you choose.
Once you set up your monthly billing, BillB5 creates
month’s billing file automatically as you generate this month’s
billing statements. That means your work load decreases dramatically
after you do your first month's set of bills. After that you need only
add new bills to the monthly file. BillB5 handles
everything else such as updating last month’s bill and deleting bills
from the current monthly set of clients that are paid in full. It’s no
exaggeration to say that if you do a couple minutes of data entry every
day, preparation of a new set of bills at the beginning of the month
takes only seconds!
You can print your entire monthly or periodic set of bills at one time
or you can print a single bill. It's all done through your word
processor which makes it familiar territory for you to perform
review, editing, formatting and printing tasks.
Not all clients are on a flat-fee. For those clients being billed on an
hourly basis, there’s an integrated itemized statement program within
BillB5. You can make your entries in any order and the
itemized statement will arrange them chronologically automatically.
These itemized statements can be printed and attached to a client’s
regular monthly billing statement. The Itemized Statement worksheet
has the ability to import calendar entries for those that have
client numbers and time durations recorded. Although BillB5
generates complete, accurate and perfectly formatted bills on its own,
it doesn't hurt to be able to do your final review, editing, formatting
and printing in your own word processor.
BillB5 has a greatly enhanced calendar. Not only can it keep
track of your appearance schedule, i.e., court appearances,
office appointments, meetings, etc., you can also assign any
calendar item a client number and time duration so that the itemized
statement function can import these items into the itemized statement.
As mentioned above, you can print daily, weekly or monthly calendar
see the new calendar window, click here.
As you review a bill for printing, you can easily personalize the bill
with brief memos reminding your clients about upcoming case events
(“Please recall that your deposition is scheduled for July 4, 2011 in
the law office of Leland Summerville at 10:00am.”), payment reminders
(“We did not receive payment from you last month and ask that you
contact our office at the earliest convenience to discuss your
outstanding balance.”), or simple courtesies (“Please accept our sincere
thanks for your payment of July 3, 2011.”). The sample bills that are
linked above have examples of such reminders.
clients may be tardy in the payment of their bills. A proven incentive
to timely payment is the addition of interest or late fees on unpaid
bills. This is easily accomplished in BillB5 by checking
Interest box on the billing record and inserting a rate of interest.
Late fees can be added manually using the Description/Amount fields of
which there are ten.
Click here to see a sample billing record with interest and late
fees. It's the third bill in the list - Donna Marie Haeni. Note that the
interest box is checked and 8% is inserted as the rate of interest to be
How much would you expect to pay for a
specialized law office management program with this much power? Well,
one of the leading law office billing packages (single user version)
is $599. If you’re
going to network be prepared to pay dearly. The up-to-five-user version is $899. Note that technical support is free for
only 30 days making it a near-useless extra because that hardly covers
one billing cycle. After that support is about $250 per year for single
users and $350 for multi-users. After paying that, what do you get? A
program that is extremely hard to learn and maintain, so you may as well
count on paying these additional charges.
If you take a look at user ratings on
Amazon for some of the leading law office software, you may be surprised
(or not) at the low rating. Average one and a half stars out of
five! Here are
typical user issues:
I bought Xxxxxxxxx for my law firm billing.
I regret that very much. It is very difficult and time consuming to use.
There is lack of customer service available or they charge you more than
the software to help you with issues. I had to pay a Xxxxxxxxx
specialist $160 an hour to help me with questions that I have. In this
day of technology, a time entry software should not be so difficult and
time consuming to use. I have paid so much time in time training much
more than I paid for the software itself. At this time, I am looking for
a new software to use.
We're so sure you'll find LOM5
quick to learn and easy to use for doing the monthly billing that we not
only provide free technical support, but we'll give you free
remote assistance instruction*. Nobody does that! We're that
sure you'll love it.
What's so special about networks? Two
things. First, name and address, bookkeeping, billing and calendar
data is centrally located. Did you ever change a client's address
and then have to run from computer to computer making sure everyone had
the change? Not so with Law Office Management. Centrally
located files are used by everyone in the office, so that when a change
is made by one user, everyone else can see it. A second benefit is that
its centrally located files make it easy to backup all your data
files because everything is on one computer.
If you’re read this article and have
additional questions, please feel free to give us a call. If you
haven’t clicked on the sample documents we’ve provided, take the time to
do so. A picture’s worth a thousand words and may answer some of your
*The offer of free remote assistance is
not unlimited. Call us if you require additional details.
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Puritas Springs Software. All Rights Reserved
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