MyCase now runs with Intuit’s QuickBooks. What did they get right and what misses the mark?
In September, practice management software company MyCase announced integration with Quickbooks accounting software. MyCase users are now able to synchronize invoicing and payments done in MyCase with their Quickbooks accounts. As is always the case with new technology, some might be wary of jumping in before more is known about what works, what does not and what is buggy. When it is two technologies partnering, there is always room for a glitch or two. Is there anything to be wary of when taking a headfirst dive into this new partnership of law firm and business management tools?
The latest integration of MyCase involves QuickBooks Pro for Windows and QuickBooks Online. For those not yet familiar with MyCase, it is comprehensive practice management software for attorneys, which helps firms manage their clients, cases, documents, time, expenses and fees. There is also a function, thanks to the SaaS application, that allows the creation of invoices and offers the ability for a law office to take payments from clients and manage trust accounts. SaaS is the acronym for "Software As A Service," and is a delivery method providing access to software remotely, at a lower monthly price, rather than paying for licensed software. You may also know SaaS as a hosted application.
How was integration of these two services achieved? In this instance, MyCase’s integration with QuickBooks is a harmonization of MyCase client information, payments, statements, and firm revenue to your existing QuickBooks account in the Cloud, automatically synching them. When you enter information into MyCase, your Quickbooks service is updated accordingly.
To use this latest technological partnership, you need to have QuickBooks and use, or obtain MyCase. If you are already a Quickbooks and MyCase user, you may choose which payments and statements to send to QuickBooks. The vice president of MyCase, an attorney himself, calls the process of going from QuickBooks to MyCase, “intelligent mapping.” If you create an invoice within MyCase, that amount will be placed into your accounts receivable in Quickbooks. If a client makes a payment, the payment is noted in MyCase and that account is marked as paid in Quickbooks.
One of the more appealing features is the synchronizing of trust accounts accurately. In other words, invoices and receivables can be moved with one click and the information is synched in QuickBooks, with the right accounts and deposits noted as liabilities until invoiced. One great function MyCase does offer is overviews of trust balances, but that data is not sent to QuickBooks. That is a function still in development for the future. There is a one-time set-up cost, which at this writing was pegged at $99, unless there is a promotion running.
Set-up time, with on-the-phone-assistance from MyCase runs about an hour to get all the accounts in proper working order. Getting started does not appear to be the main issue, but how you have your QuickBooks set up can be. For instance, on sync QuickBooks tries to match client names to billing contacts in MyCase. Very cool - unless someone else is paying the legal bills for a particular client. The system would then create a new client and the payment would not be credited to the actual client receiving legal services. MyCase synchronization seems to not allow as much segmenting or itemization as some firms choose to setup within Quickbooks.
For law firms that have various fees for various services, such as trial representation or an attorney’s presence at a preliminary hearing, the software does not handle that. It leans to one flat fee. Workable? Perhaps so, depending on your point-of-view and level of patience.
Is this partnership made in the clouds worth checking out? It would seem so, but it all comes down to personal and professional preferences in your legal office. Some have found that the inconveniences have manageable workarounds. The ability to sync information at all has the potential to save firms a lot of much needed time.