how to do bookkeeping for law firm

Moreover, doing so will also offer an added advantage of recognizing multiple other growth opportunities. Law firms are all about seasoned lawyers and expert legal counselors. Bookkeeping and accounting cycles are not the areas they spend the most of their time around. Accounting for law firms may be new or challenging to you, but it doesn’t have to be scary.

Assets, liabilities, owner’s equity, income, and expenditures make up these five categories. In double-entry accounting, financial transactions are categorized into asset, liability, or equity categories. The practice of double entry accounting provides an extra level of protection against errors and is therefore, a trusted method. Furthermore, accurate accounting reports help you make the right move and help expand your business. So, it wouldn’t be wrong to mention that there are multiple and immensely important responsibilities handled by the accountants. Aside from this, they also assist in keeping you away from violating legal accounting rules, penalties or suspension of license.

Track your tax deductions

To earn the certified public bookkeeper license, bookkeepers must have 2,000 hours of work experience, pass an exam and sign a code of conduct. They must take 24 hours of continuing education each year to maintain their license. Each sale and purchase your business conducts must be recorded in the ledger and some items will need documentation.

  • As a result, attorneys often find themselves making several common mistakes again and again.
  • For example, if you’re expensing a meal, you might record who you were with and what you discussed.
  • Accountants will either quote a client a fixed price for a specific service or charge a general hourly rate.
  • Hiring an accountant is so much more than just to be used when it is tax time, and you are looking to file your tax return.
  • If you don’t keep your books up-to-date, you’ll need to play catch up at the end of the year.

Although they share a common goal, they occur at different stages of managing your firm’s finances. Bookkeeping happens first and relates to the administrative side of tracking your cash. Accounting for law firms becomes so much easier when you work with an accounting professional from the beginning. Double-entry accounting is a system of bookkeeping where every entry to an account (i.e., every financial transaction) requires a corresponding and opposite entry to a different account. A double entry system, therefore, has two equal and corresponding sides—or debits and credits—and creates a balance sheet consisting of assets, liabilities, and equity.

Ways Legal Practice Management Software Optimizes Your Firm’s Finances

A strong accounting practice will also allow you to plan strategically for the future. Clearly presented financial data will help you identify areas in your business accounts that may need tweaking for optimal functionality. One of the principal benefits law firm bookkeeping of using the cash accounting method is its simplicity. This type of accountancy gives you a clear look at your current financial situation. With cash accounting, you don’t have to pay taxes on earned money until it has been deposited into your account.

A professional legal accountant’s role will generally focus on interpreting, collecting, and utilizing financial data to help a firm stay compliant and grow. Bringing in an expert will help you with accounting tasks, accounting processes, business decisions, bookkeeping tasks, and more. Do not be afraid to bring in an expert to allow you to focus on things you are better at, like solutions for your clients’ legal problems. Excellent law firm accounting is to give data that is valuable on the state of your company.