Paul W. Carlson, CPA (00:00):
Hi, this is Paul Carlson CPA with Law Firm Velocity. In this year's videos, we're going to look at practice management accounting systems for immigration law firms. Immigration law firms have two characteristics that make the IOLTA trust accounting much more difficult.
First is just the high volume of matters. Immigration firms have lots of new matters that start each month, and the matters last just a couple of months. There's a lot more detail to track every month. The second characteristic is immigration firms send a high volume of IOLTA checks to government agencies. Each filing can have multiple checks required out of the trust account. To run an immigration firm, we need an accounting system that makes it simple to write all these checks, while at the same time safeguarding the IOLTA account to make sure that none of the client accounts are overdrawn.
In the world of accounting options for immigration firms, I split the world into two different categories. First are practice management systems that rely on third-party accounting systems. Examples of those are Clio and integrated with QuickBooks Online. In that system, Clio cannot print checks, so you have to go over into QuickBooks online to print the checks. With the Clio integration, IOLTA details are not integrated across the pieces of software. You have to manually enter the trust account details in both QuickBooks Online and Clio. It just leaves a good deal of room to make mistakes, and a lot of overhead management costs.
The second section of systems are practice management systems that have the accounting system built in. The legacy systems, people might recognize the names of our ProLaw and Orion. These are expensive pieces of software that are installed on a server, which means you have to buy a server, which means you also have to hire an IT person to keep the server happy. A newer software, this service or online practice management system is CosmoLex, and that has a built-in accounting system.
The rest of the videos in this series are going to show how to use CosmoLex to run an immigration law firm. If you need help with your immigration firm's accounting, please check us out at Law Firm Velocity. Thanks. Bye-Bye.