LeanLaw is a cloud-based legal timekeeping and billing software with real-time two-way integration with QuickBooks Online. Its features include time and expense tracking, fixed-fee billing, reporting, and more. Its QuickBooks Online integration enables Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts (IOLTA), or trust accounting and electronic receipt of payments through QuickBooks Payments. Prices start at $35 per user, per month, for monthly contracts. You can request a free 2-week trial or personalized demo before you purchase.
What We Recommend LeanLaw For
LeanLaw is our best law firm accounting software for lawyers using QuickBooks Online to manage the accounting side of their business. LeanLaw claims to be the only dedicated legal billing solution in the QuickBooks App Store. Unlike similar software, you don’t have to sync your data because there is an automatic two-way sync in real-time. If your firm has been using QuickBooks to manage your trust accounts, you can further expand this functionality and make this process a breeze using LeanLaw.
LeanLaw Is Especially Good For
- Lawyers and law firms using QuickBooks Online: LeanLaw integrates with your existing QuickBooks Online account to expedite your legal trust account reconciliation and billing workflows.
- Attorneys managing relatively simple or routine legal issues: Lawyers managing simple cases like a will or uncontested divorce usually charge flat fees. LeanLaw lets you track time against fixed fees easily.
- Law firms needing an approval workflow before invoices are generated: LeanLaw allows the billing partner to make adjustments to time and expenses before they are added to an invoice.
LeanLaw Is Not a Good Fit For
- Lawyers and law firms preferring an all-in-one software: If you prefer a solution that doesn’t require a separate subscription to an accounting program, you should consider CosmoLex. It has a built-in accounting system, so you don’t have to use QuickBooks or any other accounting program.
- Law firms needing matter management: LeanLaw is strictly for timekeeping, billing, and accounting. Consider PCLaw if you want matter management built into your accounting program.
- Law firms working with contract lawyers or outside counsel: LeanLaw has no client portal to share files with your client or cocounsel. Zola Suite includes a dedicated client portal that can also be used by cocounsel.
Are you looking for something different? If you think general bookkeeping software might be right for your law firm, check out our guide to the best small business accounting software.
LeanLaw Pros and Cons
|Deep two-way integration with QuickBooks Online||Requires separate subscription for QuickBooks Online|
|Supports all kinds of fixed-fee billing methods||No matter management features|
|Automatic trust account reconciliation||No client portal|
|Includes a comprehensive mobile app||Not as many features as similar software|
LeanLaw is offered in three packages with prices that start at $35 per user, per month, for a monthly subscription. Features available range from simple ones, such as timekeeping, invoicing, and reporting, to more advanced functionality like Legal Electronic Data Exchange Standard (LEDES) billing, advanced reporting templates, and access to legal accounting experts. You can sign up for a 2-week trial in Core and Pro plans. See the detailed plan comparison below.
Pricing & Features
QuickBooks Online Integration
Advanced Reporting Templates
Free Migration from Existing Software
Access to Legal Accounting Experts
LeanLaw helps you transform QuickBooks Online to fit the needs of your legal practice. It adds timekeeping, billing, invoicing, and trust accounting features that are particularly useful for law firms and practicing attorneys. Some of its key features include the following.
LeanLaw’s unique strength is its deep integration with QuickBooks Online, which not only simplifies your legal accounting but also your legal billing workflow. Enter your time in LeanLaw, and it’ll be pushed to invoicing automatically and then straight to your QuickBooks Online account. With QuickBooks Online plus LeanLaw, you won’t be dealing with two sets of books as data is always in sync.
To help you bill clients properly, LeanLaw allows you to track hours worked using your desktop, laptop, or mobile devices. It offers multiple ways of tracking time, including a time tracker mobile app, calendar view with timers, and a web app pop-up. These tools help you check if there are gaps in your billable hours so that they can be remedied immediately. Bulk time entry is also included in all LeanLaw subscriptions.
Billing & Invoicing
LeanLaw follows LEDES and American Bar Association (ABA) standards for billing and invoicing clients. You can add standard litigation, patent/intellectual property, and bankruptcy codes to your billings, to ensure that they are compliant with LEDES and ABA standards. Electronic invoices are then generated automatically and submitted to LEDES billing systems, including Legal Tracker, eCounsel, Lawtrac, and CounselLink.
Once a new time entry is created, it goes to the Ready To Bill tab under the Billing section automatically. From the Ready to Bill tab, you need to pick a client or matter to bill and then click on the arrow on the left side, which will then lead you to the screen where you can edit and format your invoice. Next, Click Prepare Invoice, and select Create Draft Invoice. Go to Drafts and review your invoice; you can make adjustments, including the description, time, and billed amount. To edit your invoice, click on any item in your draft, such as description and amount, and an edit form will appear. Once you’re happy with the invoice, select Submit to QuickBooks. The invoice will go to QuickBooks Online automatically and is ready to be sent to the client. You can revert your invoice back to Drafts if you need to make some additional changes.
LeanLaw’s built-in trust accounting can be integrated into the user’s legal invoicing workflow. This makes it easier for you to make legal trust deposits and pay invoices straight from your client’s trust accounts. These trust transactions are then synced automatically with QuickBooks Online, eliminating manual data entry.
While the accounting is done in QuickBooks, the real-time two-way sync between QuickBooks and LeanLaw allows LeanLaw to pull the account balances and display the reconciled trust balances. You can view all of your funds held in trust from the Billing tab.
The amounts displayed in a column with the QuickBooks logo are pulled directly from the QuickBooks ledgers for both the bank accounts and related liability accounts. Therefore, you can see that your accounting records agree with your billing records easily, and all trust accounts are reconciled.
The trust balances pulled from QuickBooks can also be viewed within LeanLaw in a report format and even added to your client’s invoice so they know the full status of their account.
LeanLaw has created this video to help explain their trust accounting process further.
Client-based Accounting or Matter-based Accounting
With LeanLaw plus QuickBooks Online, you can choose between accounting by client or matter. For instance, we recommend matter accounting if you need to track trust funds separately for each matter. Pick client accounting if you need to add time or expenses from multiple matters to the same invoice. LeanLaw uses client-based accounting by default, but you can change it anytime from the QuickBooks tab in LeanLaw.
You can choose to enter expenses either in your LeanLaw or QuickBooks Online account. Whichever method you choose, data is synced automatically between the two. LeanLaw also allows you to attach invoices directly to your expenses and tag the client to ensure that they are always up-to-date.
LeanLaw generates a wide array of legal accounting reports, including revenues by client and matter, revenues by attorney, timekeeper productivity, fixed fee productivity, matter rates, and more. When integrated, you can also access QuickBooks Online financial reports, including balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow statements.
LeanLaw QuickBooks Online ProAdvisors
LeanLaw has a special program that matches legal firms to QuickBooks ProAdvisors, which are accountants that have passed a certification exam from Intuit demonstrating proficiency with QuickBooks. LeanLaw provides the necessary support to help law firms find QuickBooks ProAdvisors who are also proficient in LeanLaw. You can contact LeanLaw to match you to a ProAdvisor.
Customer Service and Ease of Use
LeanLaw itself is fairly easy to use, with a very simple interface. From the main page, you’ll directly access the timekeeping tool, along with other features found on top of the screen. The main tabs include Calendar, Time Entries, Expenses, Billing, Clients, Matters, and Reports. The program uses user-friendly terms and list boxes for easy navigation.
However, to fully leverage LeanLaw, you should be familiar with QuickBooks. If you need help learning QuickBooks Online, check out Free QuickBooks Online tutorials by Fit Small Business.
You can contact LeanLaw’s customer support through email or over the phone. You can also check out their online collection of help materials including frequently asked questions and how-to articles.
LeanLaw itself is an ideal solution that can suffice for your legal time tracking and billing needs. However, if you want to transform it into powerful accounting software, you should integrate it with QuickBooks Online. Some other legal practice management software integrates with QuickBooks, but I personally think that LeanLaw and QuickBooks Online are “a perfect match.”