Best Legal Accounting Software for Small & Large Law Firms

Monday, August 22, 2022
Sandra Petrova
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Let us guess: You're on the lookout for the best legal accounting software on the market. 

This best legal accounting software roundup covers everything from the best small law firm accounting software to premium law office accounting software for larger companies.

There are certain conditions this kind of software has to meet. It has to come with superior accounting features, handle client trust accounts, and maintain detailed records to properly bill clients.

We reviewed many legal accounting software options loved by law firms, and came up with a list of the 10 best apps you should know.

 

Best accounting software for law firms comparison chart (top 10 highest rated)

In this section, we’ll take a quick look at how the top 10 legal accounting software solutions compare against each other in terms of pricing. We’ll also briefly mention what each software is best for. 

With that said, here’s a quick lineup of accounting software law firms can rely on: 

Product

Best for

Pricing*

Site

FreshBooks

Best overall 

$13.50 /month 

Visit

CosmoLex

Great all-in-one solution

$85 /user/month

Visit

Zola Suite

CRM capabilities 

$59 per user/month 

Visit

LeanLaw

Mid-sized companies

$40 /user/month

Visit

ZipBooks

Small companies, solo practitioners

Free plan; $15 /month

Visit

Clio

Scalability 

$39 /user/month

Visit

PCLaw

Large firms 

Contact vendor

Visit

QuickBooks Online

Small and medium-sized companies 

$15 /month for first three months, then $30

Visit

Xero

Growing companies

$12 /month

Visit

Zoho Books

Cost-effectiveness 

Free plan; $15 /month 

Visit

*Prices start at

 

What is the best legal accounting software? Here’s our top 10 list:

Here we'll explain the best legal accounting software for law firms and discuss top features, pricing plans, and pros and cons. Some of the billing software on this list would be better suited for solo practitioners and microbusinesses, and others will be a better pick for fast-growing companies. 

1. FreshBooks: best legal accounting software overall

FreshBooks dashboard

FreshBooks is a cloud-based accounting software that we voted as the best legal accounting software overall. In a nutshell, it's a suitable solution for solo accountants, lawyers, and small and medium-sized business owners. 

This software is a top pick for law firms and legal professionals because it automates management tasks like organizing expenses and tracking time so that you can focus on tending to your clients. 

You can impress clients with professional estimates and invoices that show off your brand. FreshBooks accounting software offers online billing and payment options to get you paid faster. 

Other features include balance sheets, accounts receivable and payable, and general ledger tools. You can also set up payment reminders, recurring invoices, and auto credit card charges.

Pros:

  • Great for small business owners 

  • Mobile apps for iOS and Android

  • 10% discount for an annual subscription

  • Time tracking and unlimited invoices included in all plans

  • Create professional invoices

  • Track expenses and billable hours

  • Set up payment reminders 

  • Integration with 100+ third-party apps 

  • Supports all leading payment methods 

  • Profit and loss reports

Cons:

  • No free plan

  • Not suitable for larger law firms

  • All plans support one user

  • Adding additional team members can get expensive ($10/user/month)

Pricing:

  • Lite: $13.50 /month billed annually 

  • Plus: $22.50 /month billed annually 

  • Premium: $45 /month billed annually 

  • Select: contact vendor for pricing 

Get this legal accounting software here  

FreshBooks review

 

2. CosmoLex: great all-in-one law accounting software

CosmoLex dashboard

CosmoLex is a cloud-based law accounting software that's part of the Tabs3 family. It comes with built-in trust accounting tools, so you don't have to use any additional software. 

You'll be able to import bank statements, run trust accounting reports, and print disbursements checks, all from one platform. 

Other tools include billing and creating professional invoices, including bulk invoices if you're handling multiple clients. With the matter management features, you'll be able to manage items and events related to matters, including expense cards, trust transactions, and time cards. 

Pros:

  • Handle your everyday office accounting in the same program as your trust accounting

  • Outstanding customer support

  • Client portal where clients can upload documents instead of having to bring them into your physical office

  • Feature-rich 

  • Straightforward pricing 

Cons:

  • It can take some time to learn how the software works

  • The software may experience occasional glitches 

Pricing:

  • $85 /user/month billed annually 

Get this all-in-one law accounting software here

 

3. Zola Suite: good lawyers accounting software if you need CRM capabilities

Zola Suite dashboard

Zola Suite is one of the best accounting software for lawyers that covers everything from case management and client lead intake to comprehensive firm accounting. You'll get access to the integrated CRM functionality if you subscribe to the Enterprise or Enterprise Plus tiers. 

The Enterprise Plus plan also unlocks the LEDES budgeting feature. Additional features include an accounting of all operating and trust accounts with triple reconciliation. 

Having all of these features under one roof means you won't need to use a dozen different programs and nothing will fall through the cracks.

Pros:

  • Integrated CRM in the Enterprise and Enterprise Plus tiers

  • Great for large law firms 

  • Feature-rich with functionality like calendaring, document management, and accounting

  • Client Portal

  • Built-in email

  • Every subscription comes with free onboarding and training

Cons:

  • Refunds and voiding checks can be tricky

Pricing:

  • Core: $59 per user/month billed annually

  • Enterprise: $79 per user/month billed annually

  • Enterprise Plus: $89 per user/month billed annually

Get this lawyers accounting software with CRM capabilities here 

 

4. LeanLaw: best legal billing software for mid-sized law firms

LeanLaw dashboard

LeanLaw is one of the more popular names in the legal accounting industry. There are many things that make LeanLaw the best law firm billing software, including features like time tracking by matter, expense tracking, bulk invoices, and trust accounting. 

The software offers great billing features that support hourly, flat fee, and hybrid billing, as well as LEDES billing. 

Another perk of the software is that it seamlessly integrates with Quickbooks Online if you're already using this software for your accounting and bookkeeping needs. The integration is real-time and two-way, which means the two apps synchronize in a matter of seconds. 

Pros:

  • Real-time, two-way integration with QuickBooks

  • Highly affordable

  • IOLTA accounting built into the invoicing workflow

  • Comprehensive time-tracking tool

  • Real-time 3-way bank reconciliation

Cons:

  • Requires separate subscription to QuickBooks

  • Lacks CRM functionality

Pricing:

  • LeanLaw Core: $40 /user/month billed annually

  • LeanLaw Pro: $50 /user/month billed annually

Get this law firm billing software here

 

5. ZipBooks: top small law firms accounting software

ZipBooks dashboard

ZipBooks is the best accounting software for small law firms. The software is user-friendly, offers plenty of useful feature modules, and is highly affordable. The free version is free forever and has plenty of invoicing and accounting functions. 

Accountants can use it to manage clients and track time across different client accounts. Features like smart insights and reports help you retain your most profitable clients, get paid on time, and see how you’re doing compared to competitors. You can even automate everything with auto-billing and automated payment reminders.

Pros:

  • Free forever plan

  • Highly intuitive and easy to learn

  • A good set of accounting features, including double-entry accounting

  • Expense tracking and financial reporting

  • Recurring invoices

  • Assign tracked time to a client or project

  • Online payments with Paypal and Stripe

  • Create detailed client contacts

  • Financial statements 

Cons:

  • The ZipBooks app has been discontinued

  • It’s North America-centric

Pricing:

  • Free

  • Smarter: $15 /month

  • Sophisticated: $35 /month

  • Accountant: Contact vendor

Get this accounting software for small law firms here 

ZipBooks review

 

6. Clio: great legal accounts software if you care about scalability 

Clio dashboard

Clio is a cloud-based legal account software solution geared towards small to large law firms. The software makes lawyers more productive with features like time and expense tracking, online payments, billing, accounting, integrations, and calendaring. 

There are four subscription levels which means that you can start small and upgrade to a higher plan as your business grows. In addition, Clio integrates with a good deal of third-party apps, including QuickBooks Online and Xero. It has a neat Accounting Export feature that lets you export time entries to other accounting software. 

Pros:

  • Create custom bills 

  • Set up recurring payments

  • Accept credit, debit, or eCheck payments

  • Easy to use for anyone from tech-savvy users to newbies

  • New features are constantly being released

Cons:

  • Pricey monthly plans

  • The platform is not the most intuitive

Pricing:

  • EasyStart: $39 /user/month billed annually 

  • Essentials: $69 /user/month billed annually

  • Advanced: $99 /user/month billed annually

  • Complete: $129 /user/month billed annually

Get this legal account software here 

 

7. PCLaw: best law firm accounting software for large companies

PCLaw dashboard

PCLaw is an all-in-one accounting software for law firm use, suitable for large companies with more advanced needs. Built by LexisNexis, it integrates seamlessly with other LexisNexis products. It comes with a good deal of features to help you manage matters, track time, pay vendors, accept online payments, and manage trust accounts. You can even track time on the go with its mobile timekeeping app, PCLaw Go.

Pros:

  • Integrates with other LexisNexis products

  • A good deal of accounting and bookkeeping features

  • Solid reporting capabilities

  • Plenty of customization options 

Cons:

  • Desktop-based program; requires installation and setup

  • No payroll integration

  • No public pricing

Pricing:

  • Public pricing is not available for this vendor. You need to contact the sales team for a custom quote. 

  • Has a steep learning curve. 

Get this accounting software for law firm use here

 

8. Quickbooks Online: top attorney accounting software for small and medium-sized firms 

Quickbooks Online dashboard

QuickBooks Online is an industry leader when it comes to the best accounting software for attorneys. It's relatively easy to use, offers plenty of features, and automates many accounting tasks. 

Small and medium law firms have a lot to benefit from this software, as well as solo accountants working for multiple clients. 

In short, QuickBooks Online lets you create estimates and convert them to invoices, send payable invoices to clients, bill payments, track income and expenses, check the health of your business with various reports and insights, capture receipts from your phone and so much more. 

On the plus side, there are four subscription levels, meaning you can always start small and then gradually upgrade to a higher plan. 

Pros:

  • Set hourly billing rates for each legal service

  • Create custom rates for partners, associates, paralegals, and assistants

  • Create professional invoices, send recurring invoices, track invoice status, and send payment reminders

  • Receive payments via credit card, eChecks, and ACH transfers

  • Capture recipes from the mobile app and save them as expenses

  • Handle sales tax

  • Create estimates, email them to clients, and convert them into invoices

  • Make cash flow projections 30 and 90 days in the future

  • Profit and Loss reports

  • See how much money your projects make with Project Profitability

  • Time tracking

  • Integrate with 600+ apps, including Clio and LeanLaw  

Cons:

  • No free plan

  • You only get one user with the Simple Start plan

  • There’s a learning curve

  • Monthly plans might not be affordable for budget-tight companies 

Pricing:

  • Simple Start: $15 /month for the first three months, then $30

  • Essentials: $27.50 /month for the first three months, then $55

  • Plus: $42.50 /month for the first three months, then $85

  • Advanced: $100 /month for the first three months, then $200

  • Self-employed for freelancers: $7.50/month for the first three months, then $15

Get this accounting software for attorneys here

QuickBooks Online review

 

9. Xero: top law accounting software for small growing businesses 

Xero dashboard

There's no surprise that Xero made it on our list of best legal accounting software. This popular solution has been around since the mid-2000s and boasts over 2 million users. In terms of features, there are plenty. 

There is a good deal of invoicing features, on top of expense tracking, online payments, sales tax, time tracking, and profitability tracking. You can use it to capture bills and receipts, categorize and reconcile your bank account transactions, and get detailed reports on the health of your business. 

Although there's no free plan, you can access all Xero features for free for 30 days. 

Pros:

  • Each plan lets you have unlimited users 

  • The interface is user-friendly

  • Accept payments through payment gateways such as Paypal

  • Time-tracking 

  • Create and send customized invoices

  • Payroll management

  • 1,000+ integrations

Cons:

  • The mobile app lacks important features

  • No free plan

  • The add-on payroll with Gusto can be expensive 

  • Has a slight learning curve

Pricing:

  • Early: $12 /month

  • Growing: $34 /month

  • Established: $65 /month

Get this law accounting software for small growing businesses here 

 

10. Zoho Books: most affordable law accounting software 

Zoho Books dashboard

Zoho Books comes with all the features small law firms need from an accounting software, like creating recurring invoices, expense tracking, online payments, advanced reporting, timesheet, and more. 

Zoho Books is a recommended product for companies that are already using other Zoho products, like Zoho CRM and Zoho Projects. Another perk of the Zoho Books software is that it supports more payment gateway options than other accounting tools. 

If you want to test the software before you commit to a monthly subscription, you can either sign up for the free 14-day trial or explore the demo account. 

Pros:

  • Free demo and 14-day trial

  • Generous free plan

  • Affordable monthly plans and five subscription levels

  • Integrates seamlessly with other Zoho products 

  • A good deal of automation features like recurring invoices and payment reminders

  • Collaborate with clients via the Client Portal

  • Receive scheduled reports 

  • Attach documents to transactions 

Cons:

  • Plans come with a limited number of users

  • It has a learning curve

  • You can’t manage multiple companies under a single account

Pricing:

  • Free

  • Standard: $15 /month billed annually 

  • Professional: $40 /month billed annually

  • Premium: $60 /month billed annually

  • Elite: $120 /month billed annually

  • Ultimate: $240 /month billed annually

Get this affordable law accounting software here

Zoho Books review

 

Which law firm accounting software is best for me? Key takeaways

In this roundup post, we suggested that FreshBooks is the best law practice management software overall, as it's a suitable solution for solo accountants, lawyers, and small and medium-sized business owners.

But this doesn't mean it's the best choice for everyone.

Larger law firms that need an all-in-one accounting system with more advanced features should consider tools like PCLaw and LeanLaw. Zola Suite might be the best choice for you if you need a platform that includes CRM capabilities. 

Are you seeking the best accounting software for self employed individuals? Or are you actually seeking the best lease accounting software with legal accounting tools? 

Before you decide on a piece of legal practice management software, make a list of things that are important for you in a software solution. 

That includes things like affordability, ease of use, and suite of features (client management, financial management, project management, etc.). You can make the right buying decision only by knowing exactly what features you’re looking for. 

And in case you’re a smaller law firm with humble needs and didn’t find anything you like on this list, take a look at our best small business accounting software post. 

Finding the most suitable tool to streamline your legal work is some kind of journey—we hope we’ve helped you on the path.

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