CosmoLex today released an update to its cloud-based practice management platform that adds a new module for managing a law firm’s accounts payable. While some desktop practice management systems include accounts payable functions, this is the first cloud-based platform to add this, as far I can determine.
The new module enables law firms to manage and track accounts payable from within the CosmoLex platform. This includes both their own accounts payable – phone bills, rent and the like – and those incurred on behalf of clients.
When you receive a phone bill, for example, enter the details such as amount and due date. When you pay the bill, enter the payment information and the item is mark paid. A dashboard shows all unpaid items and their due dates. Overdue bills are shown in red and the system also sends you an alert that a bill is overdue.
Recurring bills can be marked as such and the system will track them separately as recurring items.
If a firm receives a bill chargeable to a client, it also can be entered in this system. As you enter the bill, click the option to post it as a matter expense, and you will then be able to associate it with a client matter. The next time you create an invoice for that client, the expense will be included.
You also have the option of choosing to hold the bill until the client pays the invoice in full. If you select this option, the system will place a hold on paying the item. Once the client’s invoice payment is recorded within CosmoLex, then the hold is lifted automatically.
A noteworthy feature of this new release was designed specifically for personal-injury attorneys and others who have to track third-party lien claims on their clients’ behalves, such as medical bills, so payments can be properly disbursed from trust funds after any financial recovery. A component of this new accounts-payable module tracks these third-party claims and ties them to the client matter.
Now, within any matter in CosmoLex, there is a new tab for third-party bills. This is where attorneys can enter and track these third-party bills. They are kept separate from the firm’s own accounts payable and billing records.
If the case is settled or a judgment is awarded, then the attorney can go in and pay these items from the funds in the trust account. The attorney can also use this to generate a complete report of these costs, to be filed with the court or provided to others.
“Accounts payable is much like any other aspect of legal accounting, there are many requirements and regulations that are unique to law firms,” said Rick Kabra, CosmoLex CEO. “We have designed this module with these unique needs in mind, as we do with all of our product enhancements.”
The module includes the ability to generate various A/P reports, including an aging summary.