After 8 years litigating civil tax cases for the Department of Justice Tax Division and 12 years with a law firm, Robert Nath made a life-changing decision: Go out on his own.
While his work ethic was strong and his tax experience and business smarts considerable, his decision to go solo meant giving up a small army of law clerks, paralegals, administrative assistants and office managers, each with skills he knew he would need to replace in order to build a successful firm.
As a lawyer, I want to spend the least
amount of time on administrative work.
No surprise coming from any attorney, much less one of his experience, Mr. Nath wanted to build a successful, profitable practice by getting and serving clients and totally minimizing the paperwork (actual or electronic).
“In my previous position, I didn’t have to be concerned as much with billing or keeping accounting in check,” he said. “What I was concerned with was creating a persuasive and effective case, and best serving the client. My previous firm and the government both had excellent administrative staffs working full-time to handle the non-legal work.”
Since going out on his own 11 years ago, Mr. Nath has successfully delegated almost all of those otherwise time-draining administrative tasks to one single piece of software: PCLaw® client, matter, billing and accounting software from LexisNexis®.
PCLaw bridges the admin gap.
As technology has leveled the playing field for smalloffice lawyers, Mr. Nath finds himself missing neither the small army of administrators he used to depend on, nor what it would cost to employ them.
“Now I rely on PCLaw,” he says. “PCLaw tries very hard to not let me make a mistake. And if I do, it automatically fixes it for me.”
“Keeping my firm’s finances organized and in control is critical. Trust accounting, operating accounts…keeping track of the money is absolutely essential for success. PCLaw won’t let you screw it up. There’s no possibility of making a mistake.”
One entry takes care of everything.
“Among the most attractive features of PCLaw is that you only enter data once,” says Mr. Nath, who estimates he saves three to four hours a month doing his billing with PCLaw.
“It keeps time, calculates rates, and creates pre-bills and bills from one time entry. I looked at other timekeeping and bookkeeping programs. Most seemed adequate, but required me to convert time entries to billing. Not so with PCLaw.”
Keeping my firm’s finances organized and in control is critical. Trust accounting, operating accounts… keeping track of the money is absolutely essential for success.
— Robert G. Nath, Tax Attorney
Mr. Nath is a big fan of how PCLaw helps track his firm’s financial progress. “When I first opened, I didn’t know where my next case was coming from,” he said, echoing the sentiments of many attorneys who go out on their own.
“I would ask myself every day, ‘Am I making money?’ I wanted to keep track of exactly how much I was making and what my profit was in real-time. I have all my accounts on Bank Balance and periodically I check it to see how much I have and how I’m doing.
“PCLaw gives you more reports than you could ever need,” Nath says, including those he personally considers absolutely essential: “Financial statements, especially P&L and GL. You know your gross and net instantly. Also productivity, by attorney, and/or in total, and for any date range.”
“Plus, I can export the P&L to my accountant (four export formats are available), who drops it into a Schedule C, saving us both a lot of time. Before my taxes are done, I can already see how much profit I had in the prior year and other helpful info, such as how much I made in draws that I can deduct for healthcare.”
If a client needs to know how much is
deductible on an asset, I can answer in
As a tax lawyer with deadline-driven clients, adopting a mindset of responsiveness contributes not only to providing excellent client service, but also helping Mr. Nath run an efficient practice.
That means always being prepared to quickly respond to his clients’ questions with the help of PCLaw.
“If I get a call like I did today from a client asking, ‘How much did I pay you last year, Bob? I need to deduct it on my taxes,’ I can go to ‘Client’ and ‘Accounting Ledger’ and within 10 seconds I’ve got the info emailed to him,” he said. “PCLaw is excellent.”
I give PCLaw’s customer support service
A’s in responsiveness and competence.
Now that he’s running his own practice and dependent on PCLaw to fill the administrative gaps, Mr. Nath relies heavily on the PCLaw support team to make sure he can take care of any concerns as quickly as possible so he can keep up and running.
“When I do need help with something, I can call and speak to a real person who knows what they’re doing,” said Mr. Nath, who stays up to date with the latest versions and upgrades of PCLaw with the annual maintenance plan.
“They’re always there to help.”
Customer Profile: Robert G. Nath is a tax attorney in McLean, Virginia who is nationally recognized as an authority on tax matters.
Business Situation: After 20 years practicing law in firms, Robert G. Nath decided to start his own firm advising clients on their IRS and state tax concerns. Though he started with considerable tax experience and business expertise, one of his concerns was giving up the small army of law clerks, paralegals, administrative assistants and office managers he relied on in previous positions with the U.S Department of Justice Tax Division and another law firm.
Solution: Rather than hiring employees to handle his firm’s administrative tasks, which he “wanted to spend the least amount of time on,” Mr. Nath delegated his timekeeping and financial accounting work to PCLaw® client, matter, billing and accounting software from LexisNexis®. Besides keeping his finances “organized and in control” with fully integrated timekeeping, billing, accounting and reporting, PCLaw makes Mr. Nath’s life considerably easier by showing him in real time exactly how much he’s bringing in and what it means to his bottom line. “I have all my accounts on Bank Balance and I can check every day to see how much I have and how I’m doing.” Mr. Nath is also a big fan of PCLaw customer support and always stays updated on the latest versions with an annual maintenance plan. “When I do need help with something, I can call and speak to a real person who knows what they’redoing. They’re always there to help.”
Product Summary: PCLaw® client, matter, billing and accounting software helps keep your firm’s matters and finances organized and in control. With practice and financial management tools all built into one program, PCLaw tracks time and expenses, expedites billing, pays vendors, reconciles bank statements, takes command of trust accounting, centralizes all your client and matter details and so much more. In addition, PCLaw dashboards give you a quickscan visual look at your firm’s most essential information on one screen, so you can get on top of your day, your client needs and your finances all over your first cup of coffee. The newest version also includes Batch Email Billing, which allows you to get bills out faster, so you can speed cash flow, too.