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Software Technology, Inc., Lincoln, NE
Tabs3 Time Entry
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Software Technology, Inc., Lincoln, NE
PracticeMaster Matter Manager
QuickBooks for Law Firms – Tabs3 and PracticeMaster
Tabs3 Billing Software and PracticeMaster Practice Management Software, by Software Technology, Inc., offer a number of options when it comes to billing and accounting.
While there are modules for General Ledger, Accounts Payable and Trust Accounting, these packages also offer integration with QuickBooks. If you are currently using QuickBooks and want to move into legal billing and accounting software, these products offer an alternative that also gives you an option for a complete solution down the road. Even if you don’t think you will ever give up QuickBooks, Tabs3 and PracticeMaster are still excellent programs worth consideration. Their integration with QuickBooks is just one more alternative for implementation alternatives.
While integration is offered through batch integration via IIF and automatic integration using QBXML, we are going to ignore the IIF option. IIF is “old technology” and because it contains minimal error checking we don’t recommend it. It’s nice that it is offered as it supports old versions of QuickBooks (pre QuickBooks v2010), but frankly you shouldn’t be running that old a version of QuickBooks.
You can integrate QuickBooks with PracticeMaster and/or Tabs3. The options and information exchanged are somewhat different depending on which program(s) you are using. There are excellent articles on the links available in the Software Technology, Inc. knowledgebase.
Automatic integration via QBXML from Tabs3 and/or PracticeMaster to QuickBooks is simple to turn on and setup. Once setup, it is automatic. Whenever a client or cost is added to Tabs 3 or PracticeMaster, a corresponding customer or bill is automatically added to QuickBooks. Clients can be excluded from linking. “TCodes” in Tabs3 and PracticeMaster are setup with the appropriate debit/credit accounts assigned for linking purposes. When linking with Tabs3 costs and payments are sent to QuickBooks. When linking with PracticeMaster without Tabs3, costs can be sent over to QuickBooks and fees created in PracticeMaster will automatically create time tracking records in QuickBooks.
The link also allows for integration from QuickBooks to Tabs3 and/or PracticeMaster on demand. This will transfer all new or changed cost entries in QuickBooks to be sent to Tabs3 and/or PracticeMaster. If using only PracticeMaster, new or changed time tracking records in QuickBooks are transferred to PracticeMaster. This link from QuickBooks back is fairly unique and means that even those without QuickBooks can see all the client information.
While the link works very well, there is one key piece that you should be aware of – at this time Trust/IOLTA transactions do not integrate with QuickBooks. If you handle a lot of Trust transactions the double entry may be a hassle. For those firms that track their trust activity in a separate QuickBooks file, this eliminates the problem other programs have of passing dummy transactions through your data file to account for the trust activity. Whether this limitation is a “ho-hum” or a “show stopper” will depend on your firm. For many firms, adding the Tabs3 Trust Accounting module will give complete trust accounting separate from QuickBooks but integrated with Tabs3 and PracticeMaster. This can give the best of all worlds as you have complete trust accounting in a program that understands trust accounting and integrates tightly with your billing software, while still having the benefits of QuickBooks for your firm accounting needs.
Each program that we have looked at in the series has advantages and disadvantages and all factors must be weighed to make the right decision. Tabs3 and PracticeMaster have a reputation as quality products with top rated technical support, making them worthy of consideration by any firm.
While it may sound like a lot to decide, there is a network of consultants that can help. If you are in Connecticut, or willing to consider working with someone remotely, contact Caren at 203-254-7736. If you want to see if there’s someone local, go to http://www.tabs3.com/resellers/resellers.html
Tabs3 and PracticeMaster are products, and registered trademarks, of Software Technology, Inc., 1621 Cushman Drive, Lincoln, NE 68512.