One of the advantages to Cloud-based software is that you're always on the most current version. New features are announced and you don’t have to purchase an upgrade or install anything new.
It has been a while since I last wrote about Clio, and many new features have been added. There also are some areas worth a closer look. You shouldn't have to re-engineer your firm to fit your software, you should be able to find software that will fit your firm.
One caveat as to how the software will work for you can vary quite a lot. While one firm may love the way Clio manages documents, another may find it inadequate. It's possible that the size of your firm or structure of your data may make conversion difficult.
It is important to not only ask questions, but to test any software to make sure it's right for your firm. When testing, make sure you get representatives of each group in the firm – lawyer, paralegal, administrator, billing clerk, etc. – to test their area.
This is true not only for Clio, but for any software. The goal is to make sure you choose a solution that'll work for all parties in your firm.
Clio offers an app for androids and iPhones. While I can’t test the Android app, the iPhone app allows you to enable TouchID – if supported on your device.
This makes logging in secure and easy. You also set a backup PIN to simplify access. Since the PIN is only four digits, this actually may make it somewhat less secure.
The app shows your next five events and tasks, as well as recent matters you have worked on. Access to calendar, matters, tasks and other areas of the program is easy and new information can be quickly added. More people are working from non-computer devises, so these apps can be a useful tool.
Clio recognizes the important of integration and, by use of Zapier, offers connection to hundreds of web apps. If you're not familiar with Zapier, it acts as the middle-man to allow two programs to connect without the programmers creating the specific links for each app.
Top improvements that Clio made during 2016 include:
Trust requests – Quickly create a statement to send to a client to request funds for deposit into the trust account. There is an approval process available, and you can include a link to allow your client to pay online directly into the trust account.
Clio Trust Request
Advanced Tasks – The ability to add task types, status and time estimates to every task. This can help with workflow planning and measurement.
Improvements to Court rules – Makes them easier to use. There now is a wizard to help in applying and customizing deadlines, improved search functionality and invite attendees and set reminder.
Clio court rules
Bulk edits to time entries – Change rates or reassign time entries across multiple time entries in on quick process. This is far less likely to lead to errors than individually editing a number of time entries.
Clio Edit Multiple Entries
One area I would like to see improved, hopefully during 2017, is the link to QuickBooks Online. At present, Income is sent to one account, you have no way to allocate it based upon the responsible attorney, or attorney actually doing the work.
For some law firms this doesn’t really matter, but for many it's really needed. And for those who would like to have the option available when they do need it, maybe it will be added down the road.