There are certain skills that we’ve acquired over the years that are simply hard to find anywhere else. We call them our superpowers because these skills can make the difference between a finely tuned installation of Tabs3 or PracticeMaster and one that is simply so-so.
Word Document Coding
We have been coding documents in PracticeMaster since version 1.0 (back when it was called CaseMaster). If it can be done in Word Document Assembly, we can code it. We have even developed macro based code that overcomes some of the shortcomings of Word Document Coding, such as the unpredictable nature of data that is inserted into tables, or the inability to sort data (like fees or people).
HotDocs Document Coding
What we cannot do in Word directly (or what takes much longer and ultimately costs more), we can do in HotDocs. Better dialog with the user (including field formatting and conditional dialogs), sophisticated gender and pronoun management, elegant handling of singular vs duplicative data (like attorneys, plaintiffs, defendants, etc.), and the ability to generate PDFs are just some of the many reasons that justify an investment in HotDocs as an add on to PracticeMaster. We have been coding in HotDocs with PracticeMaster since version 1.0 of PracticeMaster (back when it was called CaseMaster, and the ONLY way to code documents was with HotDocs).
HotDocs Form Generation
Unlike Word Document Assembly, HotDocs can assemble PDF forms directly from PracticeMaster, affording all of the enhanced functionality to the creation of PDF forms. This is increasingly significant, since many courts are now turning to fillable PDFs for their forms.
This little known capability of PracticeMaster has the ability to revolutionize how we look at data in PracticeMaster, yet it is rarely used. Most people don’t even know that the capability exists. By bringing the pertinent details to the forefront and organizing them in a logical and readable format, we eliminate the need for users to drill down into data, and instead give a view that allows emails to be started and phones to be dialed with a single click, as well as completely formed addresses, with name and organization, that can be blocked and copied in one pass.
We can extract ANYTHING that is in Tabs3 or PracticeMaster, or any of the accounting programs. We are intimately familiar with what’s available, where to get it, how it is laid out, and how it is hooked together. If it’s there, we can get it out. We’ve done data extractions for document management systems (including iManage), file tracking, positive pay systems, and client portals, to name a few.
Tabs3 has lots of reports, but it seems that lawyers can always come up with one or two reports that they need in a specific way that Tabs or AP or GL aren’t capable of producing. We are able to produce those reports. If the data’s there, we can arrange it however you want to see it. Many times, we are even able to write reports that rely on data that is not stored in Tabs3. One client has a budgeting report that stores the budget figures in a separate database and then pulls the actual figures into the report from Tabs. Another client wanted simple percentage based origination pulled in a specially organized report, but with 3 originators. In this instance, we used PracticeMaster to hold the special originator percentage fields.
We are also extremely well versed in the use of the PracticeMaster Report Writer. Clunky, yet powerful, this mechanism offers the most bang for the buck. Since the engine is already in PracticeMaster, this is often the most economical way to get data out of PracticeMaster. Unlike our custom reports, this method can ONLY pull data from PracticeMaster, but if the report fits within the confines of what the PracticeMaster Report Writer can handle, then we’ll use it.
We have developed Positive Pay routines for both AP and Trust checks. Positive Pay is a procedure that some banks offer where you can submit a list of checks that you have written and only those checks will be honored by the bank.
As an extension to our advanced custom reporting capabilities, we are also able to organize data into a dashboard format, with metrics that vary according to the person who is looking at those metrics. This is real time data, so it works BEST with Platinum SQL, however we have also developed techniques that extract data from Tabs3 (or other programs) on a nightly basis to present “almost fresh” metrics much faster than the standard ODBC Drivers are able to.
We are able to build extranets that push documents out to clients and others outside the firm. Once installed, we can train staff to create a client or matter specific portal in minutes. Users (the firms’ clients, co-counsel, etc.) are then created and assigned specific rights, which grants them access to a portal where documents can be shared and comments and conversations can be logged.
We can pull documents from anywhere on your network, and special Worldox specific integration is also available.
When you have data that isn’t pretty, you can do lots of things to enter new data in a way that conforms with your new standards (which we can help you develop), but there’s usually lots of data that’s already in the system that does not conform: phone numbers entered the wrong way, states that are sometimes abbreviated, sometimes not, sometimes correctly, sometimes not. We can cleanup this existing data by extracting it, scrubbing it, and then re-inserting it into the system.
File Structure consulting and setup
The way the data structure is setup in PracticeMaster has a lot to do with what we can do with it. Poorly structured files and fields can make report writing, snapshot customization, or document coding extremely difficult and sometimes impossible. We can help you to setup your PracticeMaster right from the beginning. Of course, we can help you straighten out these poorly structured files and fields later, but it’s much easier (and ultimately, less expensive) to get these things setup right from the beginning.
When it’s time to dig deep and find an accounting anomaly, or the source of an out of balance situation, or trace where things are going (when they’re not going to the right places), we can help. We can setup the Chart of Accounts, sure, but we can also uncover the reason(s) that the current chart is acting strange. We can assist with reconciliation, and we can tackle the toughest of initial reconciliations and get things on track from the start.
Whatever challenge you have in GL, AP, Trust, Billing, or the integration of these pieces, we can help straighten them out.