By Denise Yancey
Time and billing software in a law
office primarily is used by attorneys and paralegals to correctly bill
clients for the time and costs of the legal work done on a client’s
specific case. However,
ProVantage 7.1 time and billing program is the next step on the
scale, taking that time and billing information and using it for the
day-to-day accounting and reporting aspects of the law office.
ProVantage’s well-designed “Fee”
screens let you go from the timekeeper’s view of the work done on a
matter to a view of all the fees associated with that matter sortable by
date or date range, including billable and nonbillable work. “Conflict”
screens let you search for possible conflicts between potential clients
and the firm. Trust accounts are easy to set up and can be accessed as
needed by anyone using the program.
ProVantage’s strongest suit is its
collection of predesigned reports that come standard with the program.
These allow analysis of all aspects of the firm’s practice by its
management at any time, and the range of choices of these useful reports
is amazing. The Client Portfolio, in particular, could be a valuable
tool to rank the firm’s clients by a variety of parameters — from most
to least billable hours in a year, to those consistently paying in full
and on time. These reports deliver accurate information to those who
need it. There are several billing arrangements available — e-billing,
value billing, split and task-based billing.
On the other hand, I didn’t see this
program as the most useful tool for the actual timekeeper — the attorney
or paralegal — to enter work. The focus of the program is more on client
management than time or case management. However, if used in conjunction
with another time and case management program, this could be useful for
law office management.
www.provantagesoftware.com • $675 per person for the basic package,
which includes Time & Billing, General Ledger and Accounts Payables
Windows 98/NT 4.0/2000/XP • Server: Windows 2000 or 2003,
Linux and Macintosh when the user logs on through Terminal Server or
Pros: Excellent collection of
predesigned report structures, easily taking the data into formats
members of management can use. Excellent “Fee” and client management
Not the easiest or most
convenient program for the actual timekeeper. Should be simpler and less
I recommend it for the reports
capability, and for client management and other features.