Today is the first business day of the month, and I book it in advance to do administrative work for the firm. Here's what the agenda looks like for the monthly admin work:
- Update the software on my website, laptop and phone to keep it secure.
- Export data from the various systems that I use to the other ones that can use that data, like from my client management system to my phone and document generation systems. As time goes on, I'm hoping for more of this to be automated with tools like Zapier.com.
- Grab online bank statements, do bank reconciliations, store them according to law society record-keeping requirements.
- Accounts Payable - run a report to see who the firm owes money, and write some cheques, send some interac email payments, etc.
- Pay off the firm credit card.
- Review the work-in-progress reports to see if there are any files for which I should issue bills, and issue those bills. If there are any bills to be paid from funds in trust, I make the trust transfers and record them according to law society requirements.
- At this point, I take a look at the firm's financial statements to figure out what my paycheque is going to be for that month. This is either the best part of my day, or the worst part of my day, depending on how far away I am from my next professional liability insurance payment.
- Review the accounts receivable reports to see if there are any outstanding bills where my clients need to be reminded to pay me. I require payment in advance for the vast majority of my files, so this tends to be a short list.
- Find all of the files that have been finally closed over the course of the month, print off the required closing documentation for the Law Society, file it, and set them to closed in the practice management and accounting software.
- Do the trust reporting and general financial reporting required by the Law Society of Alberta, and file it according to the Society's record-keeping requirements.
I've been running the firm full time for almost three years now, and I've got it to the point that I can take care of all of these requirements in about one full working day, assuming there are no problems with the book keeping.