A two hour flight delay, circling while they plow the runway and a long delay for cabs as they struggled through poor road conditions to reach the airport – March in Toronto! While I like Toronto, March is not its best season. However, the poor travel conditions and cold weather didn’t deter the Gavel & Gown Conference held last week.
The conference was two days filled with information about the Gavel & Gown products. While learning more about the recently released Amicus Attorney 2011 Premium Edition and Amicus Attorney 2011 Small Firm Edition was interesting, I think the highlight was the announcement of Amicus Premium Billing.
Amicus Premium Billing
Amicus Premium Billing is a full function billing solution tightly integrated into Amicus Attorney 2011 Premium Edition. While it is not yet available, we hope to see it released soon. When you open Amicus Attorney 2011 Premium Edition with Amicus Premium Billing you get a second set of screens that are devoted to billing. You can quickly switch from the billing aspects to the practice management aspects of the program. If you are on the list of files and you switch to the billing tab you will see a list of your files with billing information including WIP, AR and Trust balances. The information you need for the billing part of your practice is immediately available, without even needing to run reports.
Billing is flexible and fairly powerful. If you want to run reports the program is reducing the use of crystal reports and focusing on the easier to use SQL Reporting Services. For accounting, Amicus Premium Billing will link to QuickBooks. Since QuickBooks is the dominant player in the United States, this makes sense and is what many accountants prefer. However, those in Canada will find that the program does not link to the Canadian version of QuickBooks. In addition the link only supports cash or modified cash basis accounting. Form most US based law firms, this is not an issue. For those not using QuickBooks or located outside the US, Amicus Premium Billing will provide reports that list the journal entries to be posted.
At this time Amicus Premium Billing does not offer support for e-billing, but that will be added in the future. The program is only available for Amicus Attorney 2011 Premium Edition. Gavel & Gown will continue to support Amicus Accounting for Amicus Attorney Small Firm Edition users and for those looking for a single billing and accounting solution. A release date has not been set as it is still in the testing stage.
The lack of date commitments was another interesting “theme” of the conference. While somewhat frustrating, in many ways it is very welcome. I’ve grown weary of software companies promising something will release by a certain date and then either missing the date or getting something out in time to meet the committed date, but without achieving the quality that is important to the users. Ron Collins, founder and CEO, appears ready to make sure the quality is there before the products are released and is therefore not willing to commit to dates “just because”.
For those consultants who had not seen it previously we got a good look at Credenza. We also got to see some of the enhancements that will be coming soon. If you have not heard about it, Credenza is practice management software integrated into Outlook. It is a SaaS (software as a service) solution that you pay for on a monthly basis. It can be purchased for an individual or a team. You can see an overview video by going to www.credenzasoft.com. If you would like more information or a demonstration, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There’s lot going on in Toronto and at Gavel & Gown. The conference content was well worth the travel and contending with the cold and I look forward to providing you with more information as announcements are made.