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How to choose the best practice management system for your firm

How to choose the best practice management system for your firm

By Steve Tyndall and Jackie White

Continuing Legal Education Planning Practice Management 


There are about 20 practice management systems in use in Australia. How do you choose the right one?? Making the wrong choice could have long-lasting effects on your firm’s efficiency and success, so it’s crucial to get it right. NextLegal founder and technology consultant Steve Tyndall and NextLegal financial systems consultant Jackie White share a few things to keep in mind when shopping around.

Is new always best?
Common reasons firms change systems include: the system no longer meets requirements, it isn’t integrating properly with new programs, or it just feels plain outdated. Before looking at new systems, check with your software provider to ensure you are getting the full value from your current system. It might be a case of updating rather than changing, and this could save you time and money.

Communication is key
It’s essential the needs of your staff are clearly communicated. Different staff will have different perspectives and expectations of the new system. Understanding staff needs will make choosing a new practice management system easier.

Don’t rush
Taking time to understand a new system is a critical step in the selection process. Thoroughly research any system you are considering. Don’t rush your decision, firms that do this run a higher risk of being led by the sales process rather than the needs of their firm.

Take a test run
If possible, test potential new systems in your environment (particularly with cloud-based systems). Navigating a new system can be tricky, so it’s important that the basic requirements are covered. If testing isn’t possible, ask for a demonstration and follow up on any issues you are unsure of.

No system is perfect
Unfortunately, no practice management system is perfect. Sometimes the features you need will not be available. You may need to contact third party software or custom solutions to find a system that suits you best.

Good luck! 


More information: See Steve Tyndall and Jackie White’s article ‘Making the right decision’ in the November LIJ

Register: The LIV Practice Management Course gives expert insights into managing technology and innovation, including new and emerging technology, costs benefit analysis of different innovation systems, staff transition and risk management when using new technologies. Register here:


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