In the continuing effort to expand our offering of software products that allow law firms and others to operate “in the cloud,” a contingent of Crosspointe consultants traveled to Dallas, TX recently to be trained and certified on Centerbase. Our clients ask us all the time if there are cloud-based alternatives to their on-premises software that don’t require major sacrifices in features and flexibility. It seems like we have been waiting a long time to see whether the holy grail of professional office practice management, time billing, and accounting would emerge from the crowded pack. But we can now say with confidence that Centerbase is a solid contender, and we are excited about implementing it for our clients.
Should you consider switching to Centerbase for your practice? Maybe. It is certainly worth a close look. What is Centerbase, anyway?
While many programs over the years have claimed to “do it all,” both on-premises and in the cloud, Centerbase is well on its way to achieving this. Firms are primarily switching to Centerbase from programs such as Sage Timeslips, and LexisNexis’ PC Law, Time Matters, and Juris. The integrated practice management, time and billing, calendaring, email and document management, and analytics in Centerbase present a very attractive combination of features. In addition, Centerbase has tight integration with NetDocuments, enhancing its built-in document management capabilities. Accounting is an optional feature, and the integrated workflow automation is quite powerful. Users who have created triggers in programs like Time Matters will find that capability in spades in Centerbase, where it is even more powerful and flexible, with such additional features as logic branching, conditionals, etc.
The folks at Centerbase are working hard to bring constant enhancement to each area of the application, and will provide tools and assistance with migrating complete data sets from several existing programs – including all of those referenced above – to import into Centerbase. The data types that can be imported are wide-ranging and impressive, and we are hearing good reports about data import results. Many firms find the idea of switching programs daunting, especially if it means losing their entire case and billing history. Such is not the case here.
Billing capabilities are robust, especially for those firms whose billing arrangements are relatively straightforward. One interesting feature is the ability to distinguish between hours worked and hours billed on a time entry, providing for a measure of productivity. One of the biggest complaints we have heard from firms who have given up their dedicated billing programs is the loss of flexibility in the appearance of bill layouts. Centerbase will work with client firms to create any layouts required to meet their billing requirements.
The practice management component of Centerbase has a special list just for potential clients, so that these can easily be tracked separately until they become clients. The built-in workflow automation makes this conversion process simple (at least from a software viewpoint!). A single payment can be applied to multiple clients and/or matters. And for firms opting out of the integrated accounting, Centerbase syncs with QuickBooks Online. Reporting is good and getting better.
For those who want even more, mobile timekeeping is available via an iOS app, with the Android app coming soon. All in all, we at Crosspointe are very excited to now be able to make Centerbase available to our clients and assist in their implementations, data migration, and training.
To discuss whether Centerbase is right for your firm, or to set up a demo, contact your Crosspointe consultant, email us at [email protected], or leave a message 877-357-0555. One of our Centerbase-certified consultants will gladly assist you.
Jack Schaller has been active in the field of law office technology since 1989, and has worked with a variety of commercial accounting, legal billing, practice management, and document management software products during his twenty plus years in the software consulting field. During his tenure as a software consultant he has garnered many sales and service awards for his work with legal software products. Jack is a frequent presenter at legal conferences and seminars, and is a regular contributor to TechnoLawyer and other technology publications.