A new year can bring about a lot of change, especially in the fluid Australian property market, but one change you can control, is having the correct conveyancing systems and technologies in place to be successful.
The conveyancing workflow and business management will continue to evolve throughout 2023, so having the latest in innovative systems and technologies can help with making your processes as efficient as possible.
To help, below is the information for the four main areas of conveyancing systems and technologies available that you need to know.
1. Practice Management System
A Practice Management System (PMS) is used by conveyancing firms to manage the day-to-day operations, and file management with efficiency and ease.
The software gives conveyancers the ability to manage case and client records, important files, schedules and appointments, deadlines, billing and accounting, and more, all from one integrated platform.
Everything can be stored within the PMS and accessed digitally. Not only does this save physical space, but it also reduces clerical errors and integrates an otherwise detached staff and client.
Practice Management System Key Features:
• Case and task management; Offers a central database, flexible and quick searching, task management. Organizes case management and handling,
• Contact management; Tracks and stores details about emails and phone calls, and provides callback reminders,
• Document management and assembly; Creates legal documents using automated templates that range from simple letters and forms to complex legal documents,
• Billing and time tracking; Records billable time on hourly, transactional, or contingent basis,
• Accounting; Manages payroll, trust accounts, receivables, and billing, and creates financial reports.
• Task coordination; Enhances task coordination between staff. The solution enhances efficiency as you can manage deadlines and delegate duties appropriately.
• Linking software; Links all contacts, calendar additions, tasks, and notes to specific matters and cases. This saves time by keeping cases organised, and more.
2. Search Platform (Integrated)
Online Search provider’s, also known as Information Brokers, give conveyancers access to several information databases through one platform.
Information searching in the property and legal industry is becoming increasingly streamlined as more players enter the market.
The types of searches conveyancers conduct include Title, Property, Company, Certificates, Personal searches and more. Regardless of the type of law you cover, a good search provider can be your best friend and most-used service.
However, when creating a conveyancing firm or looking to increase business efficiency, our experts recommend using a search platform which is directly integrated with practice management software.
This integration will allow for a seamless data flow between Software and the Searches you’re conducting, significantly reducing admin associated with re-keying data and reducing the risk of clerical errors.
3. Trust Accounting Software
Trust accounting will be your equivalent of bookkeeping in the conveyancing industry, used exclusively for trust transactions.
It is the recording by a trustee of the receipt and payment of other people’s money into individual trust ledger accounts maintained for the person from or on whose behalf the money was received. For a conveyancer running your own firm, having a trust account can be a big advantage.
But it also comes with considerable risk with conveyancing governing bodies conducting yearly trust account audits.
Our experts recommend all trustees consistently maintain their Trust Account files and consistently record and review all transactions to ensure the account/ledger remains compliant and up to date.
To ensure you have the service best suited to your conveyancing needs, thorough research will need to be conducted prior to opening your Trust Account.
For regulation compliances and needs, consult your state-based conveyancing association.
4. Billing Software
At its most basic description: billing software allows you to track the products and services your customers use, generate and send invoices and receive payments.
Intuitive billing software offers you the ability to turn your manual process, into a system which generates quotes, tracks services, creates invoices, calculates basic tax, and more.
All of which are designed to help transform your business into paperless. Some examples of top tier billing software available to conveyancers and business owners in Australia include MYOB and Xero.
Further research will need to be conducted to find a solution compatible with your firm.