Leap appears to offer everything a law firm requires to approximate the services of a legal bookkeeper and conform to legal accounting guidelines, such as HRMC and SRA.
Leap’s legal bookkeeping software also provides a modern and intuitive user interface, compared to some other legal accounts software available.
In comparison to other legal accounting softwares, Leap will only deal with transactions related to clients – billing, office receipts, disbursements, client account transactions etc., whereas office expenses/overheads can’t be recorded on leap. You therefore need another platform to record office expenses/overheads and that’s where Xero accounting software comes in. Leap recommends that you subscribe to Xero accounting software at an additional cost of £24 per month and record your expenses there.
This means you are maintaining your firm’s finances on two different platforms which leads to the question of ‘what if I need to see my finances on one software or one report’. In order to address the issue, there is an option to integrate both softwares which allows all office account transactions recorded on leap to be exported to Xero. Please note that the integration is only one way, transactions from Leap can be exported to Xero but not the other way around. So, if you need to amend any transactions it is advised that amendments are made on Leap so they can be exported to xero.
As leap deals with all the client/trust account transactions, client/trust accounts can be easily reconciled on leap. However, office account bank reconciliations take place on Xero.
Xero offers lot of automation – ultimately making it more efficient to post office expenses and reconcile office accounts. I have not seen any legal accounting software offering such automation and I think it might take some time before any legal accounting software comes close to the level of automation Xero provides.
There are, however, some things that could be improved. For example, client and office account transactions don’t appear on one screen when viewing a client ledger. This can be done, but it requires opening a new window from the “Reports” section. This only takes a few extra seconds but feels like an unnecessary inconvenience. Office to client transfers can’t be posted in one go – office payment and client receipts need to be posted separately. Many other legal accounting software suites offer this feature, so its absence is noticeable here. You will also need to manually reconcile entries exported from leap to Xero to ensure transactions have been correctly exported to Xero and they tie back to leap entries. If this is not done, you may for example have a different revenue figure on leap and a different figure on Xero)– this wouldn’t be necessary if it could all be integrated onto one platform.
Minor criticisms notwithstanding, I like both Leap and Xero very much. I have no association with Leap, however I would still recommend it as an intuitive and useful accounting solution for law firms.
Director My Legal Cashier, FCCA, BSC Applied Accounting