Macquarie Bank delivers automation to SME law firms

Software eliminates manual steps

In an Australian-first, Macquarie Bank Limited and LEAP Legal Software Pty Ltd have melded their respective banking and practice management software services to deliver an integrated, secure and fully automated banking solution to small to medium sized law firms.

The innovative end-to-end banking solution is designed to help law firms save time, money, and improve operating efficiencies to manage client monies more effectively.

Until now, only the largest law firms enjoyed the type of banking relationship that Macquarie and LEAP Legal now offer in the form of an automated software solution.

Macquarie's director of relationship banking, David Gonano, said when LEAP approached the bank about integrating their software with its banking services, they analyzed every touch point where a banking facility has a software requirement.

"Anywhere the software and bank would communicate in a manual fashion we have eliminated those steps," he said.

"Many law firms understand that traditional systems for the management of client monies is often time consuming and cumbersome. But until now, proper integration between practice management and banking services has been out of reach to all but the biggest firms.

"Reconciliation, interest payments, deposits, taxes and fees are all now fully automated, saving valuable time for lawyers responsible for handling client funds, usually not a chargeable service."

LEAP Legal CEO, Christian Beck, estimates law firms will see 20 percent of their administrative processes fully automated by introducing this new practice management solution.

Beck said all bank forms such as cheque requests and account openings are automatically produced by the system.

He said firms can open and close bank accounts the same day.

"And, crucially for firms overseeing property settlements, bank cheques are actioned within two hours," Beck said adding that security is greatly enhanced due to close integration between systems, allowing for improved transparency.

"This solution allows lawyers to do more legal transactions with fewer staff and to do it safely and securely," he said.

"There have been incidences of fraud in controlled monies, even in very large firms."

All of the integration is fully automatic across the Internet.

In addition to handling client controlled monies, Macquarie and LEAP have also introduced an innovative way to collect legal fees and automate reconciliation of receivables.

Collection delays should drop and cash flow improved as lawyers utilize BPay and credit cards via the Internet or phone.

Leon Davis from Davis Legal, which has introduced the software, said it isn't just about more efficient banking.

"The risks of practice are reduced, there is greatly enhanced transparency and most important of all I am able to provide my clients with a more convenient service," he said.

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