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Best Law Firm Accounting Software of 2023

The best accounting software for law firms assists with tracking time, billing, creating invoices and trust accounting, in addition to general bookkeeping.
By Karrin Sehmbi
Last updated on November 6, 2023
Edited bySally Lauckner
Fact checked and reviewed

⏰ Estimated read time: 6 minutes

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Law business accounting is unique. In addition to basic accounting responsibilities, law firms, lawyers and attorneys must also maintain and reconcile Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts (IOLTA), track and bill time spent on client work and produce easy-to-understand invoices. This is why it often makes sense for small law firms to choose accounting software specifically designed for law businesses.
Here are our top recommendations for legal accounting software options.

Best Law Firm Accounting Software

Product
Promotion
Learn more

QuickBooks Online

Learn more

on QuickBooks Online's secure website

5.0/5

Best for General accounting software with law firm software integrations

$30/month

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $60, $90, $200.

50% off

for first three months or free 30-day trial.

Learn more

on QuickBooks Online's secure website

Xero

Learn more

on Xero's secure website

5.0/5

Best for General accounting software with law firm software integrations

$15/month

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $42, $78.

30-day free trial

or monthly discount (terms vary).

Learn more

on Xero's secure website

FreshBooks

Learn more

on FreshBooks' secure website

4.5/5

Best for Legal accounting software for sole practitioners

$19/month

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $33, $60, custom.

30-day free trial

or monthly discount (terms vary).

Learn more

on FreshBooks' secure website

LeanLaw

Best for Overall law firm accounting software

$50/month

Additional pricing tiers per user (per month): $65.

14-day free trial

Clio

Best for Scalable law firm accounting software

$49/month

Additional pricing tiers per user (per month): $89, $119, $149.

7-day free trial

PCLaw

Best for Desktop law firm accounting software

N/A

Quote-based.

N/A

Our picks for

General accounting software with law firm software integrations

QuickBooks Online

Learn more

on QuickBooks Online's secure website

Starting at
$30/month

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $60, $90, $200.

Promotion
50% off

for first three months or free 30-day trial.

Learn more

on Xero's secure website

Starting at
$15/month

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $42, $78.

Promotion
30-day free trial

or monthly discount (terms vary).

Our pick for

Legal accounting software for sole practitioners

FreshBooks

Learn more

on FreshBooks' secure website

Starting at
$19/month

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $33, $60, custom.

Promotion
30-day free trial

or monthly discount (terms vary).

Our pick for

Overall law firm accounting software

LeanLaw

Starting at
$50/month

Additional pricing tiers per user (per month): $65.

Promotion
14-day free trial

Our pick for

Scalable law firm accounting software

Clio

Starting at
$49/month

Additional pricing tiers per user (per month): $89, $119, $149.

Promotion
7-day free trial

Our pick for

Desktop law firm accounting software

PCLaw

Starting at
N/A

Quote-based.

Promotion
N/A

NerdWallet’s picks for the best legal accounting software

LeanLaw: Best overall law firm accounting software

Price:
  • $50 per user per month for the Core plan.
  • $65 per user per month for the Pro plan.
Why we like it: LeanLaw has a simple and transparent pricing structure with two plans, both of which include IOLTA trust accounting capabilities and an integration with QuickBooks Online. The software also enables legal matter accounting, although only in the higher-tier plan. Both plans include a long list of industry-specific features, including time and expense tracking, billing by multiple fee types, invoicing and basic reporting. LeanLaw also includes a one-hour complimentary onboarding session to get you up and running.

Clio: Best scalable law firm accounting software

Price:
  • $49 per user per month for the EasyStart plan.
  • $89 per user per month for the Essentials plan.
  • $119 per user per month for the Advanced plan.
  • $149 per user per month for the Complete plan.
Why we like it: Clio is a complete law firm management software solution that includes numerous industry-specific products and features. The software’s capabilities include trust accounting, which meets IOLTA requirements; customizable invoice and billing options; reports and analytics, including a dashboard to visualize key data and insights; time and expense tracking and more. Plus you can choose from a handful of optional add-ons such as Clio’s CRM solution and advanced document automation to scale up as your law firm grows. Clio integrates with a number of external accounting programs, including QuickBooks Online and Xero. It also doesn’t hurt that, according to its website, the software has won the approval of all 50 state bar associations plus more than 40 law societies from around the world.

PCLaw: Best desktop law firm accounting software

Price: Quote-based.
Why we like it: If your practice prefers locally installed accounting software, PCLaw is accounting software for law firms that is backed by the longstanding reputation of LexisNexis. (And if you are interested in a cloud accounting software solution, PCLaw has partnered with LEAP to deliver just that.) PCLaw’s software can assist you with time entry and billing, bank reconciliation, setting and adjusting your fees, schedule management and more. And of course, because this product was designed for legal professions, it can handle matter management and legal trust accounting, including IOLTA.

FreshBooks: Best legal accounting software for sole practitioners

Price:
  • $19 per month for the Lite plan.
  • $33 per month for the Plus plan.
  • $60 per month for the Premium plan.
  • Custom pricing for the Select plan.
Why we like it: FreshBooks accounting software is a strong fit for freelance and self-employed professionals. Sole practitioner lawyers and attorneys, in particular, will appreciate the software’s ability to produce custom invoices, automate client payment reminders, manage time tracking, capture expenses, generate key accounting reports and other valuable functions. Although it can be a great solution for your small law office, FreshBooks lacks the matter management and IOLTA accounting abilities that some of the other purpose-built law firm accounting software products on this list have. Therefore, if you choose to use FreshBooks, it would be wise to enlist the help of a bookkeeping service to reconcile your IOLTA accounts and avoid potential malpractice claims. Read our full FreshBooks Accounting review.

QuickBooks Online: Best general accounting software with law firm software integrations

Price:
  • $30 per month for the Simple Start plan.
  • $60 per month for the Essentials plan.
  • $90 per month for the Plus plan.
  • $200 per month for the Advanced plan.
Why we like it: As one of the best-known and most prolific accounting software tools on the market, QuickBooks Online, unsurprisingly, can also handle your legal accounting needs. QuickBooks may be right for your practice if you prefer to select proven accounting software that nearly any accountant will be well versed in and that also integrates with well-known law firm management software like LeanLaw and Clio. In this way, you can create a well-rounded accounting and practice management solution for your firm. Read our complete QuickBooks Online review.

Xero: Best general accounting software with law firm software integrations

Price:
  • $15 per month for the Early plan.
  • $42 per month for the Growing plan.
  • $78 per month for the Established plan.
Why we like it: Xero is another well-known, trusted name in accounting software, and it also delivers strongly on all of the general accounting features you would expect. These include automated bank reconciliation, expense tracking, bill paying, invoicing, enabling online payments and many more functions. In addition to a valuable analytics dashboard that helps you easily track your practice’s finances, the software can generate a number of simple and customized reports. And while Xero doesn’t advertise tools designed specifically for legal matter management, you may find its data capture and file management tools sufficient for this function. Xero integrates with Clio and a couple of other law firm applications. Read our Xero Accounting review.

Choose software designed for law firms

Although you could get by with using a general accounting software tool for your law firm, you will most likely want additional software designed specifically for legal practices. An industry-specific software option will help you manage your firm more effectively and efficiently and, particularly in the case of legal trust accounting (especially IOLTA) requirements, will ensure your practice remains compliant with regulations and avoids unnecessary malpractice claims. Software designed intentionally to be used in legal practices will also include tools for matter management and potentially also LEDES billing. Selecting software with these built-in features, or with the ability to directly integrate with third-party software that offers these capabilities, will help your firm remain profitable and free your time to do the important work you do.
Billie Anne Grigg contributed to an earlier version of this article, which was first published on Fundera, a subsidiary of NerdWallet.
Last updated on November 6, 2023

Methodology

NerdWallet’s accounting software ratings favor products that are easy to use, reasonably priced, have a robust feature set and can grow with your business. Ratings are based on weighted averages of scores in several categories, including range of features, cost, ease of use, accounting standards compliance, scalability, ease of sharing with accountants, integrations, customer support, pricing transparency and availability of a free trial period. Learn more about how we rate small-business accounting software.
These ratings are meant to provide clarity in the decision-making process, but what’s best for your business will depend on its size, growth trajectory and which features you need most. We encourage you to research and compare multiple accounting software products before choosing one.
NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.
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