A legal practice management tool called Clio, also known as Clio Manage, was created to assist law firms in managing various facets of their operations, including billing, timekeeping, and matter management. It is offered in four subscription packages with monthly costs that begin at $49 per user, and some of its most well-liked features include document management, time tracking, and internal messaging. No credit card is necessary for the seven-day free trial of Clio.
The software for managing legal practices, Clio Manage, is examined in this article. Clio Grow, a client engagement platform with customer relationship management (CRM) features, is a distinct product from Clio.
If you believe that general-purpose accounting platforms will better serve your needs, then check out our analysis of the top accounting software for small businesses.
Clio Notable New Features for 2023
|Clio Alternatives||Pricing ($/User/Month)||Built-in Accounting||Time Tracking||CRM||Case Management||SMS Messaging|
|Visit Clio||From $49||Integrates with QuickBooks Online and Xero||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Visit QuickBooks Online||From $55 (Essentials), with time tracking (up to five users)||✓||✓||Requires LeanLaw integration||Requires LeanLaw integration||✕|
|Visit CosmoLex||From $89||✓||✓||✓||✓||✕|
|Visit PCLaw||Custom quote||✓||✓||✓||✓||✕|
|Visit Xero||From $13||✓||✓||Requires TimeSolv integration||Requires TimeSolv integration||✕|
|Visit Zola Suite||From $69||✓||✓||✓||✓||✕|
When billed monthly, Clio offers four packages for prices ranging from $49 to $149 per user. No credit card details are required to register for the free 7-day trial.
|$/User/Month (Billed Monthly)||$49||$79||$119||$149|
|$/User/Month (Billed Annually)||$39||$69||$99||$129|
|Time & Expense Tracking||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Trust Account Management||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Unlimited Document Storage||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|QuickBooks & Xero Integration||✕||✓||✓||✓|
|Custom Forms & Template Creation||✕||✓||✓||✓|
|Matter Budget Management||✕||✕||✓||✓|
|Free Allocation Reporting||✕||✕||✓||✓|
|Live Onboarding Training||✕||✕||✓||✓|
|Client Intake Forms & CRM||✕||✕||✕||✓|
You may visit the provider’s website to check out the complete comparison and the available add-ons.
Below, we go over a few Clio features and how they can improve your workflows for legal accounting and case management.
The Clio Manage dashboard gives you an overview of three important metrics, which, according to the Legal Trends Report by Clio, are among the top indicators of legal business growth:
When you scroll to the bottom of the dashboard, additional important data is displayed, including the number of tasks that are due each day, unpaid and past-due bills, calendar events, and thorough annual reports.
Time & Expense Tracking
Clio refers to time and expense entries as “activities.” You can view and enter new time and expense entries for all of your matters under the Activities tab on the left menu bar. The New time entry and New expense entry buttons are also available on the home page.
You can manually enter the duration in the New time entry form in Clio to track billable time. As an alternative, you can use the built-in timer on the New time entry form or by clicking the shortcut timer button on the homepage to track time in real time. Click the timer button to start the timer, stop it when your legal work is finished, and then fill out the time entry form that appears, as shown below.
Additionally, you can use the mobile application to enter and monitor time and expenses while on the go. You have the same manual or in-app time entry options as with the desktop software.
Clio offers a centralized location to manage and track all crucial components of legal cases and matters, including activities, calendar events, communication history, notes, and timelines. You can easily enter case information, billing data, and documentation. Custom fields also let you organize case information. You can add, remove, or rearrange fields in the matters tab using the custom fields feature. For instance, you could add a field to collect your clients’ Social Security numbers.
Clio’s calendar is useful if you need to keep track of significant case milestones and deadlines. It is intended for use by law firms because you can automatically add key events based on rules and filing deadlines for hundreds of courts in the U S. Additionally, you can set automated email reminders to ensure that crucial events are not overlooked. You can create several for each event and program the notification to go out days or even seconds beforehand.
We appreciate the newly updated calendar’s addition of simple-to-use buttons that make switching between views simple. You can also quickly add new events by selecting the prominent New event button on the calendar page’s top left corner.
You can avoid missing any client commitments by staying on top of your deadlines with the aid of the task management module. Comparing Clio’s task management module to those of the similar software we reviewed, it is more capable.
You can assign tasks and case matters to your team members, outside parties, or cocounsel. You can also receive alerts on your dashboard about upcoming tasks and deadlines. Each task is tracked by the program, and your dashboard displays all upcoming and past-due tasks. The ability to contrast predicted time estimates with actuals, which is crucial for budgeting, is another helpful feature we discovered.
Consider upgrading to Clio Complete for law firms with standardized processes so that you can create unique task lists and categories based on your workflow and the types of cases you handle. Based on the case start dates you entered or the earlier similar tasks you added, Clio will automatically create task deadlines.
You can separate accounts for your client trust funds and operating funds using Clio’s integrated trust accounting. The free client portal Clio Connect that comes with Clio Manage enables you to easily track and request funds, record trust reimbursements, and produce invoices. Because Clio doesn’t perform trust bank reconciliations, you must integrate it with Xero or QuickBooks Online.
Legal Billing & Invoicing
Different types of billing are supported by Clio, including flat-fee, hourly, and contingency Despite the fact that the bill screen already has all the necessary fields, you can add personalized elements like discounts, grace periods, and custom interest rates. Additionally, you can program interest to automatically be applied to late payments. Your customers can log in to the portal to process their payments after you customize and send them invoices.
There are some issues we found in Clio’s invoicing. For instance, starting a new invoice from scratch is not an option. The Quick bill button must be used to turn an existing time or expense entry from the matters tab into an invoice.
Additionally, invoices in Clio are not as customizable as those in other similar programs like QuickBooks Online, but we believe that they should be enough—especially since you can send the invoice in LEDES format, which is the standard among law firms.
Here is a preview of a Clio-created sample invoice in PDF format.
You can communicate with your clients or team members by sending text messages, which is a practical method of doing so. To avoid having to use your personal phone number, Clio gives your company a special toll-free number.
You can view documents, save message conversations, send and receive SMS and MMS messages from your contacts, add time entries, and send and receive MMS messages.
According to SMS comparison, SMS text messaging has an open rate of 98%, as opposed to email, which reportedly only has 20%.
The good news is that you don’t have to move up to a higher tier if you process a lot of documents every day. All Clio plans allow for the unlimited storage of documents, including documents, videos, and audio files. You can easily locate the file you need by filtering your file list by custom fields, categories, folders, and authors.
Client Intake & CRM
You can create and use online shareable forms and electronic signatures through Clio Grow’s CRM feature to better manage your client intake procedure. Clio automates a number of processes, including appointment setting, lead and revenue tracking, follow-up, and data entry, allowing you to better manage interactions with both current and potential customers.
You must purchase Clio Grow or upgrade to the top tier, Clio Complete, in order to use the CRM.
The website builder, which is also included in Clio Complete, enables you to easily create straightforward single-page websites without any prior coding knowledge. Once it is live, you can use it to automate scheduling appointments, gather information from potential customers, and accept payments online.
Reports on billing, clients, matters, productivity, tasks, revenues, and activities are all generated by Clio. Accounts receivable, accounts receivable aging, and invoice payments are included in billing reports. Work-in-progress, matters by responsible attorney, originating attorney by revenue, and matter productivity by user are additional helpful reports that offer insightful information about your company.
On App Store
On Google Play
Nearly all of the features available in the web-based interface are available in Clio’s mobile application, including time tracking, document management, calendar, internal messaging, and task management.
Clio’s solid integration with outside products is one of its greatest assets. Compared to similar programs that only integrate with a few applications, it integrates with more than 200. The most well-liked Clio-integrated applications include
Clio Ease of Use & Customer Support
Setting up an account with Clio is simple and easy. At first, you’ll notice that it has a lot of features that may seem overwhelming, but as you explore and navigate through the menus, you’ll be able to find your way around easily. However, it’s not the easiest to use among the law firm accounting software we reviewed. In terms of ease of use and simplicity, we recommend LeanLaw and CosmoLex.
Tip: We recommend that you check out the training materials provided by Clio to familiarize yourself with the software.
We looked at some review sites to see how Clio was doing, and we discovered that the platform is well-liked by many users. Most of the favorable Clio reviews we’ve read have to do with how simple it is to use and how many integration options are available. Those who left unfavorable reviews, however, complained that Clio Grow and Manage are two distinct products and that it is somewhat pricey.
Here are Clio’s ratings from popular review websites:
Clio Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Lawyers in a variety of practice areas, such as family, business, administrative, real estate, bankruptcy, civil litigation, employment/labor, immigration, and government law, should consider using Clio.
What are the top alternatives to Clio?
Our top recommended alternative to Clio is PCLaw. In our guide to the best law firm accounting software, you can find more excellent options.
Clio stands out for its robust integration with third-party tools and its unique features, such as SMS text messaging and a DIY website builder. Unless you need full-featured bookkeeping and CRM and client intake tools, then we believe that it is among the most affordable legal practice management solutions. However, if you want a flexible alternative that doesn’t need integration with third-party software, you should consider PCLaw. If you need CRM features, TimeSolv might be a better choice.
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