Data conversions are a given for law firms implementing new systems, switching to new vendor platforms or upgrading existing systems. The number of practice-related system transitions that a typical law firm experiences (e.g., moving from Vendor X’s to Vendor Y’s software; upgrading from system Version 1 to Version 2) correlates with the adoption strategies and overall technology goals of a firm. Long ago, most mid- to large-sized law firms implemented financial systems specifically designed to efficiently invoice clients in accordance with time and expenses associated with specific representations.
As law firms realized the benefits of having a billing system specifically designed to their needs, they sought out systems that could help streamline the then-manual processes for searching conflicts and managing client files. Financial software vendors responded and established an early and majority market share in implementing conflicts and records management systems. Many firms are on their fourth or fifth iterations of their accounting software, whereas vendor swaps or upgrades related to records management systems and/or conflicts management systems may just now be coming into play. It logically follows that IT personnel are most likely more familiar with the processes involved in managing time and billing system conversions. However, the same methodology cannot be applied universally from system to system. For firms about to embark on records management or conflicts management conversions, recognition of how these key firm systems define and manage data is critical to ensuring a successful transition.
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