Getting ready for a new year can be daunting for many law firms. This is especially true for those that are unorganzied or think they are too busy to get organized. Here are 3 tips to help get your firm up, moving and shaking before the new year starts.
1) Enter your billing and accounting information for the year! With tax season just around the corner, you need to make sure you’ve sent out your final billing, recorded all payments, closed your accounting months through at least November, and planned to finish your account reconciliations before the end of the first week of 2013. Of course, this may mean you’ll have to reach out to your Accountant for last-minute help with bookkeeping tasks you are not able to manage or to get advice on how to take advantage of some additional tax breaks before December comes to a close.
2) Clean off your desk! Even if you are busy, start (or end) each day for the rest of December with a 10 minute desk review. This may mean creating a reading file for things that you want to get to but don’t have time right now, or simply putting files back where they belong in your office. We are huge fans of centralized file storage, so if you are in a firm you won’t be keeping a physical file that others may be looking for, and you are clearing your desk of files you are not actively (right now) working on. This cleaning might even inspire you to think of going paperless in the new yeare! (Practice Note: You can contact the State Bar’s Law Practice Management Program and/or Ethics Hotline for more detailed information on file retention.)
3) Go shopping! Who would think you’d hear anyone advising you to go shopping? What does this have to do with getting organized? Well, the exercise of you making lists or just mentally checking for item you need or want can help create some momentum in your practice that can carry over all the way into the new year. Shopping therapy can arguably be as good for firms as it can be for individuals. At any rate, planning to shop forces you to assess the physical needs or your practice, but also forces you to reflect on areas in your practice that may need changing, too. Dont’ have any idea where to begin in thinking about shopping? Even though you’ve missed some of the sales already, it’s never too late to check out the annual lawyer shopping list from Reid Trautz at his blog, ReidMyBlog, to get started! See his 8th Annual Holiday Gift Guide for Lawyers at http://reidtrautz.typepad.com/.
Happy Holidays and Organizing!!!!
Natalie & Tina