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Practice Management Reporting Basics

When it comes to evaluating the reporting needs based on your practice management system, hopefully those considerations were made before the practice management system was selected. If not, you may be stuck with the options the software offers, especially if your data is hosted in a cloud-based practice management system, where access to the data is confined to options within the program.

If you haven't selected your practice management program, or you are looking to replace your current system, or if you have just decided that you need to get more out of the data you have stored in your current system, and want to know if it is possible, then follow these steps:

1.  Decide what each report should look like (mock it up on a piece of paper, identifying what data should appear where, including such calculations as totals, averages, etc...)

2.  Decide what parameters (if any) a report should have - in other words, should the report offer options as to which records would appear in it (date range, area of law, staff, etc...)

3.  Decide who (staff, attorneys, partners, management team) should be able to see/have access to the report.

4.  Decide on what basis the reports will need to be generated (daily/weekly/monthly/quarterly/annually/on demand)

If you think through all of the above, you should have a thorough understanding of what your firm's reporting needs are, as well as how important to the firm those needs will be (important when deciding how much to invest to get them created, if they don't already exist.)