Now, it’s not uncommon for attorneys to hire a local part-time bookkeeper to help reconcile bank statements once a month, but Kahuna Accounting has clients all over the United States yet its main office in Illinois. How do they do it? Cloud accounting software called Xero.
“As soon as we found Xero our accounting team fell in love with it,” said Deming. Xero is cloud accounting software that works especially well for attorneys, since it integrates fairly seamlessly with third-party software like the popular case management software platform, Clio. Deming said, “Working well with Clio has led a lot of lawyers to Xero. We like it because it makes things faster. The business owners have said they can’t believe how fast it is. We haven’t looked back since we started using it.”
Related: Clio Case Management Software Review
Most of the clients Kahuna works with are Clio users, because Clio works so seamlessly with Xero. The integration allows all client bills and invoices to automatically enter into the Xero system, saving you from having to export and import everything periodically.
But, Kahuna also works with Freshbooks and Rocket Matter as well. For Rocket Matter users, you can export your invoices into CSV files and import them into Xero.
How Kahuna Accounting Works With Small Law Firms
If you’re looking to outsource your firm’s accounting with Kahuna, they have a quick onboarding process to migrate all of your current accounting data to Xero.
With Xero, you’ll first log in wherever you are (anywhere in the world since it’s a cloud-based app) and work with Kahuna to give their team a login.
Then, Kahuna does your bank reconciliations. Xero has live bank feeds so every bank transaction is automatically recorded in Xero. The only thing left to do is reconcile the bank activity with the appropriate transaction. That needs to be matched with an invoice in Xero. Kahuna finds the payment and the invoice, marks it as paid, and reconciles it. If you have an expense, the expense shows up at the bank. The only work for the law firm is that they have to get their bill into Xero, either by scanning and dragging into Xero file sharing system or Xero’s mobile app so you can upload it. Once everything is reconciled, the firm’s reports and financials are up-to-date and current. Every month Kahuna provides clients with reports – cash statement, income statement, P&L, so the client can look forward.
Deming said, “Attorneys and entrepreneurs usually end up looking back a lot. We can give them real-time information so they can be more proactive.”
My immediate concern was – well, how involved does the attorney need to be? How much of this is really outsourcing.
“Basically the attorney’s role is to get the receipt into Xero, and we do the rest,” said Deming. I have yet to try out Xero, but am very curious to see how easy this process is. Xero does make an app, allowing you to upload receipts and manage your cash flow.
Before recently, I didn’t know this service was available. I figured all attorneys would need local CPAs.
“When we talk to people, the common reaction is, ‘I didn’t even know this was an option.’ The fact that they can outsource bookkeeping work to a professional, and pay a fixed flat monthly cost is surprising. They wouldn’t have realized that was even possible.”
Let’s cut to the chase – how much does this cost?
Kahuna prices its packages based on firm size. A solo can expect to pay around $200 per month, with a larger firm spending around $750 per month and up.
What’s the biggest challenge for Kahuna?
“One challenge is that some attorneys are resistant to change,” said Deming. “Sometimes an attorney will agree that Kahuna would save time and money, but they feel unable to move out of their current situation. The point we really emphasize is that it’s really not hard to change. To transition into Xero takes 1-2 weeks, with most of the work being done by our accounting team, while the attorney continues their normal workflow. Whether it is Quickbooks, or some combination of spreadsheets and an accounting system, we can create your financials from bank statements and your invoices.”
Kahuna Accounting and Xero will be at the Clio Cloud Convention, September 22-23 in Chicago, IL.