What to look for when choosing an international practice management software solution for your law firm

February 21, 2023

Author: Legalsense

A growing number of providers, such as Legalsense, offer international practice management software (PMS) for the legal profession. Although such legal software applications can be used by any law firm, choosing an international PMS has its challenges. What should you look for in this type of software? Read on for three key points to consider.

How easy is it to choose an international legal software provider?

Most PMS solutions are available in multiple languages and support a wide range of processes. However, sometimes a country has specific work processes, operations, accounting requirements and obligations that require the PMS solution to be customized. This should not be a problem, yet it makes law firms wary of choosing an international provider. But should they be?

Choosing a reputable international party need not be any more difficult than choosing a local provider. However, it is important that you feel comfortable with the following three points.

Three key points to consider when selecting an international PMS provider

1. Confidence in integrations

Make sure that all relevant suppliers are on the same page as the new PMS provider and that all necessary requests are considered. In Italy, for example, almost all invoices are sent through a governmental e-billing system. In Germany, VAT reports must go through systems certified by specialized German institutions. Make sure you identify and discuss all the necessary integrations. It is important that you feel that the PMS provider understands your needs, your practice, and local laws and regulations.

2. The PMS provider's understanding of international business

Try to get a good sense of whether the international PMS provider is actually thinking and developing beyond what's needed in its home country. Be sure to ask for case studies and references. And don't forget to ask how the support desk is organized in terms of language and accessibility.

3. Data location and level of security

If your data is in the cloud within Europe, suppliers are all bound by EU rules. Be critical of the supplier's security standards and guidelines. Discuss security and ask for evidence such as an ISO certification on information security, both from the PMS suppliers and any hosting party being partnered with.

The added value for your firm

You will certainly have specific reasons for including international PMS applications on your long- or short-list. If you choose an application like Legalsense in a best-of-breed environment, there's a good chance you'll have a combination of local and international applications. Think of this as an opportunity to benefit from specific, internationally proven systems that you can link to your domestic applications. When in doubt, consider the possibility of a proof of concept that allows you to try out the new working environment for a certain period of time.

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