Man holding sign which says efficiencyThis is the next post in my series on how attorneys can cut waste from their law firm’s budget and increase profits as a result. My last discussion looked at why attorneys should improve efficiency before hiring. The reason to avoid taking on employees before necessary is obvious – salary takes up a lot o’ da’ cash! In this post I will look at how you can reduce expenses by consolidating vendors.

A common mistake I see in law firms is that they often utilize multiple software programs or vendors when just one will do. While not intentional, it’s almost an approach of “why use one application when I can have two at twice the cost?” An example of this is law firms who pay for a premium Dropbox account even though they also use Google Apps (which includes online storage) for their email, calendar, and contact management. Another example is attorneys who pay for various applications (task management, etc.) while using Google Apps; Google Apps allows users to access numerous applications which would provide this same functionality. Ask yourself if you are paying for both billing software and a task manager – then look at if your billing software already has task management functionality. You may be surprised at how many excess software licenses you’re paying for.

Another common mistake I see from law firms is the use of an on-site server even though the firm is using mostly cloud based applications. Again, if you’re using services such as Google Apps for Office 365 then you already have email, calendaring, contact management, document storage, etc. There are also cloud based billing and book keeping programs which integrate with Google Apps. There is likely no need for you to have an on-property server. The server, and paying an IT guy to maintain it, are simply extra expenses. These can likely be cut.

Want to cut waste from your firm’s budget? Take a look at your IT structure and see what apps and services you can consolidate.