There are a lot of options out there for a variety of law practice management software and it can be hard to tell what best suits you. This is why it's important to have an unbiased review on every potential product you consider. Here is everything you need to know about Actionstep and, as a legal software, everything it provides.
If you have found your way onto this review then there's a high chance you're shopping around for the perfect program that will become the backbone to your new or upgraded law firm. In this complete review we will be covering all aspects of what Actionstep has to offer and the pros & cons within your specific business model. It will be a long read so for those who want a quick overview, use the table of contents to find the information you need or check out the TLDR at the bottom.
What Is Actionstep Exactly?
Actionstep is a cloud based law practice management software designed for law firms around the world to run their every day operations. Perfect for those just getting into the world of their own private practice. It is suitable for firms with 1-50 users ranging from your receptionists to head lawyers. The selling point is the streamlined integration to all other software's such as Microsoft Word, Outlook and Xero. With complete customization at the click of a button, you are able to open a new case for a client that has exactly what documents you need with time sensitive emails to payment prompts.
Designed and Created by Ted Jordan in 2004, the New Zealand based company has 4 global offices situated around the world. It's this drive and motivation of global reach that has allowed Actionstep to reach new clients and tailor its product to suit a variety of needs. The key here being a completely customizable interface that involves zero code.
How Does Actionstep Work?
As simple as logging into Facebook or Dropbox, Actionstep has been designed to be the simplest user friendly plug and play system on the market. It really does cover everything you need to run a law practice as it includes useful intelligent time sheets (Down to the second), workflow automation and matter management.
When comparing it to a product such as Leap it becomes a strong contender as from the start it puts all cards on the table to provide full transparency for its users. The platform allows you to run a successful business from day 1 and provides all the support/ tutorials to appropriately integrate their software for your business model.
Why Use A Law Practice Management Software?
To run a well managed business it's all about delegation and time management. Is it possible to create your own system that works specifically to your needs? Absolutely! Is it possible within a reasonable amount of time and budget? Almost always, NO. This is why you leave it to the experts to create a software that works well and gets the job done within your budget.
If we can achieve anything out of this review that you read today it would be to help you find the perfect system that works best for you, so shop around and ask all the questions. Send us an email or reply below with any questions you may have.
Top Features Of Actionstep
While the list on Actionstep's website will offer the most comprehensive list of features they offer, let's take a look at the top features that separate it from other legal software on the market.
While many of the competitors offer a form of workflow automation we believe there are none out there that offer this level of customization while remaining user friendly. Once it has been set up you'll find it's a set and forget system that will save your team many hours of paper work.
Intelligent Time sheets
With access to a settings tab on nearly all pages you work on, you are able to start and stop the billing clock of a client to prove when an exact amount of work has been completed. This type of transparency is how the competition is falling behind.
While Xero itself has really outdone itself when compared to MYOB and other accounting software, with the ability to securely access its API, the fact that Actionstep has then linked up with this and made it a feature is impressive. This gives any small company a sigh of relief when they save a large chunk of time and money using an automated software instead of an accountant.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
While the premise isn't unique to Actionstep, the integration itself is. We have never before seen such a well linked CRM that, when all data is used correctly, displays an active status report on all clients and their relationship with you. Allowing you to stay on top of prospective clients using workflows to create engagement.
Who Would Use It?
Initially when Actionstep was designed it was meant to be a general business solution to their software needs. Where it would be a completely modular design that would suit each business' workflow requirements. However after noticing a gap in the legal market, the owner Ted, realized its potential.
Actionstep is now used as a law practice management software that has been tailor made to suit all small, medium and large firms. While we wouldn't recommend the 'Express' plan as we feel it don't provide all the features even a very small practice would use, the 'Practice Pro' plan option is still within a reasonable price range for a one man band.
What Are The Pros Vs Cons?
While writing this review it can sometimes be hard to play devils advocate as, understandably, much of the information online can be biased. We don't ever recommend getting your information from one source as this could restrict your ability to make an informed decision. With this in mind, here is our list:
While I would like to make a longer cons list Actionstep has really made it hard to find fault with their product. If you understand what it's capable of, work within the limits and put the effort in to get it started, there really is nothing that comes close to this user experience.
How To Setup Actionstep - With Photos
Actionstep is a 100% cloud based platform that provides everything you need to run your new/ upgraded law practice. It makes the legal management process easier by providing top quality features with your specific workflow in mind. A typical signup process will take less than 15 minutes, with setup process taking around a hour to have personalized settings in place and full legal practice integration complete within around a month.
Getting Started With Actionstep
To access your online Actionstep dashboard you will first need to 'request a trial'. This will prompt you to input standard information such as full name, email, country, phone number and firm name.
Once you have filled out this information you will be informed that your 'free trial request' has been received and they will give you a call within 24 hours or at a time that suits you.
With how many potential clients Actionstep goes through, it's good to see how they have managed to streamline the application process over the phone. The quick and easy 10 minute conversation covered all essential information to start the trial process. So now what? Now you can start building and customizing your personal law practice management software.
Actionstep Free Trial
Like many quality software's out there today that are on a subscription based program, Actionstep offers a trial run to see if you'll like the software. This is great news for those who are on the fence if they think it's worth getting Actionstep for their business. If you are ready to get a real legal law practice management software today then why not have a go? Check out Actionstep's trial below.
Actionstep Free Trial
Want to know what all the fuss is about? Checkout this free trial to see if Actionstep is the right software to run your law firm.
How Much Does Actionstep Cost?
Take a look at this pricing breakdown between the three payment plan options. The first plan 'Express' is at its cheapest ($69 AUD/ Month) when you pay for an entire year subscription ($828). With the second 'Practice Pro' ($129 AUD/ Month) at a total of ($1,548 Per Year). While looking at these numbers staring at you, just remember that these prices are for the entire legal practice management software that runs your business.
So lets break it down..
Express Plan - $69
Perfect for those who a running a one man band that want to quickly have their business up and running with a quality legal management system. This plan includes important workflow automation, matter management and customer relationship management. These are the bare bones essentials needed to run your firm.
Practice Pro Plan - $129
Almost basically double the cost of the original plan, the practice pro, offers such a complete package it's easy to justify the extra cost. With important extra features such as document template & automation, customizable workflow and automate client intake it would be hard to pass up these features when time is so important.
For those who really want to customize everything they can get their hands on. While no price is given as it then becomes user specific we know it can go upwards of $350/ Month. This can be a justifiable cost for firms with a constant revenue stream, however, it's hard for those just starting out. Stick away from this package if it's your first time running a firm or only plan on working by yourself.
3rd Party And Add-Ons
While we've raved about how easy and important the 3rd party extras are we would be remiss to not talk about any additional costs that might come with using them. Straight off the bat, an Actionstep subscription doesn't sign you up for any 3rd parties.
For example, as useful as Xero is to have integrated with your law practice management software, you'll still need to purchase a Xero subscription to have an account. Next, looking at the add-ons such as wills & estates AU, conveyancing and family law range from being free to an additional $125/ month depending on your package. Not essential for those how already have these documents completed but a very quick and easy tool for those who want to save time.
Certified Consulting Partners
Actionstep have set up a team of of 'experts' who you are able to hire to help setup both software and 3rd party add-ons. This is great for those who don't want to spend many hours learning via internet tutorial. Keeping in mind you don't NEED to hire one during the install of your new law practice management software, however, according to Actionstep it is highly recommended as some jurisdictions have legal requirements during implementation.
Is There An Actionstep Coupon, Bonus Or Discount?
Sadly from the research we have done, no. We aren't able to find any potential savings on the packages they are currently selling (As of September 2019). However we highly recommend taking full advantage of the free trial they offer and keep a keen eye out for any future deals.
While the ActionStep website does have a comprehensive FAQ section, we will quickly cover the most common questions we encountered while using and reviewing this product.
What happens if the internet goes down?
With it being a 100% cloud based system you will need to stay connected to use and update your files/ emails. Thankfully any connection, such as WiFi, cellular or Hotspot will work to keep you connected.
Is There A Mobile App?
Yes! While you can access the website on your phone/ tablet as you would on a laptop, there is also an app available for android and apple to download. You are also able to sync up all calendars to ensure complete integration. Sadly it hasn't found a way to fully integrate the benefits of running the software on a computer but it's nice to have the flexibility.
Where Is My Data Stored?
Depending on your location/ choice you can store your online data either in Australia, New Zealand, America, EU or Singapore. This really supports a global community as no one wants to have a slow cloud connection to the other side of the world.
Can I Leave Actionstep?
The only thing required is 1 month notice, that's it. during that time (Or any time for that matter) you can request for a backup of your data. Keep in mind that during your trial period you don't pay a cent out of your pocket and can choose not to continue at any time.
What makes it great is also its downfall. With the ability to customize nearly all aspects of your workflow, something is understandably bound to go wrong. What's great though is how prompt their support system is that is prepared to fix your problems right away. So if you're ever in need of some help/ advice feel free to hit up the great support staff.
What Are Some Actionstep Alternatives?
It's always smart to look around at what everyone else is offering especially when making an important decision. So here are some of the high end alternatives that create some serious competition.
- BHL Software - This is essentially Actionstep offline, well not exactly, unlike the complete cloud based options you would normally expect from most business management software's of the 21st century. BHL gives you the ability to install directly to a device, connect to a local server or gain access directly online, neat.
- Clio: Clio Suite is everything you need to run your new law firm from intake to invoice. Used by many people to have an easy all in one package. This is the sort of software you will be looking for if you don't have a 3rd party accounting software.
- LEAP - Just like Actionstep, LEAP is an integrated legal practice and case management software. Tested by time, LEAP is well know in the industry to work well with small to medium firms. Great for those who want something that everyone else has but aren't interested in knowing what's the latest and greatest out there in the market of business to business connectivity.
- Open Practice - Run by the GlobalX company, Open Practice is a well regarded firm management software which strives to have one of the highest value and competitive pricing per user.
- Thomson Reuters Elite - Moving into the much larger firm management software's, 3E Elite seems to focus more on the business side of running a law firm. With the ability to accurately track hours worked, cost benefit analysis and much more, it helps companies with many employees keep track of day to day operations.
Want More Alternatives?
Find out everything you need to know about these alternatives!
In Conclusion - Actionstep Review
Actionstep is an all in one law practice management software designed to cover all aspects of your business from start to finish. With the main focus being workflow management that allows you to customize the software to your own liking. After using it for over a year i can say, the team here at ThePerthLawyer.com highly recommends the use of Actionstep in your new or upgraded firm.
Let us know in the comments below if you have any further questions about this review. We will also keep you updated with any major changes Actionstep does to ensure you are able to make an informed decision on what law practice management software best suits your business.