It is a mostly comprehensive business-management tool
The Abacus software, now on Abacus Private Cloud, almost always is functioning properly, and is accessible from anywhere, anytime. After our experience, we would now not use anything that is not cloud-based, particularly being in a city highly prone to power-outages, floods, and hurricanes.
We have found the software to steadily improve in features and speed. The customer service is the best I have experienced very particularly in the software industry. The techs are all very knowledgeable and carefully resolve every inquiry. They are also available very quickly, an absolute anomaly in the software business.
The calendering component, as others have observed, is a key strong-point. The linking in of all events, documents, e-mails, and notes into one accessible electronic folder provides the convenient efficiency that you will frequently use.
It is possible to scan documents directly to the cloud case file from your local computer - an important step-saver.
Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, when installed, functions on the APC desktop.
You will need reasonably strong, consistent Internet connections. Airport terminals are mostly unusable work locations even with a "jet-pack" or cell-phone "hot-spot."
This is a powerful software tool. As such, except for the calendar, it is not a "plug & play" system, except for the most computer-fluent users. To fully utilize its comprehensive features will take a commitment to initial as well as ongoing learning while taking the daily, time-consuming steps to precisely link all activities back to the case file. However, the added work will and must obviate the paper file.
The queries, forms, and reports functions are all very valuable but are far too complex to user-initiate, and each requires ongoing custom installation by the provider.
Cost-effective file collaboration with outsiders is not possible, therefore an added cloud account and the expense is required along with the time of copying and moving sizeable files.
Changing accounting from existing into the integrated system is a major transition to be carefully evaluated in advance. Maintaining the current accounting system, at least temporarily, will be required.
This software must be your primary organizational tool as it will grow into a weighted expense that is justifiable only if it is the key resource.
The software does crash daily when trying to interact with Outlook for file linking of e-mails. It can usually be resolved with a quick re-start.
Initiating printing is quite slow and getting slower but understandable with a remote server.
Microsoft Office, Adobe Pro, and Reallegal depo transcription all work very well here. Some other applications do not at all.
Do not make the mistake of believing that this product will do anything for you other than cause you countless hours of grief.
Any pros of this software are so far outweighed by the cons that they are not worthy of even mention.
This software is absolutely horrible. I had high hopes for this software after having been given rave reviews about Amicus Attorney and calling to get more information. The salesperson convinced me that after describing my firm's needs, we were better suited for Abacus, which was owned by the same company. After purchasing the software, it took more than 8 months for them to figure out how to migrate our data from our existing billing software, a process that they represented they were very familiar with during the sales calls. When we finally made the transition to this software we quickly learned that it is not at all user-friendly, they provide no guidance on how to use the software or how to set it up, large portions of data mysteriously changes by itself (today the originating attorneys on hundreds of our chases mysteriously changed to reflect the names of our support staff members). The calendaring system is supposed to be able to sync seamlessly with Outlook. This is a joke. Items randomly disappear from attorneys' calendars or appear on the wrong attorneys calendars, when entered. Some items sync from Abacus to Outlook and others don't with no rhyme or reason. Their call center is horrible. You cannot get the same person on the phone twice, and you cannot request to speak with a particular person so there is no consistency of service. Each time you call to describe a problem you are having, you have to start from the beginning because they do not keep any records of your past calls. The people who answer the phone have no idea how the software works and always tell you that they have to research your question and get back to you. Oftentimes you never receive a call back and when you do they still don't know how to assist you. I could go on and on...
I have been an AbacusLaw customer since 1998. I believe I was the first accountant to try and adapt your matters based program to a client based usage. We spent many hours adapting your improvements every year to insure that I could continue to manage my accounting practice through your program. It was a challenge, but the results are well worth it. I have a data file that has a record of every appointment, every phone call, what IRS agent is assigned to what case, etc., since 1998, for over 5500 tax clients.I have a record of every bill sent to our business clients since we started using Abacus Accounting to manage our receivables. I believe so strongly in this program that, when I joined H&R Block 3 years ago, I demanded a clause allowing me to put this program on their computers. After investigating your program, their tech team recommended that the clause is allowed in my contract, a very rare concession by H&R Block. They have since designed a program for appointments, which is free, and which I am required to use. So we make our appointments in AbacusLaw first then input them into the AM. It takes a little more time but it is worth it. When a client says they have not heard from us, I print out the Abacus record of contact, showing the date and time calls were made and what messages were left. It immediately tames the angry beast and I usually get an apology. This program is the heart of my business. I would be lost without it.
Their support is absolutely the best. In the very unusual event that I need support, they always remember me, are friendly and super knowledgeable. Usually I am asking for a workaround to make their program do something it isn't designed to do. They could just impress me off, but they really try to make it work the way I need it, and they usually find a way. Having client info at my fingertips makes me look very efficient and very competent.
Abacus is a disappointment and I strongly recommend against using it. The support blames its customer and Microsoft Abacus' failures. Our program crashes constantly and the supposed case management and document management features are too complicated to use. The phone calendar and contact updates no longer work, which was a major purchase consideration when we purchased Abacus. Now the company will not support its outdated system and is using its failure to extort upgrades from its long-term customers. We started using Abacus over five years ago and experienced many headaches thought that term. Now the system constantly crashes. As an example, for the past week or so we have not been able to add new client contacts or calendar events. Imagine trying to run a law office and you cannot open a file or put an event on the calendar. Abacus support was rude and cavalier about our problems and tried to put the blame on Microsoft Windows 10 and blamed our office for deleting something on our computer -- an utter impossibility. I cannot strongly impress upon anyone considering teaming up with Abacus my disappointment and hope you will steer clear of AbacusLaw.
The company seems to have abandoned us. We purchased AbacusLaw five years ago and now the program keeps crashing and the rude support personnel blame us for using an outdated version which Abacus says it is trying to faze out an no longer support. We bought the program because it offered case management and document management capabilities, and automatically updated contacts and calendar on the phone. Over the years, we constantly needed to contact support because the calendar and contact update functionality constantly broke down. Now the software crashes all of the time. I could not enter new clients nor could I make calendar entries for the past five (5) days. I called support and they complained that Abacus no longer wants to support this version and claimed my staff must have "deleted something" -- which is an impossibility! and the support blames Microsoft updates. We are beyond frustrated with Abacus. The program is so poorly designed there is no way to utilize many of the features it claims to have. Frankly we gave up on linking documents, producing case management reports, etc. because the software is too complicated to understand. Abacus now wants to up-sell us on its new software products and the pricing could not be more noncompetitive. I sincerely discourage anyone from using Abacus Law and this is the advice from a long term user who gave Abacus an honest and fair chance.
This software allows me to run my small law firm without having to hire full time assistants and automates about 80% of my administrative tasks.
1. Affordable: Having purchased similar software years ago and having paid an amount for it, I knew that the cost of a new firm management software that handled both front office and back office matters was going to be a major obstacle for me. Particularly if I wanted the software to be resident on my computer as opposed to web-based. But, with the monthly payment plan that Abacuslaw offers, it was very easy to sign up.
2. Complete management solution. There are very few programs around that offer both a full management software and a full accounting software to attorneys. Most of the software out there offers a billing component, but not a full accounting solution. With Abacuslaw, I can have both for the same price. I don't have to have another accounting software like QuickBooks pro to handle the accounting of my office.
3. The software is very easy to use. Most of the time, I can figure things out by myself without much training. But, to the extent I need training, I can find videos on YouTube or worst case scenario, I can sign up for their affordable one on one instructions.
4. Really good support staff: My questions or problems are usually answered and resolved on the same call into the office. Very responsive and knowledgeable support staff and extremely cooperative and helpful.
5. I've done lots of research. Not too many companies with the same level of service and features for the same price. Highly recommend it.
1. Glitches. While support staff is very responsive, the number of glitches is at times distracting. I would say that I average about maybe one glitch every three months or so. But it is dealt with very soon.
2. Data migration: The only major problem I had with Abacus law was their data migration. I was migrating from Amicus online and they could not transfer my data. Finally, the only thing they were able to migrate was my case information. I had to reenter my financial data myself. My suggestion is to make sure that they understand what format you are migrating from and get a firm commitment from them that they can handle the migration without problems.
In the end, though, the drawbacks are so small, compared to the benefits that the minor complaints I have don't even register.
Does just about everything I need to for law firm practice management, once I've tinkered with it enough.
Because I am a power user, I am able to make it do everything I want . There is not any other PM software out there that is as customizable. However, that comes with a cost in usability (more on that below).
However, I have had excellent technical support. I had an issue that I could not solve on my own. I called CS and, although they were not able to resolve it in that session, I was impressed with the thoroughness of the work and the help offered. They went above and beyond to to try to ID the issue. After tinkering around more, I called back with more info and was connected to another tech who was able to resolve the issue. Both had excellent professionalism and telephone demeanor.
I was very impressed by these two experiences and with the quality of the technicians. This was much better service than I expected and there are only a few companies who have provided this quality of support.
There is a cost to customizability. That is that it can be quite difficult for a non-computer-guy to set up beyond basic calendaring and contact tracking. The workflow and database relationships are not particularly intuitive. Even simple things like creating a search query take more computer knowledge than most attorney will have. Setting up reports or calendar rules is extremely user-unfriendly. Without my computer background I could never have done it.
Because I'm a power user, I can adapt it to meet all of our needs. But out-of-the-box, it's a little too generic to be really useful for most attorneys, even with the "Special Editions." The attorney who referred me to Abacus uses it as nothing more than a calendar and client contacts ¿ and it's too expensive to use it that way.
Forced subscription model on an outdated program. The program had difficulty with a 4-person law firm. There were numerous issues with duplicate contacts, duplicate emails, multiple scheduling issues, and failed to easily integrate with other applications such as Outlook 2016. We also were forced onto a subscription model, costing approximately $300/month. We received zero updates during that time, despite numerous complaints to the sales team. We purchased a high-end server ($4,000) to run Abacus, thinking the hardware was the cause of the latency issues. This solved nothing.
At the end of our contract, our salesperson told us that the software would continue to function, but support would be terminated. This was a lie. The software was restricted to read-only mode and we were locked out of our data. We were then given the option of paying a $275 reinstatement fee, plus increased monthly fees to get the software up and running on our own server again. This was the last straw and we migrated to a much better solution.
Abacus is an outdated system that requires significant upkeep. The hardware requirements are not included in their pricing model. Their hosted solution was also garbage, as it failed to integrate with the local programs. Their software is incredible slow and simple tasks (such as printing an invoice) takes 5-10 minutes to accomplish.
I would stay away from this product at all costs. One final warning, because their system is so outdated, once you start entering data, it cannot be exported to be migrated to a new system. Their poor design forces you to remain on their system or feel the pain of a weeks long migration system. Again, stay away from this outdated system at all costs.
Nothing. It is complete garbage. It is outdated and shouldn't be on the market.
Poor design, simple tasks are overly complicated, they force an over-priced subscription model, doesn't integrate with other programs, does not integrate directly with phone calendars, created duplicate entries for contacts, cannot migrate data.
Capterra is a distinguished platform for users to share reviews of software products, and we respect the forum as a place for serious technical reviews made without self-interest or aggrandizement. The tone and tenor of your review indicates that you are very unhappy with our product, and while we would love to have you stay with us, we want you to make the best decision for your firm. We would be happy to help remedy your situation. At your earliest convenience, please contact us at 858-882-1794F.
We did the switch because of the buy-out of amicus but have been very happy with the change. We are doing everything through the cloud and it has been seemless.
Probably the most is the support. I put off my first support call for a long time--waited until I had a good chunk of time because I assumed I would be on hold forever. Not the case. The person that answered the phone (no hold time) was the person that solved my problem with ease. They explained what they were doing so that I could handle the next time if there was a next time and they haven't treated anyone in our office like they were dumb--even when they had no idea what they were doing. This has been the case each time we have called support. The transition, once all of our data was converted went smoothly and even our limited computer users had little problems from day one.
The least are probably things that I just don't understand how to do yet. We have only been using the software since January, so I try to spend a little time weekly learning a new aspect of the program. The one thing I wish it would do that amicus did, was in events, I could schedule events that would be added in once another even was completed. In abacus I can set dates out in advance, but they are not contingent on when something was completed. Hope that is something they are looking at for future upgrades. That is probably the only thing I miss from amicus.
We are tremendously glad to hear that the transition has been a good one! To take a deeper dive into the features of AbacusLaw, we recommend joining our weekly half hour "Free Training Friday" webinars. You are also more than welcome to contact our support team at any time who will be more than happy to impart some tips so you can fully take advantage of our software.
Watch past webinars and register for future ones here: https://www.abacusnext.com/webinars
For the last 20 months my entire law office has been run on Abacus Private Cloud. It has worked flawlessly, with great, responsive, USA-based tech support (for set up issues and as needed thereafter).
APC enabled me to put my entire law office into a private cloud environment, in an industrial data center custom-built solely for this purpose, dedicated to the legal profession, and managed by top-notch professionals in the data center industry; this is something I could never have achieved on my own, or through another vendor.
The benefits to my law practice from Abacus Private Cloud are:
- - My data is secure and safe in the Abacus Private Cloud data center. No more local data backups, because all data is on the private cloud server, and is backed up there.
- - My local equipment costs are drastically lower than before I switched to a private cloud. I eliminated the three desktop computers that I was previously accessing remotely.
- - I don¿t need costly application software on each local access device. All law office applications can be run on the private cloud server, not on local hardware. The local devices are there simply to display and interact with the private cloud server.
- - My private cloud server can run any software, whether related to Abacus or not. Therefore, I can run the application software that my meets the specific needs of my law practice, regardless of the vendor.
- - My local IT and tech support costs are $0.
- - My staff and I have become totally mobile, without sacrificing efficiency. This means that each employee, as needed, can work on their own schedule, and from any location with cell phone coverage, electricity, and an Internet connection. This creates a flexible, modern, and dynamic work environment, resulting in a better quality of life, happier attorneys and staff, and a better work vs. life balance for all involved.
- - All law office applications and data are accessible 24×7 for each user via any device: desktop computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone.
- - Private cloud technical requests (e.g., email configuration, remote access from a new device, etc.) are promptly resolved by the Abacus Private Cloud support staff.
- - System reliability (uptime) is outstanding.
In sum, this is a truly great product, at a reasonable price, with great customer support. I highly recommend you get it!! Thanks.
Mr Farr: Thank you for being a valued Abacus client. We're glad that you have fully automated your practice Abacus Private Cloud, and enjoy your virtual workplace environment. We are committed to providing our clients with a comprehensive suite of fully managed legal technology products and services to help guarantee the integrity and security of their sensitive data, as well as to enable their success and ultimate performance. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you, we wish you much success! Best, The Abacus Total Care Team
Time capture for billing, full accounting software.
Strong database with a lot of features and the unique Outlook add-in to bill emails straight into the integrated accounting software. The add-in will make you very dependent really quickly if you bill for time reading and responding to emails.
Horrible support and inaccurate sales information. Each time there is an update, we had to end up calling in to fix the problem. If we were lucky, we got an experienced tech. Otherwise we ended up going through several until the problem was fixed. We would spend hours on the phone each time for days in a row and the problems would completely prevent us from working for a day or more. The down time was costing us too much money and client retention issues. Finally after 5 years we had enough and cancelled the program based upon the original salesman's representations that we paid for the program for 2 years, then after that we could pay for maintenance but we would have a usable stand alone program. We found out that is untrue when we cancelled. We were not given the opportunity to retrieve our information, billing or financials unless we paid for a month-to-month account and tech fee. In response, the company would not return our phone calls.
This was probably the worst decision I have made in my 38 year career. Our firm is still not operational and we've been working with them for six months. The main issue is that Abacus will not connect from San Diego to Colorado: the internet based program shuts down suddenly and your work is missing if you have not saved it on your server (outside of the Abacus program). This is a problem if you are on a deadline. When we brought that to Abacus attention, they blamed a third party connection. We had our IT guy call the third party but because we are not customers of the third party, they would not talk to us. So basically we are paying for a program that does not work AND Abacus wont fix it or even contact the third party with whom they contract for the connection. Furthermore, the migration of my billing program to Abacus billing was a nightmare as Abacus loaded the trust account into the operating account as a credit, i.e. zero in trust. Once they sorted that out, the billing program would not accept payments from clients. My bookkeeper was on the phone with Abacus techs for countless hours trying to work that out to no avail. Finally I sent them a certified letter terminating the contract for cause and guess what? Action! now I had ten technicians working on the multiple issues trying to get it all resolved. But that took time and my attorneys were required to spend literally hours on the phone with these guys. Billable hours lost, meant they did not get their bonuses this month, as well as the firm lost revenue. To make matters worse, the response from Abacus was that it was our fault because our attorneys were non responsive: a complete lie, unless you want to complain that sometimes our attorneys are in court handling actual client matters and cannot be on the phone with them while they are doing actual attorney work. Emails are still floating in cyberspace, not received. Printers don't work. etc etc. My choice is to litigate in another state -- completely untenable. Don't be stupid. Upgrade your server and stick with your current billing program.
Great sales pitch. If the program worked, it is a lawyers dream. It doesn't.
The program does not connect and shuts down. Then you cannot do anything. It does not operate.
The out of the ordinary task I was assigned frustrated me for several hours before I reached out for assistance. But when I did reach out, the assistance was there. It was something I could do, I just needed guidance. The executive from Abacus not only guided me through the process, but he explained what I was doing as we worked through to completion of the task and how it worked so I could easily do on my own the next time. Today, I had to go back in and add another search element and was able to do so without the frustration as before. I understood how it worked, and to clone what was already working so I didn't lose what had been done but improved upon it. Thank you very much for the help AND suggestion to clone before editing!
It combines calendar (both legal and non-legal), accounting and legal / case management into one area. Legal forms are updated regularly. Notes can be made addressing each case progress and conflict of interest checks are easily manageable. Automatic population is convenient when working on new matters under regular clients. The help line has always been quick, easy and convenient. Every person I have ever spoken with has been of great assistance, without hesitation. Thank you.
It is difficult (for me) to figure out the help through the on line directions to complete an out of the ordinary task.
As usual, Customer support was very helpful. He called when he said he would and did his best to resolve the issues over which he had control. Where the issues related to Amicus and he could not resolve them himself, he has pointed me in the right direction so that at least I can try to get them resolved in the future if he can’t do so whilst I am on annual leave. In my view, Customer support assistance is really the only redeeming feature of the support provided, with no one else showing any real interest in helping me. The product could be excellent but is let down by speed and support issues. Now I only bother to contact Customer support as he is the only person who has really shown any interest in trying to resolve issues.
The product has a number of useful features which make it good for use in legal work. The ability to store all documents and correspondences within a file and send them by email or move them to different files are excellent, as is the ability to generate template documents and amend as necessary
The product is often slow and cumbersome to use, with numerous glitches which never seem to get resolved. we are based in the UK and were told that we would have 24 hour support, but this simply hasn't happened. I have had some issues with Outlook, copying and pasting and documents not attaching to emails for three months now and, whilst Customer support has made every attempt to try and sort these out, he is only able to do so during US working hours (which means from around 3pm UK time) and, despite his commitment and many efforts, the problems are still not resolved which, I understand, is because there is a bug for which there is so far no fix.
Our experience with AbacusLaw has been very beneficial in keeping matters organized and running smoothly. And also, knowing that if any issue should arise, it will be promptly seen to by their very capable IT team, which may be what makes AbacusLaw essential. Their team is always courteous and ready to serve you in a timely manner. As far as the software itself, there is rarely a problem.
Organization is key, so being able to link matters with the calendar and pull up events with so little effort makes my job much easier. I cannot imagine running a law firm without this program. It makes all the difference when you are in the business of billing clients based on time spent on their particular matter. The full scope of events, dates, time and time spent are at the ready, saving a tremendous amount of time.
AbacusLaw is incredibly functional. This software has it all, and I feel that our small firm isn't implementing the software to it's fullest capabilities. This is apparent as there are helpful suggestions each morning when I login and go to my calendar.
There is little to not like about the software. I suppose if it were free and could read my mind, but...
Abacus Law in the Abacus Private Cloud is the 4th practice management software that I have used over the past 20 years. Far and away is the worst experience that I have had with practice management software. Many everyday functions take multiple steps where they need only take one. Some features, especially search features, just don't work. In two years I have seen no meaningful improvements in the software. Abacus makes its real money selling you their cloud services and once you commit to putting your data on their Cloud, it gets very hard to move away. I considered transitioning to Amicus Attorney because Abacus has recently merged with Amicus and I was assured for months that a migration was doable, only to learn months later that Abacus will not provide migration to Amicus. The two camps definitely have not gotten on the same page.
At this point, nothing.
APC is a problematical environment to have to work in all day. Abacus Law and especially Abacus Accounting are primitive, highly inefficient.
Capterra is a distinguished platform for users to share reviews of software products, and we respect the forum as a place for serious technical reviews made without self-interest or aggrandizement. The tone and tenor of your review indicates that you are very unhappy with our product, and while we would love to have you stay with us, we want you to make the best decision for your firm. We would be happy to help remedy your situation. At your earliest convenience, please contact us at 858-882-1794.
I am in the process of finding a different database. I pay almost money per month for technical support. I have been waiting for a week for an answer back from them currently. When they did the update it converted all the date of births to 2000 .... so if you were born in 1995 it shows your date of birth 2095. They tried to tell me a year ago that my contract had expired and wanted me to sign another 5 year contract. I was willing to sign a 3 year and they refused. They continued to charge my credit card for their support after that date. Turns out I did have another year with them and my contract was not expiring. They are HORRIBLE!!!
It's a database. It does what it is supposed to do... when it is working. However, it is impossible to get technical service.
Technical support is non-existent. I have tried multiple times to get an answer to a simple problem, and have been told everything from I don't have a contract with them to it's not their problem. Instead of attempting to help, they smart off and are rude and ridiculous in their responses. My IT people were working with abacus to install an update. It did not work and abacus did not respond to calls or emails for a full week. Then after refusing to get off the phone until someone spoke to me, the guy said they just needed to do a couple things and would I like him to do it then. Thirty minutes later it was working. We spent an entire week without it because they simply would not respond to us. They kept saying someone else had our account but that person was always on the phone with another customer, Managers did not return my phone call either.
I would not suggest Abacus to anyone and tell everyone NOT to buy it. I have had it for 1 1/2 and I have to say I am disappointed and exhausted with having to use it.
Before I did buy it, I had done much research on the software out there and for my solo practice, the price and the fact that they offered client and accounting made a lot of sense. So, I bought it. I can write about 10 pages of information as to why you should NOT get it. Here are a few:
1. They removed the payroll option and actually blocked you from using entirely (meaning that you could not manually punch in the information) and made you pay their payroll affiliate. Completely unfair and uncalled for. There was no warning that they were going to block you from using the existing payroll features. Only that they were not going to support it. Support and block are completely 2 different things.
2. To run a bill, you need to go or click at 15 places. Isn't that ridiculous.
3. I was able to email bills from abacus accounting. That stopped working and they could not fix it.
4. They do monthly training on separate issues (like billing, entering date, etc.). It sounds all easy at first, but when you actually start doing it yourself, oh boy. Good luck to you.
5. If you search for a client, after his name comes up, you can't click enter to open up his matter. You actually have to click on the name. Imagine doing that 50 times a day.
6. Even though you can create abbreviations on the billing so it types it for you, e.g., RAR, it types out Receive and review, you can't do the same when you are typing notes in the client's matter. You have to type it all out. Makes no sense.
7. Learning curve is HUGE. It takes forever to learn how to use. Time you don't have.
8. You can't email a batch of bills at one time. You have to click in a few places, type your client's name, find the bill, and then click email. Can you imagine doing that for 30 or 100 bills a month.
9. Everything is SO LABORIOUS. It takes 5x more work to just get one thing done than it should.
10. In certain screens, you can't maximize the view. It is locked so it is a small screen.
I have to say that but for one rep, they are very professional. But honestly, who cares. If I have to spend hours on the phone to fix issues, what does it matter that they are nice. I am a solo and I don't have time to waste with Abacus.
I wish you luck but consider my review before you start down a nightmare of issues.
It allowed us to move from a paper calendar to a electronic one. I cannot think of anything that is an upgrade from paper files except that.
Our needs were minimal and this software met most of those minimal needs.
Screens are not customizable. We asked repeatedly for the ability to make custom buttons so that we could execute tasks on each Client without going through their rigorous protocols. After several years and release updates, custom buttons never made it. It seems they don't want users to alter the product so that it best fits the users needs. They are very rigid. At the term of our contract they began billing me at 4 times our agreed rate with no notice. Not once did they disclose the amount they were going to charge and it cannot be found anywhere in their emails, website, etc. For that matter, they could have charged me $1 million a month. In any event, when I told then I did not want do business with such a dishonest company and cancel any service agreement with them, they kept charging my bank card. I finally had to cancel my bank card to stop the charges. Worse than AOL and Comcast.
Check out other options if you want a cloud bases case management program before going with APC. I am waiting for my 5 year contract to expire and then reevaluate my options. I would like to have more control over "my cloud" and have local, on the scene tech support like we used to enjoy before we were forced to upgrade to APC, or else pay a high price for non-supported, prior versions of the software.
It is nice to be able to access the case management software through the cloud. It allows you to take you work with you where ever you go - which can be a good thing or a bad one.
Abacus Private Cloud does not play well with anything but MS Office 365. I had to buy a more expensive version of Dragon Naturally Speaking Legal and there is such a lag between dictation and text, that the Dragon software never gets used. We also use Essential Forms for our Judicial Council Forms in CA. APC tech support has left me hanging for over 2 weeks, and countless hours trying to figure out software that they had previously installed on their server for our use. It also seems like every time I call support to change something, there is a horrendous charge.
Most important... CONSOLIDATION! Abacus Law integrated the case management, "tickler" by rule, forms, contacts, matter, ACCOUNTING AND BILLING, all into a single easy to use and learn package. Changes in one area and iterated throughout the software. We almost never and disparate or duplicate data. Well Done!
Ease of use, consistency in operation, great support. In nearly our entire use, different versions and our transition to the "cloud" last year, our up-time has been nearly 99%. I was worried about transitioning to APC (cloud), but the support and transition and setup was painless and well executed. Our employees barely noticed the difference, but for, the Remote Desktop link... Very well done!
There are a few very minor custom things, but overall, nothing worth mentioning. As I said, I have been a happy customer for about 10 years, seen the growing pains, and various upgraded and improvements, each being better than the previous. We've been quite pleased.
We appreciate your enthusiasm and thank you for your feedback! It has been a pleasure to serve you over the past decade.
I first purchased the gold edition of Abacus two years ago and installed it locally. It had its quirks, but we were satisfied overall. A few months in, though, it started crashing frequently during billing and time entry--every 4-5 time tickets and every 3-4 bills rendered. We spent more time re-starting the software than it took to render all of our bills. Abacus IT couldn't figure it out. Then it started to 'forget' the database location and we had to be on the phone with Abacus IT about once a week so they could fix it remotely.
When Abacus couldn't figure out why it kept crashing, they guessed it was an incompatibility issue with our brand-new server and suggested we move to Abacus Private Cloud. Sounded fine. They housed and maintained the hardware and we didn't need server IT. Of course, the price went up by 200%. Seemed like a fair trade-off at first.
Despite the representations as to stability and savings, it got worse. Our first billing run on APC crashed the software more frequently than it had on our own server. The next billing run was worse. It crashed after nearly every generated bill. At best the software would crash fewer than two dozen times during a billing run, no matter what IT tried to do. Finally, they just blamed it on us. It hasn't been fixed entirely to this day.
To add insult to injury, we were told out of the blue that our virtual server was running low on storage space. We removed everything we could think of that we'd put on it and it still ran low. Abacus billed us for additional storage space despite our efforts, without explanation as to where the issue lay or any attempts to help. E-mails to IT were met with silence.
Barring some sort of miracle, I cannot wait until our contract is up so I can cancel the agreement. It's ludicrously expensive for what it is and how often it fails to work, and all of the time spent with IT has cost more work hours than I want to admit. It's clunky, quirky, crashes frequently, and the software is unstable no matter which platform or hardware is in use. And buyer beware--Abacus doesn't guarantee the software will work and the cancellation penalty is essentially the equivalent of the value of your remaining contract.
I am extremely unhappy with Abacus and feel like I was misled on the initial purchase, and misled again when told that switching everything to the cloud would improve stability.
I started using another service after years with Abacus due to their poor customer service and technical support (which you pay for) and their inability to have a calendar that effectively syncs, then switched back as I was promised improved service, functionality, and an app and web integration allowing for seamless calendar syncing. The app doesn't even exist. Then, due to sluggish cloud performance, I was asked to add more GB at an additional fee, which I did, and after it did not improve performance, Abacus refused to reverse this and the charges, saying I am stuck with it for the rest of my contract term. I am done with them; gathering my emails and other contacts so I can get out of this contract due to their breach of promise. I will never go back to Abacus with the way they have treated me. Calendar syncing problems are the worst; when entering appointments in Outlook, sometimes they do not sync which means important court dates and other things are missing from my office calendar.
Abacus has everything we need for our daily functions and makes basic accounting easy. We can access our client's many different ways (i.e.: name, matter, ID). I love the way the top bar is set up. The icons are used daily. I can print out reports for the partner within seconds. Easy transfer of funds from one client to another.
Sometimes when updates are made, there are problems with the monthly billing and client payments. After inputting the time tickets, sometimes the program freezes up and we need to shut down the system a couple of times and even need to call customer services for help. Also, when printing the invoices, even though I put them in alpha order, when they print out, they print out numerically or even one time recently just printed out (255 bills) in no methodical way. The same thing happens when inputting client payments. Instead of allowing me to input what I want to input, if I mark an invoice or invoices.
It saves time and makes the coordination of tasks among staff more efficient. The database organization is simple to use and explore.
It is easy to learn and the customer service/software support people are very knowledgeable if something doesn't make sense. The software is very intuitive and saves lots of time. Saving time means getting more work done in a day. It is reasonably priced for the initial investment, and the support is a considerable value when softwares other than Abacus update and functionality changes. We moved our office 2 years ago, and taking Abacus along and getting us set up in our new location was EASY! Adding and replacing equipment has been seamless, like new PCs, phones, and/or laptops. The Abacus team is amazing!
Sometimes the updates come at the most inopportune times. It would be better if we could chose when to update things more in coordination with IT personnel for major updates.
The cost vs other comparable software is the primary reason why this software was chosen. Additionally (just as important to us) is that the data is stored on our network and not the cloud.
The legal billing and trust accounting functions are great. However, the rest of the accounting functionality really stinks.
I like how for billing, you can schedule a bill to e-mail or print and it automatically does it (e/m or print) when you finalize the bills.
I'm used to QuickBooks. I hate that I can't drill down to detail from reports. I hate that I can't type a vendor's name when I tab to the field when entering A/P (you have to open the search window and search for the vendor...there's no way to fully navigate through data entry without taking your hands off the keyboard).
Data between the "Law" program and the "Accounting" program becomes "out of sync" frequently. There's a script to run to attempt to fix it, but it takes hours to run.