Brief Accounting
Overview Features FAQs


Billing, Trust and Office Accounting for Mac & Windows

Brief Accounting has been the goto legal Windows and Mac billing solution for over 30 years. Brief Legal Software has established a reputation for providing excellent software solutions combined with outstanding technical support.

Whether you are a solo practitioner, a large firm, or somewhere in between, Brief Accounting is the billing and accounting solution that will work for you.

Brief Accounting is composed of Billing, Trust Accounting and Office Accounting, which are distinct yet fully integrated with one another to eliminate duplicate entry and reduce errors. Though Billing, Trust and Office Accounting are tightly integrated, they can be purchased separately, so you only need to purchase the modules that you require.

Brief Billing handles everything from slip entry to running prebills, editing slips, finalizing invoices and tracking your accounts receivable.

The Brief EnCounter timekeeper application, included with every Brief Billing purchase, is designed for extremely quick and easy slip entry. You will be assured to capture every billable minute and not to let any billable time slip away.

Invoices are flexible, displaying as little or as much detail as you desire. Clients with multiple matters are invoiced easily on a single invoice with consolidated client billing, and running a batch of a hundred invoices is just as simple and intuitive as running an invoice for a single file.

Brief Trust Accounting features simple and straightforward handling of trust funds. You will be assured exception-free audits and your trust accounting will meet all the trust requirements of your jurisdiction.

Trust funds can easily be applied to invoices and detailed trust ledgers can be displayed on the invoice itself or on a separate trust statement of account.

Bank reconciliation reports, trust liability statements, trust journals and trust checklist reports provide you with all the detail necessary to ensure your trust account is in balance.

Brief Office Accounting handles all of your general office bookkeeping. Vendor checks can be quickly posted and printed, simultaneously creating the associated disbursement slips in the Billing module, ensuring accurate recovery of client costs.

Brief Office Accounting includes the Accounts Payable module so you can stay on top of outstanding vendor invoices. Office Accounting features all the financial reports you will need and allows you to provide your accountant with the detailed financials they require for processing your year-end.

Find out more about what Brief Accounting can do for you and your firm.

Don't Let Time Slip Away

All Your Firm's Accounting Needs


Leveraging 25 Years of Experience

Brief Accounting
Brief Accounting has been addressing the billing and accounting needs of lawyers for 25 years. With Brief Accounting, simplicity and ease-of-use are not achieved at the expense of powerful features.

Brief Billing, Trust and Office Accounting work together seamlessly and can also be purchased separately depending on the needs of your firm.

Brief Billing
Brief Billing is composed of:

  • The Brief EnCounter timekeeper slip entry application.
  • The Brief Accounting Billing module for running prebills, editing slips and finalizing invoices.
  • The Brief Accounting Accounts Receivable module for posting receipts and tracking outstanding A/R.

These three modules work together to handle all of your Billing needs. In addition, Brief Billing has an exhaustive list of client and timekeeper reports to provide you with every detail of hours worked and fees billed and paid.

Brief EnCounter Timekeeper Slip Entry
The Brief EnCounter timekeeper application is designed for quick and easy slip entry.

  • Work out of the office on a Mac or a PC
  • Set default rates
  • Start/Stop timer with a single mouse-click
  • Codes to reduce keystrokes

Billing module
In the Billing module you can enter and edit batches of slips, print prebills and post invoices. Whether posting a single invoice or running a large batch, printing prebills and invoices is straight-forward and intuitive. It is designed to quickly handle large numbers of slips and is very flexible when you need to make batch changes to multiple items.

  • Prebill and Invoicing
  • Edit single slips or slips in batch
  • Multiple prebill formats
    • Run in batch, filtered by date, responsible attorney
  • Multiple invoice formats
    • Run in batch, consolidated client, split-billing and task-based billing including LEDES

Accounts Receivable
The A/R module is where you post receipts, track outstanding invoices and review client billing history. You can apply a single payment or payments in batch across multiple invoices and matters.

You can also use the A/R module to post non-time & billing invoices. If you have the type of practice that allows standard invoice formats for flat-fee activities, you can design and save invoice formats for use as templates. To invoice a client for a flat-fee item, you would simply select the desired invoice format from a list, add the client's matter number, check the details for accuracy, and post the invoice.

As you post, Brief Accounting will take care of all the bookkeeping, allocating the various components to the chart of accounts, and tracking your taxes.

  • Post single receipts
  • Post receipts in batch
  • Enter a single receipt against multiple invoices or on multiple matters
  • Outstanding receivables statements and detailed client ledgers
  • Aged A/R Reporting

Billing Reports
Brief Billing's extensive timekeeper reports provide you with detailed billing information organized by client or matter or by billing, responsible or introducing attorney.

Whether you wish to report on hours worked, fees paid, work-in-progress or average hourly fees, all aspects of your firm's billings are covered.

All reports can be exported and opened in Excel for further analysis.

You can run the following Timekeeper Reports in Brief Accounting:

  • Timekeeper Calendar
  • Timekeeper Hours Worked
  • Timekeeper List of Slips Entered
  • Practice Area Reports
  • Billings Report
  • Payment Allocation Report

Trust Accounting
Brief Trust Accounting features simple and straightforward handling of trust funds. There is full accountability for all trust transactions and a complete audit trail.

  • Post and print trust checks
  • Apply funds in trust to invoices
  • Detail trust transactions on invoices
  • Support for multiple banks and accounts
  • Bank Reconciliations
  • Trust reporting - Trust Journal, Trust Liability, Trust Ledger

Brief Trust Accounting is designed to:

  • Maintain accountability for all transactions
  • Prevent fraudulent transactions
  • Prevent over-drafting a client's trust account
  • Maintain a trust history for each client

Office Accounting
Brief Office Accounting is designed to take care of the office bookkeeping procedures as you run your day-to-day office activities. Because you handle the bookkeeping right away, your records are always up-to-date.

  • Post and print general office checks
  • Auto-create disbursement slips when paying vendors for client costs
  • Form 1099 Report
  • Automated tax-tracking
  • Accounts Payable to create and monitor vendor invoices

General Ledger
Brief Office Accounting also features the General Ledger module.

The General Ledger (GL) tracks all transactions that have been posted, including receipts, checks and invoices. The GL is capable of redisplaying these transactions in detail and reporting on them through the Financial Statements.

The General Ledger, based on a Chart of Accounts, is the heart of any accounting system. As you run your day to day office activities, Brief Accounting will automatically update your General Ledger to keep all your bookkeeping up-to-date.

The General Ledger allows you to:

  • Setup or modify the Chart of Accounts
  • Create and post Adjusting Journal Entries (AJE's)
  • Monitor activity, source and view accounting detail for each entry
  • Monitor activity and view accounting detail using a bank account journal (General or Trust)

Using the information collected in the General Ledger, you can print:

  • GL Detail Reports
  • Trial Balance
  • Balance Sheet
  • Income Statement

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Not Hesitate To Contact Us With Any Questions

If I have 10 legal assistants entering time on behalf of 7 lawyers, do I need 10 Timekeeper licenses?
No. You only need a timekeeper license for each user for whom time is billed under their name (in this case - 7). Staff entering time on behalf of lawyers do not require a timekeeper license for themselves.

Is there a user guide to help me through using your software?
Brief Accounting has a searchable, comprehensive online Knowledge Base available for all of our users. In this, you will find Getting Started Tutorials as well as more advanced instructions on working in Brief Accounting. Our Support Team is also happy to answer any of your questions via email or telephone.

Is there spellcheck available when I enter slips?
Yes. Spellcheck can be enabled when entering slips.

Can I use different billing rates for different employees and different clients/matters?
Yes. You can use set an unlimited number of different rates by employes and clients/matters.

Can you convert PCLaw data?
Yes, we can convert and import your PCLaw data. We can provide you with an estimate for conversion after a quick review of data. Please contact us if you would like to arrange a quick review of your PCLaw data.

Can I alter the way my invoice is formatted?
Yes. Brief Accounting has a number of settings that will alter what is displayed on or omitted from your invoices. If you have an existing invoice you would like to replicate, feel free to send us a sample and we will prepare and equivalent sample for you from Brief Accounting.

Can I send a single bill to a client containing billing for multiple matters?
Yes. You can send a Consolidated Client Invoice to a client. The invoice will contain a breakdown of billing for each matter belonging to the client.

Can you import the data from my existing accounting program to Brief Accounting so I do not have to re-enter it?
Yes, assuming that the application you use allows you to export the data to Excel (or any machine-readable format), we can bring it into Brief Accounting. Typically, we convert and import:

• Client and Matter Data
• Unbilled Slips
• Aged A/R Balances Forward

For Office and Trust Accounting clients we include conversion and import the Chart of Accounts, Trial Balance and the Bank Rec info.

We regularly convert users from Timeslips, PCLaw and many others.

Does Brief Accounting work on both Mac and Windows machines?
Yes. Brief Accounting runs on both Mac and Windows machines. Firms can be all Mac, all Windows or a mix of both.


Solo, Medium or Large; we have a Solution for You

Brief Accounting for Small and Medium sized firms:

Your Brief Accounting Subscription includes:

  • Setup of Firm and Staff information.
  • Online and telephone training.
  • Unlimited telephone and email support.
  • Access to updates and version upgrades.
Need General Office Accounting and complete Financial Reporting? Add Brief Office Accounting for only $30/month.

Medium to Large firms that have multiple bookkeepers or office administrators, please contact us for pricing and more information on Brief Accounting Pro. Brief Accounting Pro is our client/server solution for firms that require simultaneous access for multiple bookkeepers or office administrators.