Law firm integrates financials with Oz

Law firm Phillips Fox will go live with financials software from CMS in April, allowing better reporting ability and bringing the New Zealand operation in line with its Australian counterpart.

Law firm Phillips Fox will go live with financials software from CMS in April, allowing better reporting ability and bringing the New Zealand operation in line with its Australian counterpart.

However, it’s not simple case of catching up with Australia, Phillips Fox IS manager Matthew Dalton says. They’ve had similar products before across the Tasman.

“We’re running Keystone for practice management and Ugen for general ledger at present and they’ll be replaced by CMS in April.

“Keystone and CMS are fairly similar products, but Australia had other products before CMS, and the main benefit for us with it is that we’ll finally be integrated with Australia and able to manage and report better.”

Integration has been the name of the game at Phillips Fox since the once-franchised firm ditched that model four years ago and decided to centralise.

“We’ve put in a common mail system and introduced similar document creation macros.”

With documents, “getting onto a common platform was a big task”.

Replacing some Macs in Australia to make an all-PC environment was another job and another planned transtasman implementation is a digital dictation system, presently at use in New Zealand “and which Australia is looking at for 2004”.

The system, made by Olympus, allows lawyers to dictate into a handheld device then download the file to their PC.

Dalton believes Phillips Fox is the first big New Zealand law firm to use it.

Both the New Zealand and Australian Phillips Fox branches recently started using ZixMail, a secure US server-based email system.

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