Time Matters PCLaw link – Synchronization – The Intro

Having a healthy client base in Ontario and Toronto, I deal with the Time Matters PCLaw link on a daily basis. I was exposed to PCLaw for the first time in 1995, Time Matters 1999. The first good sized firm that I linked was in 2002..there was 30-40 users. That was tough…there was many things we had to monitor and keep straight. When I was contacted by management at Lexis (well before PCLaw was acquired) to discuss the acquisition and the potential value statement to the end user….I worked hard to stress how important the link was and would become. My words were wasted.

Today…it is a different story. The link was been re-worked, re-thought out and changed over time. With the release of version 10 of both Time Matters and PCLaw, I can say that I may start promoting time entry in Time Matters to be sent to PCLaw. Wait I am getting ahead of myself.

Do the progams link?

The link has a lot of history. Today, the philosophy is that the link is real time. This means the second a change is saved in one application it is sent to the other. This is great, but can be troublesome. See below.  There is no need to manually run a synchronization between the programs. We used to do this in Time Matters (File Synchronize).

Yes they link – it is a real time link

What is the scope of that link?

Contacts and Matters flow both ways between the programs
Billing entries can go from Time Matters to PCLaw (but changes do not come back)
PCLaw reports can be viewed in Time Matters

What does this mean?

You do not have to open a matter two times.  BUT you do have to enter the appropriate information in each application for it to function properly.  PCLaw needs to know the billing details, rates, bill templates, Responsible lawyer etc.. Time Matters needs to know the proper MatterRef, the staff working on the matter and the related records – People on the Matter, key dates etc..  This detail is not shared between the programs so you have to complete the matter opening in each application.

IF you are on the latest release of Time Matters 9 (SR-3b) you can send time from Time Matters to PCLaw. If you are on a previos version, I do not recommend entering time in Time Matters especially through the timesheet.

You can view various PCLaw reports from Time Matters. An example you can open a matter in Time Matters, click the billing tab and run a time listing report for that matter. This is necessary as any edits to billing entries made in PCLaw do not make their way back to Time Matters. The billing list in Time Matters may not be accurate.  These are watered down PCLaw reports as you do not have access to any of the options.

So there is a link – now what?

You have to take a look at your data and decide the best approach to the link. I will go into this in more depth in another post.   But you should look at :

  • Are there matters in Time Matters
  • Are there matters in PCLaw
  • Have you been prudent in closing matters in PCLaw?
  • Do you use client addresses or billing addresses or both?
  • Do you have duplicate clients in PCLaw?
  • What is your re:line? Is that an appropriate MatterRef in Time Matters

I understand my data, now what?

Now you have to configure then activate the link.  I will go into greater depth in another post but for now:

  1. Do NOT accept the shipping defaults for the link matching. Review each tab and template carefully.
  2. Make sure PCLaw and Time Matters is installed on every workstation that uses either program.  If you have a billing person that does not use Time Matters, but opens matters in PCLaw…they need Time Matters on their desktop (and a log on) so the link can open the matter in Time Matters.

Hopefully this is a start. This is an expansive area with many things to consider. More posts to come…


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