Todd Gerstein
CEO & Founder Smart Time Apps

The blog post I wrote titled,Advice to Thomson Reuters Elite Enterprise Firms” has been one of our most popular posts, according to our website stats. Clearly, it struck a chord. The essence of that post was if you have been using Elite Enterprise for the last 10-15 years, you must face the reality that it’s time to say goodbye and find a new system.

Also in that blog post, I talked about ways to break up the project into as many small parts as possible. The biggest part you can break away from a time and billing conversion, of course, is attorney timekeeping. In this post, I am going to focus on firms using both Elite Enterprise and Tikit Carpe Diem for timekeeping.

Crossing the Bridge

Recently, we’ve been approached by a number of Elite Enterprise firms running Tikit Carpe Diem who are looking for not only a new accounting system but for a new timekeeping system too. A few decades ago, Elite Enterprise and Carpe Diem were the killer combination. But, suffice it to say, these firms have decided not to upgrade to Carpe Diem Next Generation.

For these firms, with Smart Time, we are executing what we call a “Bridge” strategy. First, we implement Smart Time and integrate it to Carpe Diem. That way, time entries flow from Smart Time to Carpe Diem to Elite. This way, the firm does not need to manage two feeds into Elite. Then, over the course of time, the firm migrates users from Carpe Diem to Smart Time until the process is complete. This first leg of the bridge is often done before the new accounting system has been selected or the firm is in the midst of conversion.

Second, once the firm has done its first test accounting conversion, we step back in to program the second integration between Smart Time and the new accounting system. We’ll wire up all of the validation tables and program the import into the new system.

Third, when the firm’s accounting department goes dark and the accounting system data is frozen for the live conversion, Smart Time can help there too. Smart Time can operate in standalone mode during the transition so that timekeepers can continue to enter their time into the system. (The most important rule in accounting conversions: Don’t interrupt the firm’s cash flow!)

Fourth, when the new system goes live, we’ll repoint Smart Time to the new system, and bring over all the time entries into the accounting system to make everything current. The best part is that the timekeepers are minimally affected by the conversion, so the project team can focus on the cutover and stabilizing the new accounting system.

Successfully On the Other Side

Replacing a time and billing system is a big lift. By separating out timekeeping from the accounting system, you can make the effort a little less chaotic. If you are an Elite Enterprise firm using Carpe Diem, we’d love to hear from you.