Actionstep

Actionstep

More headspace for what really matters

4.4/5 (85 reviews)

Actionstep Overview

Actionstep is a complete legal practice management system, built in the cloud, with automation at its heart. Actionstep uses workflow to get rid of law firm administrivia and simplify how you work. Actionstep has 3 product plans to deliver the best experience and value to firms of all shapes and sizes. Giving lawyers the headspace to listen, engage and make a difference to clients, everyday.

Pricing

Starting from
US$60,00/month
Pricing options
Free Trial
Subscription
Value for money

Devices

Business size

S
M
L

Markets

Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, United States

Supported Languages

English

Actionstep Reviews

Overall rating
4.4/5
91% positive reviews
48
Excellent
29
Very good
4
Average
2
Poor
2
Terrible
Carol W.

Lots of Customization options, but lacking some basic common sense

Used Daily for 2+ years
Reviewed on 2019/07/15
Review Source: Capterra

Mixed. A number of positive features, but also a number of time consuming and expensive issues to set it up and keep going, and almost "TOO" much for our needs, since it is missing some simple features.

Pros

For a small law office, there is a lot of potential to customize the matter setup and use different workflows. Also as a supervisor there is complete transparency so I see everything my support staff is doing, I like that the system does a complete backup of saved documents and matters. The Home page is very workable. And the timekeeping functions are good. I also really like the Microsoft Outook integration, even if I keep having to reboot it.

Cons

First, something simple. Make an "out of office" message available through the email system. When I set this up on my outlook, then even though it is integrated, if the client sends an email directly through the Actionstep platform,they do not receive that out of office message.

Second, the billing system is not user-friendly. First, the billing templates are a lot harder to set up than they should be, even with the pre-made templates. Second, the trust accounting is difficult to integrate into the bills. Yes, it is there but not in a way that is client friendly. Third, this is so simple I fail to understand why it isnt in place. Make some simple billing features automatic like the ability to print aging on a bill. They have a form for it but it just looks weird! And why shouldn't you just be able to carry over onto a new bill in an easy way. Other case management software has this in a very easy format. Also, when we upgraded to the new billing format there are some ongoing and permanent glitches that make my bookeeper's job harder.

Finally, this is a costly system compared to some others in the legal field. And we have received word that the cost is increasing. We will be in the process of reviewing other options. We may decide to stick with Actionstep since there are a lot of good features, but we don't feel strongly enough to keep it with a price increase down the road, even if we are "grandfathered" temporarily.

We hired a consultant to help us get it set up.

Response from Actionstep Software

Carol - thanks for taking the time to write the review. We really appreciate your positive comments about Actionstep - particularly regarding transparency and Microsoft Office Integration. You have a number of suggestions which I am going to take to our product development team - hearing feedback like this is really helpful for us in planning out future product development work. We will be in touch with you directly to discuss these further. Thanks again.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

5.0/10
Natalie W.

Our firm uses Actionstep's workflows to increase efficiency & deliver better value to our clients

Used Daily for 2+ years
Reviewed on 2017/12/21
Review Source: Capterra

We are able to increase efficiency & deliver better value to our clients because we have built automated tasks, checklists, templates, data collection, and deadlines at every step of the process. We know in advance which team member will complete the tasks, and we have peace of mind that nobody will miss anything. We can gather data about our files and make decisions based on real insight into our firm, rather than gut-based guesswork.

Pros

Actionstep allows you to build custom workflows that you can use to manage any aspect of your practice. We believe in workflows so much that we dedicated an entire podcast episode discussing our experience with another lawyer obsessed with workflows too.

We have over 50 workflows that help us to structure processes within our tax-litigation files, as well as for administrative matters, such as asking for client testimonials. We give our team peace of mind that nobody will miss anything as we have built in automated tasks, templates, checklists, and deadlines at every step of the process. We can make sure that the most appropriate team member performs each task. The workflows are also a great resource to help train new team members because we created detailed descriptions of how to complete each task with links to our internal knowledge base to give team members additional support where needed.

In addition to custom workflows, Actionstep also allows you to gather custom data so that we can make more informed decisions.

Cons

Actionstep is unique and sophisticated. However, Actionstep falls behind its competitors and is underdeveloped in some key areas, such as budgeting capabilities, template user experience, graphical displays, mobile applications, and reports.

Prospective users should not underestimate the commitment and resources required to build workflows and implement Actionstep. Building workflows requires time, money and, most importantly, grit. Not everyone is ready to make this investment in the future of their firm. Although you can outsource the technology aspect of inputting the workflows to the system, you need people within your firm identifying the steps and tasks that you want to build into the system. We are a very process-driven law firm with a lean focus, so Actionstep is perfect for us, but if you aren't familiar with process mapping it can be a daunting task.

When you get over the initial investment of mapping your processes, you will see first-hand how quickly Actionstep improves your firm's ability to grow and deliver better value to your clients.

We hope that Actionstep will continue to develop its product to address its limitations and bugs. Actionstep has promised that it is working to address the concerns that our firm and other users raise in the LinkedIn user forum and UserVoice feedback. We hope that Actionstep continues to improve the product, and we look forward to more progress. If so, we expect to continue to use Actionstep for a very long time.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

10.0/10
Brahm D.

Actionstep - Best Document Assembly, Versatile Workflows and Calendering

Used Daily for 1-5 months
Reviewed on 2017/03/14
Review Source: Capterra

Of the products that I've tried, I found Actionstep to have the best document assembly, most comprehensive workflow system, versatile calendering and deadlining, and excellent outlook integration. The price is a tad higher compared to competitors, and because there is so much functionality, the learning curve and set-up time is a bit steeper, but in the long term it will enable incredible efficiency. For example, I converted my precedents for a chambers application to enforce a judgment against real property, and can now draft a chambers application, including Notice of Application, draft order and supporting Affidavits, in less than 2 minutes, perfectly drafted without any manual drafting needed (assuming that the relevant property identifier and party information has already been entered correctly). Now in theory, you could do the same thing with some other systems like CLIO (but not MyCase) and I have done it in CLIO. But it required a lot of custom field data and conditional logic, and so templates become very complex and unreadable and only work if certain assumptions are true (i.e. only one client, or limited number of Defendants).

I spent a lot of time testing various law firm management systems, but I think that I have finally settled on Actionstep. I initially had been using CLIO which I chose without much research. After one year, CLIO's task lists and legal calender systems were proving to clumsy and inflexible for my litigation practice. I need to define deadlines backwards from a future date, i.e. 90 days before trial serve expert reports. Also, if my trial date gets adjourned, I want all the linked deadlines to move with the trial dates, and if my matter settles, I want to be able to remove all of the associated deadlines from my calendar. CLIO didn't do this, so I started researching new options and moved to MyCase because it had a very intuitive and functional workflow and calendering that did what I wanted, and was well priced with the cheaper subscriptions for support staff available. However, I soon became frustrated with MyCase because the document assembly was extremely weak compared to CLIO. Finally, I moved to Actionstep and found that it had all of the workflow and calendering functionality that I wanted, combined with document assembly that is extremely robust and powerful.

If powerful document assembly is important to you, I strongly recommend Actionstep.

Pros

Document Assembly. Outlook Integration. Integrated workflows and calendaring. Knowledge-base and Wiki built in. Ability to associate more than one contact of a given type to a file (I often have files with more than one client, i.e. husband and wife).

Cons

A bit more expensive. Steeper learning curve because of all the features.

Response from Actionstep Software

Thank you for the feedback Brahm!

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

9.0/10
Malinda J.

Lots to love about this program

Used Daily for 1+ year
Reviewed on 2017/03/06
Review Source: Capterra

Overall I recommend ActionStep to other law firms. It has vastly improved our office workflow, and the various customizable features enable our employees to address clients' needs more efficiently. The ActionStep support staff are accessible and responsive to any challenges we face, whether they involve addressing problems or learning how to implement new features.

What we love:
- Workflows that are customized for different types of cases
- Customized tasks that are automatically assigned to particular employees
- Case dashboard: the "one stop shop" for all basic info related to a case (employees involved, clients, other important players in the case, calendar appointments, notes, etc.)
- Contact records that exist independently of cases but may be linked to cases -- so updating a contact applies changes across the board
- Newsfeed-style case notes with tag options to identify notes as "important," "call," etc.
- Document folders with powerful search feature to easily locate documents
- Integration with MS Office (Word, Excel, Power Point, Outlook) that allows case data to be merged into documents and e-mails and allows users to assign e-mails to cases
- Ability to create letter and other document templates that pre-populate cases
- Document portal that allows clients and other parties to securely exchange documents with the firm
- Fantastic support staff and easy-to-follow tutorials

The most challenging aspect of ActionStep is the initial setup (hence my three-star rating for "ease of use"). There is no sugar-coating it: the downside of all those wonderful customizable features is that someone in your organization has to do all the customizing. It's a lengthy process, and the initial data migration can also be time-consuming, but the friendly support staff are available to assist throughout the process. For us the end result has been well worth the challenging setup process.

The ActionStep developers are constantly working on improvements to the program, including ways to make it integrate with other types of software and responding to users' suggestions. Occasionally the updates cause hiccups in the system, but they are typically short-lived. We genuinely appreciate the drive to improve the product and the responsiveness to users' wishes.

Pros

- Workflows that are customized for different types of cases
- Customized tasks that are automatically assigned to particular employees
- Case dashboard: the "one stop shop" for all basic info related to a case (employees involved, clients, other important players in the case, calendar appointments, notes, etc.)
- Contact records that exist independently of cases but may be linked to cases -- so updating a contact applies changes across the board
- Newsfeed-style case notes with tag options to identify notes as "important," "call," etc.
- Document folders with powerful search feature to easily locate documents
- Integration with MS Office (Word, Excel, Power Point, Outlook) that allows case data to be merged into documents and e-mails and allows users to assign e-mails to cases
- Ability to create letter and other document templates that pre-populate cases
- Document portal that allows clients and other parties to securely exchange documents with the firm
- Fantastic support staff and easy-to-follow tutorials

Cons

- Challenging initial setup (customization of features)
- Cumbersome process to unlock encrypted zip files after backup request
- Previous difficulty with calendar integration caused problems with client scheduling and has made us skittish about returning to use of the calendar, even though we see this as a high-value feature of ActionStep

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

10.0/10
Jennifer H.

Great Features with Not So Great Service

Used Daily for 6-12 months
Reviewed on 2019/07/15
Review Source: Capterra

Overall it's been a decent system. There is room for improvement, but ultimately it does give you a lot of customization for a better price than a lot of cloud based services out there.

Pros

You can customize it according to your needs, including custom reports and exports. It's easy to use on a daily basis and has an attractive platform that is well organized. It has it's own document storage, so you don't have to use two different programs/services to get it to work (such as box or another doc storage service) It does conflict checks and syncs with e-mail so you can assign e-mails as you send/receive them to the matter they are relevant to.

Cons

The customer support is terrible. Response time has been poor. When there is a response, it typically is, refer to the on-line manual. My spouse is an IT person, so I'm fairly computer program savvy. So I don't contact tech support unless I've gone through everything in the manual and tried everything I can think of first. When that is met with "look at the manual" it's beyond frustrating. Once we get past that, it usually doesn't take them long to get the issue resolved or walk me through what needs to be done to achieve the goal.

Also, in order to use the macros letters/documents where information auto-populates from your case into the letter or document, you pretty much have to be a computer programmer to get that to work.

Response from Actionstep Software

Jennifer, thanks for your feedback. I appreciate your positive comments and I am very sorry about your experience with our support team. That is certainly not how we intend to operate. Client satisfaction is our number one priority and we obviously dropped the ball here. We will use your feedback to improve our support.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

6.0/10

Actionstep Pricing

Starting from
US$60,00/month
Pricing options
Free Trial
Subscription
Value for money

Actionstep Features

  • API
  • Automatic Notifications
  • Document Storage
  • Third Party Integration
  • Workflow Management

  • Activity Dashboard
  • Activity Tracking
  • Audit Trail
  • Auditing
  • Compliance Management
  • Custom Fields
  • Customizable Reporting
  • Data Import/Export
  • Inventory Management
  • Inventory Tracking
  • Invoice Management
  • Monitoring
  • Real Time Data
  • Real Time Reporting
  • Reporting & Statistics

Additional information for Actionstep

Key features of Actionstep

  • Accounting
  • Calendar
  • Client Billing
  • Client Management (CRM)
  • Client Portal
  • Conflict Check
  • Data Security
  • Document Automation
  • Document Management
  • Email
  • HotDocs Integration
  • Marketing
  • Matter Management
  • Microsoft Office Integration
  • Reporting
  • Time Tracking
  • Trust Accounting
  • Webforms
  • Workflow
  • Xero Integration

Benefits

- Increase staff productivity and firm profitability
- All-in-one system with integrated accounting, billing, CRM, and more
- Very competitive pricing
- 100% cloud-based and secure
- You own your data, get it back any time - no questions asked.
- No contracts
- Automation tools to potentially save you hundreds of hours a year

Actionstep FAQs

Below are some frequently asked questions for Actionstep.

Q. What type of pricing plans does Actionstep offer?

Actionstep offers the following pricing plans:

Starting from: US$60,00/month

Pricing model: Subscription

Free Trial: Available

Q. What are the main features of Actionstep?

Actionstep offers the following features:

  • Accounting
  • Calendar
  • Client Billing
  • Client Management (CRM)
  • Client Portal
  • Conflict Check
  • Data Security
  • Document Automation
  • Document Management
  • Email
  • HotDocs Integration
  • Marketing
  • Matter Management
  • Microsoft Office Integration
  • Reporting
  • Time Tracking
  • Trust Accounting
  • Webforms
  • Workflow
  • Xero Integration

Q. Who are the typical users of Actionstep?

Actionstep has the following typical customers:

Large Enterprises, Mid Size Business, Non Profit, Public Administrations, Small Business

Q. What languages does Actionstep support?

Actionstep supports the following languages:

English

Q. What type of pricing plans does Actionstep offer?

Actionstep has the following pricing plans:

Subscription

Q. Does Actionstep support mobile devices?

Actionstep supports the following devices:

Android, iPhone, iPad

Q. What other apps does Actionstep integrate with?

Actionstep integrates with the following applications:

Bitium, NetDocuments, Xero

Q. What level of support does Actionstep offer?

Actionstep offers the following support options:

FAQs, Forum, Knowledge Base, Online Support, Phone Support, Video Tutorials