Wednesday, August 17, 2011

AbacusLaw Extortion

So, AbacusLaw case management is releasing a new feature. The new feature allows your AbacusLaw software to synchronize contacts and calendar with your iPhone. Nothing really unique about that. In fact last time I checked all of the premier programs provided that functionality?

Here is what is unique about the new AbacusLaw feature. AbacusLaw is going to charge extra for it! That's right. There will be a $250 installation fee, and then an annual maintenance fee of $97! Can you believe it? What are they thinking? In this day and age smartphone synchronization should be an automatic, standard feature. Maybe a one-time charge of $97 to upgrade. That I could live with. But $250 to upgrade and then $97 per year to maintain it? Absurd!

Now I have always been pretty happy with AbacusLaw. We use it in our firm, and I have written positively about it in this blog. But this is outright robbery. Looks like the folks in San Diego are headed down the same path as Amicus Attorney. If you are an Abacus user I suggest to get in touch with your account rep and lodge a complaint.

NOTE: To all of the other case management vendors that read this blog (I know there are a number of you), please post your comments regarding your company's synchronization capabilities and whether you charge extra for them.

Please visit for more information of Harding & Associates Family Law


Abacus Data Systems, Inc. said...


We love hearing feedback from valued customers.

We currently offer free smart phone synchronization with AbacusLaw through Companion Link software. This will not change with the release of AbacusSync.

In contrast, AbacusSync is a 3rd party developed app in which your calendar and contacts are sent wirelessly from your phone back to your office and vice versa. AbacusSync includes ongoing sync server maintenance and requires a detailed installation process in which an Apache web server application is installed (hence the charge). We could have buried the expense in higher support or update costs for everyone, but we realize not everyone wants to sync their phone or have remote access to their calendar and contacts.

By waiving the installation fee for the first 100 users we’re able to take the burden off our clients and learn how to best serve everyone.

If you have any questions please contact us toll free at 800-726-3339.

Anonymous said...

Hi John, I appreciate your post. We too use Abacus Law and cannot believe their pricing strategy on this. The Companion Link Software is not the best. It often creates issues with other contacts (contacts already on our iphone). We have to purge to correct issues. As the data base grows, this is a tremendous problem. As for the pricing, you forgot to mention that this functionality is PER DEVICE that is correct. We are a small firm of three lawyers, we use Ipads and Iphones. that means we have to pay 6 times for this if we want the functionality (ridiculous). Also, the storage of data is limited. One massive error by Abacuslaw. Lastly, although the support has been okay, lately, the support team can't wait to blame your system, your stuff, or anything unrelated to Abacus law. Patrick in particular is too egotistical to help anyone. Condescending and it's flat out bothered by the fact that you ask to log in and show you. Just our thoughts.

Isha Sharma said...

This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing websites that understand the value of providing a quality resource for free. It?s the old what goes around comes around routine.
Virtual abacus

Anonymous said...

My firm has been a user of Abacus for 6 years, now they say that we have to update to a new version, at a substantial cost, or our software will no longer be fully operational. I was never told this when I signed up 6 years ago. I contacted Abacus and there explanation was unsatisfactory, basically, pay us what we want. Very disappointed in Abacuslaw at this point. Hopefully we will be able to work it out, or I will have to transfer 6 years of data to another program.

Anonymous said...

This software is not for a small firm. It is not sustainable. Support has become worse over the last year at least. Don't expect a call back if you select that option on their recorded message system. Pricing is out of line for small firms and accounting has significant problems. Use Companion Link and outlook with Google calendar, it's more reliable that their high priced option for syncing.

Anonymous said...

We upgraded our Abacus program in 2014 for a substantial cost, only to learn that in 2015 they would require a subscription or else we would be left with a "view only" program. Now we are forced to decide whether we should commit to 3yrs of Support at $225/month = $8,100.00. This is how they thank a 20yr + customer. I think "strategy" is an excellent choice of words.

John Harding said...

Unfortunately AbacusLaw is changing for the worse. Technically support is deteriorating, particularly for the Abacus Accounting program. Maintenance costs are going through the roof. I would welcome the opportunity to switch to another vendor, and to a cloud based system. Unfortunately I must have rules based calendaring specific to California and AbacusLaw is the only vendor providing it.

Anonymous said...

I am in the process of transitioning into Abacus and I have regretted this decision so far from the moment I signed the contract. I'm a month in and still can't use it as their expert migration hasn't been done, despite several promises to have it done. I have found their pricing to be absurd. For example, they were goign to charge me $500 to set up microsoft outlook for me. I did it myself in under 5 minutes for free. They also set up their system to make it ridiculously inconvenient to migrate your own data, so you are forced to pay their outrageous fee to have them apply their template and upload the information in bulk. Now that they are beyond the deadline they promised, I can't even reach them by phone. I wish I would have found this blog before I signed up.

Kimberly Fedrigon said...

Our office has been using Abacus for about 10 months. We decided to purchase this product based upon the advertising promises that this accounting system would safeguard our clients' trust money. That promise is a complete falsehood. The system regularly places money meant for costs into the retainer fund, requiring multiple manual corrections. Worse still is the fact that the system will take money, which has been placed into the cost/trust account, and withdraw it for fees on invoicing. We have spent hundreds of hours, scouring our invoices and fixing them, to ensure that we meet out ethical obligations to client funds. It is a mess. Calls to tech support go unanswered. I left 8 messages just in the last few days, finally receiving a call back 3 days later. On a recent invoice, where the client's retainer (prepaid fees) had been exhausted, the accounting system actually billed the amount due and listed a negative trust balance...! So, where these was no money to take, it invented some in a way. Unbelievable. This product was sold to us via outright fraud. The only reason we are sticking with it for now is that I can't imagine another data migration to some other software that will likely be just as bad. Shame on Abacus. The costs to us in man hours has already run into the hundreds. I hate this product.

Anonymous said...

I worked at Abacus for many many years. Unfortunately the company was sold by the founder and since then has really gone downhill. There was never much investment made into product development, instead the big idea was to put an old antiquated program with a 1980s interface onto a virtual server and charge 5x more for this cloud "service". They'll want you to sign a term contract and once you do they've got you. Not technically illegal but its a lazy way to protect revenue against returns. New management is desperately needed at this place, it's toxic. Don't bother trying to contact Abacus if you have a problem, they won't care. The current owner and one writing the checks is Providence Equity

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