Rocket Matter has been furiously updating its software over the last 6 months or so. I mentioned the new Rocket Matter iPhone app when it launched, back in September. The iPhone app is native, so it works whether or not you are connected, so you can access your matters, bill time, and see your calendar.

Mobile access to your practice management software is pretty crucial, but I’m more excited to see Rocket Matter’s clever email integration. Email is the one feature that is always either missing from practice management software, or awful. One solution (used by Clio) is to give you a matter-specific email address to which you can forward matter-related emails. Rocket Matter’s solution is to let you associate an email folder with your matter. You still use your regular email client (Outlook, Gmail, etc.) to do your actual emailing, but Rocket Matter will associate your emails with your matter. You still have to manually sort your email into that folder (or use a clever filter), but it’s helpful if you need your staff to be able to see those emails, too.

Accounting is another area where most practice management software is either incomplete or awful, with a few notable exceptions. To date, none of the cloud-based practice management software options has an accounting solution that will satisfy your accountant, so most lawyers still use QuickBooks. But if you use your practice management software for invoicing and trust accounting, that means a lot of duplication. Rocket Matter’s QuickBooks integration eliminates this duplication. (Even my favorite timekeeping and billing software, Freshbooks, doesn’t even offer anything like this.)

Rocket Matter’s QuickBooks integration is an extra $14.99 a month, and requires you to go through a one-on-one training and configuration class. There are apparently some quirks, like your Rocket Matter invoices will not be duplicated line-for-line in QuickBooks, but honestly, any integration has got to be better than manually re-creating every invoice in QuickBooks.

At TechShow, Rocket Matter will also be demoing its new client portal. I don’t know what that will include, but I imagine it will enable secure communications and document sharing, at a minimum. This is one of the most-useful features of cloud-based practice management software, in my opinion. Having a single place where clients can see all the information about their matter(s) is really helpful — especially if you have disorganized clients.

Speaking of TechShow, you can tune in to my coverage using our ABA TechShow tag. If you are going, make sure you have joined our SoloSmallTech community in Google+, too, or just look me up when you get there.