Must-Have Tech For Your Process Serving Business
- February 03
- by Stephanie Irvine
Process service has long been known as an industry that relies on the age-old processes that have worked since the industry’s inception and don’t rely on technology. To be frank, many of these processes are in-line with the antiquated legal systems many have come to accept. However, as technology has permeated nearly every facet of our lives, it was only a matter of time before big tech impacted the way courts handle cases, the process serving industry following close behind. While there are a number of apps that can help make things easier for process servers on the go, there is a lot of technology that can help improve the business side of being a process server. Keep reading to learn about some of the must-have tech for your process serving business.
Of the must-have tech for process servers, one of the most important is accounting software. Having accounting software keeps your books organized, which can help you or your accountant when it is time to file taxes at the end of the year. There are a number of items that must be reviewed in order to ensure that your expenses are included and that you are taxed appropriately. QuickBooks is one of the most highly recommended accounting software. Alternative options include Freshbooks, Wave, and Zoho (among many others). Do your research and find the software that has an interface and functionality that works for you.
Accepting payment is the best! Who doesn’t want to get paid? As more people and companies are reaching for plastic versus a check, process servers need to be able to accept credit cards and other electronic forms of payment. There are a variety of ways to do this, but many involve a processing fee charged to the person/company receiving payment. Keep that in mind when making your choice. Process Server Devin Heffelfinger explained, “We use PayPal for all investigation retainer invoices because in the event some of the retainer is returned to the client, there isn't a processing fee—whereas Quickbooks charges the fee for the same transaction incoming and outgoing.”
Some banks offer ways for you to get paid directly (outside of a check or debit card) from the other person’s bank through an ACH transfer. For example, Chase Bank offers Zelle, and many other banks offer their own branded person-to-person pay system. PayPal is one of the longstanding ways in which you can accept payment digitally, but other systems such as Venmo, Google Pay, Apple Pay, Stripe, and Square are moving in on that territory. Another important consideration is that many accounting and process serving software tools integrate with a payment processing platform. For example, ServeManager has Stripe built right into the platform for easy payment acceptance.
Digital databases for skip tracing
Skip tracing, although technically a separate industry, is used in process service to locate an individual to be served. While process servers are usually given an address at which to serve an individual, sometimes that address can be incorrect. Using skip tracing databases allows process servers to find a correct address. Having a correct address is imperative. Without one, you won’t be able to complete your serve in an efficient manner. Digital databases are a great way to secure a correct address before you head out on a serve. Process servers in the industry recommend the following databases: IDI, IRBSearch, LexisNexis, TLO (TransUnion), and Delvepoint. Process servers also recommended other databases such as DMV records and using the publicly available databases available in your state, which could include inmate records.
Process service software
Process service professionals have unique needs, and there are a few software options that cater to our industry. While some courts offer affidavits and other process serving tools, not all do, which makes it important if you’re working in multiple counties (and/or states) to find software that can work for your business. Look for software that includes the functionality you’ll use, like the ability to collaborate with clients and servers, accept online payments, map and route jobs, capture GPS for serves, and offers security that the legal industry demands. Stephen Snyder advised, “We use servemanager.com for three companies and we love it.”
We may be biased but ServeManager has everything a process server needs to streamline their business. It's easy-to-use, well-reviewed, and packed with relevant integrations and features such as personalized affidavits, a comprehensive GPS tool, and Server Pay which enables process servers to accept payments via credit card. The software also allows collaboration with other ServeManager users so you can send or receive notifications about jobs directly from the field.
No matter what you choose, be sure to research whatever software you are considering to ensure it meets the security, interface, and functionality your business needs.
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Toll-free phone number
Some process servers advised investing in an 800-number. Often, this is a great marketing tool, but it also comes with the added benefit of knowing who is calling at a low cost. Process server Simon Rolfe advised, “A 1-800# is also a good bet. Ours costs $12 a month and it also works as a caller ID trap.”
We previously wrote about a number of apps process servers can use in the field. While this technology is meant for outside the office, it is still must-have tech.
Integrate tech into your process service business for best results
Overall, there is a lot of tech that can really enhance your process serving business. While not all of it may be necessary when a process server takes on his or her first serve, the aforementioned tech will make the work easier, more efficient, and more streamlined.