Running the day to day financials for a Legal Practice can be time consuming.  Tracking hours, raising bills, managing cashflow and running your client account in accordance with the SRA Accounts Rules mean a legal practice has more financial responsibilities and regulations to deal with than many other industries.

When you run a growing legal practice finding time to stay on top of administration becomes harder and harder. So if you feel it is time to hand over some of the responsibility of your financial admin to allow you can focus on your clients and business development, hiring a financial controller may just be the right type of accountant you need to find next…

Supplier management

The financial administration in dealing with suppliers can be easily forgotten. Suddenly you need to book a translator but you have forgotten to pay their last bill so you need to smooth things over or you want to order some more folders but your stationer has put your account on hold.  A financial controller can set up processes that work for your business to collate, log and pay suppliers in a timely manner.

Billing

Tracking time and raising bills at the earliest possible moment so you can transfer money from your client account is something a financial controller help with.  They can raise the bills and even transfer the money as well as keeping the books up to date.

Cashflow management

Managing the cashflow of a legal practice can be stressful.  You may have a long running case for which you won’t be paid until the matter is settled however you still need to pay salaries and rent while the case is running.  A financial controller can help set up cash flow forecasts so you can predict where the pinch will be and suggest ways to overcome the shortfall until the big pay cheque comes in.

Client Accounts

A financial controller can work with you to manage your client accounts and make sure all reconciliations are kept up to date, alerting you to any differences quickly and helping you to resolve them.  Holding client money is so heavily regulated, it is useful to have a second pair of eyes checking everything is exactly as it should be.

VAT

This can be a confusing area, in particular for legal practices who have to deal with disbursements and re chargeable expenses., Having a financial controller on hand to help you and your team can alleviate worry, save you time checking and give your team a go to person for the help they need rather than waiting for you to come back from meetings.

Strategic Planning

A Financial Controller is a good all round and has some of the basic skills of an FD.  They can work with you to build a financial plan that sets out all your plans for the future and then monitor your business performance on a regular basis, offering insights to help you reach your targets.

Real Time Results

A financial controller, depending on your business size can take responsibility for all your bookkeeping and accounting needs, so you know everything is processed and up to date ready for your year end accountants.

Finding a great financial controller who knows about the regulations surrounding legal practices can be time consuming and tough. Annual Salaries can be in excess of £50k for a Financial Controller and £20k for bookkeepers and come with the commitment of bringing on an additional employee.