Legal cashiering is a specialised job. Managing the finance and accounting functions of a solicitors’ firm, particularly one handling and holding large amounts of client money, demands deep understanding of the Solicitors’ Accounts Rules and Code of Conduct. Any breach or slip-up opens the firm up to the risk of charges of money-laundering or fraud.
In-House or Outsourcing?
Traditionally, firms have conducted their legal cashiering in-house. However, as regulations surrounding the area grow ever more complex and cost pressures mount, more and more firms are recognising the advantages of outsourcing this function.
It is, of course, essential to choose the right provider. Relevant experts, such as Pinpoint | Outsourced legal cashiering service | Cloud based software, are always happy to discuss their tailor-made services, allowing firms to assess the benefits for themselves.
Focus on Your Business
Engaging an expert to manage its accounts allows a solicitors’ firm to focus on its specialism of providing excellent client care. Fee-earners need only record their fee-earning activities and disbursements. Providing the legal cashiering service with daily email notifications of incoming and outgoing monies is then all that is necessary to allow them to do the rest.
Engaging a legal cashiering service does not mean giving your firm over to a faceless call centre or help desk. The best legal cashier services ensure each firm has a named cashier and deputy to provide a personalised and easily accessible service. At least one of these individuals will always be contactable during the working week.
Cloud Access for Business Continuity
Legal cashiering providers offering cloud-hosted services mean that client firms have 24/7 access to files and finances.
Compliance and Reconciliation
A legal cashiering service will take away the administrative and intellectual headaches of ensuring that your firm complies with all the latest industry regulations. They will ensure this is done in a timely fashion so as to avoid all risk of financial penalties. It will also ensure all bank accounts are reconciled in order to satisfy the firm’s obligations under the SRA Accounts Rules.
Many legal cashiering services recognise that just because firms outsource this aspect of their operation, it does not mean they do not want to monitor their accounts data. Consequently, excellent legal cashiering services offer fully interactive packages.
Employing an in-house cashier inevitably involves overheads. Some, such as salary, training and office space costs, are fairly predictable. Others, including recruitment costs, can surprise employers at inopportune moments. Outsourcing the cashiering function replaces these overheads with a single, predictable and affordable monthly fee.
Smooth Out Cash Flow
External cashiering services are experienced at claiming back money due from clients. They will also watch for the late arrival of monies due or anomalous amounts received and ensure appropriate remedial action.
No small matter for any business, accounting issues can be particularly complex for law firms. External cashiering services can help streamline this process by ensuring all accounts are kept in good order. It will also be possible to allow a firm’s accountants free access to the system to help with both the annual accounting process and any inspections or audits.
An external cashiering service can automate these and ensure their submission to HMRC in a timely fashion.
A cashiering system can be set up to generate automatic financial reports in many areas, including profit and loss, balance sheets and bank reconciliations. A firm can then use these to monitor its own performance and look for business development opportunities.