legal cashier

Law firms need to bill their clients on time, reconcile the billings with payments made, pay their employees and suppliers, prepare financial statements, prepare budgets and other accounting duties. While it is possible to be certified both as a legal and accounting professional, most legal professionals do not have the knowledge and skills required to perform accounting work in their firms. We explore the options available to a law firms with respect to accounting services.

Hire a full time legal cashier and other accounting professionals

These are usually qualified, experienced and certified accounting professionals who specialise or have an inclination towards accounting for legal professionals and firms. They oversee day to day accounting work, ensure different financial statements are prepared regularly and guide the firm in the application of various financial reporting standards. They are also tasked with filing and payment of taxes, as and when they fall due.

There are advantages that emanate from hiring full time accounting staff in a law firm as opposed to outsourcing the services. First, employees can focus on their work since they are not distracted by multiple employers. It can also lead to employee loyalty which not only increases the quality of work but also the productivity levels. With full time employees, there is consistency since one person will oversee a project from the beginning to the end.

On The flip side, full time employees may come at a higher cost since they are entitled to certain benefits that outsourced employees may not. This could be costly for smaller businesses and may lead to financial strain. Full time employees may also get comfortable and compromise the quality of work over time if proper measures are not put in place to prevent this from happening.

Outsource the services to consultants

Alternatively, the law firm or professionals could outsource accounting services either to an individual consultant or to a firm. Outsourcing gives the firm the opportunity to focus on their core business and it may also be a cheaper option to hiring full time employees. The choice between individuals and consulting firms should be informed by the resources available to the law firm, the size of the firm and the complexity of operations.

However, it is possible for the work outsourced to be rushed over if the consultant or firm is busy. It is therefore necessary to invest time and resources in the identification and recruitment of the firm or individual consultants to whom the work will be given. Such factors as the number of employees, the number of existing clients, their reputation in the market and their fees must be considered.

Legal accounting software

This is customised software that is geared towards automating some of the accounting functions in a law firm. It can also be further customised to meet the specific needs of a specific law firm. The software saves time for staff members, enhances accuracy of work and improves efficiency of the accounting department. The legal cashiers and accountants can then focus on other functions that cannot be performed using the software.

Combination of professional services and accounting software ensures efficient running of the financial aspects of a law firm, a core function in efficient running of the organisation. All law firms must therefore strike a balance between the two in order to succeed.