Case study: Parklands Property Lawyers

04/09/14

Start-up ever-onwards cashiering support

Setting up a new legal practice is a demanding, time-consuming, stressful process. There’s a lot to think about, from creating a business plan to organising professional indemnity insurance, and often it seems there aren’t enough hours in the day to prepare for launch.

Outsourcing key business functions is a way of alleviating the pressure at these early stages of formation. Law firms such as Surrey-based Parklands Property Lawyers are choosing outsourcing, in this case outsourced legal cashiering, to ease the burden on practice managers and partners when establishing their new business.

The challenge:

Pam Smith, a Director at Parklands Property Lawyers, explains: “Our firm first opened in 2005. As a start-up company, outsourcing our accounts function to specialists seemed the sensible thing to do. Our expertise lay in legal work, not bookkeeping.

“We were required to demonstrate to our regulator, the Council for Licensed Conveyancers, we’d be operating a system that would be fully compliant with its regulations for accounts. Most of the systems we looked at were self-operated, which meant we would have been responsible for how and when the accounts were done. Working with Quill meant that responsibility for day-to-day financial management was taken out of our hands and compliance would not be an issue.

“We contacted Quill and within a week, a representative came to our office to demonstrate the accounts software. It was very easy to understand and operate, and we chose the Pinpoint bookkeeping service, which we still use today. Outsourcing our bookkeeping and accounts to Quill takes away from us the responsibility for employing and managing a bookkeeper.”

The solution:

The transaction-based pricing plan for Pinpoint is one of the benefits of the service because it’s scalable to demand.

Pam comments: “If we weren’t using Pinpoint, we would have to supply a workstation and pay a cashier’s salary. Instead, we have no employment overheads because our accounts team is fully outsourced. Depending on our level of business activity, the cost adjusts up or down accordingly. It’s a very fair pricing system. An added plus point is automatic absence cover, so we don’t have to worry about our cashier going on holiday, or being off work sick. There is a built-in back-up plan. It’s seamless.

“Also, as residential conveyancing specialists, the Council for Licensed Conveyancers requires us to comply with its outcomes-focused regulations, to maintain financial stability and demonstrate compliant monies handling. The Quill service helps us to keep compliant.”

With a named cashier and deputy assigned to clients, Pinpoint users develop strong relationships with their designated Quill staff.

The future:

Pam concludes: “In the nine years we’ve been working with Quill, we’ve only had two cashiers and we’ve really appreciated the consistency. We are in daily contact with our cashier by email and phone and it feels as if he is only in ‘the room next door’ rather than in a different part of the country. He always takes our calls and never sounds under pressure. He’s friendly, calm and cheerful. It’s a very personal service.

“Nine years on, we’re still with Quill and wouldn’t contemplate running our accounts any other way.”

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