Case study: Right Choice Conveyancing23/03/16
How to launch a law firm with outsourced support
Setting up a law firm is an exciting time for anyone branching out alone in business. But there’s a lot to consider and paperwork galore.
Legal accounts is one such pressing matter. Compliance is essential, whether it’s the SRA Accounts Rules or, for property law specialists, the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC) Handbook’s Accounts Code.
Therefore, when Martin Crighton and Jon Smith launched their new business, Right Choice Conveyancing, seven years ago, amongst the multitude of tasks was scanning the marketplace for legal accounts software.
“In those preliminary months, there was so much to do and we wanted to focus on establishing then growing our business”, explains Martin, Managing Director & Licensed Conveyancer. “In the course of finding a good legal accounts package, we came across Quill’s outsourced cashiering service. Suddenly we’d found a much more complete and adaptable solution. With Quill, we wouldn’t have to recruit into accounts immediately. We’d have compliance assurance and we’d save money. The decision was easy.”
Two of the beneficial features of Quill’s outsourced legal accounting service, Pinpoint, are flexibility and scalability.
“We use the cloud across the board, including Quill’s Interactive system which is provided beside the cashiering outsourcing service”, continues Martin. “It would be inhibiting to our lawyers if they couldn’t access all our systems, including accounts software, remotely. The busier we are, the more we pay Quill. The quieter we are, the less we pay. It scales accordingly and helps us to manage our overheads.”
After seven years in business, and with close to sixty staff, Right Choice Conveyancing’s volumes dictate that they now employ three accounts personnel in addition to the Pinpoint service.
“Bearing in mind our volumes, three members of staff in our accounts department is actually very low”, adds Martin. “If it wasn’t for Pinpoint, this figure would easily double.”
As with any legal practice, Right Choice Conveyancing is subject to regulatory audits, often at short notice, undertaken by the CLC.
“We’ve been through two full audits by the CLC very successfully”, states Martin. “The first was nine months after we launched the business; the second was in 2014. We flew through both of them partially due to how well Pinpoint cashiers do their job. For our CLC annual and ad hoc audits such as these, the donkey work’s done behind scenes on Interactive from the cloud. When our accountants arrive on site, much of the preparatory work has already been done. The same concept applies to the preparation of our annual company accounts. Our accountant can access Interactive remotely for an up-to-date view of our financials in order to compile their documentation with little input from us. The free software licences for auditors and accountants carry so many time-saving advantages for everyone involved in these routine procedures.”
In his closing comment, Martin says: “Our hunt began for legal accounts software and ended with fully outsourced cashiering support. It’s by far the best arrangement for us, and indeed any, legal business. In just a few short years, our company has grown significantly. There’s no question that Quill’s accountable, in part, for assisting with this success because we’ve had a scalable solution which has meant we can manage our expenditure and has provided some time in which to develop our business.”
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