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Bespoke bookkeeping

Cashiering service provides bespoke support to 100-year-old law firm

Long-standing Kent-based high street practice, Thorn Drury & Searles, subscribes to the Pinpoint legal cashiering service for fully outsourced cashiering support.

The Pinpoint service was adapted to the practice’s specific needs and now allows the firm to offload the bookkeeping function, and rest assured in accurate and compliant accounts management.

About Thorn Drury & Searles

Thorn Drury & Searles was established in Ramsgate in 1902. John Searles joined the business in 1977 and is now the firm’s Principal. The practice offers traditional high street legal services to individuals and businesses including family, property, litigation and probate matters.

John Searles outlines the practice’s successful business generation strategy:

“Having been situated in Ramsgate for over 100 years, we’re well known in the locality for full service support. We rely a lot on repeat business. For example, we may act for a client in a house purchase and they later return to us to prepare a will and other family related matters. By treating each case professionally and with sensitivity, our clients return when they need further legal representation. It’s the best model for repeat business.

Added to the mix are word of mouth recommendations and high street trade, both of which deliver a steady stream of new clients our way.

Just as our reputation is important to us, a major consideration when selecting our providers is their standing and reputation. We chose Quill to supply outsourced cashiering support because they’re well known in the industry for the quality of their accounts services.”

About Quill

Following the resignation of an accounts assistant, John’s wife Margaret assumed responsibility for managing the practice’s accounts. Realising the increasing demands and pressures of the role, it was decided to outsource the function. Quill was the chosen provider.

John adds:

“We’ve historically always maintained our own accounts in-house via a series of interlinked Excel spreadsheets. When the accounts assistant left, it was Margaret who stepped into the fray, carrying out the role for a two year period. However, as time progressed and we grew busier, the task became more and more onerous. It was evident that Margaret’s skills could be better utilised elsewhere to manage the practice.

For reasons of efficiency, cost and compliancy, we decided to outsource the cashiering function. Having encountered Quill at an earlier Sole Practitioners Conference, we got in touch and engaged the Pinpoint service.

We did consider other suppliers, but the simplicity of the service combined with the user-friendly interface of the software provided simultaneously for matter management and financial monitoring purposes, guided our decision.”

Solution Installed

The decision to outsource the legal accounting function was not made lightly. Initially there were concerns about delegating the accounting and cashiering functions despite the obvious benefits of outsourcing.

John comments:

“With Pinpoint, not only are you handing over your firm’s accounts, you’re offloading all the accompanying stress relating to accuracy and compliance. The appeal is obvious.

However, we were a little apprehensive about delegating responsibility for accounting outside the firm. Quill understood immediately. Straightaway they put our minds at ease by explaining how the bookkeeping service is delivered by a named cashier in accordance with defined service level objectives, in complete adherence to the SRA Accounts Rules and regulatory guidelines. Our data and finances are in expert hands – the secure system and safety procedures ensure this is the case.

In fact, Quill tailored the service specifically for our unique way of working. I prefer to write my own bills and itemise specific fee earning tasks and chargeable disbursements. The Pinpoint team acknowledge individual nuances and adapt the service accordingly. They carefully check our bills as they’re added into Interactive [legal accounting software], raising queries if they need to double-check any items. This keeps our accounts accurate and is very much a personal service.”

Results & Benefits Experienced

With Pinpoint enlisted for outsourced cashiering, the practice can hand over their accounts in confidence of accurate and compliant delivery.

John concludes:

“The Pinpoint team operates to high quality standards which ensures accurate handling of our ledgers and bank accounts. All bills and transactions are exactly where they should be. I have full faith in my operative’s cashiering abilities. It’s a professional set-up.

The legal profession is governed by several regulatory bodies, most notably the Solicitors Regulation Authority, so compliance is a serious issue. Operations must be beyond reproach. Not only does the Pinpoint service rigidly follow defined rules for protection of monies, the Interactive software contains in-built features for important safety checks such as conflict of interest and proof of identity.

Additionally, there’s the assurance of business continuity. You’re not left in the lurch through staff absences or network problems. You’ll always have cashier support and the hosted system is run from the secure, offsite Quill server for constant data access.

The team is responsive and friendly, and the software easy to use. Pinpoint really is a superb service and enables us to offload time consuming cashiering tasks to focus our efforts elsewhere, specifically the business of fee earning and managing our practice."

Download a PDF of the Thorn Drury & Searles case study.