When Ai Law first started, there were three employees. The firm had a busy workload and few people to share the myriad duties during its infancy.
Tom Ellis, Partner at Ai Law, explains: “In the early days, we all had to wear a lot of hats. I was business manager, bookkeeper and fee earner. It was difficult to stay on top of, and became unsustainable as we grew.”
As Ai Law took on more cases, its staff increased to twelve, the majority being solicitors. Whilst happy with the growth, it became hard for Tom to contend with the heavier demands upon him. First, his work as a lawyer increased thereby cutting into his time for bookkeeping. Second, his enlarged cashiering responsibilities affected his social life.
“Resulting from expansion, cashiering became crippling and I was having to work late into the nights,” states Tom. “I recognised that bookkeeping had become a full time job so I looked around in order to relieve the pressure, apply myself fully to my client-facing duties and free up my evenings again.”
After speaking with his accountant, Tom was referred to specialist outsourced cashiering provider, Quill.
“The recommendation from our accountant led us to Quill and we’ve been using its outsourcing service ever since, having signed an initial three-month contract and then extending it,” adds Tom. “To employ somebody in-house is a big overhead in order to secure the right person with appropriate qualifications and relevant experience. This isn’t really a practicable option for a small growing company who may not have the manpower to oversee and manage the new person, and ensure they are properly trained for the role.
“Using a cashiering service through a professional body like Quill is preferable both in terms of cost and risk management. The former – cost – is a fee structure based on volume so pricing is relative to the business in question. It’s affordable, whatever our business’s size or caseload.
“The latter – risk management – relates to the commonplace regulatory compliance difficulties faced by all legal practices. Being supported by a specialist supplier whose job it is to keep our finances compliant according to legislated guidelines mitigates the risks associated with one employee performing the role who needs training, absence cover and supervision.
“By introducing us to Quill, our accountant has proved his worth tenfold.”
Quill’s cashiering service is usually supplied alongside its Interactive legal accounts software, however, clients can opt to use an existing system. These two versions of the service are called Pinpoint and Precision respectively with Ai Law being a Precision user.
“Having previously gone through a stringent selection process for our case management and legal accounting application, we were keen to continue operating this now-bedded-in solution,” says Tom. “Thankfully, Quill is very accommodating on this front. We enjoy all the benefits of the same rigour and knowledge applied to Pinpoint with the ability to retain our familiar software.”
Touching once more upon the business growth opportunities presented by outsourced support, Tom concludes: “As we’ve grown, we’ve appended extra elements to Quill’s services such as tax and payment processing. Precision has, therefore, evolved with us and it’s good to have Quill on our side working hand-in-hand together as our growth plans are further realised.”