We’ve been with Cashroom for quite a few years now, and I would never go back. In any business, and particularly in times of uncertainty, it’s important to control your costs, and that’s exactly what you help me do.
There are some events that just grab your attention. A meeting of some of the leading conveyancing firms along with many of the main players from the world of estate agency was always going to be fascinating.
The event was superbly run at a great venue – the Grosvenor Hotel in London. There is still a buzz around face to face events, as people get that thrill of networking again. Seeing old friends and making new ones. It’s basically the sort of thing I live for!
For those of us with an interest in the conveyancing world, the first point of note was to see whether the two ‘factions’ could play nicely together.
I’m delighted to say they could! Rob Hailstone and Ian McKenzie set the tone with their head to head chat. They exemplified the whole event for me- There was some good natured verbal sparring, but the overall atmosphere was collaborative. In the end, it suits all parties if property transactions can move more speedily and efficiently.
There was spirited debate about the place of technology within the whole process, with many solutions that were discussed rightly looking at tech that interweaves the estate agency process and the legal process. The clever use of data flows and communication tools.
Two of the talks were stand-outs for me. The first was Dan Salmons of Coadjute who delivered a fascinating and highly polished presentation on the opportunity for collaboration. His background with the world of contactless payments lent huge credibility to his subject matter.
The other talk that stood out was the one that dragged the elephant in the room into the light. Do estate agents and conveyancing lawyers respect each other?
A great line up of people from both sides of the divide led to a sparky and informative debate where I believe the answer to the question posed was “Yes, but in some cases grudgingly”.
As always some of the best discussions happened outside the conference room, and for me there was an overall sense that the industry realises that the challenges coming over fees and resourcing will all mean that a change in approach is vital. The caveat is that one person I spoke with, who had last been at one of these events two years before, made a point that others echoed. “Let’s hope that there really is action on these points now, rather than just talk”.
It’s that time of year again where the spring flowers are blooming and the spring clean is being negotiated. You may not have considered a spring clean of your IT security knowledge or corporate network security. So, we have put together a few quick tips to help you remain safe online and tidy up your corporate access.
It’s easy to get lost in a checklist when someone leaves your organisation. So much of our day to day lives are now online. Individuals will have accounts and sign in credentials for numerous websites, portals, and systems. With the rise in working from home knowing where your equipment is and what it is being used for is eve more important.
- Are you certain that all the credentials relating to your previous employees have been disabled?
- Is their email address still active?
- If you use The Cashroom can the leaver still access the Cashroom Portal?
- Can they still access your CMS/Bank accounts/other software remotely?
- Do you have an accurate asset register, so you know what equipment is in people’s homes?
- Are you able to remotely manage your devices in case of theft or other mishap?
Cyber-attacks are getting increasingly complex, and fraudsters are always developing new strategies to try and separate you from your sensitive information. It is important that you don’t succumb to paranoia, but everyone should always try to remain vigilant when it comes to IT security.
- Be wary of spam and suspicious emails – this includes emails that look like they are from someone you normally communicate with, but the content may be asking for something out of the ordinary.
- Only open an email attachment or click on a link if you’re 100% certain of its source & you were expecting it. If you’re unsure, don’t open it.
- Look out for changes to phone numbers, email addresses and bank account/payment numbers etc. Don’t be afraid to double check any changes with the email sender but call them at a number you know exists or begin a new email chain from scratch. Don’t click reply or use the details in the suspicious email – you may end up “verifying” the change of details with the fraudster!
- When accessing the internet, check the web address has “https” in front of the address (sometimes shown with a padlock icon). The “s” means that the site is secure. Also check that the address is spelt correctly and is the usual web address that you use for that site.
- We are always told never to reuse or write down our passwords. Have you considered investing in a password management software, which can securely store and remember your passwords so that you can always have a unique and complex password every time you need one?
Social engineering is an increasingly common type of confidence trick for information gathering, fraud, or system access. Fraudsters know we are savvier when it comes to dodgy looking email attachments. They are now playing on our personalities and common human foibles. They will rely on humans wanting to help each other out or taking advantage of our natural intrigue.
- Examples of social engineering tricks can include a fraudster sending an official-looking announcement to the company that says the number for the help desk has changed – when employees call for help the individual asks them for their passwords and IDs thereby gaining the ability to access the company’s private information.
- Another example of social engineering would be a hacker leaving a USB stick on the floor in or around your office, possibly titled “cute puppy pictures”, “2022 promotions” or “payroll data”, hoping someone will pick it up to see what is stored on it. Malware would often then be automatically downloaded to the computer and the wider network.
Two-factor authentication is recommended by the Nation Cyber Security Centre for use on important accounts and email. Utilising two-factor authentication makes it harder for cyber criminals to access your online accounts. It also adds extra security to your accounts.
- Two factor authentication can be done through authenticator apps where the app will give you a unique code each time to log in.
- You can use your phone number where the account will send you a text code or ring you to verify it is you.
- Using two-factor (2FA) or multi-factor authentication (MFA) also helps your firm achieve compliance with guidelines such as GDPR. This is particularly important as law firms are subject to strengthened confidentiality regulations due to the data held.
- Software providers and companies are increasingly asking customers to use multi factor authentication (MFA). Do any of your systems allow this?
Law firms of any size hold valuable and sensitive information that can be exploited by cyber criminals. You should ensure you are backing up your firm’s data to secure servers. This includes all firm data such as client and case data.
- A common way to back up firm data is through the cloud. This is where a copy of all data is sent to the cloud. Either in real time, or periodically as files are uploaded. This provides extra security and protection of your data.
Conduct and plan regular reviews of your IT security and ensure everyone in the firm is aware of your policy.
We hope that this “spring clean” list is of some use. Obviously, this isn’t intended just for springtime. You should use these tips throughout the year to ensure that your systems are constantly reviewed. Check your IT security is working well for you and your business.
For more information on cyber-attacks, social engineering and how to keep your firm secure, pleased contact your IT provider.
For all Cashroom clients with leavers please contact your Cashroom representative if you have any staff that need removing from the portal. If you would like more information on how to do this yourselves, please refer to the portal help icon. In the Help Centre, you will find articles on how to add a new user and how to disable a user.
Rachel Faris, IT and Data Protection Administrator at The Cashroom Ltd
Accounting and technology may not naturally appear to go hand in hand, but Cashroom is committed to utilising technology to improve efficiency and security beyond the capability of many law firms.
Our unique, secure portal
Cashroom’s portal is a web-based, secure, and encrypted means of communication between us and our clients. The portal was initially developed to remove communication from the insecurities of email, and to protect our clients from the rising threat of fraudulent payments by using authorisation workflows. Requests are made in prescribed forms with certain mandatory fields. This ensures all necessary information is provided, in compliance with the Solicitors Accounts Rules.
Our platform is being constantly developed to become so much more than a secure communication tool, providing clear audit trails of all communications, which are searchable, allowing transparency of requests made, and their progress through to completion. Clients can access and view the progress of their requests in a visual format. In a way that emails or manual, paper-based ways of working simply cannot.
Continuous innovative development
This year we have further developed our Cashroom portal with sophisticated integrated open banking technology and integrations into four of the leading practice management systems. Creating an even more secure and risk-free payments method for firms. We committed to the importance of our expert service being delivered by good technology by investing in a full-time technology development team within the business.
Having an in-house technology team that is on hand working hand in hand with clients to deliver continuous improvements and developments in our technology is something that no other legal accounting provider is giving the legal industry.
In June 2021 we launched our first set of Practice Management integrations where our Cashroom portal will link directly into your PMS. Client matters will be updated automatically, and fee earners can easily go between client ledgers and setting up payments with clear visibility of their matters. We have successfully integrated with Clio, LEAP, Denovo and Klyant. Prior to this we collaborated with test client groups throughout our beta testing phases. Client feedback was listened to and taken on at every stage of development.
Our expertise on numerous practice management systems, means that we are able to help firms optimise their processes for their own system use, helping with data flow, accuracy of data and efficiency, all as part of our standard way of working with our clients.
Allowing law firms to use Cashroom services alongside the system of their choice gives firms the benefit of our industry best processes and efficiencies, along with using the best system for the firm.
We listen to our clients
Here at Cashroom we consistently ask our clients for feedback and ideas for further advances to our client portal. We have a ‘suggest feedback’ button within our portal for easy access. We send out monthly client surveys to check in and get feedback and we also have client relationship calls where we ask for any feedback. Listening to what our clients need and want is of the utmost importance in all of our technology developments.
With some of the very large pure play volume start up legal firms, we have worked with the client to design the right automations and system processes, which we then support with our teams to enable huge volumes of work to be processed efficiently, compliantly and removing risk.
Supporting the Legal sector
Following the most difficult and challenging year in 2020, the market (and particularly Conveyancers) experienced its busiest months ever in March and June 2021. During that month of March alone, Cashroom successfully processed over £1.3billion pounds of client money payments through our portal. In June we surpassed this with over £1.6billion pounds of clients money processed through our portal. With over 230 law firms as clients, March and June were the busiest months we have ever experienced at Cashroom. Our cashiers were under the same pressures the industry was under. However, they had the tools available to them to protect their clients. Our expert cashiers processed payments using secure open banking technology integrated in our Cashroom portal.
With integrations into the leading banking platforms, Cashroom can significantly reduce the risk of human error and save time when initiating payments and checking for incoming funds. We have combined the expert knowledge of our legal cashiers and accountants with the master capabilities of our technical team. Last year could be viewed as our biggest test yet on our people and technology. We are delighted that our clients benefited from our sophisticated technology and expert cashiering services. Combined with our expert service, our technology enables us to provide the best support possible to the industry that cannot be replicated elsewhere.
Our standard processes also protect our clients against the rising threat of fraudulent payments through the authorisation workflows we have developed, and the segregation of duties our service provides. Using our service ensures that the law firm has a payment process that protects not only against external fraud, but also internal collusion and single point fraud, where a hacker only requires to obtain one set of login details.
We can deliver this industry ‘best practice’ service to a huge range of firms, who have the ability to scale their requirements up and down as required. We work with firms of all sizes. From sole practitioners to large, full-service top 200 firms. Geographically, our client base extends to all corners of the country. Our team continues to develop new products and services to extend the support. W have plans to add integrations between our Cashroom portal and more practice management systems throughout the next few years.
Taking care of our employees
We work hard to provide an industry leading level of service. This includes regular training and development of staff across all areas of the business. This year we have also focused on the well being of our staff – encouraging daily miles, regular emotional check ins using a helter-skelter scale, value awards and other initiatives ran by a dedicated culture group – we place importance of our staff who in turn value our clients and provide the best support to the industry possible.
We have continued to grow as a business to support the industry. At the start of the pandemic Cashroom had 80 employees and now we have over 110. We have been a completely remote non-office-based business throughout the pandemic and have a new ‘work where you want policy’. This offers staff the flexibility of an office or remote working.
Cashroom team performance since the start of the pandemic has been exceptional. This has been proven by the levels of client money transferred in March and June 2021. Through innovation, expertise, and professionalism Cashroom have supported the industry through a turbulent time.
What some of our lovely clients have to say about Cashroom
“The Cashroom offer an invaluable service for any solicitor’s firm. Their approach is efficient, professional, and responsive. They have allowed us to deal with rapid growth by taking on all accounts functionality.
The staff at The Cashroom are highly skilled and can deal with all aspects of SAR. They are competitively priced relative to an in-house solution and have been a pleasure to deal with from the start.”
Alexis Brassey, Managing Partner and Notary Public, Cavendish Legal Group
“We set up Cheval Legal from scratch as a specialist litigation firm, specialising in financial mis-selling claims.
From the outset we knew we would process a high volumes of claims. We had to design our systems with efficiency and compliance at their core. Cashroom needed a finance function that was flexible, resilient, and scalable. We did not think that traditional in-house function would work, so we approached Cashroom.
From the outset they demonstrated their knowledge and expertise in designing law firm financial systems. They listened to what we wanted. They designed the system to fit our needs, and integrated it with their own internal processes. Throughout they were responsive, innovative, and willing to listen and adapt. This collaborative approach was key in designing exactly what we wanted.
As a result, we can now grow our business at a faster pace, with the knowledge that our finance function is in safe hands.”
Phil Ryan, Director, Cheval Legal
Change is inevitable, and in business, it’s an essential part of the process. Whether you like it or not!
At Tricres we have a model known as The Change House. It outlines the various feelings, emotions, and thoughts that as a business owner you experience at various stages in your business timeline. We break down the House into four rooms that you cycle through as you process change.
And this cycle doesn’t have a set starting or endpoint. Indeed you may experience the cycle numerous times over the course of your business’s existence. What is interesting is that the amount of time you spend in each segment of this cycle will vary from person to person and from each organisation to organisation. No two cases are identical.
If you’re in a great place, savour it! If it isn’t a great place to be stuck into you need to take action to move on from sitting there. The reality is taking a clear and honest stock of where you are in the cycle in order to get to a phase that is happier and more productive.
Change is inevitable and it happens. Resisting change is usually not an advisable tack, as those who avoid it so often get left behind.
So what is this cycle of change we speak of? And where are you in this model? All an excellent exercise in understanding where your leadership has brought your business to at this very stage of its existence.
THE CYCLE OF CHANGE
First, let us note that you can only move within this model in one direction. Be prepared, we will start in the darkest place in The Change House!
THE ROOM OF DENIAL
Let’s face it, change is usually scary!
Many companies go here when change is suddenly imminent. You may not have realised just how dire your situation is or acknowledged the reality of your business status. And that may be exactly why changes are needed in the first place.
If you stay in this room too long you may drop down to the Cellar of Despair where everything seems impossible or too big to manage.
The Cellar of Despair is no place to be for long, although there is only one way to go, which is back up to the Room of Denial. Make sure you get back up there in order to move to the next room…
THE ROOM OF CONFUSION
As we truly believe at Tricres, after confusion comes clarity. This room is filled with uncertainty and chaos. But once your move into this phase you can rest assured that clarity is on the horizon.
There is no point in avoiding this phase, it’s a necessary step to reaching the decision making that will take you in the right direction. Sometimes business leaders try to avoid this phase and walk out the ‘Wrong Door’, which isn’t going to solve your issues with the changes needed.
We suggest avoiding making decisions when you’re hungry, tired, or angry as you will likely make the wrong choice. Better to observe your situation like a distant bystander casually taking notes and then seeing what needs to be done with a calm and collected demeanour.
THE ROOM OF RENEWAL
This is a great place to be as once confusion has passed it gives your business that warm and fuzzy feeling. When your company colleagues can embrace and welcome the changes happening your business should feel refreshed, revitalised, and ready to make these changes happen.
As a business leader, establishing a healthy culture that welcomes change is certainly positive and assists in avoiding any wasted time in those less functional rooms of the change cycle. Acceptance of change when required that can cycle quickly through this Change House model will help your business move forward with ease.
THE ROOM OF CONTENTMENT
No changes on the horizon? Content with the status quo? While this room is a great place to be it can be hazardous if you head out onto the Sun Deck and hang out resting on your laurels!
Many industries have seen epic shifts in the last few years and those businesses that failed to make relevant changes got left behind in spectacular fashion.
Embracing change and making essential changes are key to staying relevant in whatever industry you’re in.
Assessing where you are in this model can help highlight if you are possibly a little too comfortable with the way things are. Are you in denial that change is needed? It could be time to move into that uncomfortable space to bring your business up to speed with what you need to be doing now, not after all of your competition has done the legwork.
Tricres have a host of tools and techniques that can help coach and consult your ambitious SME business to achieve scalable success. We have an array of partners with expertise in every sector waiting for you to get in touch.
Find our partners here at: https://tricres.com/our-partners/
January marked Open Banking’s fourth birthday, but it is still a foreign concept for many, including the legal sector. Questions as to what Open Banking even is, and how it can be applied, remain unanswered.
To help shed some light on this, Open Banking experts, Cashroom and Armalytix, tackled some key questions around the applications of Open Banking for the legal sector in the following Q&A.
What is Open Banking and what are its current application?
“At a top level, Open Banking provides a standard and secure method to connect businesses with banks to enable sharing of data and access to banks services such as setting up payments, with the overall aim of providing greater financial transparency and making the lives of businesses and their customers much simpler. Created during the implementation of PSD2 in 2018, its mission is three-fold: to make consumers better informed and engaged in financial services, to enable numerous payment choices for customers, and to create an enhanced client experiences through increased competition and product innovation. It is this final point on creating an innovative ecosystem with new products where open banking is having its main impact on the legal sector. For us this has meant being able to develop the capability to set up lawyers payments using a straight through process.”
“For us, Open Banking has meant that conveyancing firms can improve their analysis of source of funds, making buying a house faster and more secure. Firms can automate their data collection and gain the information that they need via Open Banking which analyses data from different sources, including personal and business bank accounts.”
What are some core challenges the legal sector faces?
“Tedious manual processes, lengthy forms and paper chains that underpin the legal sector have made the sector a playground for fraudsters. Add in tired and overworked employees, who have to fill in forms by hand – the opportunities for fraudsters and challenges for the legal sector are numerous. The successful value of successful frauds of property sales more than tripled – from £7m in 2013 to £25m in 2017, and this number has only continued to rise. According to the Law Society of England and Wales, 2021 proved to be one of the worst years for fraud in property sales, especially APP fraud (Authorised Push Payments) – as the removal of Stamp Duty put people under additional time pressure to execute on their house sales, opening the door for criminals to impersonate clients’ lawyers and convincing them to send their hard owned money to the wrong account.”
“Another core challenge that we are seeing from within the legal sector is the increased digitisation of both businesses and society. People live their lives through their electronic devices, and this has resulted in a higher expectation from both clients on their law firm and employees within the law firm to deliver a digital offering, similar to online banking. This has only increased the pressure placed on legal firms to modernise their reliance on paper and outdated technology by replacing some of their existing processes with ones which are more efficient and digital first.
How can Open Banking address these challenges and make the legal sector more efficient?
“Open Banking is providing lots of opportunities for suppliers to the legal sector to help build automated end to end processes, making it easier and more secure for the required data to flow from the clients through to the many complicated back-office processes that happen within the legal sector. Additionally using the same principles as Open Banking is promoting within other areas of the legal technology is going to continue to drive the efficiencies that many firms are looking for to help provide the best service they can for their clients.”
“For our Source of Funds analysis, the time saved from using Open Banking cannot be understated. In terms of the benefits for clients, using Open Banking could save companies 50% of the time spent analysing manual source of funds checks.
“The anti-fraud benefit that open banking brings is critical and is a key reason as to why we have implemented it. It creates a digital register and audit trail, uploaded, and maintained without the input of employees. This helps to prevent fraudsters and criminals, who like to target weak processes, with a heavy human input, as this allows them to slip between the cracks without being noticed, which is the case for the current state of the property market. Historic cases indicate that criminals won’t engage with robust technology, as they realise that the value isn’t there for them.”
How do you (Armalytix / Cashroom) use or apply open banking?
“Open Banking helps us access up-to-date and accurate numbers. We can then analyse the data and clearly present it to help the conveyancer assess the client’s Source of Funds more efficiently. By being able to confirm that the payees are who they say they are, we can help to prevent fraud and money laundering. Open Banking provides a very simple, digital journey for both the law firm and their clients, enabling them to provide and access the data in only a few clicks, and provide a clear picture for conveyancing firms to make their decisions.”
“We use Open Banking to initiate payments required by a law firm to provide straight through processing of payments removing the need to rekey bank account details and making it easy for the lawyers to authorise the payments that need to be made.”
What are your predictions for open banking in 3-5 years?
“The recent ruling from the FCA states that users no longer need to re-authenticate their connected accounts every 90 days. In our opinion, this is a step in the right direction for Open Banking to become mainstream in the legal sector and shows that the government is committed to innovation and improving outdated products. Open Banking will continue to develop worldwide, and 2022 is shaping up to be a bumper year globally, with the UK and the EU set to follow Brazil’s lead in the move to Open Finance. People are beginning to see the massive benefits of Open Banking, and how it makes the lives of everyone easier and more secure through creating a better client experience. Across the next couple of years, we expect Open Banking to become a key tool in many businesses’ armouries, opening up a path for a form free future.”
“This demand internationally for Open Finance initiatives will continue to expand, and the requirements for regulation, fraud and financial crime checks will rise sharply with it. Whilst everyone will become more comfortable using Open Banking and enabling the required flow of financial data to make their interactions with sectors like the legal sector easier. They will also be more aware of what data they have and be aware of the risks associated with sharing this data so will expect a secure digital journey to be provided to enable this sharing of data. Open Finance will continue to open up more capabilities within suppliers to the sector, such as banks and other financial institutions, which will provide greater opportunities to make processes more efficient, by removing the need for most manual inputting of data and securely sharing of data across the processes, all leading to a better and safer world.”
Find out more about Armalytix at https://armalytix.com/
It’s hard to believe, but I joined Cashroom full time just over 10 years ago. I was a non-exec director before then, but my first day sitting at a desk with a job of work to do, was in January 2012.
I was employee 13, we had 22 clients, and turned over £330k in the previous year. My mother (!) was horrified I had given up my career as a solicitor (“but David, what will I tell people you do now?”), and we were still crawling out of the great financial crisis.
This week we had an “all hands” meeting and more than 100 people logged into the Teams call, we act for over 220 clients across the UK, and last year we turned over almost £3.5m.
And my mother still has no idea what I do!
People often ask me if I miss being a solicitor. Often the question is asked by other solicitors.
Some are genuinely curious, but others I feel want (need?) me to say I don’t miss being a solicitor. I confess my answer is occasionally tailored to suit the questioner.
I believe passionately that the legal profession is a crucial part of any society. Without a legal system, and an independent and fearless professional, prepared to fight for their clients (whether against government, or against their fellow citizens), western democracy as we know it could not function.
However, it is easy to lose sight of this while fighting in the trenches. The great privileged I have at Cashroom is seeing over 220 firms and hundreds of solicitors fight that fight every day. So rather than focusing on my muddy boots, and the rats and the damp, and worry about the snipers (!)I get to see the best of the profession. I get to see all of you build your business and fight for your clients – and I get to play a small part in helping you do it.
So, while I do, on occasion miss being a solicitor, I don’t regret the decision I made for a second.
Looking forward to the next 10 years.
The nominees are in. The tension builds. The red carpet gets hoovered, and evening dress is dry cleaned. But who will be the winners at the star studded event in March 2022?
I’m not talking about the Oscars, by the way. I’m referring to the British Conveyancing Awards which take place in London on 15th March. Once again I was delighted to be asked to be a judge for these awards. It’s always a bit of a double edged sword. It’s very time consuming and quite intense, but it is also incredibly inspiring.
For anyone who has done this kind of judging, you’ll know what I mean when I say time consuming. Today’s Media who run these awards have worked really hard to optimise the tech we use for reading the submissions and marking each response to a specific question. However it still takes ten or fifteen minutes to properly review a submission. With over twenty to review across three categories, it effectively needs a full working day to do it justice.
As always, though, the effort is worthwhile.
It’s not often you are effectively forced to sit at your desk and look at how great some law firms are. And they are… truly great in so many ways.
It was wonderful to read about firms who care for each other and for their communities. It was fantastic to hear about innovation in the conveyancing sector. A sector which over the last three years has probably faced more challenges than any other.
There were some themes which came across loud and clear. One of the main ones was that these firms understand the need for excellent client service, and they also understand that to achieve it involves a sophisticated union of process, people and technology. If any one of those elements is operating sub-optimally then the excellence for which these firms strive would be forever out of reach. They would fall short of the required standards, and it was inspirational to read about firms who simply would not accept that.
I’d add in my usual cautionary tale here for firms looking to make submissions for awards.
ALWAYS ANSWER THE QUESTION!
There were a few submissions which in many respects were impressive, but simply didn’t address the specific category questions in enough detail. I know from speaking to other judges that this is something the crops up every year.
So – a big thank you to the wonderful David Opie and Allie Jones of Today’s Media for giving me the chance to immerse myself in the conveyancing sector for a day, and for making the process as slick as possible. I’ll be donning my dinner suit for the 15th and waiting as eagerly as everyone else to hear the winners be announced. Maybe the winners should start being allowed to make Oscars-style acceptance speeches? Then again… maybe not!
Alex Holt, Director of Business Development.
Have a chat with Alex today here about how Cashroom can help you manage your finances.
At the beginning of this month, I began my new journey as Digital Marketing Manager at Cashroom. The Team here is fantastic and I am very much looking forward to my future here.
I began my marketing career straight from college, completing an apprenticeship in Digital and Broadcast media. Since then, I have worked in Government procurement and most recently the legal sector for a legal technology firm.
The legal industry has faced many challenges over the past two years owing to multiple lockdowns, working from home, stamp duty and much more. The resilience the industry has shown is what makes me enjoy working in the legal industry so much.
Can we call it fate?
Unfortunately, in January this year I was given the news that my position was being made redundant. The business I was working for had recently been acquired by a large company and unfortunately redundancies were made. Unfortunately, this is not as uncommon as I first thought in the legal sector, especially during the past two years. Law firms being acquired, or merging can cause a lot of uncertainty for employees.
My experience was fortunately positive, I was overwhelmed by the support from colleagues and connections throughout the industry. The legal sector really is a sector that pulls together and that is what I love about it.
When I first spoke with Emma O’Day (Head of Marketing Communications) it was clear to me that Cashroom was a place I wanted to be. The company has grown exceptionally in recent years, and I am excited to be on board and to help spread the word of how Cashroom can support law firms and make their day to day lives much easier, allowing them to focus on what they do best and looking after their clients.
I have always worked in intimate businesses and that is just one thing I love about Cashroom. There is a real team spirit and great culture. I am so excited to be taking on this new challenge, working with a fantastic team of industry experts in such an ambitious company.
To discuss how your business can work with Cashroom on joint events, publications and much more, or to simply find out more about our services, please get in touch.
I recently read a rather interesting article from CLIO which discussed the legal trends of 2021 and how law firms have evolved during the pandemic.
If anyone has some spare time, I’d recommend reading it too.
Whilst it focuses on the USA/ North America market predominantly, I have noticed the same trends here in the UK and it provided a couple of rather interesting points, where I believe outsourcing is the solution (and not just the accounts element)!
The first item I picked up on was ‘’Assessing change, identifying opportunities and reviewing firm resources.’’
This can be quite a broad subject so I won’t go into too much detail, but if there is one thing that the last few years has taught me, it is that no matter how much time we spend on a certain task, there’s always something that can be improved. ‘’Work smarter not harder’’. I guess that’s where the Cashroom can help – we have a lot of great experience on multiple practice management systems used throughout the UK – we know how to make things work and we can help put processes into place to allow you to get the best out of the system (saving time and allowing you to make more money!)
The other point to note was, of those firms surveyed ‘’23-35% of their finances are spent on office space.’’
Whilst I appreciate that office space is always needed to some capacity, having outsourced functions can reduce the cost, and provide more space for fee earners and other members of staff. Not only will outsourcing reduce the cost on office space, but also on things such as IT equipment and other regular expenses that are needed. It prevents the need for supervision, the worry of sickness and holiday cover, and also simple things such as lunch breaks! In all honesty, the list goes on.
From the conversations that I have had with law firms in the past, they have always been concerned about outsourcing such a fundamental element of their business.
However, since the pandemic, this has been the norm with staff working from home on the daily, and everyone has had to change and deliver new methods and ways of working very quickly. This proves the concept works and we were fortunate enough to be ahead of the game, having worked in this way for many years prior, therefore business as usual for us.
If outsourcing your finance function is something of interest to you, or if you would just like to know more about what we offer, please get in touch.
It’s early in 2022. Does it feel different to 2021? Well yes, there’s an air of optimism around. Consumers seem to be looking forward, positively, to life moving on to a new phase where we can all enjoy having our freedoms back that we took for granted pre-March 2020.
The business community has a renewed sense of optimism. Law firms dealing with conveyancing in 2021 have already been through a period of hyper-activity with the relaxation of stamp duty. Other departments are seeing growth in activity and should continue to see the impact on the top and bottom line in their businesses.
Taking away the positives from the pandemic and lockdowns is the imperative: retain the good, dispense with the bad, accept and embrace this new-normal.
Digital transformation as a term and activity has been in vogue for some time. The last two years have accelerated many programs and focused on client centricity.
With an ever-increasing demand for remote document signing and customer onboarding processes that can speed up completions and reduce the risk of identity fraud, the use of Electronic Signatures has become the norm for many law firms.
However, the frequent updates to legal guidelines coupled with the availability of an extensive range of products on the market, have created confusion about where, how and when the various types of eSignature can be used.
VirtualSignature.com has compiled a simple table (see below) highlighting typical applications of the three main eSignature standards, which can be used as a guide to prospective buyers looking for the most suitable product.
There may be a requirement within a law firm to use different standards for different areas of its business eg. QES for executing property deeds registered with HMLR, and Simple for the signing of basic contracts. The VirtualSignature platform provides the whole range of eSignature options, which can be introduced into document workflows and tailor made for each department within a firm, offering significant cost savings.
It is also worth noting that VirtualSignature’s tools can be integrated easily into existing document management, case management and CRM systems, such as Visualfiles, iManage, Proclaim, Tikit P4W and MS Dynamics.
If you would like to know more about how VirtualSignature can help, not just with eSignatures, but workflow automation and ID verification, please get in touch with the team on 0333 335 5176. They also provide a free trial evaluation and can be followed on Twitter and Linkedin for company news and updates.
Peter Gill, Director at VirtualSignature
So here goes, not only is this the first blog that I have written for Cashroom, but it is the first time I have attempted one in general. Last week, I started my new journey as Sales and Business Development Manager working alongside experts in the industry who will no doubt provide me with the knowledge, tools, and resources that I need to make this a success.
Since leaving college, my background has always been working in the Legal sector to some capacity. I have worked in both Legal Cashiering and Customer Relationship facing roles with a large legal sector PMS. Each of those had their own individual challenges that I won’t dwell on today, but each have developed me as a person and allowed me to get to this position.
I initially spent 3 and a half years at Cashroom from 2016 to 2019, working in the operational side of things. My responsibilities varied and my tasks were quite different as I progressed. One minute I was helping a client onboard our services, the next I was completing day to day cashiering services for multiple law firms across the country. My subsequent role was with a large PMS provider. I spent time visiting law firms to provide training on case management systems and reviewed processes to find out what they could do to improve efficiency. As you can imagine, every day was different, and I learned some valuable lessons and met some wonderful people.
When I was offered the position of Sales and Business Development Manager at Cashroom, for me, it was a no brainer.
The perfect opportunity for me to take the skills that I have learnt over the past 6 years and put them into practice, spreading the word so that we can help law firms manage what can be a very difficult aspect of their business, allowing fee earners to record more billable time. A win-win for both parties if you ask me.
I can’t lie, it is quite surreal being back where I first started.
Seeing the changes that have been implemented, and for the better. When I first started at Cashroom, the England office was fairly small with around 15 staff members. Fast forward to today and we have over 100 staff members, all working remotely with the best equipment in place. We service over 250 clients across England, Wales and Scotland. The Cashroom is a great company with ambition, which I love and am very happy to be a part of it again.
It would be great to discuss how we can help moving your business forward this year. If you want to find out more about how Cashroom operates and if it would be something that you would like to explore, give me a call or drop me a message! firstname.lastname@example.org