When I was first working in an office at Slater Heelis in Manchester it was regularly my job as an articled clerk (Trainee in modern terms) to make the drinks for my colleagues. It was a pretty onerous task to be honest. Gather up the mugs, head to the ‘kitchen’ (a pokey cupboard-like room with a small sink, a not very safe sideboard and a kettle). Wash the mugs out, boil the kettle, add the instant coffee, and try to remember who takes sugar. Deliver the coffees. Sit back down and then get sent back to add sugar to the one you had inevitably forgotten about.

Over the years things improved. Health and safety became a thing. Hot water urns meant there was a ready supply of boiling water. The posher places I worked had a percolator which made a nice large jug of coffee which would last for a few hours.

And how about now?

We’ve just had a day in the office where our normal daily activities were coupled with an all staff update so we had around 20 people in – the most staff we’ve had in one place for over two years! And what was the biggest issue?

Not the Wi-Fi.

Not the desk space.

Oh no – it was the fact that there were only three mugs, no milk and (the horror!) only instant decaff coffee.

Rebellion was in the air. Mutiny. Until the dynamic duo of Katie and Dan headed to the local superstore and returned with one of those fancy coffee pod machines. We now have self-service high-quality coffee at the touch of a button, and no need to go to the kitchen to make it.

You might think that this is the point at which I will make a tenuous link between the progress in coffee making and the progress we’ve been making as a business.

And you’d be right!

Aside from now providing cutting edge caffeine delivery systems, we have been working to optimise our processes as we have faced increasing demand for our services. I firmly believe we are becoming the default option for firms looking to improve the efficiency, risk profile and compliance of their finance function. We are receiving double the number of new enquiries when compared to a year ago and we are constantly recruiting to add to our amazing staff.

However, simply adding bodies would be the equivalent of adding another kettle. It wouldn’t be efficient or cost effective and it could be risky!

Instead we have invested heavily in the growth of our tech team who have been designing and implementing some incredible developments to our secure communication portal which improve our clients’ experience and help our teams to deliver services with increasing speed and efficiency. We’ve added to this with a programme of constant process improvement.

The point is that even the most simple and run of the mill activity can be reimagined. Something that has always been done in one way isn’t always the best method. Dare to change your approach, and joy equivalent to a caffeine high (but longer lasting and with fewer health problems) could be yours.

Alex Holt

About Cashroom

Cashroom provides expert outsourced accounting services for Law Firms including Legal Cashiering, Management Accounts and Payroll services. Our mission is to free lawyers from the complexities of legal accounting by supporting the industry with accurate management information and allowing lawyers to do what they do best – practice law.

Book a demo

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.

Sharon Needle
Sharon Needle
Managing Partner, Needle Partners
Sign Up to our Monthly Newsletter