Has there ever been a more demanding period for the conveyancing sector? I doubt it.

Aside from the challenge of unprecedented transaction volumes, there was the small matter of a global pandemic to contend with. No matter what other steps were taken,  without a quality approach to teamwork firms would have been simply unable to function and provide the service levels expected by their own customers. Creating a cohesive team when elements were working remotely, and often with sudden absences due to illness, was even more difficult. We have lessons to learn from.

There’s no doubt a firm’s finance function (whether inhouse or outsourced) has been integral to the conveyancing sector’s efforts over the last year. The accounts department is always responsible for the safe, efficient and secure movement of huge sums of money. With the SDLT holidays, huge spikes of activity have been frequent occurrences. The cashier is working remotely now, having often been office based. The paper based and face to face processes which have worked for years inhouse were found to be lacking from a risk and efficiency perspective. The spikes of activity were horrendous for inhouse cashiers to cope with, because of course their resource was finite.

Firms increasingly realised that the cashier is a crucial member of their team.

They need technical expertise, access to the right technology, and clear communication methods to receive instructions from the fee earners. They need to be operating securely and compliantly. If any of those elements are not present, the whole team grinds to a halt, hampered by increased risk, lack of speed and often ending up with dissatisfied conveyancing customers, PI insurers, and regulators.

At The Cashroom we had two team relationships to manage- our own team of around 100 staff, and our interactions with all of our 230 client firms and their staff. It went incredibly smoothly, mainly because we had a plan.

We were already remote from our clients, but now were remote from each other. So how did our teams cope?

We had-

  • Strong relationship building with our ‘external team’ -our clients
  • Clear processes for everyone both within the firm and at Cashroom
  • Supportive supervision and wellbeing methods
  • Flexible scaleable resource so that individuals weren’t swamped during the huge spikes of completions.
  • Market leading technology for secure, swift communication

We made sure the cashiering function wasn’t isolated. They were not a single point of failure. They received support, and firms flourished as a result.

Recent times have shown us all we don’t want to feel alone. Being part of a great team is more important than ever. Look after each-other!