When I am out meeting solicitors, explaining what it is that we do, and how we do it, they are often surprised at just how simple it really is. They often have misconceptions about what is involved in outsourcing, so I thought it would be worthwhile jotting down my standard responses!
1. Myth 1 – That they will need new ‘IT’, or to learn how to use a new ‘system’
We do not have any ‘system’ or software, we simply access the accounts part of your existing Practice Management System remotely. So, all you need is a legal practice management system of some sort, and a means of us accessing it remotely. You send us instructions by email, to a dedicated email address we will set up, specific to your firm.
2. Myth 2 – That they will get a different person each time they phone/email
We allocate each client to a cashiering team, headed up by a very experienced senior cashier, essentially your ‘Head Cashier’. They will have a small team of people who will work on your firm, in order that holidays, sickness cover etc, are not a problem for you. You will get to know the two or three people working on your firms’ work very quickly, and build a relationship with them. You can pick up the phone or email these people at any point.
3. Myth 3 – That it would be impossible to bring the service back in-house in the future
In fact, quite the opposite is true. As per the response to ‘Myth 1’, we do not require you to use any new software/system, we are accessing your existing system remotely. If at any point you wanted to bring the service back in-house, it would be as simple as recruiting a cashier, changing the username/password for our Login to your system and online banking, and our access would be terminated. All data stays on your system, nothing is held by us.
4. Myth 4 – Loss of Control
Some feel that by having ‘their cashiers’ offsite, they will somehow lose some of the control over what is going on. In our experience, again, quite the opposite is usually the case. Clients tell us time and again that they have a better understanding of what is going on by dealing with our cashiers. Before outsourcing, the cashier at their firm often controlled things, choosing what they wanted to disclose to the Partners. By outsourcing, it puts control back in the hands of the Partners of the firm, rather than the cashier!
5. Myth 5 – That it doesn’t really save money
As a rule of thumb, we can offer a saving of around 20-30% on the salary costs of inhouse cashiering staff. This will vary from firm to firm, depending to a large extent on how well they pay their staff, but in some cases the saving can be as much as 50%. This is simply due to economies of scale, and efficiencies we are able to introduce with the experience of best practice from working with so many different firms. There are additional savings, although more difficult to quantify in monetary terms, such as the additional office space which can be used by fee earning staff, the savings on recruitment / training of new staff, the management time of a Partner in dealing with appraisals, performance issues etc, as well as the cover for holidays/sickness.
If you are thinking about outsourcing your cashiering / accounts department, but have concerns about it which are not covered above, please feel free to get in touch with me by email (Gregor.Angus@thecashroom.co.uk) or telephone (01506 401 284 / 07875 598 593).