Outsourcing your Legal Cashiering can have many rewards. You can save money, buying in services as and when needed, rather than paying a full time Financial Controller. Also you can utilise holiday and sickness cover at no extra cost.
There are a number of considerations before deciding to Outsource your Legal Accounts Management to an Outsourced provider or a Freelance Remote Legal Accountant.
In the validation phase, it is essential to ensure that an Outsourced Legal Cashiering arrangement is practical.
Examine your IT systems to ensure that the Legal Cashier can access them. Questions to consider include:
How will payment requests and financial information be communicated to the Legal Cashier?
The due diligence phase should identify possible vendors and establish that they are capable of providing a high quality service.
It is important to establish that the vendor has a full Business Continuity Plan and insurance in place to assist with disasters or emergencies.
Establish that the vendor has experience in providing Outsourced Legal Cashiering services and that they are suitably qualified to meet your requirements.
Once your IT systems, workflows and initial due diligence have been verified and you are ready for vendor selection, it is essential to ensure compliance with the SRA handbook.
You should ensure that vendors have a robust confidentiality process in place and that clients’ confidential information will be protected per indicative behavior 4.3 in the code.
How does the vendor ensure confidentiality? Is this is staff or contractor agreements?
Is there a standard Non Disclosure Agreement or Confidentiality Agreement for the vendor?
Client consent will be required to share necessary financial documentation with the Outsourced Legal Cashier per outcome 4.1 of the code. This maybe included in client care letters or terms of business. But clients must have the ability to decline consent. This could be included in the terms of business as “if you are not happy with this, please contact us to discuss your options”.
Per outcome 7.10 of the code of conduct, solicitors must per any outsourcing agreement:
ensure their ability to comply with their regulatory arrangements is not compromised;
ensure the SRA’s ability to monitor that compliance is not compromised; and ensure their obligations to their clients are not affected.
For further information on the implications of Outsourcing Legal Accountancy, ring us on 01332 897356 or use the Contact Form.