By Legal Futures Associate Quill
What is a legal cashier? An overview of what a legal cashier does behind the scenes at a law firm.
Legal cashiering is a crucial aspect of law firm administration back office that involves managing financial transactions, client and office accounts, and ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements.
Legal cashiers are responsible for handling the financial aspects of legal operations, including client funds, billing, and accounting.
The primary responsibilities of a legal cashier may include:
- Client Account Management: Legal cashiers oversee client accounts and ensure compliance with regulations regarding client money handling. This involves accurately recording client funds, processing incoming and outgoing payments, and reconciling client account balances.
- Billing and Invoicing: Legal cashiers handle billing processes within the law firm. They generate invoices, track billable hours or fees, and liaise with lawyers or legal professionals to ensure accurate and timely billing to clients.
- Accounting and Financial Reporting: Legal cashiers maintain financial records, including general ledgers, accounts payable and receivable, and bank reconciliations. They prepare financial reports, monitor cash flow, and provide accurate financial information to management or external auditors.
- Compliance with Financial Regulations: In the UK, legal cashiering is governed by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) Accounts Rules, which set out the specific requirements for managing client money. Legal cashiers must ensure that all client funds are held securely and separately from the law firm’s own funds. They must also maintain clear and accurate records of all financial transactions, including bank reconciliations and monthly reports.
- Payroll and Expenses: Some legal cashiers may also handle payroll processing and expense management for the law firm’s employees. This includes calculating salaries, processing payroll taxes, and managing employee expenses.
- Financial Systems and Software: Legal cashiers often use specialised accounting software and financial systems (like Quill’s) to manage transactions, generate reports, and maintain accurate financial records. They may also provide training and support to legal professionals and staff on the use of financial software.
- Auditing and Risk Management: Legal cashiers play a role in internal and external audits, ensuring compliance with financial controls and identifying any areas of risk or non-compliance. They collaborate with auditors, provide the necessary documentation, and implement recommendations for improvement.
Legal cashiers also play a key role in managing the law firm’s overall financial health. They are responsible for processing invoices and payments, managing cash flow, and ensuring that the firm is operating within its budget. They may also provide financial advice and support to lawyers and other staff members.
How to start your career as a legal cashier
To become a legal cashier, you typically need to have a background in finance or accounting, as well as a strong understanding of legal regulations and compliance requirements. You may also need to complete additional training or certification programs to ensure that you have the necessary skills and knowledge to perform the job effectively.
It’s important to note that the exact responsibilities of a legal cashier may vary depending on the size and structure of the law firm or legal organisation. In larger firms, there may be a dedicated team of legal cashiers specialising in different areas of financial management, while in smaller firms, the role may encompass a broader range of financial tasks.
The unsung heroes: legal cashiers
Legal cashiering is a critical function within the legal industry, ensuring the accurate and compliant handling of financial transactions, safeguarding client funds, and maintaining the financial integrity of the law firm or legal organisation. It requires attention to detail, strong financial skills, communications and customer service skills, and a deep commitment to regulatory compliance. Without legal cashiers, law firms wouldn’t be able to operate effectively and efficiently – or stay in business! They are truly the glue of the team and unsung heroes of the legal industry.
Want to learn more about Quill’s outsourced legal cashiering services? Get in touch!