Once you’ve decided to outsource your legal cashiering, any supplier will do, right? After all, the way these outsourcing providers manage your accounts and support your business is the same, isn’t it? Surely the only difference will be the price you pay for the service, won’t it?
The answer to these conundrums is a resounding ‘no’! There are an increasing number of outsourced cashiering suppliers – legal software companies are forming partnerships with outsourcing bureaus to expand their offerings; new bureaus are being established; freelancers are setting up as virtual cashiers to work from home – so you’ve certainly got plenty of choice when it comes to outsourcing your back office accounts function.
While there are some familiar threads running between these various suppliers, in comparison to Quill, they’re poles apart. We’re going to show you why…
Commonality: Shared use of Interactive
Have a quick browse through the ILFM’s Software Guide and you’ll see the long list of legal accounts systems available in the market. This isn’t an exhaustive list either. These competitive systems contain effective tools to help legal cashiers maintain accounts in a compliant, secure, due diligent manner. But the way you perform an accounting task on one, let’s say posting your daily transactions, will vary on another.
Also, not all systems will contain warnings and notifications for actual and potential breaches of legal accounts rules. The range of functionality makes one system a very different beast to another.
As well as being the toolkit for in-house cashiers, these same systems are operated by outsourcing providers too. And, as any workman knows, his work is only as good as his tools. In other words, the ensuing service you receive will fluctuate pretty drastically from one supplier to the next, depending upon the legal accounts system opted for. The inconsistencies between them can be fairly extreme.
In terms of our software, Interactive is backed by a dedicated software development team based in our Brighton office so new and enhanced functionality is constantly being rolled out, benefiting end users whose daily work is made easier, more efficient and categorically compliant as a result. Interactive’s also a recognised market leader, having been around for 40+ years and boasting two ILFM software awards.
Not only is our software high quality, which enables us to work better than other outsourcing providers, it’s used universally by Quill cashiers. It’s a common platform, facilitating common procedures, maintaining common standards, empowering a common experience for all users of our Pinpoint outsourcing service. No deviations. No inconsistencies.
Overseers: Monitoring by senior staff
As an additional guarantee of quality service provision, our cashiering operation is closely monitored by experienced, knowledgeable team members who cast a trained eye over completed tasks, checking for accuracy, speed, volume and consistency, reinforced by metrics from our powerful quality and performance management Interactive system, interpreting data processed by all the cashiers. Our cashiers work in teams of six with a supervisor heading up each group. Any anomalies or discrepancies, including items highlighted by Interactive, are spotted and resolved straightaway, giving you confidence in error-free bookkeeping. No other cashiering bureau can boast access to such management information intelligence drawn from one central software platform.
Where speed’s concerned, any law firm knows about the strictly enforced deadlines for filing month and year-end accounts, including those all-important VAT returns. Our system also holds key compliance dates specified by each firm’s designated regulator (SRA, CLC or Law Society of Scotland) to generate management alerts of overdue tasks. For example, we can identify sites not being closed quickly enough at month end which is set as the 7th of each month by the CLC and track that VAT submissions are lodged in time for the relevant quarter. Close monitoring, and intervention if needed, ensures accounts are submitted on time, every time.
On the volume side of things, this behind-the-scenes management information also tells us how many e-chits are being processed by each cashier. This helps us to allocate the right mix of sites to our cashiers so everyone’s got a similar balanced workload and no one’s being overworked. For end users, you can be reassured that your assigned cashier’s got the capacity to give your accounts their proper attention. By not being stretched too thinly, we’ve got your back.
There are a plethora of reports within Interactive, accessed by the Pinpoint management team, supporting the delivery of consistency across hundreds of clients. This starkly contrasts with other bureaus which lack the same control mechanisms thereby compromising consistent standards, and allowing opportunities for mistakes and bad habits to creep in.
Collaboration: It’s a team effort
Pinpoint is a close alliance between you and us. We’re connected together by Interactive. You enter daily e-chits into Interactive – which is essentially a daily record of monies in and out to your client and office accounts – and we pick up from there. We literally do everything else – billing, reporting, VAT returns, ledger and bank account management.
It’s likely you’ll interact with your named cashier every working day. As such, you build a strong relationship. Pinpoint clients repeatedly tell us how their cashier feels like another employee, just someone not based in the same office. We rely on you to log all transactions. You rely on us to keep your accounts in order. By each fulfilling our side of the bargain, it’s a successful partnership.
There’s a point to be made about team working within Pinpoint as well. You see, our cashiers don’t operate in isolation. If your assigned cashier doesn’t know how to rectify any accounts-related problem, he/she will simply call upon the help of his/her colleagues and supervisor. As the largest outsourced cashiering bureau in the UK employing some 50 legal cashiers, they possess a combined total of approximately 300 years’ experience. And that’s a conservative guess. We’ve seen it all before. No issue is novel. You can bet your bottom dollar that we know the solution.
Automatic absence cover is provided with the service too. If your cashier is off work on holiday, sickness, maternity, paternity or other leave, as everyone is from time to time, his/her designated deputy will manage your accounts instead. Obviously you don’t get these advantages with a one-man-band type bureau.
Next step: Find out more
If we’ve sharpened your appetite for more, read our earlier articles on the subject of outsourced cashiering, published on the Internet Newsletter for Lawyers website. There’s ‘Outsourced cashiering and your bottom line’, ’Ten reasons to outsource your cashiering’ and ‘How outsourced cashiering works’ for beginners.
Julian Bryan joined Quill as Managing Director in 2012 and is also the Chair of the Legal Software Suppliers Association. Quill is the UK’s largest outsourced legal cashiering provider with 40 years’ experience supplying outsourcing services and software to the legal profession.