Most if not all of the Top 200 UK law firms now have a Finance Director or at the very least a Financial Controller to oversee their accounts function. My question would be how strategic are those people or how strategic are they allowed to be? Do they really have the power and autonomy to be effective? I think the honest answer is that it is very mixed even in some of the biggest legal businesses.
If you don’t want to pay for a strategic FD then may be a project with a Consultant would be worthwhile.
In my opinion any project to improve financial performance must begin with an understanding of the current position.
• How good is the management information?
• Do you know where your income and more importantly your profit is coming from?
• Who is guilty of being a busy fool?
• Who has responsibility for delivering what in terms of income and so the gross margin?
• Who controls the overheads which will impact on the net margin?
• Are you carrying passengers for emotional reasons?
As a Consultant I would challenge all of these issues and using my experience of other businesses, legal or otherwise, provide a valuable insight to where improvements may be possible or simply unlock potential.