Virtual CFO Services for Attorneys, Lawyers and Law Firms
Successful law firms recognize the power and long-term value of using financial data to manage and grow their practices. However, most lack the internal resources to analyze and interpret what the numbers are representing. Accordingly, Lescault and Walderman offers the following Virtual CFO Services for Law Firms:
- Budgeting and Forecasting
- Cash Flow and Profitability
- Pricing and Cost Modeling
- Partner Compensation Systems
- Internal Control Reviews
Our industry-specific experience and specialized expertise allow us to provide the informed analysis and economic guidance that owners, partners, and managers need to make operational decisions and reach the next level.
Budgeting and Forecasting
Well-prepared budgets serve as the operational backbone, the day-to-day guide for reaching the long-term financial goals of your firm. By starting with and staying focused on company goals, budgets enable management to set the right expectations and make informed decisions about resource allocation, financing, acquisitions, partner issues, and all-important profitability.
Our law firm specific budgeting process focuses on projecting realistic revenue and expense numbers to deliver accurate and reliable cash flow and profit targets needed for successful operations. Starting with revenue projections, we analyze the internal and external market factors of each specific practice group to arrive at a practical number. Recognizing that this is the most critical aspect of any budget, our team exercises extreme diligence, working with management to track and quantify all expected billable hours and ensure the most trustworthy.
Building on projected revenue, Lescault and Walderman then accounts for known expenses (such as payroll, rent and insurance) and leaves appropriate room for unexpected expenses related to capital expenditures, salaries, and other operational issues that might require special consideration.
Using the resulting projections, we then work to provide a plan for steady cash flow and maximum profitability.
Properly Pricing Services
Properly pricing your services is crucial in order to be competitive in any marketplace. At Lescault & Walderman, we recognize this and work to identify proper price points for services that are rendered to customers.
We begin with determining labor costs and work our way down the chain in order to accurately define the costs of performing a job for a client. Finding the correct balance between efficiency and accuracy to meet your needs is the objective at Lescault & Walderman.
Internal Controls and Reviews
Lescault and Walderman advises that all law firm clients maintain clearly defined internal controls for handling and documenting every financial transaction. These internal controls outline the expectations regarding the handling of check requisitions, threshold amounts, monthly reconciliations and adjustments, client property handling, and staffing – all to the end of minimizing the risks of fraud and potential litigation.
Listed below are just a few of the suggested protocols that we work to implement:
- Check requisition procedures should clearly define signing policies, authorize trust account payments, designate general account individual responsibilities, and provide a clear process for documentation.
- Specific threshold amounts should be defined, along with the required signing policies (e.g. the requirement of two or more partners, etc.).
- Monthly reconciliations and adjustments should never be reviewed and signed by the individual who prepared them.
- A client property inventory should note and track the physical existence of all received items (with periodic testing).
- Firm duties should be segregated such that the same individual does not have complete control over the management of any funds.
- Most importantly, trust accounts must never be used for any purpose not directly related to the practice of law.
Considering the high stakes involved (especially as it relates to trust accounts), failure to develop and maintain solid internal controls for your firm can result in serious consequences. Our implementation and review processes can help you to minimize the associated risks.
Detailed Internal Monthly Reporting
Building on our solid structure of proven accounting systems and specialized bookkeeping practices, Lescault and Walderman designs and produces simple, insightful monthly reports for each critical area of your practice. In addition, our experts provide CFO-level insight into the implications, warning and opportunities that the data represents. The detailed nature of this practice insight comes from years of advising and consulting with successful firms and solo practitioners.
Many lawyers work on an island by not only handling their own cases but also collecting on their cases. Our platform that we developed within our accounting software to show each lawyer’s own profit and loss statement and accounts receivable, while also being able to locate revenue and expenses on a cash accrual basis for each individual lawyer will help those lawyers that may be overwhelmed with different tasks.
Whether you live on a state line or travel to serve clients in other states, multi-state reporting can have many complications. It is vital to have a firm you can trust when filing your returns. We will review your business and the activities within, then employ a tailored accounting approach for your firm. We handle issues ranging from the Nexus Program to multi-state payroll withholding.
Creating a subsidiary can present tax benefits and allow protection from creditors. However, this opportunity of creating a subsidiary can yield more reporting demands than before. We are here to help you with the ever-growing reporting side of your subsidiary. First, we go through the process of determining which method to use for your company:
- Cost Method
- Equity Method
- Consolidation Method
Once the method is determined, then your law firm accounting treatment will be executed by our expert accountants.
Partner Compensation Systems
It is important to have confidence among partners, for this reason we offer comprehensive partner compensation systems services to ensure your business runs smoothly and there are no hiccups within a payment system. We work with you to establish well thought-out guidelines and a compensation system that centers around the overall mission of your law firm.
Let Lescault and Walderman Be Your CFO
Whether you are in need of assistance with budget preparation, business planning, profitability and trend analysis, merger and acquisition assistance, procedural guidance, staff training or a complete financial management team, Lescault and Walderman is ready to partner with you to help you make the most of your data.
By contracting your CFO services with Lescault and Walderman, your firm can reduce costs, increase profitably, streamline administrative and accounting systems, and become more productive.
Contact Lescault and Walderman today at 866-496-2042 to schedule your free consultation and learn how we can help your firm.