Finance teams are always committed to providing efficient and accurate accounting services to their legal teams or clients (if outsourced). At the heart of a Legal Cashier’s role is to make sure that the client and office accounts are kept up to date, and invoices are produced accurately and in a timely manner.
Legal Cashier Training, Experience & Support
Depending on the firm employing the legal cashier they will often ask for your experience within a legal finance environment, together with any qualifications you may have.
The ILFM is the leading authority for legal cashier training and membership providing the very best support. If you’d like to join our forums, talk with other legal cashiers, gain further training and qualifications - we’d love to hear from you. If you’d like to read more about how we can support you, please click HERE.
Believe it or not, one of the main responsibilities of a legal cashier is to fully understand and ensure compliance of the SRA’s Accounts Rules in relation to all tasks. This means that you must avoid any breaches of the Accounts Rules. If you’d like to attend one of our training courses on the Accounts Rules so you feel really confident, then you can look at our schedules HERE.
Here’s a list of the key areas a legal cashier will be working on:
- Sending all CHAPS, International and Faster payments daily within the specified deadlines;
- Understanding and follow agreed procedure for reviewing and operating the banking software used;
- Raising, posting and distributing client and office cheques, including banking.
- Reconciliation of out-of-date cheques on a regular basis and reporting them into the FD or manager;
- To carry out any transfers, ie. client to client, matter to matter, client to business (office), and disbursement to disbursement in accordance with the policy of the law firm you will be working with.
- Log anticipated and actual disbursements onto the ledger, which should be kept up-to-date on the accounting systems.
When it comes to card payments, you could often be responsible for running and posting all receipts to the ledgers for whichever banking reports you will use (e.g. WorldPay), and also to check for any card payments taken for your business account.
Legal finance teams are integral to the smooth, compliant running of a law firm, and the legal cashier has such a vital role to play, that’s why the ILFM can’t advocate for your professionalism enough and love supporting you.
A legal cashier’s general duties tend to cover the following points:
- Ensuring work is handed out to the team promptly;
- Understanding and ensuring compliance with the SRA Accounts Rules in relation to all your tasks;
- Being proactive within the Accounts and overall Finance Department, and don’t be afraid to make suggestions where you could see a gap in more efficient processes;
- Probably you’ll be covering other team members if they’re on holiday or on sick leave;
- Assisting the Accounts Dept or finance team members (if a small firm, you might be alone in which case you need good communication with your COFA and definitely need to become a member of the ILFM so you’re not so isolated);
- Know banking inside and out;
- Understand cash flow.
Of course, it depends on the company or agency you are working with, but in our (long!) experience of legal finance and management, here are the main priorities recruiters ask for:
- Positive attitude and calm under pressure, especially being able to meet tight deadlines;
- Excellent attention to detail and accuracy;
- Good IT skills including Excel, Word and Outlook etc;
- Be prepared to get stuck into training on legal finance software – there are many applications out there!
- Jump on our Fundamentals of Legal Cashiering Training to ensure you have all the backup you need.
We make anyone’s life involved in legal finance and management easy because our training and membership support is so effective. If you are new to law and a newbie legal cashier, then this one day training covers the following:
- Double Entry Bookkeeping
- Client and Office Accounts
- SRA Accounts Rules
- The Annual Audit
The one-day training is live and interactive carrying 3CPD points too.
One last thing - most law firms and recruiters are super tight on security checks for legal finance staff, so don’t be surprised if you’re put through vigorous backkground checks prior to employment.
Due to the nature of the work undertaken in a law firm, all agency staff, consultants and employees should be subject to a variety of checks (normally carried out once an offer of employment has been accepted or a contract has been sent to sign).
Why? Due diligence is done on new clients to a law firm and it’s similar to new employees or contractors. No law firm wants to be caught out and hung by the SRA or shamed in the Law Society Gazette!
So, what are the checks? They normally include employment references, proof of ID, proof of address, checks for any CCJs (County Court Judgments) and checks with the SRA. It might seem far-fetched, but terrorism checks are often carried out too (against data supplied from the Bank of England), together with a basic DBS check.
All in all, a law firm needs a solid person who is accurate, compliant and great with numbers whilst staying calm under pressure. It’s a great job to have and by being a member of the ILFM you will receive the best support and back-up, and if you ever feel the urge to qualify and to rise up the ranks, we have you covered.
As usual, my door is always open, and that of my team here at the ILFM. We’d love to hear from you so do get in touch with any questions you might have.
Chief Executive of the ILFM