Note: The following is an excerpt from a new eBook titled 15 Ideas for Getting a Jump-Start on 2015 which is freely available with registration.
Good reporting is at the heart of improving profitability in every law firm. Until firm leaders have access to the data they need in the form that helps them see the big picture and all the smaller brushstrokes that make it up, it’s almost impossible to understand the current financial situation, much less create a plan for putting the right pieces in the right places for the future.
Sadly, far too many firms pay little or no attention to the importance of their financial data until there’s a mad rush to pull it all together for the yearly partner retreat or for end-of-year.
Never mind the stress of pulling together a year’s financial data in one big push, as hectic as that can be for the back-office team. The real harm to the larger firm is only having the partners take a comprehensive look at their financial data once or twice a year, when information overload can glaze everyone’s eyes over and allow potentially performance- and profitability-changing opportunities to slip through unnoticed.
Now that firms are (finally) finishing up end-of-year, this is the time to reexamine law firm reporting capabilities and take a look at automating the process so you can alleviate the frenzy next year, and from now on.
From a bigger-picture point of view, think about how much more relevant reporting data would be if it were delivered more frequently to the partners, say, on a monthly or quarterly basis, or even on-demand, potentially at a moment’s notice, with the right reporting and analytics software in place.
I can already hear the objections. “What is requested changes year after year.” “It takes so much to put it all together, I would never have time to do anything else.” “Creating custom reports is always costly and still there are changes.”
Since we all have either just completed or are in the process of completing putting this type of information together, now is the best time to assess just how much time and effort was expended and analyze the full benefits of automating reporting, when the memories (and stress) are still fresh in your mind.
The complete eBook, with 14 other expert view points, is freely available for download with registration here.
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Kendra Gebhart is a business development manager with the LexisNexis software division.
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