Establishing an outsourced cashiering enterprise is fraught with challenges, not least the software dictated by end clients for account management purposes. Legal software is diverse and doesn’t always promote remote working, the latter being crucial for freelancers.
Shani Fowler, freelance legal cashier, began using Insight Legal Software on behalf of one client, Craigs Solicitors, then, as a fervent convert, urged another client, Broad Yorkshire Law, to install it too. Now, it’s Insight that cements the three parties together.
The Law Firm
Shani Fowler is an experienced legal cashier who offers freelance accounting support to law firms in and around the Yorkshire region. Shani provides a complete outsourcing service, from daily postings and bank reconciliations to period-end procedures and VAT returns, in accordance with the SRA Accounts Rules.
Two of the businesses who employ Shani’s services are Craig Solicitors, a Leeds- and London-based private client specialist, and Broad Yorkshire Law, a Sheffield-headquartered virtual personal injury and family law practice whose solicitors and paralegals work predominantly from their home offices.
Shani operates mostly from home in Leeds with occasional on-site visits. The commonality between her two clients is the infrastructure that makes remote working for Shani possible – Insight Legal Software.
With outsourcing becoming increasingly popular for companies seeking to reduce operational costs and increase efficiencies – two essential pre-requisites to gain an edge in today’s competitive landscape – demand for Shani Fowler’s cashiering services is at an all-time high.
Due to the flexible, varied nature of her workload, Shani’s home office in Leeds is her primary base, for which she demands internet-accessed software to manage her clients’ accounts.
Shani comments: “I’ve been operating as a freelancer for 4 years now. In my previous career, when I worked as an in-house legal cashier, I used various software solutions, some good, some not so good. They don’t always come on a hosted platform either which is problematic for someone like me running my business largely from home.
“I was introduced to Insight Legal Software by one of my first, and existing, clients, Craig Solicitors. It’s such a brilliant system both in terms of delivery – via the cloud – and functionality – it’s so intuitive yet easy to use – that I advised another client, Broad Yorkshire Law, to switch from Sage to Insight. They did and they’ve never looked back. In fact, Insight better supports the virtual nature of Broad Yorkshire Law’s business which is run by home workers like me. I’ve never looked back either. I use the one system for two clients. I’m much more efficient and organised as a result.”
For law firms employing freelancers to outsource their behind-the-scenes functions, such as cashiering, remotely accessed software is an absolutely vital requirement. Insight Legal Software can be deployed on a fully hosted basis, locally stored or as a hybrid solution combining the two methods.
Craig Solicitors is a long-standing Insight user. When Shani was hired to manage the firm’s accounts, giving her access to the system was a straightforward process. As a cloud user, they simply created a new username and password for her to log in.
Shani continues: “I live only 6 miles away from Craig Solicitors’ office so I tend to spend at least one day a week there, with the remainder of my allocated time from home. The reason I’m able to be so flexible with my working patterns is Insight Legal Software.”
Having briefed Broad Yorkshire Law on the extensive benefits of Insight, they migrated over from Sage and also now utilise Insight through the cloud.
Shani adds: “Broad Yorkshire Law are located much further afield from me. It’s quite a trek to commute to their premises so I work for them exclusively from home two days a week with a once-a-year trip when the accountant’s processing their annual accounts. For this practice, and for Craig Solicitors, I receive email or phone notifications to request, for example, transfer of client monies and cheque postings which are then carried out in Insight. The whole set up’s flawless, thanks to Insight.”
With a lengthy cashiering background, Shani’s knowledgeable in a multitude of legal accounts and practice management systems which is why she’s adamant that Insight Legal Software reigns supreme.
Shani explains: “With Insight, I love the fact it’s all laid out logically. Everything’s exactly where you’d expect it to be. It’s tidy as well, with the navigation points sitting along the top of the screen, not all over the place and down the side which is extremely distracting. This means it’s really easy to find what you need. You can personalise the system to hide lesser-used features and manoeuvre your way around even quicker.
“Reporting’s another stand-out area of Insight. When it’s end-of-year time, accountants often ask for urgent reports. I can literally generate reports in 30 seconds. Within the reporting tool, I can view full matter listings, filter by client, set up specifics such as balances greater than zero and generally check that money’s where it should be, thereby keeping finances compliant with the SRA Accounts Rules.
“Despite Insight’s current impressive feature set, they regularly roll out software updates which keeps improving and expanding its capabilities. It’s unsurprising they’ve won the 2016 ILFM Solicitors’ Software Users Award. They’re very deserving of the top spot.
“I couldn’t talk about Insight without reference to the people. Their training and helpdesk support is truly outstanding. I’ve been on the receiving end of support services from other suppliers and they don’t come close to Insight. They excel at thinking backwards to get to the root of a problem and are always on hand to help. As a freelancer, this is very reassuring. Sometimes the solution turns out to be obvious but I’m never made to feel stupid. They’re happy to answer any query, big or small.
“For these reasons, and a whole heap more, I recommend Insight Legal Software, particularly to those in my position. It’s the type of system that powers the freelancing environment.”
458 Roundhay Road
T: 0113 244 4081
Broad Yorkshire Law
219a Handsworth Road
T: 0114 2420732