November/December 2019

Finance

New Ways (Perhaps) to Think Financially

Peter Roberts

Don’t deny it, I can see you standing in your bookkeeper’s office perusing the mail for any checks from your clients, particularly those clients who catch up their accounts in December each year. And those electronic payments are also very nice to see this time of year. Any chance of meeting your revenue budget? Any chance of surpassing last year?

These thoughts are typical and understandable, but I want to offer a few other ways to think about your numbers.

New Way to Think No. 1: Understand discretionary and nondiscretionary expenses.

In my experience assisting solo practitioners and small firms, I rarely encounter a budget for either revenue or expenses. Yet I have always thought that lawyers want to be in control. A budget helps you to be in control. Your bookkeeper is the person to prepare the budget to help you to better understand the financial performance of your firm, particularly the control of expenses. 

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