HOW TO RUN A PROFITABLE LAW FIRM: A 360 APPROACH NYCLA CLE I NSTITUTE. Program Co-Sponsors: Berdon LLP CPAs and Advisors

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1 NYCLA CLE I NSTITUTE HOW TO RUN A PROFITABLE LAW FIRM: A 360 º APPROACH Prepared in connection with a Continuing Legal Education course presented at New York County Lawyers Association, 14 Vesey Street, New York, NY scheduled for November 20, 2013 Program Co-Sponsors: Berdon LLP CPAs and Advisors Faculty: Bruce Gorman, CPA; Marianne Reidy, CPA This course has been approved in accordance with the requirements of the New York State Continuing Legal Education Board for a maximum of 2 Transitional and Non-Transitional credit hours; 1Skills; 1 Law Practice Management. This program has been approved by the Board of Continuing Legal education of the Supreme Court of New Jersey for 2 hours of total CLE credits. Of these, 0 qualify as hours of credit for ethics/professionalism, and 0 qualify as hours of credit toward certification in civil trial law, criminal law, workers compensation law and/or matrimonial law. ACCREDITED PROVIDER STATUS: NYCLA s CLE Institute is currently certified as an Accredited Provider of continuing legal education in the States of New York and New Jersey.

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3 Information Regarding CLE Credits and Certification How to Run a Profitable Law Firm--- A 360º Approach November 20, 2013; 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM The New York State CLE Board Regulations require all accredited CLE providers to provide documentation that CLE course attendees are, in fact, present during the course. Please review the following NYCLA rules for MCLE credit allocation and certificate distribution. i. You must sign-in and note the time of arrival to receive your course materials and receive MCLE credit. The time will be verified by the Program Assistant. ii. iii. iv. You will receive your MCLE certificate as you exit the room at the end of the course. The certificates will bear your name and will be arranged in alphabetical order on the tables directly outside the auditorium. If you arrive after the course has begun, you must sign-in and note the time of your arrival. The time will be verified by the Program Assistant. If it has been determined that you will still receive educational value by attending a portion of the program, you will receive a pro-rated CLE certificate. Please note: We can only certify MCLE credit for the actual time you are in attendance. If you leave before the end of the course, you must sign-out and enter the time you are leaving. The time will be verified by the Program Assistant. Again, if it has been determined that you received educational value from attending a portion of the program, your CLE credits will be pro-rated and the certificate will be mailed to you within one week. v. If you leave early and do not sign out, we will assume that you left at the midpoint of the course. If it has been determined that you received educational value from the portion of the program you attended, we will pro-rate the credits accordingly, unless you can provide verification of course completion. Your certificate will be mailed to you within one week. Thank you for choosing NYCLA as your CLE provider!

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5 New York County Lawyers Association Continuing Legal Education Institute 14 Vesey Street, New York, N.Y (212) How to Run a Profitable Law Firm: A 360º Approach November 20, 2013; 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM AGENDA Program Sponsor: Faculty: Berdon LLP CPAs and Advisors Bruce Gordon, CPA Marianne Reidy, CPA 5:30 PM 6:00 PM Registration 6:00 PM 6:10 PM Introductions and Announcements 6:10 PM 8:00 PM Discussion

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7 How to Run a Profitable Law Firm A 360 Approach Presented by Bruce Gorman, CPA Berdon LLP Marianne Reidy, CPA Berdon LLP November 20, 2013 Objectives Keys to increasing profits Understanding the budget process Expense and cost containment Financial controls Growing through lateral moves Utilizing banking relationships 2 The Key to Increasing Profits Controlling Expenses Payroll Rent Technology Marketing General Office 3 1

8 The Key to Increasing Profits (continued) Improve the billing process Engagement letters Communication Work In Process (WIP) and accounts receivable Bill currently and monthly Detailed billing Accounts receivable statements Collection process Attorney productivity Client profitability Realization statistics Recapturing Costs 4 Why Do You Need a Budget? To manage your firm more effectively you need the proper tools. Where do you want your firm to be? Budgets can be simple or complex Ability to control your firm s finances 5 The Budget Process Cash Basis Budget Predict cash flow valleys Expected cash shortages Need to borrow money 6 2

9 Historical Data Personnel data Gross Revenues Billable hours Billing rates Expenses Net income Realization 7 Revenues Top down How much gross revenue do you want to generate? Bottom up What do you want net profit to be? Examples for projecting out gross revenues: Historical client base Historical cash collections Projected cash revenues Projected Billable Hours x Billing Rates x Billing Realization x Cash Realization 8 Expenses Projected on a monthly basis What are your firm s needs? Watch out for unexpected expenses Reforecast budgets for changing conditions 9 3

10 Accrual Basis Budgets True financial condition of the firm Reflect accounts receivable and Work In Process Be mindful of short lived windfalls 10 Expense And Cost Containment Outsourcing from taboo to prac cal What you outsource depends on firm size and needs Moving back office functions Office functions File room Human Resources Information technology Office services 11 Financial Controls Reduce exposure by better managing: Escrow Accounts Review material controls over escrow accounts Review monthly bank reconciliations Review record keeping on a client by client basis Review records to be maintained 12 4

11 Lateral Moves for Growth What is your objective for doing a lateral? Practice area expansion Finding the right partner The numbers Firm culture Contingencies 13 The Importance of Your Banking Relationship Your relationship with your banker: Is your banker on your professional team? No surprises When is the right time? Don t wait for problems No time like the present 14 Credit Ready Develop realistic assumptions and projections Understanding your cash flow needs before you have to borrow MATCHING NEED TO SERVICE Lines of credit Term Loans and equipment leases 15 5

12 Sample Credit Package Three years of financial statements and tax returns Current aged receivables Personal financial statements (Bank Form) Personal tax returns Forecasts: including cash flow projections Purpose and repayment schedule 16 How Do Banks Evaluate Credit Risk? Purpose of loan: does it make sense? Is there a basis for credit? Ability to repay Two ways out: corporate assets / personal assets Does your business plan make sense? Historical data Future prospects Credit reports business and personal Pricing based on risk and relationship 17 Questions Bruce Gorman, CPA Berdon LLP CPAs and Advisors T Marianne Reidy, CPA Berdon LLP CPAs and Advisors T MADISON 2013 BERDON AVENUE, LLP NY, ALL NY RIGHTS PH: RESERVED FAX: ONE JERICHO PLAZA, JERICHO, NY PH: FAX: [ 18 ] 6

13 Berdon LLP advises law firms of all types ranging from specialized boutiques to global practices. Many of their tax partners are attorneys as well as CPAs, giving them special insight into lawyers thinking and language. They bring a keen understanding of all aspects of a law firm practice and the unique issues firms and attorneys face.

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