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[Update] Why Law Firm CFOs Should Take Part in Vendor Selection

Posted by Gaby Isturiz on November 23, 2016 at 11:58 AM


The role of the CFO in the modern law firm has evolved to include responsibilities that are perhaps a bit untraditional to the traditional job description. In other words, there are a few key areas of focus that are on the radar of today's most successful CFOs.

As CFO, attention is required on several competing priorities throughout the firm. As such, it is tempting to leave certain important matters, such as vendor and product selection, to the end users or IT department.  However, before you pass these decisions off to other team members, remember that vendor selection can have a direct impact on the firm’s profitability. 

Technology has changed law firms as we know them, presenting new data that can have a direct impact on revenue. Anything that impacts the law firm’s revenue is naturally of interest to the CFO. That’s why decisions related to vendor selection, should include the CFO. Now, more than ever before, the CFO needs to be involved with the vendor selection process to ensure that technology improvements are positioning the firm for future growth and financial success. 

In this article, we’ll discuss the reasons that the CFO should take an active role in the vendor selection process for technology and software services. Keep reading to learn more!

Why CFOs should be involved with vendor selection:

1. Rule out competitors and choose the solutions that will most benefit the firm based on the organization’s goals. Having access to the correct technology will empower attorneys to meet goals and comply with firm policies. CFOs should also measure the cost of the vendor solution in terms of maintenance and support. The right tools will make your goals and strategy more achievable. 

2. Determine how likely the solution is to be adopted. This will impact profitability in the long run. Otherwise, a piece of technology that is not properly adopted can end up costing more to the firm. For example, in mobile time entry, the solutions that are the most simple and easy to use will have the best chance of being adopted by attorneys consistently. 

3. A firm’s CFO is where policies and strategy originate. As the person reponsible for the financial success of a law firm, it makes absolute sense that CFOs push for and select tools that empower attorneys to meet goals and comply with the firm’s policies. 

4. Your decision has a direct impact on your numbers. Your decision could determine your ability to capture or generate additional revenue; it could also prevent you from losing revenue. For example, with mobile timekeeping software, attorneys record an average of 1 extra hour of time per day. Multiply that by the number of work days each year and then by your number of attorneys. The result is significant. 

It’s important to establish goals and measurements with each and every product that you purchase.  This will allow you to assess the impact of the purchase against your expectations. In other words – don’t “set it and forget it”.

Turning a blind eye to these could be hurting a firm’s revenue more than you realize.  

Can you think of any additional reasons it’s in the CFO’s best interest to stay atop of vendor selection?

Law Firm CFO

Topics: Vendor Selection, CFO

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