Finding the right balance

Before joining Kent-based Girlings solicitors as finance manager in November 2018, Jason Bigg was a fee earner in an accountancy practice. Experience which he says has been invaluable in navigating the current challenges.

Since he joined the firm, he has helped to introduce a new practice management system and restructured the six-person finance team, both at the end of last year. Just as these changes were bedding in, the coronavirus crisis hit, and it was a case of all hands on deck. The firm has a wide mix of disciplines with some of these being badly affected by lockdown, with around a 20% drop in monthly billings. As a result, although his role is ostensibly board level, Jason has had to undertake additional operational tasks over the past two to three months as the finance team has helped the firm to adapt to the change in circumstances.

“The balance of our work has changed considerably. We used to spend a lot of time processing financial transactions. Now we are doing much more management reporting (to assist with decisions such as the furloughing staff), looking at fee-earner performance to identify likely fee income of the business and identify the productivity levels of each department.

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