An interview with Julia Warrilow, Financial and Operations Director at Thursfields, in partnership with Katchr.

For Julia Warrilow, Finance and Operations Director at Midlands Law Firm, Thursfields, the pandemic has highlighted the importance of having strong, accurate data to inform business planning decisions.

Before March, the firm was set on a clear growth strategy. It had a three-year plan to increase turnover from £8m to £10m, with significant investment in premises, staff, and marketing. Each year, Julia would draw up a budget, with input from partners, which performance would be monitored against. She would also do a full P&L reconciliation and report into the board at the end of every month. So far, so normal.

Post-pandemic, that has gone out of the window. She did a complete reforecast of overheads and fees. She gets weekly updates on fees and forecasts from practice heads. The uncertainty over what exactly was going to happen meant all investment was switched off. Any ‘nice to haves’ were cancelled. In terms of reporting, the focus switched to new-business-related KPIs, such as the number of incoming calls and new matters being opened, which Julia initially monitored on a daily basis.

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