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Five Ways Your Firm Can Reduce Costs and Boost Revenues this Quarter

"We need to cut costs …" are words that ripple through companies more often than ever before in this increasingly competitive landscape. But these words don't always have to mean implementing the more common and often harsh practices of reducing headcount. Firms are becoming more creative in finding ways to cut their costs, and here is our top five that can be quick to implement with great results.

Develop a Flexible Budget

Gone are the days of utilizing a static budget to manage firm finances. With all the constant changes within the economy and business climate, it is imperative to set up a flexible budget to account for such fluctuations. For instance, if business demands are slower at certain times of the year, take advantage of this time and revisit your budgets and forecasts. Reassign unused budgets to other departments that can generate greater value for the firm. Avoid encouraging that budgeted dollars are spent for the sake of use it or lose it. Revisiting your plan frequently and often will help you adapt quickly to potential changes and find areas of greater cost savings and revenue generation..

Leverage the Skills of Your Staff

It is important to clearly assess the processes that are being carried out by each employee within your firm. Ensure that all administrative work is being done by the professionals you have hired for that specific role. Often times, legal teams are caught up using billable time toward tasks that are not as profitable or non-billable. Remember, just as any other business, you have individuals who generate higher revenues than others. Be sure to gain visibility into employees' skillsets and where they can best apply those skills so that the firm's staff are contributing to maximizing revenues.

Upgrade Your Technology

It may appear counterintuitive to many, however, improving your technology infrastructure and security is key to reducing unnecessary costs. Investing in both skilled IT staff and technology will ensure your firm is secured against spyware, viruses, and any other system failures that are becoming increasingly common. Dealing with server issues or poor technology can be very time consuming and costly to a firm. More effort is often spent recouping data, working offline, and redoing work rather than tending to clients and generating more revenue. Investing in modern technology can bring greater efficiency and productivity to the firm and leave behind time and money wasting old technologies. Look to vendors that provide solutions that are tailored specifically to your business and will help complete tasks in a fraction of the time of traditional practices or other generic software providers.

Assess Your Clients – Keep the Good Ones, Ditch the Bad, and Don't Overlook Mediocre

Take a look at your main revenue source and ensure you have a roster of clients that will ensure you have a strong year or quarter. Often, firms keep on clients who have lengthy payment terms, 90 days or longer, or simply are too time consuming. By taking on clients who are unruly, argumentative, indecisive, and late to pay, it could be taking the energy of your firm away from clients who are great revenue generators. Furthermore, keeping clients who are difficult to deal with can take money straight out of your firm by requiring more supervisory staff that cannot bill for their time and are required to oversee the client. A way to ensure you are only attracting favorable clients is by targeting your marketing practices to areas where you initially found your good clients or by raising your fees.

Consultants Are Only Good … When They Are GREAT

With business processes and technologies becoming more complex and efficient, there is also a very large learning curve that comes along with such improvements. It is very important that your firm does not cut corners when it comes to solutions and services offered by consultants. Furthermore, it is equally important to ensure you are working with a knowledgeable team that specializes in the legal and professional services industry. With time sensitive tasks, it is imperative to have a team on call for your firm's software solutions. You want to ensure that the tools you are employing to run your firm efficiently do not become problematic simply due to a lack of understanding and training. So let the professionals help you achieve higher user adoption and return on investment.

There are numerous other revenue boosting or cost cutting strategies utilized by firms. These are simply a few that can give your firm the jumpstart it needs to finish the quarter strong. Having a big picture view in terms of where your investment dollars are going can save you heaps of money or help generate revenue in the long run.

OLAP Vision

OLAP Vision is an innovative technology company delivering solutions for mid to large law and professional services firms. OLAP Vision's flagship product, xcelerate, is the only Excel and Web-based Budgeting and Forecasting application built specifically for legal and PSO industries with integration for 3E and Enterprise. As exclusive partners to Thomson Reuters Elite, OLAP Vision provides Budgeting and Financial Reporting expertise. Its team members created the Elite Clarity Budgeting and Financial Reporting product and literally wrote the book on implementation best practices and upgrade methodologies. Leveraging insight and industry-specific best practices, OLAP Vision helps firms increase efficiency, saving time and money. Click here for more information.

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