A legal cashier handles the finances of a solicitor’s practice or law firm. The term ‘legal cashier’ is in common use in England and Wales, however, terms such as legal accountant, financial controller, or legal accounts manager are also used.

Legal cashiers typically work within a firm’s finance team and will be tasked with processing account transactions. The majority of the work requires strict adherence to the SRAs Accounts Rules. These can be found on the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) website.

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What does a legal cashier do?

Day-to-day duties might include:

  • Taking responsibility for a company’s financial matters and interests.
  • Consulting with clients, law firms, and businesses on financial concern.
  • Scrutinising large transactions.
  • Assisting in the planning of a business or client’s financial strategies.
  • Recording all transactions in the appropriate manner.
  • Dealing with clients when receiving payments.
  • Keeping track of all banking on a daily basis and managing the accounts system.
  • Dealing with all invoices and ensuring they are paid on time.
  • Ensuring the efficient operation of the firms PAYE scheme.

What qualifications do you need to become a legal cashier?

There are no set qualifications for becoming a legal cashier. The Institute of Legal Finance & Management (ILFM) offer a diploma course that will give you an ILFM (Dip) qualification which is widely recognised. To complete the diploma, you will need  to pass two papers:

  • Basics of Bookkeeping: This will introduce you to double entry bookkeeping and takes a maximum of 18 months to complete.
  • Legal Professionals and the Accounts Rules: This will familiarise you with the SRA Account Rules and their application in the legal industry.

You will receive a certificate on passing these two papers but will need at least two years experience before becoming an associate member of the ILMF.

Practical experience is just as important for proving your ability to prospective employers.

What skills do you need to become a legal cashier?

Working with people: You will need to demonstrate the ability to work as part of a team and maintain professional relationships.

Communication skills: You will need to be able to express yourself both in person and in writing.

Eye for detail: As you will be working with money, you will need to demonstrate a high level of accuracy.

Problem solving: You will need to have sound judgement and demonstrate a logical decision making process when dealing with problems.

Organisation: You should be an orgainsed individual with the ability to manage your own workload.

IT skills: Most of your tasks will be carried out electronically, so you will need a good level of computer literacy, especially with spreadsheet software such as Microsoft Excel.

How much does a legal cashier earn?

On average, legal cashiers can earn around £20,000 per year. Workers in London and the South East can earn as much as £30,000 per year.

What are your career prospects as a legal cashier?

With experience, you will take on more responsibility and could start to manage other legal cashiers. You may be required to train new recruits and help with the interview process.

 

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