Bath-based Virtual Practices, which delivers SOS Connect case and practice management software as a service (SaaS) to law firms, has added Scottish cash management to its outsourced legal cashiering service. Glasgow-based Cameron Macaulay Solicitors is the first Scottish law firm to subscribe.

Following a sabbatical from the business and time for reflecting upon the best way for a lawyer to survive and prosper in the modern, post-Legal Services (Scotland) Act market, managing partner Malcolm Cameron has set up his new operation to rely on outsourced services as far as possible, including IT.  An independent evaluation of software as a service (SaaS) suppliers of legal software led Mr Cameron to Virtual Practices from a short-list which also included IRIS and GB Systems (now also part of IRIS). Virtual Practices was established to give start-ups and smaller firms access to case and practice management software on a monthly subscription model. In addition, Virtual Practices offers an outsourced legal cashiering service which means that the small firm can avoid the costs of employing a legal cashier. 

Compliance with cash management reporting requirements in Scotland is more onerous than in England and changes were required to the software. Stephen Parry, business development director at Virtual Practices explained: ”The daily end of day reporting requirements in Scotland place stringent demands on law firms. Even the smallest practice would usually need to employ a legal cashier to ensure that the requirements are met. However due to the flexible, underlying architecture of SOS Connect, we were able to very rapidly add features which generate the reports automatically, effectively removing this administrative burden.”  

Malcolm Cameron commented: “The software as a service model also takes care of back-ups, business continuity and file storage and provides round the clock access, but the single most important benefit that makes this service exceptional is the legal cashiering. All I have to do is enter the credit and debit vouchers into the system and everything else transpires on time and completely accurately.”

“Software as a service – or cloud computing – is no longer theoretical,” says Cameron. “The technology has reached a point where it is truly transformational in providing the smaller firm with a more profitable business model. I have saved around 25 hours a month which is now available for remunerative work and can organise the business around client service and quality. I have reduced overheads by over 80% and have the luxury of time to make service quality the cornerstone of my practice.”