Working cross-functionally: legal ops & finance
Today’s post is the third installment of our working cross-functionally blog series! We’ve explored the relationship between legal operations and sales, legal operations and IT, and will be highlighting the partnership between legal operations and finance in this post.
With spend management being a key area of focus for legal operations professionals, cost savings are often seen as low-hanging fruit where the quickest results can be achieved. Implementing billing guidelines, opening lines of communication with law firms and relationship partners, as well as working closely with finance are all ways control spend and stick to to departmental budgets.
Specifically, legal operations can work with finance to:
- Prepare month and year-end budgets
- Report on the status of finances to stakeholders
- Provide reliable accrual data for more predictability into spend
- Ensure compliance with financial requirements and SOX
Achieving Operational Efficiencies through Integration
One way for legal operations to enhance collaboration between their department and finance is to connect the technologies that each department uses, facilitating faster payment of invoices, efficient information share, increased spend transparency, and fewer manual processes and errors.
For example, one of our customers had a non-existent accrual process that was making it impossible for finance to close the books and resulted in unreliable legal spend reporting. When it came time to introduce a legal operations platform into the picture, the General Counsel and legal operations team went straight to finance to understand pain points. This ensured a plan was developed that would meet the needs of each key stakeholder involved while helping prevent potential issues from cropping up.
Interested in Learning More?
There are many ways that working directly with finance can benefit your organization as a whole – and maybe even make your job a bit easier. To learn more about working cross-functionally, read our latest whitepaper: Legal Operations 101: A Blueprint for Modern Legal Departments.
We’ll be exploring this topic more in the coming weeks, so be sure to subscribe to our legal ops blog for our next post in the series as well as other legal operations news and knowledge!