Our client, an AM Law 100 firm is seeking a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to oversee all aspects of the Firm’s financial operations and functions. Based in Los Angeles, this is a senior administrative role that will report to the Chief Operating Officer, working closely with the firm’s Managing Partner, General Counsel, and other officers, including but not limited to Chief Human Resources Officer, Chief Technology Officer, Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer, and Chief Facility and Records Officer.
The CFO enjoys extensive input into the Firm’s strategic direction, and tactical efforts which support that direction. The CFO provides data and advice in connection with a variety of cutting-edge projects, such as Alternative Fee Arrangements, rate negotiations, attorney compensation, competitive intelligence, client team efforts, practice group efforts, and projects designed to position the Firm for financial and operational success.
The CFO is the lead professional within the Firm’s Finance Department, providing counsel, leadership, training, support, feedback, and encouragement to department personnel. The new CFO will work with the current CFO for a period of 12 months prior to the current CFO’s retirement. The current CFO has been with the Firm for 25 years.
Primary Responsibilities: Directs and maintains responsibility for the financial functions of the Firm, acting as a key strategic business advisor.
Maintains and improves the integrity of the firm’s financial practices, and oversees relationships with financial institutions, auditors, and CPAs.
Evaluates, implements, and supports the effectiveness of internal financial controls.
Assists in the implementation of financial and business tactics that further the Firm’s strategic plan, providing support and input to the Managing Partner, Management Committee, Practice Group Leaders, COO, and Firm Officers.
Oversees and participates in cash management, budgeting, billing, collections, vendor payments, payroll, internal and external audits, and retirement plan issues.
Leads and manages a professional staff of 14, including a senior staff which includes an Accounting Manager, a Financial Analyst, a Billing Supervisor, a Payables Supervisor, Accounts Receivable Supervisor, and Collections Supervisor.
Optimizes the performance of the Finance Department, ensuring accurate handling of daily transactions while continuing to provide excellent customer service to the partners, attorneys, and staff.
Hires, trains, evaluates, and develops Finance Department staff.
Performs timely and complex financial analyses in order to provide input on the Firm’s business transactions and strategic initiatives. Creates profitability and cost-benefit analysis reports as well as evaluation of possible lateral combinations.
Prepares and distributes monthly partnership financial reports, including productivity and financial statements. Evaluates effectiveness of the report package and recommends changes as needed.
Monitors trends and performs benchmarking within the legal industry. Provides input, recommendations, and insights to key stakeholders.
Participates in various Firm Committees, including but not limited to Finance, 401(k), Insurance, Risk Management, and in the efforts of the Firm’s seven core Practice Groups.
About the Candidate:
Demonstrated understanding of law firm billing/accounting system software such as Elite Enterprise, Aderant Expert, Whitehill Document Studio, DTE time entry tool, financial statement software FRX, BI software Redwood/Spotlight.
Ten to Fifteen years of experience required; Legal industry preferred.
Strong technical accounting knowledge, including an understanding of GAAP, tax requirements of governmental agencies, and general auditing procedures.
Excellent oral and written communication skills. Must be able to provide clear, precise, and well-substantiated explanations of financial events and trends. Comfortable with presentations to groups of attorneys.
Meticulous attention to detail.
Ability to work well, individually and in teams, with a diverse group of people. Excellent people skills required.
Comfortable and skillful with hands-on approach in situations where tasks and analyses cannot be delegated.
Ability to bring and manage meaningful change and participate in Process Improvement and Project Management initiatives.
Strong leadership and management skills.
Bachelor’s in Accounting, Business Management, or Finance. MBA a plus.