How workflows can save conveyancing firms time and money

Article by Craig Matthews. Chair of the LSSA and CEO of Osprey Approach.

In his Budget statement on 3 March 2021, the Chancellor confirmed the extension of the stamp duty holiday until the end of September 2021. While the extension of the tax relief has been welcomed in some quarters, conveyancing firms – already struggling to deal with a spike in new instructions – should lean on workflow technology now more than ever, says Craig Matthews, Chair of the LSSA and CEO of Osprey Approach.

The stamp duty holiday has given the legal profession a much-needed boost in recent months, although some conveyancing firms have had to turn work away, with the surge in new transactions proving operationally difficult for those who have staff on furlough and others working remotely.

There’s little doubt that the conveyancing sector should lean more heavily on technology to meet the new demands of clients, who are expecting a quicker and more transparent experience than ever. With several digital touchpoints and processes, law firms spend a considerable amount of resource completing admin tasks; workflows can help to adopt a more streamlined process that boosts client satisfaction.

Eight key benefits of workflows for law firms

Ease workload pressures

Workflows provide fee earners with the tools needed to complete tasks quicker and easier, eliminating the need to spend more time manually writing reminders, building documents, and chasing clients. They provide a simple way of checking on the process of a case and help to automate those repetitive and time-consuming email chases or key date reminders.

Save money

From the reduction in both administration time and duplication of work, conveyancing firms can focus on building client relationships, which increases recommendation rates and securing new clients by nurturing enquires.

Conveyancing practices have reaped the benefits of using workflows by creating automated communication with referrers. It’s no secret that a good deal of fee earner time is spent updating all parties involved in a transaction via telephone, which are sometimes misinterpreted. By automating this aspect of the transaction, considerable time savings can be realised.

Improve accuracy, reduce risk and stay compliant

Workflows enable firms to build compliant and risk-free processes to improve the accuracy of the documents created and the communications sent to clients.

Firms can ensure key actions are listed, documents and communications are templated and standard compliance tasks are automated, which helps to ensure vital information is set out and not forgotten. By building these solid foundations to your processes, conveyancing practices have confidence that everyone is following the right procedures while preventing data protection breaches.

Stay in control

Workflows create confidence in the processes that staff follow; templates can be agreed and approved beforehand, meaning everyone is working from the same documents. This provides senior partners and management with improved control over processes and increased matter visibility, which helps to manage a firm’s reputation management and client satisfaction.

Keep track of cases – digitally

Missing key dates has serious repercussions, but a workflow will ensure that matters and dates are dealt with on time. Fee earners can easily see the status of a client matter as the workflow highlights the completed and outstanding tasks. This can become a digital to-do list and actions within a task can automatically set reminders into Outlook, helping to ease the pressure of remembering key dates or manually setting reminders – particularly beneficial for fee earners who are overseeing a colleague’s client files.

“We were doing the work of ten people during lockdown, so workflows and document production were an absolute lifesaver – making our tasks three times faster every day. With the workload we have experienced recently, I don’t know where I’d start without them.”

Kelly Cirillo, Managing Partner, Preuveneers LLP

Go paperless

Fee earners can work anytime, anywhere, without the need for physical files. Workflows, within a case management software solution, help to digitally manage matters, which removes the need for paper waste and printing costs. Firms can remove their reliance on physical files and focus instead on an agile, adaptable, and flexible approach. Accessing a sole source of reliable data from any location will ensure that firms can continue to operate whenever or wherever they choose.

Win and secure new clients

With the business efficiencies created by workflows, firms benefit from increased confidence in their ability to win clients, while being able to keep on top of several moving parts within a case, which increases their capacity to take on more new clients.

Enhanced client service

Having greater visibility of cases in-house means firms can communicate more effectively with clients, which ensures a quicker and more reliable service. Clients will benefit from being up to date on their matters since they are aware of what deadlines need to be met, while fee earners meet the required regulations and don’t have to spend time following up with clients.

Where law firms offer a client-facing web portal, the enhancements to service increase further. Clients can enter their own information and run validation checks in the portal and then their workflows take that information to build documents and upload them to the portal when necessary. This helps the client to be self-sufficient and enables them to check on progress and access documents without the need to call and enquire.

A final word on workflows

Workflows are created to replace every day – often mundane – and expensive administration that comes with running a law firm.

Utilising technology to automate conveyancing processes gives conveyancing firms a competitive advantage while enabling them to be flexible and adaptable, helping them to take on future challenges with ease.

Craig Matthews is Chair of the LSSA and CEO of Osprey Approach, which provides cloud-based case management software to high-street, corporate and multi-branch law firms. With over 30 years experience in the legal software sector, Osprey’s system, implementation, and support services are designed to help make running a law firm easier