FAQs

Your answers to this survey will be kept strictly confidential. Individual firms' data will only be visible to you and any other permitted users from your firm and to Tribal, the survey provider. Users are strongly encouraged to follow best practice regarding the secrecy of their unique login details. Tribal will hold all data in strict confidence. Individual firms' data will not be published or be visible to Law Society of Scotland. Only consolidated and anonymised survey response data will be available to Law Society of Scotland and published in the final consolidated financial benchmarking report. No data which identifies a specific law firm or individual will be published or otherwise shared outside of Tribal.

All data is transferred using SSL (Secure Sockets Layer). SSL is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private and integral.

To add new question: Right click main page and 'create' - select 'expandable list item'

Tribal is a world class, software and services provider, with a market leading benchmarking division that has been operating for over 20 years. Tribal provide the expertise, software and services that enable theircustomers to thrive. Tribal operate internationally and serve customers in over 50 countries. Tribal Benchmarking, the suppliers of the Financial Benchmarking Survey for the Law Society of Scotland, are experts who have successfully carried our benchmarking studies in numerous sectors: universities & colleges, local authorities, careers services, hotels and leisure centres to name a few! The survey and reporting websites are hosted and operated by Tribal and Tribal are responsible for managing and collating the data into a summary report to the profession as a whole, and interactive reports for individual participating firms.

The cost of time survey formed the starting point for this new financial benchmarking survey but we have built on it to include a number of new measures that will be useful and interesting for firms. The name of the survey has been changed as the focus is now much wider than just the “cost of time” but rather financial benchmarking of Scottish law firms as a whole

In seeking to appoint the best supplier for the financial benchmarking survey it was necessary to undertake a full procurement process to ensure best value for money. Additionally, as the financial benchmarking survey and reporting websites are new innovations they take time to design, build and test.

Your firm will be able to use your individual, interactive online survey results as a financial healthcheck, to assess your own financial performance and benchmark against others. You will be able to easily view and compare income and costs by size, location or type of firm, a breakdown of your total costs, profitability of different types of work and cashflow management. The Society’s President, Graham Matthews has described it as “a hugely valuable management tool” which “will harness technology to bring your financial data to life”. The results could help with decisions on strategy and budgets, giving context to staff about the firm’s progress or with the firm’s bank manager or accountant.

A consolidated, anonymised report will also be generated on the financial health of Scotland’s legal profession as a whole, driving how the Society tailors its services forfirms and helping the Society negotiate changes to civil court fees and legal aid fees on your behalf.

Yes. The survey is relevant for all different sizes of practice. Each reporting metric will be provided on an “all firms” and “different firm size” basis, meaning you will be able to see how you compare to other sole practitioners. We want as many sole practitioners as possible to complete the survey so that we can provide the most useful benchmarks for you e.g. sole practitioners by region. Certain questions will clearly not be relevant for you, and these questions can be completed with a zero. If you have any questions about this please email lawscot.benchmarking@tribalgroup.com

Yes. The survey is relevant for all different sizes of firm. Each reporting metric will be provided on an “all firms” and “different firm size” basis, meaning you will be able to see how you compare to other large firms / organisations. We want as many large firms as possible to complete the survey so that we can provide the most useful benchmarks for large firms. Given the more sophisticated level of information that we expect large firms to hold, we hope to provide benchmarks for the profitability of different types of business within large firms, for staff costs and for specific types of expenditure e.g. marketing and IT.

The financial benchmarking survey is currently specific to private practice firms / organisations. The appetite for and logistics of producing an in-house version of the survey for future years is being scoped. For example this could allow comparisons of staff numbers, costs and external legal spend. If you have any comments or suggestions regarding this please contact research@lawscot.org.uk

Please refer to the help text for that question by clicking the “i” button next to it. In some instances your answer for that question will be zero.

We ask everyone to complete the survey for the most recent financial year which you have audited annual accounts for. For most firms this will be the financial year ending in 2016. To allow you to compare your results against previous years to see how your firm is progressing, the option to complete the survey for up to two previous years will be available soon. We will email you to explain how to do this.

The survey is online on a secure website and it can be completed by PC, laptop, tablet or smart phone. Alternatively if you would prefer to submit a paper version, please email lawscot.benchmarking@tribalgroup.com to arrange this.

Yes. Click the “save progress” button at any point to save all your answers, then select “Logout”. You can then return later and all of your answers will still be there for you to work on.

You will have lost any changes you made since you last saved progress. The “complete section” button at the bottom of each section automatically saves progress for that section.

Please visit the site as normal and click the ‘Forgotten Password?’ link on the login screen. Instructions on what to do will be given from here.

No, but in the event that you submit the questionnaire in error or become aware of a material inaccuracy in your answers after you have submitted it, then contact  lawscot.benchmarking@tribalgroup.com who will be able to assist.

We are very keen to get your feedback on the survey so it can be improved further next year. To give feedback within the survey you can add your comments to question 7.4 in the “Other info” section at the end. Or if you prefer you can email your feedback comments to lawscot.benchmarking@tribalgroup.com

The survey closes on 12 May 2017 and your firm’s personalised, confidential and interactive benchmarking report will be available in summer. You will receive an email from Tribal with a link to your report once it is ready. The summary, profession-wide report(s) will be available slightly earlier.

Your firm’s personalised, confidential and interactive benchmarking report will be available on Tribal’s secure reporting website. The results will be displayed as charts and tables, showing how your firm benchmarks against other firms and against your own previous year data (if you have provided that). It will be interactive so you can choose which metrics to compare together and reveal how one metric affects another. For example you might plot staff costs against fee income for different types of work to discover your most profitable departments. Our video will give you an idea of how this will look and operate.

Your firm will not be identifiable in the overall “all firms” summary report. In your individual report (available to your firm/organisation only) you will be able to identify only your firm.

Please email lawscot.benchmarking@tribalgroup.com or phone Nick Pidgeon, Project Manager, Tribal Benchmarking on 0115 934 7378.

There is no cost for completing the 2017 survey or for getting the results. Only firms and organisations who complete the survey will be able to receive an individual firm report.

It should take approximately 2-3 hours to complete the survey, provided you have the necessary documents and information to hand: your accounts, Master Policy Proposal Form submission and HR / personnel records. You can save progress at any point and come back to the survey later.

You will need your accounts, HR/personnel records and latest completed Master Policy proposal form.

Yes, you can claim CPD points for the time spent completing the survey. It should take no more than 2-3 hours but this will vary depending on how much previous year data you complete and you may claim up to 3 hours CPD. Please record the time taken as you would normally record CPD time.