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 Individual firms' data will not be published or be visible to the Law Society of Scotland. Only consolidated and anonymised survey response data will be available to the 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.

Tribal is a global software and services provider, with a market-leading benchmarking division that has been operating for over 20 years. Tribal provides the expertise, software and services that enable its customers to thrive. Tribal operates internationally and serves customers in over 50 countries. Tribal Benchmarking, the supplier of the Financial Benchmarking Survey for the Law Society of Scotland, has successfully carried out benchmarking studies in numerous sectors: universities and colleges, local authorities, careers services, hotels and leisure centres, to name a few. The survey and reporting websites are hosted and operated by Tribal. Tribal is 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 the new financial benchmarking survey last year (2017), 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.

Your firm will be able to use your individual, interactive, online survey results as a financial health check, 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, cash flow 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 for firms.

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, eg 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, eg marketing and IT.

No. The financial benchmarking survey is currently specific to private practice firms/organisations.

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. If you have any questions, please email lawscot.benchmarking@tribalgroup.com.

We ask everyone to complete the survey for the most recent financial year which you have completed annual accounts for. For most firms, this will be the financial year ending in 2017.

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 on the survey via the questionnaire website, you can add your comments after you’ve submitted the questionnaire. Or, if you prefer, you can email your feedback comments to lawscot.benchmarking@tribalgroup.com.

The survey closes on 23 March 2018 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 overall summary report 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. Last year’s results are available here.

Your firm will not be identifiable in the overall 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 2018 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 no more than a couple of hours to complete the survey. It would be useful to have your accounts, Master Policy renewal information and HR/personnel records to hand. 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. You may claim up to three hours’ CPD. Please record the time taken as you would normally record CPD time.