Essential Financial Skills Course

Date: 30th August 2022 - 13th September 2022

Time: 09:30 - 11:30

Online via Zoom

CPD Hours: 6hours

This course breaks through financial jargon and helps to interpret account statements and balance sheets. We will also explain budget control and accurate forecasting, effective cost-management, how to understand company accounts and cash flow statements as well as how to make a business case for investment.

This course breaks through financial jargon and helps to interpret account statements and balance sheets.

We will also explain budget control and accurate forecasting, effective cost-management, how to understand company accounts and cash flow statements as well as how to make a business case for investment.

6 CPD hours made up from 3 sessions:
Session 1 - Tuesday 30 August 2022 at 9:30am - 11:30am
Session 2 - Tuesday 6 September 2022 at 9:30am - 11:30am 
Session 3 - Tuesday 13 September 2022 at 9:30am - 11:30am 

About the course

The Essential Financial Skills Course is recommended for solicitors working in private practice who have, or are about to take on, responsibility for the finances and budget of their department, work closely on transactions with finance colleagues or who want to understand more about their organisation’s financial strategy. Whether you have recently taken on budgetary responsibilities for the first time or wish to broaden you financial knowledge, our course will give you the tools required to operate confidently and competently when undertaking finance tasks. The course has a limited number of places (18) and aims to encourage attendees in a safe environment to better understand the financial practices of law firms of all scale.

  • Understand the make up of the Profit & Loss Sheet
  • Understand the make up of the Balance Sheet
  • Appreciate why variances occur
  • Understand the relationship between WIP & Fees and Cash
  • Understand the importance of cash flow management
  • Recognise when cost constraints are essential

Reduced rate (Trainees, new members, accredited paralegals)

  • £245 + VAT
  • £195 + VAT (more than one place)

Member rate

  • £295 + VAT
  • £245 + VAT (more than one place)

Non-member rate

  • £345 + VAT
  • £295 + VAT (more than one place)

Law Society Scotland staff rate

  • £147.50 + VAT

To book more than one place email


Scott was, until his recent retirement, a Relationship Director in the Royal Bank of Scotland Group. In that role Scott looked after the Legal & Professional Services Customers of the Bank, working closely alongside firms with revenue streams ranging from £1m up to £50- £60m per annum.

He is now consulting with Scottish based Legal and Professional services businesses about their growth ambitions and day to day needs. Scott’s focus is to help firms spend their time where it matters most. With over 25 years of banking and relationship management experience Scott can attest that this is not always as simple as it sounds.

There are few people with Scott’s knowledge and understanding of legal sector finances, and with his singular experience of well run law firms. He is enthusiastic and personable, unfailingly making a positive impact on new partners.

In his free time he enjoys playing golf (not at the level he once did) and spending quality time with family and friends.


"Essential Finance Skills was excellent. Scott Foster engaged us in a very practical and accessible introduction/overview."

"Very informative - was great to have an example of accounts to go through, really brought the training to life."

"Scott Foster is a fantastic presenter of such training in terms of his knowledge, skill and inclusive approach."

"Scott was an excellent host and was very personable. He made a potentially dry subject very interesting."

"Scott was very knowledgeable and open to questions offline."

"Breaking the course down into three shorter sessions seemed a more effective way of delivering the content of the course rather than attending a single six hour session. It's also easier to build around existing business requirements."

"Practical and interesting course. A must for any lawyer who needs to understand firm finances."

"Scott was extremely knowledgable and very good at explaining things in a straightforward and easy to understand way, particularly for someone with limited exposure to accounts to date."

"Terrific management course which was both informative and practical."

    • As a first principal let us get an understanding of the financial jargon. What phrases do you hear that you would like this course to clarify? Why is jargon used? Do they use jargon when speaking to clients and colleagues in their own law practice?
    • How to interpret accounts, profit & loss statements and balance sheets
    • Use of a Case Study FIBS LLP
    • Identify what numbers in these accounts you would interrogate and discuss if this was your firm (requires good audience participation to be effective)
    • Company Reports and Accounts: What to do with them when you’ve got them! Why produce them who are they relevant for?
    • Key accounting ratios: What red lights are going off? How much time do we have to fix? What capacity or resource do we have at our disposal?
    • Company valuations and acquisitions: Expanding organic growth or bolt on to the practice?

    • How to construct a budget. What do we understand by a budget? Why have one? Who should set it? What type of budget should be a resource driven budget? What do I mean by that?
    • Components of operational and sales budgets: What are the firm's key drivers with a budget? Income 10% up and costs10% down - is it a margin driven budget? Should we operate at 30% net margin? Back in the day - 1/3 overheads, 1/3 staff cost and 1/3 profit for the partners
    • Budgeting for capital expenditure: What is capital expenditure? What is operational expenditure? Why do we worry about capex? IT investment working from home during COVID that is Capex
    • Monitoring and reviewing the budget: Once set what should we do with a budget drop in a drawer, give it to the bank manager and hope it all comes out in the wash? Traffic light review
    • Forecasting, forecasting aids and interpreting the trends PESTE issues. Internal market. Competition

    Effective cost management:

    • Cost types and behaviours, impact of decisions
    • What is a cash flow? Why produce one in the first place
    • What is a rolling CFF
    • Direct and indirect costs
    • How costs and profit are determined
    • Importance of credit control and managing cash flows

    • Why do we need to invest?
    • Different types of investment
    • Making a business case for investment
    • Financial criteria required


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