Joanne Smith

Accounts Manager


an image of Joanne Smith, a Butcher & Barlow LLP employee

I am the firm’s Accounts Manager and I am a member of the ILFM (Institute of Legal and Finance Management).

My Primary role within the firm is organising and supervising my team of four Cashiers and one Credit Controller to ensure the accurate recording of the many thousands of transactions processed, on behalf of our ten offices, each year.

In addition, I run month end routines and produce management information and budgets used to monitor the performance of the firm and it constituent parts. I work closely with the Director of Finance & Compliance, Rob Freeman, supporting him in his role. I manage the payroll within the firm liaising closely with the Practice Manager, Phyllis Templeman and the Partner who deals with employee contracts, Justin Kelly. I deal with the VAT and PAYE online filing and payment.

I conduct accounts training for all new recruits at the firm and provide assistance to Fee Earners and support staff in using the accounting system. I am the person primarily responsible for providing the final clearance thereby allowing funds to be paid from the client bank account.

My career in legal accounting started during the 1990s when I commenced working as a Junior Cashier with a commercial law firm in Manchester city centre. Three years later I took up a more senior role in another city centre firm before leaving to have my daughter. A year later I returned to work with yet another city centre firm before I decided to move out of the city and took up a role with ”Quill”, the legal accounting services, outsource, provider. My role at Quill developed and I was soon responsible for concurrently managing the outsourced accounting functions for seven firms of solicitors.

During 2007 I decided to leave Quill and I joined one of their major clients, Butcher & Barlow, as a Legal Cashier and deputy to the then Head Cashier. In 2013 I was promoted to Head Cashier and subsequently to Accounts Manager.

The experience I have gained over the past twenty years has given me a very good insight into the working of computerised (now cloud based) accounting systems and I am fastidious in ensuring that Butcher & Barlow complies with the Solicitors Accounts Rules and that the firm’s management has the information they require to ensure the firm is run properly and profitably.

Outside of work I enjoy travelling, both with my family and friends and tend to take lots of short breaks, particularly on the Cornish Coast. When I’m not travelling I enjoy reading and supporting our local landlord’s retirement fund!