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Chief Financial Officer – Michelman & Robinson Law Firm—Los Angeles, CA

Job Title:

Chief Financial Officer




Finance & Accounting


Los Angeles


Reporting Relationships

The Chief Financial Officer will report to the Firm Managing Partner and will work closely with the Firm Chairman and executive management team


Direct Reports

The Chief Financial Officer will manage an accounting and billing team of seven employees


Position Summary

The Chief Financial Officer is accountable for all aspects of the firm’s finance and accounting operations; contributes to the financial and strategic leadership of the firm; ensures optimal department effectiveness through on-going professional development and continuous process improvement, financial data integrity and reporting, and assisting in the management of the firm’s overall financial performance.


The Chief Financial Officer is responsible for the following functional areas: accounts payable, banking and outside CPA relationships, billing and collections, budgeting and performance monitoring, business and professional liability insurance, cash and treasury management, conflicts of interest administration, employee payroll and partner compensation, escrow and trust account administration, independent financial review and tax engagements, financial planning, analysis and reporting, general accounting, pension and benefits accounting, tax administration, planning, filing and compliance.


Duties & Responsibilities

Financial Leadership:

  • Oversee the development and implementation of the firm’s annual revenue and expense budgets; keep senior management apprised of the firm’s financial performance on a regular basis; identify areas of concern and recommend strategies for improvement, including items to consider for future financial planning and budgeting
  • Evaluate and advise senior management on the fiscal impact of the firm’s five-year business plan, strategic recruiting and business development plans, capital expenditure and financing alternatives, and operational decisions and initiatives
  • Assist senior management on the firm’s tax strategy and advise on any reporting requirements related to current and future financial dealings
  • Develop and implement appropriate strategies to optimize financial performance and manage cash flow to accomplish the firm’s short and long-term goals and objectives
  • Provide leadership and direction to Finance & Accounting Department managers and staff regarding significant financial and operational decisions impacting the firm
  • Monitor internal and external business factors and their potential impact on the firm’s financial position, including the ability to fund on-going operations and/or future capital expenditures
  • Participate in the firm’s growth and expansion efforts through evaluation and modeling of lateral acquisition opportunities


Operations Management:

  • Oversee and manage Finance & Accounting Department managers and staff; provide leadership, direction, mentoring and training within the department
  • Ensure adherence to established accounting principles, industry and firm standards, ethical requirements related to client billing, escrow and trust account administration and reporting, and other financial obligations under the supervision of the firm
  • Implement and maintain required internal financial and operational controls; oversee the firm’s compliance reviews, independent audit/financial reviews and specific purpose audits by financial institutions, regulatory agencies, and clients
  • Oversee the firm’s billing operations, assuring accurate and timely billing with appropriate attorney and staff support
  • Oversee the firm’s administration of conflicts of interest screening and review; assuring that potential conflicts have been appropriately identified, vetted, and cleared prior to opening a new client/matter
  • Serve as primary liaison with outside CPA
  • Ensure compliance with all legal and regulatory financial/tax requirements and reporting; oversee handling of independent tax engagements for return preparation, tax filing and implementation of approved tax strategies and methods
  • Estimate and pay taxes to appropriate agencies on a timely basis
  • Direct cash flow management to minimize borrowing requirements. Ensure timely payment to firm creditors to maintain firm creditworthiness and standing
  • Oversee and monitor collections activities, including risk of payment (“ROP”) administration, reporting and follow-up to ensure collection of cash receipts
  • Monitor and track all firm assets, including adding new assets for insurance coverage
  • Establish and maintain all banking relationships in consultation with senior management
  • Annually review risk management strategy and insurance coverage limits with senior management
  • Evaluate and procure appropriate professional liability, property, workers compensation, cybersecurity, and other related business insurance coverage
  • Set-up and ensure business licenses for each office are current and posted
  • Oversee processing of staff payroll and associated reporting requirements
  • Oversee processing of partner compensation, including tracking of client origination fees, ensuring conformity with firm policies and compliance with all pertinent financial and tax reporting statements and guidelines
  • Oversee administration and funding of firm’s cash balance and 401(k) pension plans
  • Oversee and direct treasury activities including the firm’s electronic receipts and payments; institute and ensure appropriate controls and fraud detection policies are in place
  • Partner with Chief Operating Officer on the implementation and optimization of firm financial and billing systems, accounting process automation, process enhancements, system security and controls and setting up the appropriate segregation of duties and responsibilities within each system
  • Ensure timely, accurate reporting of all relevant financial and billing data, including KPIs, and customized reports for senior management, department heads and other leadership team members
  • Evaluate, recommend, and implement enhanced reporting mechanisms to include dashboards and easily accessible data for legal staff and firm leadership



  • Enhance, develop, implement, and enforce firm policies and procedures to improve overall financial and operational effectiveness.
  • Ensure appropriate level of uniformity of accounting practices across all firm offices, taking into consideration specific location and equity partner requirements.
  • Provide leadership in promoting and maintaining firm culture and commitment to internal and external client service. Develop and mentor high quality, diverse professional staff.
  • Maintain confidentiality of firm/client matters.


Experience & Qualifications


  • Qualifications in professional services or legal industry accounting operations required
  • Minimum of 10 years of accounting operations management experience, including 5+ years of senior-level management experience
  • Thorough understanding of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and standard General Ledger and reporting functions, including in-depth financial analysis
  • Extensive experience utilizing and optimizing enterprise level financial, accounting, and associated reporting systems. Familiarity with electronic billing systems, business analysis tools and the ability to stay current on tools/systems emerging to continually enhance automation and efficiency
  • Proven ability to enhance strategic firm relationships, including relationships with clients, service providers, partners, and employees
  • Thorough understanding and knowledge of legal ethical rules, guidelines and compliance issues relating to client representations and engagements
  • Experience with mergers/acquisitions
  • Superior communication skills coupled with the ability to make effective and persuasive presentations on complex topics. Skilled in executive-level presentations using oral and written formats
  • Ability to analyze complex business problems, propose effective solutions and understand and apply business vision and direction
  • Superior analytical, organizational, decision making and project management skills 
  • Must be able to work in a fast-paced environment with demonstrated ability to coordinate multiple competing tasks and demands and work under tight deadlines 
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective relationships with senior executives, partners, managers, staff, and employees
  • Proven understanding of multi-state accounting and partnership tax requirements. An active CPA license is highly preferred


Management & Leadership Skills


  • Demonstrates a high level of confidentiality, diplomacy, and discretion due to the extremely sensitive nature of much of this work. Must be able to respond effectively to sensitive inquiries or complaints
  • A motivated and motivational leader with excellent interpersonal and influencing skills who delegates effectively and who can engage others (team, peers, and firm leaders) to participate in accomplishing goals for the firm 
  • Demonstrated ability to create momentum, drive innovation, and foster organizational change
  • Highly collaborative with the ability to lead as well as serve as a team member of cross-department initiatives. Must be able to interact with individuals at all levels of the organization
  • Excellent critical thinking, problem solving and decision making skills


Personal Characteristics

  • Collegial and consensus-building, with a high degree of emotional intelligence
  • Demonstrates resilience and solidarity after debate
  • Well-organized and sufficiently methodical such that others can easily follow
  • Analytical, intellectually curious, and motivated to seek out answers and solutions
  • Ability to identify and find unique solutions to both simple and complex problems
  • Energetic and enthusiastic
  • Proactive and self-directed

    Adaptable and flexible

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