FM 2: Financial Information & Analysis (October 12 - November 16, 2021)

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Includes a Live Event on 10/12/2021 at 1:30 PM (CDT)

Do the complexities of financial information and analysis keep you up at night? This interactive, online program will focus on the budgeting, financial reporting, analysis of cash flow, model building, and variance within a law firm. You will be guided to apply the skills gained in the course by interpreting financial statements, calculating and interpreting various financial ratios, conducting profit analyses, and analyzing comparative financial information across fiscal years. Case studies, lectures, videos, readings, and assessments will be used. Topics include automated financial management systems, alternative fee arrangements, financial controls, computer-based tools for financial analysis and management, client matter budgeting, and electronic billing. The following is an outline of the topics:

  • Week 1: Automated Systems
  • Week 2: Financial Methods & Investments
  • Week 3: Financial Analysis Methods
  • Week 4: Budgeting & Variance Analysis
  • Week 5: AFAs
  • Week 6: e-Tools & Billing

 The live lessons will be held on Tuesdays from 1:30-2:30 p.m. Central Time. These lessons will also be recorded for on-demand access.

Audience Level

Intermediate

Course Textbook

A textbook is NOT required for this course. All reading materials will be provided.

Cancellation Policy

All cancellations must be made in writing and submitted via email to elearning@alanet.org. The following cancellation fee scales will apply:

  • After registration but prior to 50% penalty date: $125 fee
  • Four weeks before start of the course: 50% of fee paid
  • Two weeks before the start of the course and thereafter: No refund 

Key:

Complete
Failed
Available
Locked
FM 2 Week 0 Introduction
Make 1 discussion post to continue.
Make 1 discussion post to continue. Welcome to the FM 2 Course: Financial Information & Analysis 2021. Post your responses to the following pre-class questions. 1. Your current job title or position. 2. Number of years you have been in that position. 3. How many attorneys are at your firm? 4. In what type of law firm do you work, or what is the largest area of law at your firm (e.g., plaintiff firm, defense firm, in-house, government agency or other)? 5. The reason you registered for the FM 2 Course: Financial Information & Analysis 2021. 6. What you are hoping to get out of this course.
FM 2 Week 1 Reading 1
Select the "Read" button to begin.
Select the "Read" button to begin. This is an online reading, "Financial System Selection Series" from ILTA. Note: currently you must have an ILTA membership to access these resources. We are working on a better system.
FM 2 Week 1 Reading 2
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource. Download and read "Accelerating Receivables for Greater Profitability," attached.
FM 2 Week 1: Automated Systems
10/12/2021 at 1:30 PM (CDT)   |  60 minutes
10/12/2021 at 1:30 PM (CDT)   |  60 minutes This lesson will focus on automated systems, including the capabilities, features and customization of legal accounting systems.
FM 2 Week 1 Assignment
Make 1 discussion post to continue.
Make 1 discussion post to continue. Choose an A/R management technique you believe would increase A/R collections. Explain your rationale in 300-500 words.
FM 2 Week 1 Quiz
10 Questions  |  3 attempts  |  60 minute limit  |  7/10 points to pass
10 Questions  |  3 attempts  |  60 minute limit  |  7/10 points to pass
FM 2 Week 2 Reading
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource. Read "Law Firm Marketing: What’s the ROI?"
FM 2 Week 2: Financial Methods & Investments
10/19/2021 at 1:30 PM (CDT)   |  60 minutes
10/19/2021 at 1:30 PM (CDT)   |  60 minutes This lesson will focus on financing methods and investments, including depreciation, leasing vs. buying, lines of credit and return on investment (ROI) analysis.
FM 2 Week 2 Assignment
Make 1 discussion post to continue.
Make 1 discussion post to continue. Complete the following capital lease calculation. Using the following lease terms, calculate the table for the entire five-year period showing beginning value, interest, payment, principal and ending value for each year. Show the journal entries for the initial recording, lease payment, and depreciation during the first year of the lease. Lease Terms Given: PV = $50,000; Lease Period = 5 years; RV = $1,841.08; Annual Lease Payment = $11,543.22; Interest Rate = 6%
FM 2 Week 2 Quiz
10 Questions  |  3 attempts  |  60 minute limit  |  7/10 points to pass
10 Questions  |  3 attempts  |  60 minute limit  |  7/10 points to pass
FM 2 Week 3 Reading 1
Select the "Read" button to begin.
Select the "Read" button to begin. This is an online reading, "Law Firm Invoices Model Mobile Phone Billing Plan"
FM 2 Week 3 Reading 2
Select the "Read" button to begin.
Select the "Read" button to begin. This is an online reading, "Essential Practices Management Reports for Small Law Firms"
FM 2 Week 3 Reading 3
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource. Download and read "Calculating Profitability," attached here.
FM 2 Week 3: Financial Analysis Methods
10/26/2021 at 1:30 PM (CDT)   |  60 minutes
10/26/2021 at 1:30 PM (CDT)   |  60 minutes This lesson will focus on financial analysis methods, including profitability calculations and analysis, cost accounting, operating efficiency, contribution to overhead and profit.
FM 2 Week 3 Assignment
Make 1 discussion post to continue.
Make 1 discussion post to continue. Pick one component of rules that you believe to be the most important. Specify how you would like to see your firm capitalize on that specific component.
FM 2 Week 3 Quiz
10 Questions  |  3 attempts  |  60 minute limit  |  7/10 points to pass
10 Questions  |  3 attempts  |  60 minute limit  |  7/10 points to pass
FM 2 Week 4: Budgeting & Variance Analysis
11/02/2021 at 1:30 PM (CDT)   |  60 minutes
11/02/2021 at 1:30 PM (CDT)   |  60 minutes This lesson will focus on budgeting and variance analysis, including financial reporting, steps to determine profit/loss, assets vs. liabilities, capital and cash flow analysis.
FM 2 Week 4 Assignment
Make 1 discussion post to continue.
Make 1 discussion post to continue. Choose one type of budgeting discussed in class and define it. Write a paragraph (300-500 words) trying to convince your Executive Director why this type of budgeting you researched would be the most beneficial to your firm.
FM 2 Week 4 Quiz
10 Questions  |  3 attempts  |  60 minute limit  |  7/10 points to pass
10 Questions  |  3 attempts  |  60 minute limit  |  7/10 points to pass
FM 2 Week 5 Reading 1
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource. Read "Legal Lean - The Eight Wastes"
FM 2 Week 5 Reading 2
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource. Read "Ethical Principles AFAs"
FM 2 Week 5: Alternate Fee Arrangements (AFAs)
11/09/2021 at 1:30 PM (CST)   |  60 minutes
11/09/2021 at 1:30 PM (CST)   |  60 minutes This lesson will focus AFAs, including types of AFAs, hourly fees, realization analysis and repetitive legal transactions.​
FM 2 Week 5 Assignment
Make 1 discussion post to continue.
Make 1 discussion post to continue. Choose one of the eight wastes you feel your law firm could do more effectively and discuss why and how you could potentially improve the situation. Write a paragraph of 300-500 words explaining your perspective.
FM 2 Week 5 Quiz
10 Questions  |  3 attempts  |  60 minute limit  |  7/10 points to pass
10 Questions  |  3 attempts  |  60 minute limit  |  7/10 points to pass
FM 2 Week 6 Reading
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource. Read "Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)"
FM 2 Week 6: KPIs and Billing
11/16/2021 at 1:30 PM (CST)   |  60 minutes
11/16/2021 at 1:30 PM (CST)   |  60 minutes This lesson will focus on electronic tools and billing, including financial, analytical and reporting software, cost allocation methods, LEDES industry standardized activity, task structure and electronic billing and policies.
FM 2 Week 6 Assignment
Make 1 discussion post to continue.
Make 1 discussion post to continue. Choose one of the key performance indicators discussed in class: Asset Management, Practice Development, Resource Management, Production Statistics, Financials Statements, or Profitability Analysis. Break down in detail what types of items you would need to look at in order to properly analyze that area of your law firm. Post your response.
FM 2 Week 6 Quiz
10 Questions  |  3 attempts  |  60 minute limit  |  7/10 points to pass
10 Questions  |  3 attempts  |  60 minute limit  |  7/10 points to pass
Final Submission Agreement
Agree to terms to continue.
Agree to terms to continue.
Credit
6.00 hours CE credits  |  Certificate available
6.00 hours CE credits  |  Certificate available

Completing both FM 1 and FM 2 courses gives you access to the Legal Management Finance Specialist Certificate Program

CLM Credits

Meet minimum course requirements and earn 6 hours of credit towards your CLM application or recertification requirements:

  • Functional Specialists: 18 hours in Financial Management
  • CLM Recertification: 18 hours in Financial Management

Course Requirements

Each course has a start and end date. To receive the course completion certificate and CLM credits, all weekly assignments must be completed and quizzes passed with a score of 70% or higher by the last day of the course.

Lisa A. Waligorski, CLM (Moderator)

Lisa Waligorski, CLM is the Executive Director at Newmeyer & Dillion, LLP. She started her career in a legal assistant/paralegal role, and the past 20+ years have been spent in either an Executive Director or Director of Finance/Controller role.  Her education and background provide experience and knowledge in developing and implementing strategic initiatives, and overseeing organizational operations, finance, human resources, facilities, information technology, and marketing & business development.  Lisa has been a speaker on both law firm accounting and human resources topics.  She has also been an ALA e-learning Law Firm Accounting and Financial Information & Analysis instructor for the past five years.