The importance of good management information
Produced in partnership with Robert Mowbray of Taylor Mowbray LLP
The importance of good management information

The following Practice Management guidance note Produced in partnership with Robert Mowbray of Taylor Mowbray LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • The importance of good management information
  • Why do you need management information?
  • What does good management information look like?
  • How should management information be distributed?
  • Ensuring management information is acted on

This Practice Note provides an understanding of why management information (MI) is needed and how it should be formatted and distributed to achieve:

  1. a change in behaviour of managers, and

  2. improved financial performance

Why do you need management information?

All businesses require MI to:

  1. to track performance against budget, and

  2. identify any deviations away from budget as early as possible

By definition, MI is information on things that the recipient can change. You should not distribute information simply because it is interesting to the reader but because it can be used to improve performance.

Most law firms have been distributing MI for years, yet there may be no real evidence this has improved business efficiency or performance. It might therefore be time to look again at what MI is being distributed and identify improvements.

Before the advent of computers, the vast majority of law firms had very little MI and it was just left to partners to maximise their billings each year. Given that most expenses were fixed, it was not too difficult for a partner to understand the level of fee income required to generate a reasonable level of profit. With developments in IT, it has become easier to prepare and distribute MI. Partners, therefore, often ask for new pieces of information that they think might be useful. In many firms, this means too much information is being distributed and the people receiving it often struggle to see the wood for the trees. It is, in many firms, time to:

  1. cut back dramatically on the volume of information being distributed, and

  2. focus more on the quality of the information being distributed

It is

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