ACC offers this Legal Operations Maturity Model as a reference tool. Use it to benchmark maturity in any given area(s), bearing in mind that priorities and aspirational targets will vary based on department size, staffing and budgets. We have partnered with leading legal service providers to produce the Foundational Toolkit to advance in each of the 14 functions. Members can link to the tools and on-demand webcasts below.

Maturity Model Stages


  • No standard processes in place

  • No budget or budget set by corporate accounting function

  • No metrics and analytics ″ Timing is ad hoc

  • Budget tracked via spreadsheets and/or word tables, if at all

  • No forecasting and accrual accounting

  • No reserves or contingencies set


  • Standard processes exist but are not documented or well known

  • Budget set by central legal operations or corporate accounting function. Legal operations is accountable for spend and budget

  • Metrics and analytics reactive and not centralized

  • Timing is driven by external party (e.g. corporate finance)

  • Budget tracked via spend management system

  • Forecasts done as requested. Accruals done on large matters

  • Reserves and contingencies set on large matters and/or through informal conversations - undocumented


  • Standard processes defined, documented and communicated through published policies and procedures

  • Budgets developed and managed by practice areas and functions, rolling into a department budget managed by Legal and reported to Corporate Finance and Accounting

  • Defined reports, metrics and dashboards distributed according to a defined schedule with assignees and real time data

  • Timing is driven by Legal (in support of corporate calendar) via published, communicated timeline and/or project plan

  • Budget tracked via standardized tools and systems utilized enterprise wide (within Legal)

  • Forecast and accruals standard, automated with technology and according to a defined timeline

  • Reserves and contingencies set via a standard, defined, and defensible process for tracking and reporting reserve recommendations and aggregated legal contingencies

  • Regular budget reviews with the Sr. Leadership team

  • Overarching financial strategy in place

  • Manage, track, report and benchmark key performance indicators (KPIs)

Foundational Tools

Financial Management Budget and GL Accounts
Financial Management Budget and GL Accounts Worksheet

Financial Management Restructure Inhouse
Financial Management Restructure In-house Worksheet

Financial Management Building a Budget
Financial Management Worksheet for Budget Build-up with Initiatives

Financial Management ROI Worksheet
Return on Investment Worksheet

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Legal Operations Maturity Model Series - Evolving Your Financial Management Process
On Demand 60 Minutes
CLE/CPD Credit Available

Watch the Webcast