DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary has overhauled its finances as it aims to enhance Anglo-American integration within the firm.
From the new year, the UK arm will alter its internal accounting procedures so that they run from January to December instead of April to March. However, DLA will continue to file its statutory LLP accounts at the end of March.
The Piper Rudnick Gray Cary component will change from reporting its accounts on a cash basis (the norm for US firms) to an accruals basis, which is more typical in the UK and Europe.
Paul Edwards, the chief financial officer at DLA Piper in the UK, said: "It is logically right to change the financial management to a calendar year. It harmonises us with the US as well as many of our clients."
The move, which goes by the nickname "DLA GAAP" internally, will affect all DLA Piper offices located outside the US, bringing them in line with the American part of the firm.
George Bull of the accountancy network Baker Tilly International said the rearrangements will help the firm better compare the profitability of its various parts. "The effective financial management of the firm would be much easier if DLA Piper accounted on the same basis. Otherwise they are comparing apples with pears," he said.
UK firm DLA and US firm Piper Rudnick Gray Cary agreed to a $1.4bn combination at the end of last year, which took effect from 1 January 2005.