Mention numbers these days and the talk in the legal market usually turns to 'transparency'. With the rise of the LLP and the trend for firms to report their figures, if only for PR value, the overwhelming sense is that the figures reported in The Lawyer UK 100 Annual Report are more accurate than they've ever been.
Now, thanks to accountant Smith & Williamson, that accuracy has been tested for the first time. The firm took a sample of 15 LLP accounts from firms across the top 100 and measured how much the numbers tallied.
The news? They haven't been fibbing.
Smith & Williamson did find some minor differences. The net profit figure in the top 100 differed from that in the LLP accounts in certain cases, while turnover was also a little out occasionally. It said these could be explained by the year-end results not having been finalised at press time, audit adjustments or the implementation of FRS5 Application Note G.
Overall, though, the figures verify those presented by The Lawyer. It's just worth remembering that, the next time someone tells you "they make it all up anyway", chances are their firm hasn't had a great year.