Citing benefits including the ability to better control legal costs, more closely manage outside counsel, and improve operational efficiency, law departments have overwhelmingly insisted that the law firms that serve them submit bills electronically. However, while e-Billing delivers clear advantages for clients, it creates new administrative burdens and compliance challenges for law firms.
Not only must firms manage complexities connected with the specific e-billing standards, formats and processes defined by each client, but they must also ensure that the data they submit complies with client terms of business.
In cases where firm bills do not conform to client guidelines, the entire bill may be rejected until all issues are addressed. The implications of rejection include additional overhead and delays for firms, and even reduced collection rates. One way to solve many of these issues is to identify and address areas of non-compliance before bills are even created by finance.
But given the fact that clients have different rules and standards, this approach creates a new set administrative challenges. It can be difficult, for example, to rely on lawyers working on a constantly-changing set of matters to internalize the billing guidelines for each. What’s needed is a way to automate this validation at the point of entry instead of waiting for bills to be created (or rejected).
The Intapp Solution – Intapp Time
Intapp offers unique governance and compliance capabilities designed to streamline lawyer time recording and enhance firm billing practices. It provides real-time validation of time entries against e-billing guidelines. The net result is that lawyers immediately see when they have recorded time in a way that contradicts defined client terms of business, rather than waiting for finance or e-billing software to flag the error later in the process, and potentially write down or write off activity.
To enable this capability most effectively, Intapp has built an exclusive partnership with eBillingHub, a leader in legal e-billing, to offer integration of client billing rules and protocols from eBillingHub within the lawyer user interface. Firms may also chose to define rules and restrictions directly within the software itself.
Providing lawyers with instant feedback enables them to correct errors in their entries right away, or to adjust their behavior moving forward. It also helps firm finance teams accelerate bill generation and collections.