Study Analyzes Challenges and Opportunities in Law Firm Invoice Processing

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Study commissioned by InvoicePrep shows law firms are increasingly challenged by the increased use of electronic invoicing systems and lacking necessary data to improve business

A recent Study commissioned by InvoicePrep and conducted by Toni Forge of CLM Advisors identified many law firm challenges associated with the increased use of electronic invoicing systems. The majority of law firms reported recent increases in both the size of their billing departments and the number of hours timekeepers spend on invoice-related activities. Firms reported that if they could reallocate those resources they would focus more on servicing clients and developing new business.

The Study shows that the range of insurance defense firm revenues typically flowing through e-billing systems is between 45 and 65 percent. Additionally, 65 percent of the firms reported that they prepare invoices for five or more separate e-billing platforms, many of which are customized for different clients. Almost every Study participant (98 percent) reported having a pre-bill review process in place, requiring the time of a partner, supervisor or office manager. Many commented that the pre-bill process is more complex and time-consuming than ever before. Additional time is spent on invoice appeals and adjustments. Thirty-two percent of participants reported spending five hours or more per month on such adjustments and appeals activity. Another 10 percent reported spending 12 hours or more.

Firms reported that almost all clients use different billing guidelines. As a result, the process for ensuring that invoices are compliant is a common source of frustration. Eighty-four percent of respondents said they receive no data and metrics back from their clients when clients compile data about their firm through their e-billing systems. Without this aggregate data, respondents felt they lacked the information needed to change their billing practices in order to improve guideline compliancy. Many firms felt that more metrics and data would provide them with a stronger ability to distinguish their firm in a competitive environment.

Other key findings from the Study include:

  •     Only 8 percent of firms report receiving information from their clients that is helpful to improving overall invoice preparation practices.
  •     Law firm investments in larger billing teams and increased pre-bill review processes have not been as effective as the firms might have hoped; overall adjustments have not decreased.
  •     Seventy-four percent of firms find it more difficult to get an invoice paid now than three years ago.
  •     A full 30 percent of firms reported overall adjustments to their invoices in excess of 5 percent. Fourteen percent reported overall adjustments over 9 percent.
  •     Only 4 percent of respondents knew where they stand on their clients’ comparative adjustment rankings.

“With the increased scrutiny on invoices and increasing levels of investment, both staff and process, required to navigate the challenges, the current situation is not optimal in terms of business environment and business effectiveness for law firms,” comments Forge. “Without a change in direction by law firms, such as engaging external expert help, hiring more qualified billing staff versus junior level personnel or using better invoice preparation software, law firms will continue to be frustrated and challenged in their efforts to ensure maximum compliance with their clients’ e-billing software platforms and billing guidelines.”
To receive a copy of the study, contact Wayne Nykyforchyn at wayne@invoiceprep.com.

About InvoicePrep
InvoicePrep helps law firms prepare invoices that meet their clients’ e-billing and litigation management guidelines. When invoices are prepared properly, payment is more prompt and the number of denied charges decreases. InvoicePrep’s system is streamlined, efficient and uses a combination of cutting-edge technology and professionals with extensive legal invoice compliance and e-billing software knowledge.

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Wayne Nykyforchyn
InvoicePrep
203-856-0662
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