Control Legal spend & maximize resources with new advanced budget features

David Chai | February 5, 2021 | Articles

We’re excited to help our customers start 2021 with additional tools to help them further control legal spend and maximize resources. Today, we launched powerful new budget features that support the budget process and help simplify some of the most complex aspects of budgeting.

Budget List Page

SimpleLegal supports both internal and external budgets and offers robust functionality to start your budgeting journey or enhance an existing process. Below you’ll find what we just launched as well as other core budget features SimpleLegal offers.

What’s New

  • Budget List Page: Our new Budget List page displays all your budgets in one place and highlights critical budget information, leveraging an easy-to-navigate interface. Filters help you locate specific budgets quickly and easily, and you’ll know the status of a budget at-a-glance!
  • Budget Health Snapshot: The budget health snapshot helps you quickly understand the health of each budget. Has it been exceeded? Still within range? You’ll get a visual understanding of where the budget lies with exact information on approved invoice amounts, pending invoice amounts, accruals, and how much of the budget remains.
  • Budget Permissions: We’ve beefed up security around budgets! Budget permissions now inherit the associated matter’s access permissions – any budget associated with a matter will now only be viewable and editable by those with access to that matter.
  • Budget Locking: Create a budget’s baseline by locking down amounts for draft budgets. As you know, budget estimates often change and this new feature will provide a way for legal teams to compare updated amounts to original amounts, helping Finance better understand the legal department’s expenses.
  • Budget Reforecasting: SimpleLegal will track and highlight budget changes and historical values, making spot checks incredibly easy. Negative budget amounts are now supported – this function can be helpful when a budget adjustment is required to account for a financial settlement, reduced spend forecast, or a refund. All this data – including a full history of changes made – can be exported into a spreadsheet for further review.
  • Archive Budget: You can now archive older budgets to maintain focus on more recent ones, keeping your view of budgets up-to-date and clean. The budget health for archived budgets will continue to update as invoices come into SimpleLegal.

Customers who had early beta access to these new features were thrilled to have more capabilities at their fingertips. They especially like being able to download a budget’s history to see changes over time, control their view of budgets with filters and quickly find what they’re looking for, and archive older budgets to keep their view of budgets clean and recent.

Other key budget features are:

  • Budget Request: Collaborate with your law firms on matter-level budgets, agreeing to budget details before any work is done. Budget Request allows you to send law firms details on a matter and they respond back with what they think it will cost, what they plan to do, as well as any risks and assumptions. Engage with outside counsel early on and gain a better understanding of potential risks before deciding how to proceed.
  • Budget Enforcement: SimpleLegal ensures your law firms are abiding by the financial boundaries you set through budgets. You can set percentage thresholds that automatically flag incoming invoices to provide warnings that the budget is nearly exhausted or auto-reject incoming invoices at certain percentage thresholds to reduce risk.
  • Budget Reports: Our Budget List report allows you to view all your budgets in one place, with budget start and end dates, along with budgeted amounts. For more granular information and to make updates to budgets, check out the Budget Details report. You can also leverage the Budgets vs. Actuals vs. Accruals report to compare budgets against accruals and actuals for a more holistic view of your legal spend.

Whether you’re a budget newcomer or a budget veteran, SimpleLegal’s budgeting features can support your budget process and help remove complexity! For more information on our budgets or how SimpleLegal can help you manage matters, track and interpret spend, and collaborate with vendors and law firms, sign up for a demo!

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