Businesses today are emphasizing the importance of understanding corporate expenditures and ROI. This, of course, includes outside counsel spend. In-house legal departments are no longer exempt from financial accountability. Like any other department, they are expected to operate like a business unit - complete with predicting costs, adhering to budgets, cutting unnecessary spend and improving inefficiencies.
With this comes more interaction with the CFO, and likely other C-level executives (we’ll dive into best practices here in another post). Taking a more active approach to managing legal matters is a winning strategy adopted by many GCs. But how are they bringing to light processes that can be streamlined and spend that can be spared?
Automate Low-Value Tasks
A common place to start is finding low-value tasks that your high-paying legal professionals are spending valuable time on - and then automating them. Many corporate legal departments are still manually tracking their spend in Excel, reviewing and approving invoices in real red ink, and filing paper contracts. Legal operations software can help.
Even legal departments with solutions that boast ‘streamlined processes’ might still be operating in an inefficient manner, still spending too much time on tasks that should be left for interns. If you feel your current system is clunky, takes too much time, and is far from intuitive, it might be time to see what else is out there. It is important to find the solution that fits your unique business needs, not one that forces you to adhere to particular templates or software limitations.
Unlock Hidden Data with e-Billing and Matter Management
Now that you’ve eliminated a lot of time-consuming functions, it’s time to find inefficiencies in outside legal spend. There is valuable data hidden within the files processed by all legal departments - contracts, invoices, agreements, and more. Organizing this data and gaining insights that can help improve spending practices is a first step toward showing financial accountability.
With a comprehensive eBilling and Matter Management solution that tracks and manages all matter data, invoices and spend, you can start to get a good picture of overall spend through a variety of detailed reports and dashboards. You’ll quickly see any outliers you wouldn’t have noticed otherwise and have some questions that you’ll want your team to investigate further.
- Why have we been paying for this invoice line item?
- Is this timekeeper overcharging?
- Where are we against budget for general corporate matters to date?
- Are these vendors working on the same project and overlapping tasks?
- how much did we pay each of these law firms last year?
To truly analyze legal spend and find places you can cut cost long term, you are best to partner with a legal operations solution provider that can help you uncover quality legal analytics - the real key to unlocking massive cost savings. Having a partner that is committed to your success and can provide best practices is an invaluable asset on your journey to modern in-house legal spend management.