Part of every attorney’s job is to review billable items. It is necessary to ensure accuracy as well as compliance with any outside counsel guidelines (OCGs) that the firm may have agreed to with the client. This can be an extremely time-consuming process. And while absolutely essential, it’s a task that takes attorneys away from billable activities. Firms must find a way to streamline the pre-bill review process so lawyers can focus on maximizing billable time.
The current state of proforma review
At many firms, the pre-bill review process is still manual and paper-based, which can create a number of challenges. These may include any of the following:
- Manual routing with no easy way to know where it is in the process or who still needs to review it
- The risk of pre-bill documents getting lost among the files on the attorney’s desk
- Requiring the attorney to be in physical possession of the proforma in order to review it
- The need to decipher and interpret other reviewers’ changes and margin notes
Working from paper copies can also introduce potential privacy complications due to the sensitive nature of certain information that needs to be included in the proforma. Not to mention the waste and expense associated with using paper.
Finding a new method of proforma review
So, what can firms do to speed up the pre-bill review process in a way that ensures accurate invoices without monopolizing the attorney’s potentially billable time? Implementing a solution that allows firms to automate the process can help on many fronts, including tracking the progress of the review and secure anytime access.
Perhaps most importantly, however, is the time it saves attorneys. With an automated solution in place, attorneys can quickly and easily review each line item and determine whether there are any violations of client OCGs that could delay payment.
Making the case for an automated proforma solution
Not only does an automated solution free up the attorney to dedicate more time to money-making activities, it can also help to shorten the amount of time it takes for the firm to receive payment. In addition, submitting consistently accurate invoices can help to strengthen key client relationships.
In a competitive legal market where lawyers need to be using their time to either work on client matters or book new ones, they must keep their non-billable time to an absolute minimum. Taking the roadblocks and challenges out of traditionally time-consuming processes such as pre-bill review adds critical time back into the attorney’s day that can be used to add revenue directly to the firm’s bottom line.
Paperless Proforma could hold the key
3E Paperless Proforma from Thomson Reuters is an intuitive, browser-based pre-bill distribution and mark-up solution. In addition to the efficiency it brings to the proforma review process, it provides sophisticated auditing, tracking, filtering, and reporting capabilities that deliver invaluable insights.
Learn more about how Paperless Proforma can free up precious time for your attorneys and help to improve your firm’s cash flow. Contact a representative for more information or to request a demo.