Although it would be preferable for a law department that installs an e-billing system to push nearly all of its law firms into compliance with the system, such a comprehensive effort will take much time. Aside from the time and effort, it may not yield that much incremental information and savings (See my post of Feb. 21, 2007 on e-billing vexations of law firms.). Every law firm will add increases somewhat the demands on the person who administers the e-billing system.
An intermediate position is for a law department to require its handful or two of law firms that bill the most to submit their bills electronically. For many law departments a dozen or so law firms will account for the largest portion of the bills submitted during the year. This hybrid, partial solution may offend those who seek comprehensive purity, but it is a pragmatic balancing of interests.