How many internal staff might an e-billing system require?

The question is, if you are a large law department and you have just installed e-billing, how many people might you require to support that software? Of course, the answer varies enormously, but let’s sketch one scenario for a law department of 20-to-50 lawyers.

After the initial setup period, an administrator might be required for something like one-half time to keep up with security, new users, password problems, training, help desk, system backup and other maintenance functions (See my post of May 2, 2007 on the term “full-time equivalent”).

Another half of a full-time equivalent might prepare reports from the system; analyze, chart and present those reports; and develop new insights.

A third person, let’s call them a compliance person, might be needed to handle issues between law firms and the system (See my post of Nov. 28, 2007 on complaints of law firms about e-billing) or to harass lawyers to review bills on time, or generally to assure compliance with the system. That job might be on the order of half time.

Taken together, therefore, it would be possible to have a staff of one to two full-time people to support the e-billing software, assuming it is rolled out to most of the department’s firms. If those people cost the law department all in between $100,000 and $150,000, an accurate accounting of the return on investment of the software would net their costs against the savings that the software produces (See my post of Sept. 28, 2007 on the ROI of initiatives and references cited.).

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