In mid-May, ten providers of e-billing software received invitations from me to provide metrics for three questions. Two declined but eight sent me data: Allegiant, Bottomline, Bridgeway, CTTyMetrix, DataCert, DOELegal, LawTrac, and Serengeti.
One question asked for the “Number of active law department users during the past six months, meaning only those who have logged into your system during that period.” Three companies reported multiple thousands, one reported around 2,000, and two were in the hundreds of law department users.
When I divided the number of invoices processed during the period by the number of users, most of the ratios were fairly comparable – 23, 32, 38, 45, and 66 – with one outlier at 285. (Two companies were not able to determine how many members of their law-department community use their e-billing functions because the software runs behind corporate firewalls or they are integrated with a matter management platform.)
The cluster of responses around 40 invoices per user during the six months, thus about six invoices per user per month, seems low. Perhaps many members of legal departments that have installed these systems only infrequently use the system to review invoices. That could be because only some lawyers manage outside counsel, but all members of the legal teams have access to the data on the system. Second, perhaps relatively few law firms submit their invoices through the system. The law departments may have rolled out the application only to their primary law firms. Third, the question did not distinguish between claims departments and legal departments, which might account for some of the variability.