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A few specifics about implementation of an e-billing system

An interview in Met. Corp. Counsel, Vol. 15, May 2007 at 39, of Brian Kenny, Manager of Planning and Analysis at Marsh and McLennan, delves into some e-billing specifics. Marsh and McLennan has approximately 140 lawyers. The law department selected DataCert’s AIMS, in part because “approximately 80% of the law firms with whom we do business were already submitting e-bills to other clients using DataCert.”

Kenny goes on to explain that “the implementation process took approximately four months.” The law department went live on Feb. 1, 2006 and a year later had “approximately 70 firms and vendors on board,” with the result that “the majority of our bills are received electronically” (See my post of Sept. 5, 2007 on requiring only your primary firms to bill electronically.).

Oddly, to my way of thinking, he points out that one of the time consuming steps during implementation was reconciling the law department’s matter names and numbers to the firms’ corresponding names and numbers. Training on the system took place over three days and each session was limited to eight to ten people.

Kenny’s final piece of advice: “Keep the implementation as simple as possible. If you try to do too much too soon you run the risk of grinding the accounts payable process to a halt and damaging relationships with outside counsel.”