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Hand-to-hand combat with electronic billing

It all sounds so smooth as the vendors croon, but the reality of a law department getting electronic bills from its law firms is fractious. Law firms that want to submit electronic bills have different time and billing system and different accounting or technology staff. They need to understand the LEDES format and be able to produce their invoices in conformity with it. They need to know how to fill in the null fields if you are not tracking task and activity codes, for example. They need to know to whom they should e-mail the files and with what file-naming convention. They need to know how to combine multiple matters in one electronic file.

On your side, your person who receives the bills needs to have a procedure for getting those e-mails. They need to know how to process the electronic file with your software – this assumes you are not using a third-party program to do this work – and to correct any error codes. They need to know how to set the various rules which you might apply against the invoices.

The smooth ice promised by sellers is, in fact, cracked, thin and variable (See my post of July 11, 2006 on e-billing vendors.).

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