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Selectively require e-billed invoices if cost and effort outweigh benefit

Wyeth’s corporate legal department employs some 350 law firms, including 90 that submit invoices through the legal department’s e-billing system. My point is that about a quarter of the firms used (90 out of 350 or so) probably accounts for more than three quarters of the department’s spend. More subtly, that group of firms may well account for upwards of 80 percent or more of spend with law firms that serve the company year in and year out. Such selectivity makes sense for law departments that incur costs of their own or their firms for the system – roll out e-billing principally to the law firms that consistently account for the bulk of your spending (See my post of Sept. 5, 2007: whether to require e-billing only of your top firms; and March 5, 2009: use of e-billing with a bit more than half of departments’ law firms.).

We learn also from Met. Corp. Counsel, Vol. 17, May 2009 at 32, that the department has “roughly 140 internal users” of the e-billing system. What percentage of the entire department is that?

Since my last metapost on electronic billing systems, I have accumulated many more posts (See my post of Dec. 14, 2008: e-billing with 45 references.). Three posts concern vendors (See my post of Feb. 15, 2009: perplexing data on e-billing software; Feb. 25, 2009 #3: CSC’s E-Billing module; and May 8, 2009: user-base estimates of leading e-billing providers.).

Other posts address a range of considerations (See my post of Dec. 26, 2008: e-billing tops list of cost-saving initiatives; March 8, 2009: 29% of ACC member departments have matter management or e-billing system; March 26, 2009: one of 10 breakthrough developments in the past 20 years; April 13, 2009: modestly innovative law department wins technology award; and May 4, 2009: $5 million threshold to want systems.).