Metropolitan Corp. Counsel, Vol. 14, Sept. 2006 at 22, has an article by Scott Wirtz, Controller of the US law firm Loeb & Loeb, about electronic legal invoice delivery. Wirtz points out several of the ways e-billing systems can check bills for compliance with a law department’s policies.
The software can enforce (1) limits on cost-per-page charges for photocopies; (2) limits or prohibitions on costs of facsimiles or legal research; (3) prohibitions on block billing, where several tasks are lumped together in a single time entry; (4) negotiated rates for individual timekeepers; (5) authorized timekeepers; (5) budget limits; (6) discrepancies between lawyers on time recorded for meetings or conference calls both or all attended; and (7) accurate descriptions of law department matter names and numbers.
Wirtz believes that law firms benefit from billing electronically because their invoices are paid faster. “Clients that typically pay their invoices in 90 days are now paying within 30 days.” He also notes that better capabilities with regard to budgeting are on the horizon. “The LEDES Oversight Committee has recently approved a standard file format for submitting matter budgets.”