Onit

Sep 29, 2010

E-invoicing? You Don’t Need No Stinking E-invoicing!

Or at least, you don’t need it FIRST.

Legal departments: unless you have a mature, well-fed matter management system or currently deploy project management discipline to your legal matters, then you don’t need e-invoicing. There would be no context for it. Don’t get me wrong; you will need it eventually, it is just not where you start in the process of bettering your legal department. Rather, it is the capstone.

At least in companies smaller than $10 billion in revenue, we have found that there are greater needs.

needs chart

Using Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as a metaphor, e-invoicing equates to esteem or self-actualization when most legal departments need to address their physiological needs first, like tracking matters consistently, budgeting, participating in ongoing assessments and developing solid case plans.

The good news is that even if you implement e-invoicing before doing this other stuff, you will see savings; as much as 10% of your current legal spend! But you don’t make anything else about your legal department better. And you don’t get better outcomes out of your legal projects. And you don’t understand the risk facing your organization any better.

This is where the “legal trinity” of assessing the situation (matter or case or project), creating a plan and then budgeting come into play. If you put in these building blocks first, and implement light project management discipline in your legal departments, layering e-invoicing on top will yield you greater long-term benefits. Things will be cheaper, but also better and faster.

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