Corporate legal departments have more demands and pressures than ever before – affairs management and billing shouldn’t be contributing to that. In today’s fast-paced business world, especially when everyone works remotely, there is no time for paper accounting and decentralized material management. However, too many solutions designed to address these issues make the processes too complicated or complex. Fortunately, there is a better way.
Get to know SimpleLegal. The name says it all: Legal processes can be simple when you can handle both electronic billing and material management in a single, optimized tool that can be configured to meet the needs of your department.
Sounds too good to be true? It is not. SimpleLegal may be powerful, but it’s really that simple.
Optimized electronic billing
SimpleLegal eliminates the paper and handles all aspects of the billing process, from invoicing to deferral.
Invoices in SimpleLegal are clean and only display the information that the user actually needs to see.
Every invoice in SimpleLegal is configured for the individual user without unnecessary fields or irrelevant information. You will immediately see the invoice number, matter, seller or law firm submitting the invoice, and the amount charged. When invoices are reviewed and approved, they are automatically sent to your AP or accounting system – no one has to touch them once they leave the legal department.
Invoices are routed to specific approvers, and those approvers can add additional approvers if necessary. Approvers will be notified when invoices are ready, with links to the invoices and any notes left for them. You will also see all the budgets and provisions associated with the matter billed.
The aim is to get approvers in and out of the system as quickly as possible. Invoice summaries at the top of each invoice reduce the time approvers would otherwise spend searching or scrolling through the invoice to find what they need. Assignments are clearly displayed so that you can immediately see how an invoice is divided into entities, cost codes or business areas. These assignments can be adjusted at any time. If you request invoices with task, activity, and expense codes to be submitted, these will also be displayed. All the information you need is on one screen.
SimpleLegal users have the potential to access hundreds of different reports based on a mountain of data. During implementation, SimpleLegal determines which reports you are likely to use the most and starts with them. Over time, the user can unlock and access additional reporting features as needed.
One of the most useful reporting features is the spend dashboard, which gives you a bird’s eye view of where all of your money is going.
The expense dashboard can be filtered by vendor, office location, matter, job area, entity, and more. Users can hover over a month and see how much money has been spent outdoors broken down by hours worked, fees, expenses, and discounts. The user can view the average rates and hours worked by provider, area of activity and subject. In addition to standard reports, you can generate ad hoc reports or ask SimpleLegal to generate custom reports for the user.
With SimpleLegal, the user can feel confident that everything is being monitored and managed and that all red flags are easy to spot.
In SimpleLegal you can budget however you want – by department, line of work, vendor, matter, month, quarter, stage, and more. All of your budgets are shown in one place.
You can clearly see how much has been budgeted, how much has been approved, how much is still outstanding and how much is to be paid. Hover over a budget and you’ll see where you stand and if you’re in the red. If necessary, you can set up rules to keep your budget healthy, such as: For example, flagging invoices for a certain amount or automatically rejecting invoices that exceed your budget.
One of the things that SimpleLegal handles particularly well is provisions. Reporting provisions to finance or accounting used to be a dreaded task that was inefficiently handled via email.
SimpleLegal takes accruals off your plate and automatically processes them based on a schedule you create – you do the job once and never have to think about it again. Demarcation requests and subsequent reminders are automatically issued, including an email with a link to a screen where your provider can fill in the estimated demarcations by subject and simply click submit.
This information is then automatically included in a convenient report that is sent to the accounting or finance department. Dealing with provisions has never been easier.
Simple matter management
The other half of SimpleLegal is an optimized matter management system. One screen gives you access to all of your affairs in one place.
Every SimpleLegal user has certain permissions that restrict what matters they can see and interact with. Lawyers may have only a few issues on their list, while administrators see all of the affairs in the department.
On your case management screen you will see a wealth of information: which invoices are linked to the matter, their status and how they were assigned, who has permission to see or edit the matter, any notes or updates that users have left, everyone budgets related to your matter and how your matter is related to other company matters. There’s also a powerful document management feature that lets you set up, name, and categorize as many folders as you want, tag documents, and perform full-text searches.
Matters in SimpleLegal are based on templates established and named by your legal department. To create a matter, simply select the correct template and fill in the relevant matter data.
Because the system uses templates, data for a particular type of matter is consistently displayed when looking at active matters. SimpleLegal’s goal is to save lawyers as much data entry as possible so they can spend less time in the system and more time growing the business.
On SimpleLegal’s matter management page, you can easily report your pending matters by matter type, party or other filters. The system also keeps track of what users are doing at all times, so you can view time and date stamps for any activity that has ever been done on a given topic. And since SimpleLegal takes security seriously, you can even see the IP address your users were at when they signed up. All activities are reportable, which is useful for audits.
There is also a legal requirements feature that allows you to share SimpleLegal with the rest of the company (if you wish) and allow them to seek legal help.
This gives them no access to other elements in the system, only to the requests they have sent. The request for help is sent directly to legal, and the requester can always see his or her status. This is a great way to give the company a self-help option and streamline the process for Legal’s interaction with other departments.
Better supplier management
SimpleLegal also makes it easy for your providers. They work in a separate part of the system called CounselGO. Law firms and other vendors can submit their invoices through this portal in any format such as LEDES and PDF and then keep track of those invoices as they go through the approval process. Likewise, providers can submit budgets and timekeeping rates for review and approval.
The customer billing guidelines are set at this level so that each invoice is validated against these guidelines as it is submitted. This removes the burden of having to go through line-by-line auditors to review charges. Identified inappropriate charges are either automatically rejected, flagged, or returned to the company for correction and resubmission.
E-billing, matter management and CounselGO are combined into a single package – there is no need to put together a piece-by-piece solution. Better still, the system is configurable, which means it can work for the smallest company or the largest legal department in the company, and its scalability means it can grow as you grow.
The picture is rounded off by excellent 24-hour customer support during the working week and a robust API that allows SimpleLegal to be seamlessly integrated with the rest of the tools in your legal tech stack. SimpleLegal is truly an all-in-one solution for corporate legal departments!
Stop wasting time on billing and material management and let SimpleLegal do the heavy lifting for you.