Just like within any other type of business, legal firms have bills to pay, wages to worry about, expenses to cover, and, of course, payments and invoices to receive. For decades, this was done by hand by many accountants in each firm. Over the last 20 years, e-payment systems and accounting systems have come along, changing the way law firms and all other businesses do their spend management.
In this day and age, all software is developing quickly. You only have to look at CRM and automation software to see how quickly back-office tasks are changing thanks to upgrades to computer programs. In this article, we will discuss how this has had an effect on accounting and legal spend management within law firms.
What Is Legal Spend Management?
Legal spend management means more than just paying bills; there are many facets to it. We spoke to one of the spend management software designers behind https://brightflag.com who told us “Managing legal spend is more layered and complex than simply paying bills and wages on time, just like it is in our personal and professional finance journeys.” There are multiple budgets to set, people to pay, expense reports to generate and scrutinize, and so much more.
You may want to predict expenses, compare the price of various outsourced workers, identify overspending on the part of a colleague or the business as a whole. These things are not easily managed by one accountant or some very rudimentary software, there’s just too much going on.
Modern Software to Make It Easy
With these complex and layered functions all required to properly keep on top of your legal spend management, you’re going to want some modern software. As we have said, these programs can do a multitude of tasks at once, saving you time, effort, energy, and the most important thing of all: money! Though money saved is a wonderful aspect of this, the time and energy savings will be immense too, giving your employees less to worry about and more time to focus on the more important tasks in their day.
Functions of AI Software
Let’s take a look at some of the key functions of spend management software.
One of the most attractive parts of modern software is automation. In great legal spend management software, you will get automated invoice checking. Invoice checking is a manual task, checking multiple fields, taking lots of time. These bots will be able to read your incoming and outgoing invoices, check them against your invoice regulations, then approve or deny them. Approved invoices will be moved to paying platforms or folders for manual payment, non-approved will be flagged for human intervention.
The next benefit you will find is that the software seamlessly integrates with other systems and platforms you use. It will link to your staff payment software, invoice paying systems, company bank accounts, and credit cards, and more. All the info you need to manage your team’s money in one place.
No time to sit and scrutinize three years’ worth of expenses? No problem! With all these integrated and automated software elements, you’ll be able to generate reports for your business expenses, invoice history, tax, and more with just a few clicks.
4. Warnings and Suggestions
Set limits, targets, and budgets within the software and watch as it helps you stay on track. Alerts and warnings will let you know when a client, lawyer, or the business as a whole is about to overspend. It will remind you to pay your bills on time and manage regular outgoings effectively, too.
5. Tech Support
You can also expect around-the-clock tech support from a decent software company. Any issues you have with your system, call a representative of the company who will remotely assist you or call out engineers when necessary.
How Much Does It Cost?
All this sounds expensive, so how much could it set you back? Well, it often depends on the size of the company. If you are spending millions of dollars per year through the software, you will likely have to spend more in subscription fees than a small firm making just thousands. But, this model is effective as the more you spend, the more you save on not having to pay more and more in accountancy fees. There is also no additional cost for tech support, online support, or long-term software upgrades.
So, legal spend management truly can be both simple and helpful when using modern software. Ditch the calculator and the notepad and get your team some AI-based, automated software to help your finances. You definitely will not regret it