Interview with Rob Cohen – Head of support and development at Enable
There is no doubt that at the start of this year, none of us were aware of the COVID-19 crisis that was just around the corner and how this would ultimately impact on us, both professionally and personally. The legal industry was no different, law firms had to swiftly respond to the lockdown restrictions imposed on certain businesses, and with it have their systems and processes tested in a way that was unprecedented. Whilst some have started to return to the office, there is still an emphasis on ‘working from home where you can’ and this encouraged remote working will have intensified the focus on the ways in which new tech can automate certain tasks, keep staff working efficiently and ensure compliance.
We talk to Rob Cohen, Head of Support and Development at Enable, to find out a little bit more about him and his unique perspective on one of the most crucial factors in law firm efficiency, time recording.
1. How long have you been working in the legal industry?
I have worked in the legal sector for over 20 years.
2. What led you to working with Enable?
Enable approached me to see if I would join due to my knowledge of their products and experience of running IT departments, within the legal industry, for many years. Enable are a rapidly growing firm with excellent products and I was keen to see how I could use my experience to help them grow and improve.
3. What do you enjoy most about working at Enable?
I have really enjoyed working with the development team to create the next version Of ERM, using my knowledge of legal time recording and working with my old firm to test and deliver new features that really benefits their practice.
4. What positives did you take from working from home during lockdown?
It has been really good to see just how far technology has moved on to allow almost seamless remote working.
5. Do you think the lockdown restrictions, highlighted the need for smarter time-recording processes?
Time recording in the legal industry is always at the top of the priority list. In these difficult times it becomes even more important for firms to keep on top of this, ensuring that time is being recorded promptly and accurately and most importantly it is submitted on time for billing.
6. How can efficient time recording impact law firms?
One of the issues in many law firms is the delay between work carried out, and time recorded and submitted, the larger the gap the bigger the likelihood that time will be missed or forgotten and bills are sent out late. This can lead to delays in payment and challenges from clients.
7. How does time recording impact on productivity management?
Vast amounts of time can be wasted by individual staff members chasing fee earners to complete and submit missing time, at certain times of the year this can involve very senior staff chasing, and this can really impact on productivity and wasted resources.
8. How can efficient time recording help firms understand profitability of client fees?
Prompt time recording and strong narratives enables finance teams to keep track of matters to see how close to budget estimates they are and have advanced warning of spiraling costs and profitability.
9. How can efficient time recording be achieved properly and consistently, and how do you think Enable’s innovative software solutions contribute to this?
I believe the best way to ensure efficient and accurate time recording is for fee earners to record time and narratives as they work on matters. This will mean the fee earner knows exactly what they are working on and why, resulting in more accurate time recording and case narrative. Furthermore, if time is submitted to the CMS daily, bills go out faster and there is not a big gap between work carried out and revenue collected. More accurate, well documented bills result in fewer clients querying bills with a steadier costs communication to clients, instead of months of costs arriving at once or in bulk.
10. What are the main benefits of using Enable RevenueManager?
All law firms have time recording policies that dictate how much time should be completed per day, and when time should be submitted for billing. However, these policies are very difficult to enforce and usually involve a lot of wasted time sending emails and visiting fee earners to ensure they comply. Enable RevenueManager is an innovative time recording policy enforcement programme that allows revenue teams to enforce
the firm’s policies from their desk without chasing. The dashboard features and audit reports allow revenue manager to see exactly what is happening with time recording live around the firm. This has proven to be especially valuable during lockdown with most staff working from home.
Just for Fun
1. What was your dream job when you were a little boy?
Always wanted to be a pilot and when I was around 22, I managed to get my pilots license.
2. What is your dream holiday destination?
I absolutely love Mauritius where my wife was born. It is a beautiful island with lovely people and great food!
3. Do you have a favourite restaurant?
Love the Cinnamon Kitchen.
4. If you could choose a superpower, what would it be?
Based on my previous answers would love to fly, this would help with the love of flying and the speed of me getting to Mauritius!