Billing is at the heart of any business

This resource was also featured as a Briefing Industry Analysis in the March 2015 issue of Briefing magazine. To read the issue in full, download Briefing magazine.  

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It probably goes without saying that in order to run a successful business, it’s important to have as much data as possible on how day-to-day activities are performing.

Having real-time data makes it possible to zero in on and correct procedures and practices that are inefficient, which ultimately helps firms enhance their bottom line while also keeping client satisfaction rates as high as possible.

Billing is at the heart of any business – it affects customer relations, cashflow and the bottom line. In response to rising client demands in an increasingly competitive landscape, the legal industry has seen tremendous electronic billing (e-billing) growth throughout the past decade.

LSN’s recent research into legal technology (Legal IT Landscapes 2015) questioned IT and some other business services roles in the UK top 100, and their answers on the drive towards e-billing were telling – 60% of top 100 respondents said clients are asking them to move to an e-billing set-up for their firm’s invoicing, and 25% said that an e-billing solution, internal or external, was something their firm is likely to buy in the next 12-24 months. So, clients want firms to adopt this technology, and for a variety of reasons.

However, although a key benefit of implementing such technology is to deliver a faster and more efficient work-to-cash cycle, many firms have discovered that the e-billing benefits touted by their clients can be elusive. But for firms that have not achieved the hopedfor faster invoice approval processes and shorter bill payment times, technology has been developed to help make these anticipated outcomes a reality that’s easier to find.

Pinpointing performance

Progressive firms are recognising how crucial it is to track and analyse their e-billing performance, and are investing in the most leading-edge technology available in order to gain a critical competitive advantage. The competitive advantage isn’t coming from being able to e-bill – it’s because the e-billing technology is creating vital management information they can use.

By leveraging the tools they need to stay on top of this component of their firms’ financial health, they are able to view their e-billing data in the most meaningful ways, and therefore to close in on the most valuable aspects of the business.

With a bird’s eye view of overall firm performance and a narrower focus on that of individual lawyers and individual billers, e-billing firms can leverage in-depth data analyses to achieve truly holistic insights into their billing performance, revealing any hidden trends. Armed with such invaluable e-billing data, these firms’ administrators can then take the actions necessary to build on specific strengths and improve on weaknesses that they could not identify previously.

For example, drilling down to the performance details of each solo lawyer and biller can help firm administrators assess how each individual is affecting the firm’s cashflow, and whether that impact is positive or negative. This pinpoints who in the firm has the most efficient practices and, at the other end of the spectrum, indicates whose efforts should be evaluated for improvement. Administrators can make more meaningful decisions that boost their profits even further.

The management information created delivers critical levels of insight, which also allow administrators to benchmark rejection rates and their maximum billing potential for each individual client. These metrics can be used to ensure that e-billing firms never leave any money on the table – which helps administrators determine whether or not the firm is taking action on potential profits or losing out on those that other firms are capturing instead.

Time travelling

Cutting-edge visualisation of the entirety of a firm’s e-billing data is now possible with the eBillingHub key performance indicator dashboard, an advanced add-on capability from the market leader in e-billing. The new, highly configurable and intuitive dashboard in eBillingHub allows firm administrators to measure performance in ways never before possible – taking billing insights to a whole new level, such as holistic views of data displayed at monthly, quarterly, and annual multi-time dimension intervals. With comprehensive grouping and filtering capabilities, the dashboard provides the flexibility they need to fully explore eBillingHub and manipulate data in the most meaningful ways.

The dashboard increases the power and flexibility of eBillingHub, equipping clients with instant access to crucial billing information in easily viewed graphic reports that can be customised to meet specific needs. Firm administrators can leverage the dashboard to instantly identify and analyse the exact billing information needed in the form they want, providing a deeper, customised understanding of their firm’s billing performance. These real-time views into the most intricate details of current billing data can be retrieved by navigating easy-to-understand radial menus, including roll-up for big picture or drill-down for details.

The KPI dashboard pre-seeded library makes it easy to quickly set up and create the indicators that the firm uses the most by building out custom data views.

Configurable metrics are available to monitor ageing accounts receivable, collection status, billing progress, and more, with the ability to filter and group KPIs providing maximum flexibility as users explore their firm’s e-billing data. Custom KPIs can be easily saved as favourites, while report templates being used by other eBillingHub clients can be accessed and shared on the workspace.

Accessible through traditional and mobile platforms, the KPI dashboard benefits clients with the anytime, anywhere access they need to track and monitor crucial billing events as they unfold. Triggers and alerts can be set to notify users as soon as certain thresholds are hit, keeping clients constantly abreast of any potential e-billing issues.

The highly configurable and intuitively intelligent KPI dashboard is designed to enhance the already robust capabilities of eBillingHub. The introduction of this advanced functionality follows the release of eBillingHub Intelligence, which is a free, powerful benchmarking tool previously introduced to extract the data from the £10.4bn of electronic bills that eBillingHub processes each year.

Powered by Peer Monitor, a leading digital benchmarking programme for the legal industry, eBillingHub Intelligence makes it easy to identify where efficiencies and accuracies can be gained. Because eBillingHub Intelligence is automatically included in the standard eBillingHub subscription, all clients can leverage the additional insight to maximise profits.

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