Since the arrival of the desktop computer, companies have anticipated the paperless offi ce. For corporate law departments, the emergence of e-billing solutions has helped reduce the amount of paper flowing through the organization.
The "For Services Rendered" bills of the past have evolved into detailed itemized bills. But reviewers can quickly get lost in the details with more legal work than ever going to outside law firms and invoices that contain dozens or even hundreds of entries. Most company resources lack the time to thoroughly and consistently review invoices, so often the invoices are only superficially reviewed before they are approved.
E-billing systems were developed to automate and streamline the invoice review process, catching billing errors and saving companies time and money through the process. Early systems did little more than provide an electronic (or scanned) version of the invoice for routing and approval. Today's systems are much more robust, offering the ability to create budgets, audit invoices against multiple billing requirements, automatically route the invoice to the appropriate reviewers, and provide detailed reporting. Systems that include matter management capabilities - such as budgeting, document management, and calendaring - make it even easier for companies to capture and manage complete matter and financial data in one place.