Money is the language of business, and in order to get a seat at the executive table, the General Counsel needs to speak it fluently. Legal department software can help General Counsel to establish a strong foundation of fiscal discipline and responsibility. The first step in achieving fiscal discipline is to foster a culture of budget accountability. Brightflag helps legal teams to do this in two ways.
First, budgets can be established top down: for the entire organization, for an individual practice area, for an individual geography, and so on. These budgets are set for a fiscal year. When these budgets are created, Brightflag automatically captures all approved spend, pending spend, and accrued but unbilled spend, and shows the performance against budget, all on demand and in real time. In doing so, Brightflag eliminates the need to maintain any spend and budget spreadsheets, and removes the dependency on finance to produce spend reports.
Second, budgets can be set for individual matters, which is a best practice for ensuring accountability for the practicing attorney as well as the legal department’s outside counsel partners. Using Brightflag, budgets can be set for the life of a matter, for individual phases of a matter, and/or for individual months and quarters.
Using Brightflag, in addition to being able to report on spend versus budget at any time, invoice reviewers will also be proactively alerted when a budget is being approached or exceeded. This empowers everyone in the legal department to play a more active role in controlling costs.
Finally, Brightflag uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to forecast what the year-end spend is likely to be. This is done based on an analysis of the work being performed by law firms, and the number and complexity of matters being created.