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Legal Ops Red Flags: 6 Signs Your Spend Management System Needs an Upgrade

Legal ops professionals know how important it is to establish an effective legal spend management system.

They’re pivotal for making data-driven decisions about budgeting and resources that guide your organization’s legal spend.

But even when your current system isn’t up to to scratch, implementing or upgrading an e-billing system can seem challenging.

Identifying the right solution can significantly reduce legal spend and cut administrative work by up to 80%. That’s why it’s crucial to regularly assess your spend management system and ensure it remains a good fit for your legal team. If your in-house team needs a technology upgrade, you could be leaving time—and money—on the table.

Worried that your current solution isn’t keeping pace with the technology you need to automate tasks and create detailed reports? Here are six red flags that indicate your legal spend management system needs an upgrade:

Your E-Billing System Lacks the Latest Technology

A.I. has come a long way in the last five years. Without the most recent technology, it’s harder to do your job tracking and managing costs.

In addition to automating processes like invoice reviews and reporting, the best legal ops software makes legal spend more visible for your team.

Real-time analytics provide immediate feedback on essentials like billing behavior and budget process. That way, you can track the right benchmarks and optimize your critical relationships with your finance team and outside counsel.

Your E-Billing System Does Not Centralize Its Spend Tracking Data

With a complete, centralized account of legal spend, you’ll give your team a strong foundation for making decisions for the future. That’s nearly impossible to manage if you’re still relying on manual review systems or on a patchwork system of technology.

Powerful legal ops software can accurately record line items from every invoice and organize the data in one, central place. That way, you can ensure that everyone has access to the most accurate data, and you can pull detailed analytics about legal spend to steer your team in the right direction.

The Granular Data Insights Offered by Your System Are Limited (or Non-Existent)

It’s not easy to generate the specific data you need to make future decisions, even if you already have a spend management platform in place.

With powerful budgeting software, the right system can help you validate accrued expenses, allocate spend between departments, and more accurately forecast your next fiscal year.

The more granular data your system collects, the more accurate your budgeting and forecasting powers will be.

Your System Involves A Lot of Manual Work that Could Be Automated Using A.I.

It’s a universal truth: the more people involved in your legal spend management process, the higher the potential for delays. Hunting down signatures and understanding backlogs contribute to more administrative and manual labor, and you already don’t have any time to spare.

Thanks to improvements in A.I., new legal software can automate tasks like invoice review, verifying compliance with your financial controls, and documenting descriptions for legal spend reporting.

With a legal spend management system upgrade, you can get more time back in the day to do more complex work. All while saving money on invoicing.

You Can’t Automatically Check Invoice Submissions Against Your Billing Guidelines

Your organization put legal billing guidelines in place to ensure that outside counsel and other vendors are billing you fairly, at the agreed-upon rate.

With the right legal spend management system, you can automate the process of reviewing all your invoices against billing guidelines.

Quickly flag invoices that don’t meet your guidelines and automatically identify costly billing errors. That way, you can reduce manual labor and move invoices through the pipeline more efficiently.

Planning a Future Spend Strategy is Difficult Due to Limited Legal Spend Reporting Capabilities

Financial management is hard enough without the added burden of trying to pull data from multiple systems or individual spreadsheets.

With limited reporting capabilities for legal spend, it’s hard—if not impossible—to accurately predict the financial progress of the legal team against budget.

Robust legal ops software can help you combine data from both your spend and accruals reports. This provides you with a better picture of your legal team’s financial health. And by pairing this with A.I. insights, you can:

  • Increase the accuracy of your budgets
  • Predict spend accurately
  • Make forecasts that actually hold water

Getting Started with Upgrading Your E-Billing System

When it comes to a legal spend management system, your team can’t afford to “set it and forget it.”

Oftentimes, a legal spend management system upgrade can be crucial to the financial health of your organization. That’s because it allows you to continuously assess whether you’re optimizing your current solution. It can also flag whether a critical upgrade can better meet your needs. This ultimately saves your team precious resources for more complex work.

To learn more about Brightflag’s legal spend management capabilities and how we ensure its features are always on the cutting edge, click here.


Brightflag is a comprehensive cloud software solution for managing global legal spend, including the ability to: centralize vendors and rates; set and track budgets; manage matters; review and approve invoices; collect accruals; and run reports on everything.