Bellefield Systems is set to launch a new billing solution that helps fee-earners to comply with outside counsel guidelines (OCGs) at the point of time entry and which immediately measures how much money will be lost through write offs if changes to the way time is recorded aren’t made.
OCGs dictate a client’s expectations and preferences when it comes to what can and can’t be charged for and how time needs to be recorded.
OCG Live, which is available with or without Bellefield’s flagship timekeeping solution iTimeKeep, tracks the OCGs for each client and each law firm department and enables users to resolve issues prior to submitting a bill for payment.
OCG breaches often mean that bills are rejected, costing firms thousands in lost revenue.
Speaking to Legal IT Insider, iTimeKeep’s co-founder and president Gaby Isturiz said: “OCG live is the first of its kind. It’s a full service management platform and allows timekeepers to manage compliance at the point of time entry and finance professionals to identify potential violations prior to submitting a bill, saving thousands of dollars.
“The legal industry is moving from a sellers’ market to a buyers’ market, where chief legal officers are creating the rules of engagement that dictate how matter management needs to happen.
“A client might say ‘we’re not going to pay for more than two people conducting research and if its more than that you need approval.’ Attorneys are working for clients with different sets of guidelines and they’re not going to remember everything but they have to comply or they don’t get paid, and rejection of bills is anywhere between 10-30% of invoices submitted.
“We document all the guidelines and all present these rules in plain English. Our tech allows them, once the rule is set up, to go to the granular detail of what is and what is not in compliance. With one of the firms we’ve worked with, on the first day they were able to capture $15,000 in OCG violations. The firm got so excited they immediately started implementing the procedures.
“The beauty is that the system will say ‘this entry is using a code that is not authorised’ not only flagging what the violation is, but giving the solution of how to fix it.”
While the likes of Tikit in June announced new rule awareness and validation features to further comply with OCG, Isturiz says: “Nobody is managing the entire process like this, looking at the problem as a whole and nobody are doing it as we do, which is a SaaS model. Everything you see is SaaS. You get four updates a year, meaning everybody gets it immediately.”
Recent wins for iTimeKeep include global Am Law 100 firm Nixon Peabody, which was announced in October, and 600 lawyer firm Clark Hill, announced in September.