Law Firm Profile

2012

Year Founded

California

HQ Location

2012

Year Started with Rapid Legal

 

Over the past 5 years, this CA-based law firm has been growing exponentially. As a result of this growth, and the commensurate increase in the volume of accounting transactions, the firm recognized that its accounts payables processes needed to be evaluated, streamlined, and automated. The firm looked to its CFO, a CPA with over 20 years’ experience in Public and Private Accounting. The CFO first identified the vendors who generate a significant volume of invoices for the firm. They felt that if the process of recording invoices could somehow be automated, it would significantly impact the efficiency of the firm’s accounts payable cycle and enhance the reporting capabilities of the firm. The CFO turned to Rapid Legal, the firm’s leading litigation support service provider, for help in this process.

“Rapid Legal is one of our high-volume vendors, providing litigation support services in the form of eFiling and process serving. During our initial conversations, it was revealed that both Rapid Legal and our law firm use the same CRM to manage customer/client relationships. We thought, why don’t we integrate our systems, so Rapid Legal can push data and information directly into our system? So, we eventually did. This eliminates data entry duplication by our accounting staff and ensures all transaction receipts and documents are directly stored in our system. These days, everything is so seamless and effortless. We have 200+ receipts being pushed to our CRM and QuickBooks nearly every day in a process that is now totally hands-off.” 

Record Growth Creates New Challenges

The law firm’s record growth has resulted in an expected increase in litigation expenses. “We literally went from a few invoices a day from vendors providing litigation support services to hundreds per day. The invoice count was even higher, in fact, 5-10x higher, for our high-volume vendors. Given this growth in volume, it became even more important to evaluate and implement the right approach and processes to accurately track, reconcile, and account for these invoices, fees, and payments, such as court fees and vendor service fees. This is particularly critical because these fees need to be properly accounted for and reimbursed at the conclusion of each case,” said the firm’s CFO.

The law firm also faced other challenges. The firm’s processes around these litigation support service expenses required a significant amount of manual effort and cost to manage and execute. In addition, as with any manual process, there’s always the possibility of error in tracking and reconciling expenses.  The firm’s CFO further elaborated, “Fee motion preparation and management was a big pain point for us. Without automated cost controls and visibility, a firm can run the risk of not properly associating vendor expenses with fee motions in cases, resulting in filing Fee Motions that are “understated,” meaning we’re not maximizing our revenue opportunities.”

An Unlikely Request and Solution

As a modern, tech-enabled law firm, the firm saw the value of leveraging data and technology to automate its workflows, maximize expense visibility & control, and improve other business outcomes.

The law firm uses a CRM (customer relationship management system) for matter and case management and QuickBooks for accounting and finance. Rapid Legal’s cloud-based litigation support services platform, LegalConnect, captures all order data, documents, and payments for each order placed with Rapid Legal. This data is then integrated with Rapid Legal’s CRM instance for ongoing customer relationship management.

“I don’t know of many litigation support service providers willing, or even able, to push data from their system directly to the law firm’s system but given all the court fees that Rapid Legal needs to pass on, along with its own service fees, it was particularly critical for us to ensure all fees and invoices were accurately captured in our systems. We also wanted to reduce the accounting staff time needed to reconcile all these expenses,” said the firm’s CFO. “We asked Rapid Legal if it had the capability to integrate with our CRM. To my delight, Rapid Legal welcomed the opportunity.”

System-to-System Integration for the Win

Over the course of a couple of months, Rapid Legal worked with the law firm’s technology team to implement a CRM-to-CRM integration. The scope entailed transferring Rapid Legal order and payment details data daily from its CRM instance to the firm’s own CRM system.

“It’s great that the data and records are automatically deposited into our system. It’s so seamless. We’ve already set up a dashboard in CRM that gives me and the firm’s staff insight into the various litigation services and related expenses.”

The law firm’s next step is to develop reporting capabilities for metrics and insights.

“Our fee motion management will be done faster and with greater assurance of accuracy, our accounts payables will be better tracked and managed, and our staff’s productivity will be better utilized from the efficiencies gained,” shared the firm’s CFO.

“I used to have the equivalent of one full-time employee reconciling invoices and expenses for fee motions. Now, we’re nearly in a position to reallocate these resources to activities that will deliver greater value to the firm and our clients.”