e-billing operating procedures (pre-flight checks for law firms)
In aviation, a pre-flight checklist is a list of tasks that should be performed by pilots and aircrew prior to takeoff. Its purpose is to improve flight safety by ensuring that no important tasks are forgotten. Failure to correctly conduct a pre-flight check using a checklist is a major contributing factor to aircraft accidents.
Although nowhere near as critical as air safety, several law firms have established the principle of running “pre-flight checks” on their e-Bills before submitting them to a legal spend management or e-Billing system such as BusyLamp. This is done to correct any obvious errors on the e-Bill and therefore reduce the % of invoices that get rejected in the first stage of the validation process. This leads to invoices being accepted and paid by the client faster. Over time, common errors can be identified and processes at the firm made more accurate and efficient. It also improves customer satisfaction as it’s frustrating for in-house clients to receive non-compliant invoices.
One useful tool to support such “pre-flight checks” is an e-Billing Operating Procedures (e-Billing OP) document. Usually, one exists for each e-Billed client entity which covers not just the key validation rules for each e-Bill but the wider policies and protocols for working with that specific client and legal e-billing software.