Apperio today announced new enhancements to its legal spend management software. These include options for individual legal department contributors – including allied professionals and finance staff – to personalize and customize their view of company legal spend data. This allows customers to tailor their experience with the software to better support their unique role on the in-house legal team.
“Our new features are the result of behind-the-scenes work with many legal departments over time and across industries,” says Apperio Founder and CEO Nicholas d’Adhemar. “
That collaboration enables us to listen to our customers and to spot both best practices and unmet needs – and bake what we’ve learned into the software to provide more value to customers ultimately.”
Personalization is provided through new dashboard templates designed for legal operations and finance teams.
Each template offers an easier way for customers to get a view of the data that meets their specific needs. This curation is imperative because legal spend management systems contain vast amounts of data with many different uses – and can feel overwhelming at first.
The templates were designed based on best practices Apperio observed in collaborating with customers and industry-leading legal departments.
They also add to the options among existing personalized dashboard views first unveiled in late 2021. Those included a “bird’s eye” view of legal spending for GCs and CLOs and a “matter view” for staff lawyers managing legal projects.
Customization is made possible through 17 new “widgets” – data points and charts customers can choose from, to see legal spend data from a different vantage point. Customers can use these widgets to build their dashboard view from scratch or customize an existing template to their liking. Each widget can be further tailored by configuring how they display data.
A few representative examples of the new widgets include:
Matters over budget. This dashboard element shows the top matters that are over budget. It can be configured to show the top matters across all law firms – or just a few specific law firms.
The purpose is to help the legal department optimize the allocation of work, bring spending under control and manage cost forecasts. Aged unbilled. This shows the total work in progress (WIP) across a business, broken down over selected time periods.
It can also be filtered to show only the WIP for all firms or just specific law firms. The purpose is to allow customers to identify the unbilled time that’s yet to be invoiced and keep track of accruals related to specific forecasting periods, allowing companies to manage billing cycles more predictably with law firms. Dormant matters.
This widget allows legal departments to see matters that have had no activity for six months or more yet which remain open and potentially forgotten. The purpose is to help the legal department close dormant matters and predict potential invoices for any remaining unbilled WIP.
Apperio previously rolled out client-centric dashboards, which lets outside counsel obtain the same view of legal spending their clients have. There are more than 200 global law firms connected to the Apperio platform currently – and many have come to view it as a competitive advantage.
Attaching key documents to matters
Apperio is also announcing a new feature called Matter Files. This feature makes it possible to attach key documents – such as an engagement letter or record of instruction – to a matter tracked in the system. This provides an easy way for customers to reference documents governing the scope of a matter when following progress or monitoring spending.
The idea for Matter Files grew out of a simple but important customer need. Legal operations required the ability to cross-reference letters of engagement throughout the life cycle of each matter, but these sat with various instructors across the business.
As a result, legal operations were unable to track down the original instruction letters consistently, which was impossible from digging through emails. Matter Files is the answer to that business problem.
“Collectively, these new features underscore how Apperio gives in-house teams the data, guidance, and insights to bring efficiencies to their legal department.
They offer legal, finance, and legal operations professionals a best practice starting point to set goals and focus on spending management. Our new customization options allow users to further shape, label, and adapt the software to support the way they run their legal departments,” added d’Adhemar. “Everything we do as a legal technology solution provider is focused on enabling legal departments to use data and technology to drive better legal outcomes.”