The ability to effectively manage your spend can be achieved by setting and monitoring a budget. Visibility on your budget promotes better management by your law firms. Not only can you manage expectations better, but open conversations can take place before budgets are exceeded, effectively reducing your spend.
Budgets exist on two levels in Apperio, on the matter level and Project level. Matter budgets can either be set by your law firms or internally by the business, where all internal budgets are private and cannot be viewed by your law firms.
Budgets for Matters
Matter budgets are picked up from the practice management systems of your law firms, and are reflected in Apperio.
Law firm matter budgets apply to:
- Fixed fees - where the budget will be the agreed fee
- Capped fees -where the budget will be the agreed cap
- Hourly matters - where the budget will be an estimate provided by the law firm
Budgets set by law firms can be viewed directly from the matters page. Select matters from the Apperio menu, find the matter you are interested in, and follow the link from the matter name to the matter page. The budget is shown next to the total fees.
Reducing overall spend is the aggregate of reducing spend on every matter, hence managing matter budgets play a crucial role towards spend control.
Internal Matter Budgets
One way to manage your spend is to set internal budgets yourself for your matters. All budgets created in Apperio by a business are private, and law firms will not be able to view this information.
To set a budget, click on the gear icon from the matters budgets page.
Set the amount for your budget in the Edit budget page. Here you can add notes to track updates on your budget.
Once you have completed entering the budget details click SAVE
Towards the bottom if the matter budget page is a history of all budget changes on the matter, including any notes provided by your colleagues and the matter total for when the budget was updated.
Starring a Matter for Budget Threshold Updates
When you star a matter you will receive emailed updates on the matter budget by default at 75% and 100% of the matter budget. It is possible to customise these thresholds - just contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we can change or add additional thresholds.
You can also opt into all budget notifications in the notifications section of your profile.
Project budgets allow you to set a budget for a whole project independent of the matter budgets. This is ideal if you have a number of matters relating to a larger project that has one shared budget for all the work.
On the Projects page, you can see the total spend for the project compared to the budget for that project.
You can also see the spend and matter budgets for each of the matters in that project.
To set a new budget or edit the existing one for a project, simply click on the budget tab and click on the cog icon.