Many lawyers have no idea what LEDES billing is or how to use it. This is largely due to the fact that most attorneys use their billing system for the sole purpose of inputting their tracked time. But for law practice leaders looking to improve their firm’s billing processes, LEDES can be a useful and effective resource. While a basic understanding about the benefits of LEDES is useful, it’s even more important to choose a legal billing software that helps you and your staff incorporate it seamlessly.
What is LEDES
LEDES stands for Legal Electronic Data Exchange Standard. The format was created by the Legal Electronic Data Exchange Standard Oversight Committee, a non-profit organization formed in 1995 for the purpose of “creating and maintaining open standard formats for the electronic exchange of billing and other information between corporations and law firm.”
The committee set out to develop legal billing standards which would “meet the needs of corporations, law firms and legal industry software vendors.” Their stated goal was to establish a uniform standard for keeping bills simple and unambiguous, while also keeping attorneys from having to provide extraneous information on their invoices.
LEDES was created with the goal of meeting five basic principles:
- Keep the billing process simple
- Make bills unambiguous to cut down on questions and confusion
- Minimal deviation from existing legal billing formats
- Only require data that law firms can provide from their existing financial systems
- Meet the legal billing needs of law firms, as well as corporations and the legal industry as a whole
To meet all of these goals, the LEDES Oversight Committee created billing formats for law firms to use when invoicing their clients. These standards are now widely used across the domestic and international legal communities.
Who uses LEDES
Depending on your firm’s areas of practice, you may not be familiar with LEDES billing. It is most often used by attorneys when handling various types of personal injury law, including:
- Bodily injury
- Property damage
- Workers compensation
- Homeowners insurance disputes
LEDES billing is often used for matters involving a third-party clearinghouse, which is typically an insurance company. Though these clearinghouses typically work with hundreds of law firms, LEDES billing makes the processes easier with the use of one centralized billing format.
The LEDES system uses a text-based format, so it appears as a text file when completed. There are no formatted columns, which can unfortunately make it difficult to comprehend by individuals who aren’t familiar with it. LEDES billing statements can also be a challenge to generate for law firms that must do so manually.
Not all accounting systems can handle LEDES billing. For example, while QuickBooks is suitable for many accounting tasks, LEDES billing is not on that list. To create a LEDES invoice in QuickBooks, law firm staff must export the data and convert it to LEDES by utilizing additional software or creating an invoice manually.
This may not be a major issue for a couple of matters, but for firms with numerous LEDES billing cases, these extra steps can be time consuming and inefficient. Manually formatting numerous invoices takes up a lot of valuable time and firm resources. These law firms need a legal billing system that quickly and accurately generates LEDES invoices.
Incorporating LEDES with TimeSolv
TimeSolv’s legal billing software provides law firms with the tools to effortlessly create LEDES invoices. Auto formatted to the exact specifications of the LEDES billing system, TImeSolv allows you to easily upload client data and generate LEDES compliant invoices.
To fulfill these tasks, the program will request specific data needed to fulfill the standard requirements for the LEDES format, including:
- Tax ID information
- LEDES Timekeeper ID and LEDES Classification
- Task and Activity Codes
- Timekeeper Hourly Rate
- Bill Delivery Method
- Client LEDES IDs
- Delivery Email Addresses
- Client Matter IDs
TimeSolv also guides your law firm staff through the processes necessary for compliance with LEDES formatting. With the TimeSolv application, you can be assured that your invoices are comparable with those generated by large firms nationwide and compatible with the billing requirements of your major clients.
TimeSolv offers several additional resources to help your staff with LEDES billing. For example, you can program the system to automatically email you a copy of the billing statement. You can request a copy in the LEDES format, as well as an easier-to-read PDF version.
To make the implementation process easier, the company offers you and your law firm staff step-by-step instructions for creating LEDES invoices within their legal billing software. You can even request personalized training and assistance should you and your staff need it.
If LEDES billing sounds like a viable resource for your law firm, rely on TimeSolv to help you through the implementation process. Their backend office innovations provide big-firm solutions to small and mid-sized firms. To learn more about TImeSolv and its LEDES billing capabilities, click here to take advantage of a free, no-obligation trial period. With TimeSolv, you’ll be creating LEDES invoices with ease.
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