Quick Results
Innovative Solutions
Intelligent Budgeting
Print Version

Baker Donelson recognized the need for improved budgeting techniques and developed an intelligent budgeting approach as a result.

Overview

Baker Donelson recognized the need for improved budgeting techniques and developed an intelligent budgeting approach as a result. By "intelligent," we mean a thoughtful analysis that evaluates scope of work, timekeeper tasks, resource allocation, and estimated time for completion. Our Client Solutions Group (CSG), which is made up of in-house subject matter experts in pricing and project management, works closely with our lawyers in the budget development process at no additional cost to our clients. Once a budget is established, we utilize budget-to-actual reports and automated threshold alerts to provide our clients with enhanced communication and transparency and help our lawyers monitor and control legal spend proactively. In certain instances, our budgeting techniques have proven to reduce clients' legal spend by 10+ percent.

In order to streamline the budget development process and promote reliable budget estimates moving forward, Baker Donelson developed its own budgeting tool, Budget Designer. Budget Designer's easy point-and-click functionality guides our lawyers through a consistent and streamlined budget development process by drawing on a database of more than 500 budget templates. The templates include intake forms, task lists, standardized statements of work, time estimates, recommended resource allocations, typical assumptions, potential risks, and more. Our budgets, which are immediately portable to our LPM platform for monitoring, provide clients with more realistic spend estimates and provide Baker Donelson with a tool to manage all timekeepers and track broader performance trends.

We know it's not enough to simply create a budget; we need to proactively monitor and control spend. Baker Donelson utilizes tools that closely monitor budgets through the life cycle of a matter. Our customized budget-to-actual reports provide budget updates at the matter, portfolio, and client levels. Our automated threshold alerts flag when a matter is close to budget and proactively communicates with the client about anticipated scope and budget adjustments. These reports and automated alerts help eliminate surprises and provide our clients with enhanced communication and transparency.

Example Implementation

Client Need: To manage legal matters across multiple states and ensure consistent process, quality, and cost.

Our Solution: We evaluated the client's matter processes and implemented proactive budget management utilizing resources such as: (1) process maps of efficient workflows; (2) standardized statements of work to clarify matter scope; (3) template budgets with optimum time and resource allocations; and (4) team training on billing guideline compliance. This approach clarified best practices for the entire in-house legal team and promoted consistency in quality and legal spend across the region.

Email Disclaimer

NOTICE: The mailing of this email is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Anything that you send to anyone at our Firm will not be confidential or privileged unless we have agreed to represent you. If you send this email, you confirm that you have read and understand this notice.
Cancel Accept