Steere Case Study
Cole, Scott & Kissane, P.A., is headquartered in Miami and is the largest law firm in Florida. With more than 500 lawyers in 13 locations across the state, the firm practices predominantly in the insurance law space.
Until 2018, the firm relied on a manual, proprietary system for its bill processing. Touching more than 18,000 matters a month, its partners sat on a high number of prebills. Billing was dramatically delayed because of this. The finance team didn’t have technology to leverage in the billing process, which meant they were working overtime to manage billing and collections.
“We are spread out across Florida, and it’s a challenge to track manually,” says Aguero. “It was too many pieces of paper to track.” The firm needed to streamline how they processed bills to allow for quicker collections while avoiding issues that delayed payment.
Choosing PrebillManager and AlertManager
Chief Financial Officer, Ed Aguero, and Applications System Administrator Lauren Polo took lead on this project. They were in search of technology that could automate bill editing, approval, and processing for its Aderant system. Aguero also knew that the chosen software needed to be easily configurable and fully customizable to track the large number of matters spread across the state.
The firm was also in search of a robust, customizable alerting platform, compatible with their Aderant system, to disseminate and distribute notifications. After learning of another nearby firm’s success with products from Iridium’s Steere product offering, Aguero chose the PrebillManager and AlertManager modules to fully cover the firm’s main objectives.
Cole, Scott & Kissane Had The Following Priorities In A New Billing Process:
“The team spent a week with us, and we were able to customize and tailor the applications to our needs by working hand-in-hand with the Iridium implementation team,” Aguero says. “By the end of the week, we were all set to go and very confident with everything we had done, knowing the implementation resources would be there if we needed additional guidance. We bought the modules in April, and by the time summer was over, it was humming.”
After implementation, Polo created a series of internal instructional videos for in-person and remote training on the new billing processes. “Our partners had questions and were understandably apprehensive about changes to existing processes,” says Polo. “But within two months, the questions stopped. It became as easy as sending out the videos, and we never encountered any major training issues.”
The firm has been able to use the PrebillManager module to streamline bill editing, approval, and processing. AlertManager has allowed the firm to schedule and distribute notifications via email or through desktop notifications. Both modules are fully integrated with the firm’s Aderant system, making it easy for users to configure and customize the tools to meet their specialized needs.
“The alerts that the team created have changed how we work. We have been able to become more proactive in pushing out information,” Aguero says. “The ability to customize gave us the flexibility to leverage both products, which made a world of difference. It has increased our billing speed and, subsequently, our collection speed.”
“Before rolling out these modules it would typically take us 45 days to get from time entry to pre-bill. Now, it’s around 30 days,” Aguero says. “Our mean days from time entry-to-bill, including the above statistic, went from 66 to 48 days—saving almost three weeks. Money is coming in faster.”
Even after growing by 60 attorneys in the past year, the firm hasn’t needed to add additional staff to their accounting department, despite the department taking on more duties.
Both modules became even more vital when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020. While many other firms struggled to manage paper prebills with offices suddenly shut down, “We already had much of the infrastructure implemented so everyone could work from home immediately.” The PrebillManager and AlertManager modules enabled the firm to continue to serve its clients after temporarily transitioning to a virtual operation. “If you buy PrebillManager without AlertManager, you’re making a mistake. From an efficiency and bill-speed standpoint, you will easily recover what you spend by the second or third year.”
“Leveraging new technology has made a huge impact on our day-to-day processes, and made it much easier during the pandemic. Now, 95% of our attorneys use paperless prebills. Clients also like it because we can close matters faster and subsequently bill and collect faster,” adds Aguero. “Through Lauren’s efforts, we also don’t have to train people in-person. We have created processes that have made a significant impact, and we’ve grown leaps and bounds in our top-line number. It makes a huge difference that information is always available to those in our firm that demand it.”
CSK’s Journey Continues with Intellistat and Iridium BI
Impressed with the speed of implementation and immediate impact on the firm’s billing capabilities, Aguero has since leveraged additional financial analytics tools beyond the Steere product family. The firm added the Financial Reporting tool from Iridium’s Intellistat product family and the Iridium BI Revenue module to their technology suite.
Replacing the firm’s system for generating and distributing financial statements and customized reports, the transition to Intellistat took less than a month. Using Intellistat Financial Reporting has decreased the firm’s cycle-time for financial statements by half. Intellistat also allows users to create ad-hoc, up-to-the-minute reports and schedule report generation and distribution.
“Before Intellistat, it would take us seven to eight days to run the financial statements,” says Aguero. “Now, it only takes us about three days. It’s just a ‘set it and forget it’ thing.” With Intellistat, Aguero and his team have created additional reports, including highly detailed cash reports. “In addition to running financial statements once or twice a month, I do a little forecasting and try to predict EOY right before Labor Day. Intellistat does this really well. It’s a straightforward and simple tool that’s easier to use than Excel spreadsheets.”
More recently, the firm added Iridium’s fully customizable cube and dashboards. “We needed a data cube. If management wanted information, we had to do a SQL script and synthesize and cleanse the data. I looked at six different products, but Iridium was chosen again as it fulfilled all our requirements. It allows me to create ad-hoc reports and instantly get the information I need to respond to management requests in a matter of seconds rather than the three-plus hours it would otherwise take.”