trends

How to enhance your know-how when your firm automates the management of certain files?

alf article 29
Photo : Vectorjuice

Digital transformation is no longer an option, it is a necessary step for legal and accounting professionals.

For example, in 2021, 68% of companies surveyed had an online presence. This figure rises to 76% for those with 20 or more employees, an increase of +16 points compared to the 2019 figures.
Lawyers in law firms and accountancy firms are lagging behind in digitising their skills and using new technologies in their daily work. However, the technological revolution is underway, with legaltech and compta tech in particular.
Historically, the term legaltech has been used to designate the technologies used by law firms and accountants to help them with practice management, accounting, invoicing, storage and document retrieval.
But over the past decade or so, the term has evolved to include solutions that facilitate public access to justice and the automation of legal tasks, sometimes even without the intervention of a lawyer or legal professional.
The growth of the legaltech market is now remarkable, with the sector generating $17 billion worldwide in 2019.
The automation of legal tasks is profoundly transforming the organisation of law firms, both in their structure and in their relations with their clients.

Legaltech at the service of productivity gains and client satisfaction

New technologies related to legal tasks were initially viewed with great reluctance by professionals in the field. At first, these new services were seen as a new type of competition that could suppress their business.
Today, the adoption of these technologies as a new way to improve the efficiency of their profession has become a must. Legaltech allows lawyers and accountants to bring more value to their clients, to increase efficiency within their teams and to offer more transparency in the exchanges during the management of a case.

What are the main trends in legaltech for 2022?

Technologies related to the automation of legal tasks make it possible to :

To reduce costs

By automating legal tasks, you can reduce the risk of human error and the “hidden costs” associated with these errors (damages, missed deadlines, lost documents, etc.).
Another example is IT costs.

All legal and accounting professionals need IT tools to work, and some have even developed an in-house team to secure, develop and manage IT equipment, storage servers and the integration of tools for accounting, document storage, mail servers etc. However, the use of customisable, secure SAAS platforms, integrating useful business tools, allows internal IT costs to be reduced and controlled.

To gain in productivity

The use of new technologies makes it possible to work with intelligent documents to significantly reduce the time spent typing (up to 90% in some cases) and to focus on the important elements of a contract, apart from the formal ones.
Implementing automated workflows will also help you save time in validating contracts. You will no longer need to follow up with your various contacts and you will avoid travelling.

Furthermore, by centralising all your tools on the same interface with your colleagues and clients, you improve transparency and information sharing on the follow-up of your files, without the time-consuming calls and emails to follow up on the file.

Better synergy between your team members

In addition, legaltech technologies will enable you to improve synergy between the members of your teams, to find the information needed to process a case much more quickly, etc.
For example, you will be able to automatically send an email to all employees when a document containing all the information required for a contract is updated.
For certain tasks, such as setting up a company, these new technical solutions will enable your employees to become up to 70% more efficient.

Improving customer satisfaction

In general, the automation of legal tasks will help you to work more transparently with your clients. For example, they will be able to access their files, the steps completed, those still to be done, the persons responsible, the documents created, those to be generated, etc., without having to make a single follow-up phone call or reminder.
Overall, it is estimated that implementing automation of legal tasks in a law firm can save the equivalent of one working day per week, or 20% of your working time.

How can business process automation help your firm?

How can you promote your know-how and added value to your customers?

New technologies will not make the legal and accounting professions disappear; on the contrary, they will enable them to evolve and offer new services and new ways of working with their teams and their clients…
But how can you demonstrate your know-how and added value in this evolving and transitional context?

For example, it is now possible, thanks to the automation of legal tasks, to create a limited liability company in 1 week and to limit exchanges with your clients to strategic discussions, excluding exchanges related to identity verification, the generation of standard documents, their sharing with third parties, etc.
Consulting requires time, and time is a scarce resource for legal and accounting professionals. It is therefore essential to optimise the time spent with a client only on high value-added subjects and thus offer new, partially dematerialised services.
For example, for a chartered accountant, it will be a question of developing missions linked to business management and no longer only to bookkeeping. You will thus be able to offer forecasts or monitoring tables.
For law firms, this will mean, for example, offering new consulting services to companies.
The time savings generated by the new technologies will help you to highlight your expertise and clarify your positioning.
As you will have understood, if the new technologies linked to the automation of legal tasks or to artificial intelligence are going to change the missions of these professions, they are a real opportunity to be seized today.
Indeed, a divide is likely to be created between law and accounting firms that are already adopting these new technologies and those that continue to work in the traditional way.
By transforming your organisation to provide new and useful services to your clients, you will be one step ahead of those organisations that have not yet made their digital evolution.

What about you? How far have you got with the digitisation of your practice? To find out more about Alf and the automation of legal tasks, request a demo !