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Should I draft my own Bills of Cost or Outsource?

This is a question most Attorneys consider when confronted with a cost order or when having to properly account to a client.

The major software houses will have you believe that their products are replete with whistles, bells and an all the solutions for your bill drawing requirements. Buy the software and all the hassles in preparing an accurate bill of cost will be solved in one magic wave of a wand.

The argument that a software programme could automate complex legal billing matters is not only far-fetched, it’s downright mischievous. Anyone making that claim might just as well advance the theory that by applying a stick of roll on deodorant twice a day, a person’ can solve all of their legal issues and will never have to consult with an Attorney again.

The truth is that neither scenario is possible. Many a client of Bills of Cost has attempted that route only to discover that these “great solutions” for drawing bills are at best mere accounting tools for the interim.

That is not to underestimate the value of lawyer billing software – most law practices need it to capture accounting data.  However, software alone neither possesses the practical knowledge of the Law of Costs nor the experience as to how the Law of Costs should be applied.

There’s no chance that a software programme will be able to interpret or reason in the same way as the trained legal mind does.

And then, of course, there are the direct costs of purchasing software (both the initial acquisition price and then the annual license fees) and the extensive training and its related costs (monetory and time wise) in order to give any measure of justice to the product.

In the end and after having spent the money, time and effort, most of our clients turn back to the only real and trusted solution to their bill drawing and taxation requirements, the Legal Cost Consultant.

So, should you be attempting to draft your own bills of cost, or should you outsource?  To our mind, you cannot substitute knowledge and experience with anything!

It is more true in our profession that “time is money” than in almost any other profession. Optimising your time to ensure growth and prosperity for you and your practice must be your first priority. One of the most effective ways to achieve this is to involve a trusted “partner” in your legal billing demands.  At Bills of Cost, we believe that we are such a partner.

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