At Brightflag, we strive to continually improve our product. Keep up-to-date with our new releases, and latest updates here, refreshed monthly.
February 6th, 2023
- We added two new fields to the Timekeeper review page to make it easier to identify the vendor user that submitted the timekeeper request and the date the client user reviewed it:
- Requested by
- Reviewed date
- For bulk reviewing Timekeeper rates, we've added a new step in the bulk approval process to add a comment. This comment will apply to all rates bulk approved or rejected in this action.
- We've improved the user experience of the Report Builder:
- Reports can now be sorted by:
- Date Updated
- Last Run
- There is now validation of email addresses to ensure the correct format is entered before a report is run.
- Reports can now be sorted by:
- New flags have been introduced to detect budget overrun in a specific phase or quarter, and by a specific vendor:
- Matter budget phased overrun (overall phase level)
- Quarterly overrun
- Matter budget quarterly overrun
- Vendor budget quarterly overrun
- We've made design changes across the platform by updating several pages to our modern interface, improving the overall user experience.
- This includes a new UI on the Legal Entities and Departments pages, along with the ability to sort by headers.
- We've resolved a minor issue where options on the Legal Service Request form were not populating.
- We've resolved some minor bugs in the report builder to improve the overall user experience.
- Vendors can now submit rate requests with effective dates when submitting Timekeeper Rates in the future.
- We've resolved an issue which caused credit notes imported from LEDES files to default to a zero value once approved.
December 12, 2022
- We introduced a new pre-built Matter Spend v Budget Report making it easier to report out on how your organization has controlled and reduced spend by utilizing matter budgets.
- On the Invoice Review Page, we've added the "Submitted Date" along the left pane to make it easier to see when the law firm submitted the invoice to Brightflag.
- We've made interacting with your Reports easier by introducing the HHMMSS timestamp. This new timestamp will now be available in all report headings from the Report Builder and Report Scheduler.
- We resolved a minor bug on the Invoice Review page where some icons were not displaying correctly.
- Along with fixing some bugs, we made minor changes to how the invoices are displayed on the Legal Ops Dashboard, making it easier to view invoices "Awaiting My Review" on the screen.
- Across the platform, we identified and resolved several bugs to improve the overall user experience.
November 17, 2022
- On the Accruals review page, we've added a new column, "Latest Invoice" to provide users with a hyperlink to quickly view the latest invoice submitted.
- On the Accruals review page, we've also added more information to the drop-down for each line item:
- Submitted Date
- Approved by (only displays for approved accruals)
- Approved Date (only displays for approved accruals)
- We've improved some visual displays and functionality in Report Builder to improve consistency with other features of Brightflag.
- When attempting to upload an invoice, we resolved a small issue where some users received an error message incorrectly.
- We resolved a handful of bugs across the Brightflag application to improve the overall user experience.
November 04, 2022
- We've improved the user experience of the Accruals review page to make it easier to view current & previous accrual submissions.
- For Brightflag Workspace, we've made it easier to find related workrooms by adding the ability to link a child workroom to a records workroom.
- We've renamed the Accruals tab in our Legal Ops Dashboard to "Accruals Not Submitted" to better reflect the content within the tab.
- In the All Matters report in Report Builder, we've added a new filter called "Matter Name," allowing you to filter the results to a specific matter or set of matters.
- For added convenience, we've added a new search bar in the User Management section of Admin Settings, making it easier & faster to search for a specific user.
- It is now mandatory to include a comment when manually adjusting an invoice. This will provide greater clarity to law firm users and avoid unnecessary confusion.
- We've improved the user experience on the Invoice search page by showing all invoices as the default, rather than automatically applying a filter for pending invoices.
- On the Invoice search page, for the sake of clarity, the "Adjustment total" column has been renamed to "Adjusted total."
- We've made some updates to the invoice rejection notification emails to make them clearer for end users.
- The Matter Groups functionality is now available to all users, whereas previously, only admin users had access.
- In certain situations, adjustments made to invoices were not properly reflected on in-app spend dashboards and budget overviews. This has been fixed. Please note that the Report Builder reports typically used to send data to accounts payable systems were not affected by this issue.
- We resolved an issue where accrual cut-off dates were saved incorrectly. This only impacted a small number of accruals across the system.
- We fixed a bug that was causing certain scheduled reports to return errors.
September 28, 2022
- We've made interacting with your Matter Budgets easier by introducing our Budgets API. You can now create, read, update and delete matter budgets from your preferred application.
- We've launched a BETA for selected clients to use & test our new Matter Spend vs Budget report. After completing this BETA period, keep an eye out for details of the general release.
- Occasionally, some reports were missing or omitting some data in the report results. We’ve implemented a fix to prevent this from occurring again.
- We have improved the user experience on our Legal Ops Dashboard to view invoices by the current reviewer.
- Under certain conditions, some vendors incorrectly received an error message when uploading timekeepers.
- On the Matter Details page, we've improved the user experience and resolved some small visual bugs.
September 7, 2022
- On the invoice search page, filters are now set to show all invoices within your access permissions by default. You can change this to only show invoices you need to review by clicking “awaiting my review”.
- We've added an Accruals tab to the Legal Ops Dashboard, giving you faster insight into any accruals pending review.
- Under certain conditions, some reports were not sent out to users as planned. We also fixed some other bugs in reporting.
- We resolved an issue where some invoice notification emails were not sent to approvers.
- In some situations, users received an API error where no issue occurred.
August 17, 2022
- On the invoice search page, you can now select to convert the monetary invoice amounts to your company's default currency by clicking on the Convert to XX toggle on the top right side of the screen, making it easier to view invoices in the one currency.
- We’ve added the option to sort the fields/columns on the invoice search page, making it easier to sort the data by the most important data points.
- For greater visibility into the last time an invoice status was changed, we’ve added a new field/column to the invoice search page, Last Status Change. This field/column provides you with the last date & time the invoice status was updated.
- For added convenience, the Report Builder now populates your email address by default when you choose “send by email address.”
- To make it easier to view allocated amounts, we’ve added actual allocated amounts to the Invoice Report.
- In some situations, users could not clear dates from a matter. This has now been resolved.
- We’ve improved the user experience by changing the symbol's color to remove a stage approver for admins, as the symbol was the same as a background, thus removing it from view.
- On rare occasions, reports were missing or omitting some data in the report results. We’ve implemented a fix to prevent this from occurring again.
- Resolved an issue in which some users received the “Pending Invoices Reminder” email when they had no pending invoices to review/action.
July 27, 2022
- You’ve always been able to schedule reports to run on a set frequency, such as daily, weekly, or monthly. Now you can also schedule reports to run on a specific day of the month (e.g., on the third day of every month) or on the last day of the month. These options are particularly useful for supporting the month-end close.
- You can now export the results from each tab of the Legal Operations Dashboard to an Excel spreadsheet, making it easy to manipulate the data and share it with other users, including non-Brightflag users.
- An all-new Reporting API can facilitate integrations with data warehouses and business intelligence tools like Power BI and Tableau. This is in addition to the existing option to export reporting data to a secure FTP server.
- We’ve renamed financial budgets as Cost Center Budgets. As part of this change, we improved the user experience by aligning the terminology and color palate used for cost center budgets with those used for matter budgets.
- On rare occasions, reports were missing certain data fields for certain results. We’ve fixed a handful of bugs to prevent this from happening.
- When saving certain report types, the date type filter was not being remembered. This has been fixed so reports always use the chosen date type.
- The Download Invoice button on the invoice review screen wasn’t working for certain invoices. This has been fixed.
Internet Explorer Deprecation
In accordance with Microsoft deprecating internet explorer (IE) we are ending support of IE July 1, 2022. If any of your vendors are still using IE please remind them that effective July 1, they will need to move to a new browser.
Legal Operations Dashboard Beta
The Legal Operations Dashboard is now in beta. This new Dashboard will provide visibility for Admin users into the key items that require your attention, such as Invoices to Review, Blocked Invoices and Timekeeper Rates. Please reach out to your CSM if you’d like to enable the new Legal Operations Dashboard in your account.
Coming Soon: Invoice Search 🔎
Efficient invoice review is essential for saving time. A revamped invoice search page is one part of a series of upgrades coming your way! If you would like early access, reach out to your company’s CSM.
Product Update - Billing Periods in Budgets 🧾
Date types are important, especially for your finance team. You can now choose whether your matter budgets are based on invoice dates (the date the invoice is issued) or the billing period (the dates within which the work is carried out. Read more about it here.
New Report Builder Rollout
Our beta testing program has now been completed and we'll soon begin transitioning customers to the new Report Builder interface in phases. Your Customer Success Manager will be in contact shortly to let you know the exact timeline for your transition, but please reach out preemptively with any questions.
More Coming to Matter Budget Charts
More enhancements are coming your way following last month’s Matter Budgeting update, including the ability to view charts according to billing period (rather than invoice date) and filter results into a custom date range.
As a reminder, the Brightflag Help Center is already full of detailed guides and video tutorials ready to point your budgeting workflows in the right direction. And, as always, don’t hesitate to ask your Customer Success Manager for assistance along the way.
Matter Budgets Are Here 🎉
The wait is over and its time to start budgeting!
- Visualize matter budgets the way you need
- Split your matter budget out by vendor and capture an internal budget
- Enjoy seamless interaction between your top-down budgets and your rolled-up matter budgets
Check out our help center for video and written tutorials.
Join our Legal Service Requests Beta
Join our Legal Service Requests Beta to have a smarter “front door” for your legal department in 2022. You can still access our new Legal Service Requests solution for free through the end of June.To get started, please contact your Customer Success Manager.
Brightflag Workspace 🤝 Gmail
Want to get more work done from the comfort of your inbox? We get it. Using Brightflag Workspace’s new Gmail extension, you can:
Already using M365 for mail? Workspace already has you covered!
Legal Service Requests
Eager to install a smarter “front door” for your legal department in 2022? You can still access our new Legal Service Requests solution for free through the end of March. To get started, please contact your Customer Success Manager or feel free to reach out to our product owner Ciaran Gough directly.
Introducing Brightflag’s new Legal Service Request Module
Forget the days of searching for legal service requests in multiple areas and spending even more time assigning them. Brightflag’s latest innovation offers corporate legal departments a powerful way to centralize the intake, triage requests, and understand the demand for legal services across the business.
The Legal Service Requests module is a fully integrated part of the Brightflag Legal Operations Platform and is available in Beta immediately to all Brightflag customers at no additional cost through March 2022.
To learn more about Brightflag’s Legal Service Request, join us Thursday, January 20th at 2pm EST where we will deep dive into the module.
Coming Soon: Report Builder
Our new Report Builder has launched in beta format. We are looking forward to providing all customers with a live demo of all the new exciting functionality that you have been asking for at the webinar next month. We will then start to roll out the features to all of our customers in the coming months.
Coming Soon: NEW Workspace Features
Brightflag Workspace is excited to share that in the coming weeks, we will be adding a Workspace Tools App and Gmail sidebar integration to our existing list of exciting features. Not only will these features improve productivity by enabling in-product document editing, but also make importing files and emails to a workroom from GSuite quick and easy. Be on the lookout for an update around these releases soon!
Brightflag's #LegalOps podcast: In-House Outliers
In this week’s episode, Alex interviews Brenda Hansen and Liz Lugones from UpLevel Ops. Brenda and Liz both share how they got started in their legal operations journey. They also share the importance of mentorship in their careers, and what it takes for legal operations professionals to be successful in 2022.
You might have heard… Brightflag has acquired Joinder 🎉
Brightflag has acquired Joinder, the system of record that legal professionals at more than 1,000 organizations use to securely track activities, collaborate with colleagues, and store work assets. Joinder is now known as Brightflag Workspace and forms an integral part of the Brightflag Legal Operations Platform.
Report Builder Glossary: Coming Soon
The Report Builder will soon have a Glossary that will explain to you what each field refers to. This will give you a better ability to understand where the numbers in your reports come from in Brightflag.
Report Builder Teaser
We’re excited to share that we will be making significant upgrades to the Report Builder at the beginning of 2022! Don’t worry, we will let you know when to expect to see changes and we won’t mess with your year-end reporting!
Brightflag's #LegalOps podcast: In-House Outliers 🎙️
- Coming Soon: Brightflag is developing a Legal Service Request Portal that can be used by anyone in the business. This immediately removes the chore of data entry from the legal team and places that task with the person requesting legal assistance. This will help each client to use Brightflag as a one-stop shop for all their matters.
- New Multi-line Purchase Orders. Brightflag has upgraded the Purchase Order feature adding the ability for customers to break down their PO's into multiple lines. This means that:
- Client users will see Multi-Line PO in the PO tab on a Matter page & the PO tab on an Invoice
- Ability to add PO Comments
- Start & End dates of PO's are now captured
- API enabled
- Law Firms/Vendors may be required to split out fees and expenses by PO line item (depending on client requirements.
- Brightflag Awarded US Patent for AI Innovation in Legal Operations
We have some exciting news...The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has granted Brightflag a patent for our innovative application of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning in legal technology!
"This patent confirms the uniqueness of Brightflag’s core technology, but its practical value is something that in-house legal teams have been confirming daily since 2014”
- Ian Nolan, Brightflag CEO and Co-Founder
Watch the video below from COO and Co-Founder Alex Kelly to learn more about the patent
- Click here for the September issue of the Brightflag newsletter.
- New Direct Cost Savings Canned Report. Brightflag has launched a new Direct Cost Savings Report beta version which is now available to Client Admin users of Brightflag. This is a new Brightflag report that will enable users to report on direct cost savings realized through Brightflag. This report makes it easier & quicker to report on how your organization has controlled and reduced cost through invoice review. Report and export from one central place on all types of Invoice Adjustments.
- Reporting API beta version is now available to clients to test. Please reach out to Brightflag support by Submitting a Request if interested and we can provide you with information on how to use this new API.
- Multi-Line Purchase Order Capabilities - This allows law firms/vendors to submit invoices broken down into different lines per fees and expenses per Purchase orders. Clients can see this multiple line information in the Purchase Order tab on the Matters page
- Matter Confidentiality: We have added a legal support admin role with access to all admin settings but no access to matters & invoices. This new user role will have access to Vendor Management and Matter settings menus.
- A new Matter Overview Tab on Matters Details Page gives a summary of details for a specific matter. This new feature also includes the ability to add notes within this Overview tab.
- A matter notes tab allows you to easily track information against a matter in a dedicated space. Go to the matter overview page to begin using it.
- Matter template fields are available within both of the report builder matters reports.
- If you require tax information or PO numbers from all of your vendors, you can now mandate LEDES 98Bi files, meaning no key information will be missing from your invoices. Submit a Request to Brightflag Support Team to enable this feature.
- A Brightflag-Outlook add-in is now available for several versions of Microsoft Outlook. At the click of a button, you can now store documents and emails directly to a matter in Brightflag from your Outlook.
- Your vendors now have more autonomy with the creation of a new vendor admin role. Upgrade at least one user from each vendor to admin-level so that they can add new vendor office admins and view information across all offices. Submit a Request to Brightflag Support Team to enable this feature.
- Timekeeper rate submission and tracking have been enhanced:
- 2 pages have been merged into 1.
- The grid has been streamlined to allow for easy sorting and viewing.
- Existing timekeeper rates can be updated more easily.
- Invoice summary PDFs can now include tax information.
- Vendor performance surveys can now be requested on open matters at any time
- A new flag now alerts you when the narrative line dates are outside of the invoice billing period.
- Submit a Request to Brightflag Support Team if you need this flag enabled.
- More file types can now be attached to AP email integration.
- The user interface for the matter overview page has been improved.
- The report builder landing screen load time performance has been improved.
- AP batch export spreadsheet now facilitates a new row per allocation string per invoice.
- LEDES file errors can now be addressed more easily in the Brightflag Law Firm Portal. This reduces the need to create a new LEDES file from scratch.
- Enhanced Single Sign-on (SSO) to allow for a smoother workflow when opening Brightflag by email links.
- Service/Billing Period is now captured on both hourly-fee and fixed-fee PDF invoices. Billing period is also available as a field and filter in the invoices report and can be displayed on the invoice review page.
- Preferred Counsel Identifiers can now be set from the vendor management page.
- Matter Quarterly Budgets can now be set by fiscal year
- Accounts payable reverse feed now facilitates the use of the invoice ID as the unique identifier.
- Vendor Performance Reporting - Capture and report on the overall performance of your vendors on their matters.
- Accounts payable feature now allows you to configure AP routes based on custom matter attributes.
- Enhancements to invoice approval stages logic ensure that admin approvals are logged appropriately on the invoice review page.
- Support for private key authentication when exporting AP batches to an SFTP through the report scheduler.
- Monthly budget requests feature completed. Law firms can now request monthly budgets by downloading a template directly in Brightflag. Those requests can then be reviewed all in one place and approved in bulk. We’ve also added the ability for users to export the budgets from the budget review page and a new flag for breaches of monthly budgets.
- Ability to identify the preferred counsel within the application.
- Ability to select a PO number when submitting a pdf invoice from the customer portal.
- Removal of vendor offices on Brightflag’s global list from the customer portal where the office isn’t linked to that customer.
- Enhanced the bulk matter updater to allow for the bulk closing of matters.
Upgraded the log-in pages and application header and password reset pages to include new Brightflag branding.
Upgraded all emails from the application to include the new branding and with updated support links.
Diversity feature: initial development completed which includes data collection, and reporting modules.
- Updated vendor management to cater for specifying vendors as Preferred Counsel. Initial infrastructure has been put in place in the backend.
As part of ongoing technical improvements and security audits we have:
Reconfigured and improved HTTP Security Headers.
Improved validation on file uploads.
Enhanced Cross-site Request Forgery (CSRF) and Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) Prevention.
Improved authentication and authorisation controls on APIs.
- Improved messaging when Accounts Payable email files exceed e-mail attachment limits and provided a link to download.
- Configured Accruals reminders to be sent 5 days before the submission deadline.
- Updated the Financial Budgets feature:
- Added a link to access the matters that are included in the budget
- Ability to edit the budget name.
- Updated the Purchase Order feature to provide enhanced LEDEs98Bi support and added to the ability to enforce unique purchase order numbers.
- Enhanced the Invoice Review screen for invoices that have Purchase Orders to include purchase order budget flags and block invoice approval where no Purchase Order is provided.
- Security improvements made - updated the password encryption protocols, improved password reset flows and API message authentication.
- Improved the performance of the Search Matters page.
- Updated the Financial Budgets feature so individual budgets can be removed, and improved Brightflag Forecast synchronisation.
- Improved notifications when adding a vendor to a matter. Using Any Office, only the admins will be notified.
- Improved error messaging when updating and submitting Matter Budget Request.
- Updated Purchase Order feature which allows PO numbers to be created and assigned to matters, and for invoices to be tracked with POs and exported to the AP system.
- Improved the error messaging for LEDES Invoice Upload on the Law Firm Portal, so that it is easier for vendors to fix errors in files on submission.
- Accounts Payable Module Enhancements:
- New AP Route configuration to allow payment routing via Currency.
- More granular control over what files are sent to your AP systems including individual file selection but ability to merge multiple files.