What did I do today? If you have ever asked yourself that question, you may be a candidate for Smart Time, a Web-based time capture and entry application. Smart Time works in your browser but culls data from all your key applications to provide a detailed report of your daily work.
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Introduced in September, Smart Time was developed by a Los Gatos, Calif., company, Smart WebParts. The company describes it as a data-mining engine. It searches network applications to track each timekeeper’s e-mails, appointments, documents and phone calls, all for the purpose of ensuring that no billable time is lost.
Once Smart Time extracts the data, each timekeeper can review the results, assign them client or matter codes, and then export the information to the firm’s accounting system. The system is “smart” in that it will learn to associate particular tasks with particular clients. Each user is able to customize it to exclude or block certain types of data (such as e-mails from a spouse).
This is an enterprise-level application targeted at law firms with at least 25 timekeepers. But because it is Web-based and works in a browser, nothing is installed on the timekeeper’s desktop.
The company will customize Smart Time so that it integrates with virtually any billing system. “We’re agnostic in pulling data and in writing data,” Smart WebParts CEO Todd Gerstein told me during a demonstration of the product.
“Smart Time improves the accuracy, completeness and velocity of time entry,” Gerstein said. Lawyers in beta tests reported finding an average of 1.5 hours a week they otherwise would have lost, he told me.
The cost of an annual subscription is $17,500 for the first 25 timekeepers and another $995 for each additional group of 25. For firms of 200 or more lawyers, the annual price is $75 to $85 per person.