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Last word | Death by spreadsheet

A complicated right-to-buy case tops off a busy end to the financial year for Catherine Burtinshaw

24 April 2013

You would have thought I would be used to it by now, having notched up over 14 years of post-qualification experience in this profession. However, financial year end manages to take me by surprise every time, creeping up out of nowhere until I am suddenly immersed in a frenzy of billing and aged debtor list reviews whilst simultaneously managing the caseload.

Last month proved no different. My firm's new paperless billing system was up and running in time to assist with the process, and I am sure that the UK's forests breathed a sigh of relief as drafting bills used to be a very paper heavy exercise. It now consists simply of fee earners clicking buttons on their desktop. Instead of having to handwrite amendments on hard copy drafts for return to finance, we can edit them ourselves online, which means that final bills are produced and sent out much earlier, which must make brilliant business sense.

One part of the new system of which I'm not such a fan, h...

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