An accounts payable solution

delivering significant cost savings

and efficiency gains


FB Rice is Australia’s leading independent intellectual property firm.

Founded over 70 years ago, FB Rice works with a broad range of clients within Australia, New Zealand, SE Asia and across the globe, who, despite their varied specialties have one thing in common: the need for excellent advice for managing their intellectual property.

The Challenge

With such broad relationships around the world, the work involved in managing, processing, paying and reconciling the invoices sent by those agents has been a challenge for the FB Rice accounts team for some time.

When COVID-19 hit, our accounts team were remote working and this further amplified the challenges with our systems and processes” Lesley Tanswell, Finance & Administration Manager.

We are always looking for solutions to streamline our operations and Billtrader was recommended by another Australian IP firm.” Lesley added.

The Solution

By building an integrated solution connecting the Billtrader platform with the firm’s docketing system (Inprotech) and document management system (iManage), FB Rice have been able to maximise the operational efficiency of their accounts payable function.

Foreign agent invoices emailed to Billtrader are automatically captured and pushed into the firm’s accounting system, creating both a creditor and a debtor entry associated with the correct matter number.

When invoices are due for payment, they are flagged in Inprotech and loaded into the Billtrader platform where the bills are “traded”. A single local payment is made for the batch of invoices on a Friday and Billtrader distributes the funds to our agents on the following Monday.

Billtrader custom-designed a system that met our complex needs with very little time involved from our IT department. Now that we have switched to Billtrader, I think that if I asked my accounts team to go back to the old, manual way of inputting agent invoices and making payments, they would mutiny!

Lesley Tanswell, Finance & Administration Manager.

The Benefits

Prior to COVID, the firm was using Billtrader for a portion of foreign agent payments. When COVID lockdown sent the finance team home to work remotely, the integration with Inprotech enabled the firm to immediately ramp up to handing 100% of payables invoices via Billtrader. This eliminated the manual data entry that was proving very challenging in a remote working environment.

The time saved has freed up the accounts team to work on more value-driven tasks for the business with the added benefit of a happy and engaged team who no longer need to battle the manual data entry of thousands of bills/payments.

The Future

FB Rice is continuing to look for opportunities to improve their client service and make the business more efficient.

The firm is looking at Billtrader’s receivables product, where they will get paid in one week for the invoices they issue.

The firm is also considering the Billtrader invoice approval module where attorneys or their assistants can easily approve foreign invoices that arrive, without email traffic coming via the finance team.

Get in touch to schedule an obligation-free Operational Efficiency Assessment and platform demo

To learn more about how Billtrader can help you transform your foreign agent payments and receivables, contact our global sales team.