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A surprising number of law departments rely on tracking their external spend data only through their accounts payable (A/P) department. Mostly, one- and two-lawyer departments indulge in this practice. Some of the departments that do also keep a parallel database, probably in a spreadsheet, but the official record comes from the finance department. A/P law departments, as we might call them in comparison to matter-management system departments, deal with some drawbacks if they choose to provide external spend data for benchmark surveys.

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