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Case study

Amazon.com: Managing worldwide legal spending with Legal Tracker

The challenge

From Ankara to Zurich, Amazon.com speaks the international language of commerce. As a result, the law department confronted a number of unique challenges when working with its overseas business units and law firms.

For example, paper bills and tax information needed to be routed for approval around the world and then booked to the correct ledger—which became increasingly difficult as the company expanded.

“Often our work spans multiple countries and departmental budgets, and the invoices have to be reviewed by everyone involved,” said Sam Bernstein, Legal Operations Manager at Amazon.com. “We needed a Web-based tool to handle our workflows around the world so that I could centrally manage the legal department’s billing, budgeting, and spend reporting from Seattle.”

The solution

Thomson Reuters Legal Tracker™ (formerly Serengeti Tracker™) gives the Amazon law department the tools they need to efficiently process international invoices. Now, for example, international tax and entity information for each invoice is automatically routed to local business units for review.

Amazon also configured Legal Tracker to hold invoices until the vendor has been set up in both the U.S. and international AP systems. According to Bernstein, “that feature alone made international billing easier.”

Today, Amazon uses Tracker to collect invoices, budgets, and unbilled time from 100% of its firms, which operate in more than 90 countries. With the built-in currency conversion in Tracker, Amazon can review all financials in both U. S. dollars and native currencies.

In short, Bernstein said, “Amazon’s international legal billing processes are built on Tracker—and it does a great job.”

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