What is the Uniform Task Based Management System (UTBMS)?

The Uniform Task Based Management System is a set of task codes that allow for the classification of legal services in legal invoices.  The UTBMS was created in the mid ‘90s by the ABA, the ACC and PriceWaterhouseCoopers as the need to categorize and identify legal activities was growing.  The main foundation of the UTBMS was to provide these legal activities on a task-based format so that law firms could have multiple task entries on differing lines.

Each legal service has its own task code within the UTBMS to help classify the exact service that shows up on the legal invoice.   We have created a full Guide to the Uniform Task Based Management System Codes to help find the exact task code for a specific legal activity.

The task codes for measuring time include three different segments:  Phase Codes, Task Codes and Activity Codes.

What’s a Phase Code?

The Phase Codes begin with a letter that corresponds with the activity and end in multiples of 100.  For example:  B100 is the Administration Phase of the Bankruptcy Code Set and has a variety of more specialized task codes that fall within the specific phase.  Not all phases do have separate task codes that do coincide with the particular phase code.

What’s a Task Code?

The task codes are used for a more descriptive code for the task on the invoice.  The task codes are the next two numbers after the initial first two characters and always come in multiples of 10.  So within the bankruptcy phase, an individual task code would look like the following: B130 Asset Disposition.

What’s an Activity Code?

The activity codes correspond with the phases/tasks and helps to define the specific work that is being done by the timekeeper on the invoice.  These codes help to expand the detail on the task at hand and a sample would be:  A106 Communicate (with client) that would be included with the specific phase/task.  Usually the legal department will dictate whether or not an activity code is required on the time entries.

In addition there are expense codes that do not represent a specific task, rather an expense that accompanies the tasks in the invoice.

So, What’s an Expense Code?

These expense codes will always begin with an E and are universal across all legal e-billing invoices.  Our UTBMS Task Guide has a list of each expense.  Many firms will have a minimum charge for expenses as well, such as $0.25 for a fax.

So, now that you understand how the UTBMS works, feel free to start creating some standardized legal invoicing with our 30-day free trial!

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