3 signs you should automate your contracts

If you manage a corporate legal department, there are three telltale signs that you might get significant value from automating the creation of your day-to-day business contracts.

  • Internal clients “work around” Legal
    If contracting is being done by people in the business without Legal’s knowledge, the company is being exposed to unacceptable risks. Why do they feel the need to circumvent Legal? What can be done to remove the incentive?
  • All transactions must go via Legal
    Another problem is if Legal is drafting and reviewing routine agreements. It’s an awful waste of highly skilled legal resources. Lawyers find the work tedious (cutting-and-pasting from a variety of templates and previous agreements, fixing broken auto-numbering, etc). Not to mention the frustration for internal clients caused by slow turnaround times. Why are routine documents being drafted by Legal? Is it because you don’t trust the business? Do they not trust themselves?
  • Work is being outsourced to law firms
    When Legal’s too busy, it uses panel lawyers as an overflow. While this helps with the workload, it’s an extremely expensive way of scaling. Is this really the most cost-effective way to provide legal services for your company?

How automation can help

Automation makes it easy for your internal clients to follow approved processes. As a result, they’re happy to comply. They’re presented with an intuitive web-wizard containing business-friendly interview questions.

Standard transactions – after answering the questions, clients get auto-generated, execution ready documents (in PDF format) tailored to their requirements. Instant access to legally pre-approved documents allows them to quickly “get on with business.”

Non-standard transactions – by the same token, higher risk or more complex deals are automatically flagged and routed to Legal for review (in Word format).

The best thing is that you’re now able to track all the company’s agreements, and gain deep visibility into the types of transactions being entered into by the business. It also frees the legal team up to focus on value-added work. Which means that less stuff needs to be sent out to expensive external lawyers.

Automating contract drafting enables you to cut costs and reduce risk, while also being more responsive to your internal clients. Happy internal clients; happy legal team; happy finance department. A win-win-win.

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