Category: Contract Data
Here in Boston, we’re used to getting hit with major winter snow storms. It’s a New England ritual to head out to your car before work and start scraping layers of ice and snow from the windshield. If you’ve ever found yourself in this situation you know you’ll take any shortcut to keep your fingers from freezing. The ice will melt once your heater kicks in, right? Poor visibility, I hate to admit, is a risk most of us are willing to take.
Fast forward to your workday. Regardless of your job, there’s a good chance that the work you’re doing is underpinned by terms and conditions that define the work you do or what you’re owed. It’s safe to assume that these agreements were carefully drafted and negotiated by lawyers, but is that enough? Do you need to know what’s contained in every contract? How about all revenue-generating contracts? Can they be terminated by customers and in what situations? What happens if we’re faced with a regulatory or tax change? Do we have any leverage over our suppliers to ensure we’re able to meet the obligations we have to our customers and if we don’t what happens?
These are just a few of the questions that Exari’s enterprise contract management customers say they want easy and accurate answers to – and there are so many more. Until now most companies have simply filed their contracts in locked drawers and secure file systems with very little visibility into what they actually mean.
So, is poor contract visibility irresponsible, dangerous, or irrelevant? I suppose the answer is, “it depends,” right? Not every contract is mission critical and not all relationships are at risk. However, if you’re like most of Exari’s customers you do have a core set of contracts that do matter and the fact is that Executives and Boards of Directors care very much about the risks, obligations, and protections that are contained in those contracts. Until now it simply hasn’t been possible to treat contracts like data, but what if there is a better way?
At Exari, our enterprise contract management platform has an elegant and powerful solution to this problem and we call it the Universal Contract Model™ (UCM™). The UCM, for the first time in history, takes away the pain of understanding contracts and puts the right data into the right employee’s hands quickly and easily. Only with Exari can companies leverage the power of their contractual relationships to increase revenue, reduce risk and increase efficiencies.
The data that lives within your contracts is your true golden source, either helping you track your risk to properly manage and make better-informed decisions in a crisis, or infect you with risk, such as fines or cause for termination. A true enterprise contract management platform is able to transform your contracts underlying text into actionable and reportable data. Data that you can track, analyze and constantly monitor instantly, whenever you so please.
Last week, we announced the latest release of our platform, version 7.1. I’m confident that this is a game-changer for our enterprise contract management customers that expect 100% certainty about their contract terms. If you’re interested in learning more, you can read about the release here. If you have any questions, please feel free to send us an email to email@example.com and we’ll be sure to get right back to you.
So, next time you’re faced with an icy windshield, take the time to clean it off. Until then, consider what you would gain if you could transform your corporate contracts into data used to better manage risk and make you more efficient – it’s easier than you may think.
If you’re just joining in now, feel free to go back to part 1 of this blog series.
If not, here is a quick recap:
There isn’t much time left to come up with a plan for the new revenue recognition guidelines since they are coming into effect in 2018. There are a lot of factors and hard work that go into complying with these new standards, so we’ve simplified the process by taking a three-step approach to help you on your journey to increasing compliance.
Step 1: Assessment- By now you should have already performed an initial assessment of your systems, processes and internal controls. This is meant to help you understand exactly what information needs to be captured and reported on, and where that may require certain modifications to your current process, system, and/or controls. It will also help you better prepare for the impact it will have on your business.
Step 2: Identifying the Impact
Once you have completed your internal assessment and have a better idea of what information needs to be captured and reported on, you will now need to consider how the new standard will impact your entire organization. How will it affect your sales team? Your accounting department? Do you need to re-evaluate company expenses? Do you know exactly where all of your contracts are located with each customer and are they the correct, finalized and signed version?
In order to fully identify the impact, you will need to locate and organize each customer contract. The new standard calls for a review of each agreement to understand if any modifications need to be made. For example, the performance obligations changes include determining whether or not a good or service needs to be accounted for separately or be combined into one single performance obligation. You may find you have more, or fewer performance obligations than in the past, but either way you will need to double check all contracts to make sure you are in compliance.
If your contracts are not yet organized in one central and secure repository, then you could be putting your entire business at risk. Maybe you have thousands of contracts that are living with the sales or procurement departments. Maybe you don’t have the latest version of an executed agreement. Getting organized is going to be a huge undertaking and will require cross-departmental participation. Implementing enterprise contract management software can streamline the process, save valuable time, and increase compliance and best practices throughout your organization. By implementing a solution you could capture the data from your contracts right off the bat and see the implications on your revenue within minutes. This would save much needed time, resources and costs associated with failing to recognize revenue.
So, since you are already reviewing your process for the new standards consider deepening your insight into your contractual data. It’s the perfect time to incorporate enterprise contract management software into your revenue recognition process.
If you’re interested in learning how an enterprise contract management platform can help you increase compliance throughout your entire organization, contact us here.
Tune in next week for the third and final step of the process where we discuss actions for implementing the changes.
Have you ever experienced a failed deployment of contract management software? At Exari we have talked to hundreds of people about what has worked and what has not worked for them. The most common topic that comes up in these discussions is centered around data. Until now it has been cost-prohibitive and time-consuming to represent contracts as data. After all, contracts are intentionally designed to be wordy, dense, and in many cases confusing. Instead, most firms have settled with treating their contracts as valuable documents that can be referred to if trouble ever cropped up. It’s true that contracts are some of the most meticulously crafted documents written, yet over and over contract management software deployments have failed.
The number one reason that enterprise contract management software fails is due to a lack of data. The hallmark of every enterprise-class platform is accurate, complete & accessible data. It’s data that’s used to provide analytical insight into trends and problems, it’s data that’s used to make operational decisions, and it’s data that is used to inform upstream and downstream systems with critical information. Governance, risk and compliance all require access to high quality data and until now this was not available for contracts that underpin a business.
Larger companies and organizations are realizing that in order to properly operate their business, they need an enterprise level view, involving nearly every department. This is driven by increased regulatory requirements, changes in how revenue is recognized, and the constant improvement and developments of technology that can meet all departmental needs. If you are looking to implement a system, three things enterprise contract management platforms must have that you should look for are:
- One platform that is designed for everyone who cares or works with contracts including procurement, sales operations, legal, risk & compliance, finance, HR, the executive team and the board.
- One platform designed for modular implementation, that delivers a fast path to success and enterprise-wide adoption and complete visibility
- One platform designed as the golden source for contract data and documents, with seamless integration to other enterprise systems
The data that lives within your contracts is your true golden source, either helping you track your risk to properly manage and make better-informed decisions in a crisis, or infect you with risk, such as fines or cause for termination. A true enterprise contract management system should be able to transform your contracts underlying text into actionable and reportable data. Data that you can track, analyze and constantly monitor instantly, whenever you so please.
Today, Exari announced the latest release of its product, version 7.1. It not only provides everything discussed above that an enterprise-class platform should consist of, but it is also the first (and currently only) CLM platform with an enterprise-class Universal Contract Model™.
The Universal Contract Model™ is the most robust data model, allowing complete representation of any type of contract. This delivers prevailing terms for every contract, rolling up terms with their amendments and changes over time. Our Universal Contract Model™ allows companies to have complete, unprecedented visibility into every contract throughout the entire enterprise. This is the secret weapon to a true, enterprise contract management platform, and the number one reason why Exari customers succeed.
If you are interested in learning more about Exari’s version 7.1 you can read through the press release here. To discuss how our enterprise-class contract management platform can help you succeed, please contact us here now.
Whether you like it or not, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is here – and it’s not only here to stay, it’s here to thrive. In a recent Hubspot-led survey of more than 1,400 global consumers, it was found that 63% of people who use AI technology don’t even realize they are using it. AI is that ingrained into our daily lives, both at home and in the office. Now, imagine the doors you could open (quite literally, in fact) through the conscious and purpose-driven use of AI.
Where does AI exist now?
If you own a smartphone, shop online, or chat via messenger with a customer service rep – congratulations, you are a user of AI! Voice recognition and search assistants (like Siri or Alexa) are available on 3.9 billion Apple, Android and Windows devices being used worldwide. Over 4 billion people globally are using messaging apps.
The White House recently released a report on the current state of AI and its potential to help address major challenges society faces.The way we live, connect and search on a daily basis is completely transforming- and it’s just the beginning.
Into the Future
Changing the way we use technology on a personal basis also means enhancing the way we do business. Integrating artificial intelligence into the workplace holds untold potential to increasing efficiency, certainty and productivity in our work. But what does it mean for contracts professionals?
We are seeing it rise up in the contract management space, making data extraction painless for legacy contracts and providing faster and better insights into contractual data. It’s going to change the way contracts professionals work on a day to day basis, ultimately affecting both their business and their career.
What are you doing to get ready for AI? Join us for a webinar with IACCM on Tuesday, February 28th as we explore the history of AI, what it means for contracts professionals and how you can develop a plan to take advantage of this game-changing technology.
We recently discussed the new uncleared margin regulations (UMR) and best practices for successfully re-papering your Credit Support Annexes (CSA’s.) Now that you’re up to speed on what it means for your organization and the steps for re-papering, there is a bit more you should consider when evaluating each agreement. To get you the best advice we teamed-up with experts in this subject in order to bring you all the information you will need to successfully comply.
While adapting to these new regulations, complexity is going to be your greatest obstacle. You will have an increase in the amount of documents and data you need to manage, which means it will also be much more complex than previously creating or editing agreements. You will have to find a better way to manage the additional work required to support this intricate and time-bound project.
Depending upon which strategy you decide to adopt (or are forced to adopt by your counterparties) you may have to amend existing CSAs, create a duplicate to comply with the new regulations, or create a new CSA for the Counterparties (CPs) that want to renegotiate terms. Whichever strategy you end up with, managing the increasing number of agreements, and managing the legal and collateral terms is going to be a much greater burden for legal and operational departments.
In our upcoming webinar alongside Derivatives Risk Solutions (DRS), we will help you better understand the pros and cons of the strategies available to you, and how technology can help to ease the inevitable burden.
When: Tuesday, September 13th 10:00AM EDT / 3:00PM BST
*Can’t make it? That’s okay! Register now and receive a link to a recording once it’s completed.
This week, DerivSource interviewed Alexandre Bon, Senior Solution Architect at Murex, to discuss the growing needs of an Enterprise View of Data in Financial Service firms. He explains how it is essential in order to comply with both the FRTB and SA-CCR requirements, as firms need full visibility into client and trade data. By concluding Bon’s Q&A, here are the important steps you need to be aware of and follow in order to better comply with these regulations.
1. Improving communication between all departments will build a better enterprise view of risk and capital
By bringing departments together with full transparency into all information, regulation-related strategic decisions can be more efficiently built out. For example, by bringing together the credit, collateral management, treasury and trading departments, will link together how collateral management operates and how trading desks will price the effect collateralization of new transactions. In return, this will provide traders with the information they need to efficiently evaluate which entity they should execute a trade with.
Bon stresses the importance of full transparency into all data at an enterprise level view. Banks need to move to a real time view of their regulatory capital positions in order to properly comply with the FRTB.
2. The SA-CCR has an implementation deadline for many firms
The new standardized approach is scheduled to take effect January 1, 2017. This includes a comprehensive approach for measuring counterparty credit risk associated with OTC derivatives, exchange-traded derivatives and long settled transactions. For more information on what you need to consider in order to comply, you can find it here.
Since a deadline is quickly approaching, more and more firms are beginning to put budgets into place to either build their own system or evaluating enterprise solutions for adoption (take a read through our Build vs. Buy whitepaper for more information).
3. How to integrate departments and getting over that initial challenge “hump”
Integrating departments can be extremely difficult, as further discussed by Bon. It’s no surprise that he mentions the challenges that firms will face, such as how they all operate and run differently, their data sets are incompatible or out date or can be duplicated with inconsistencies. The worst of it- they have no central data repository. He mentions that some firms have built their own regulatory reporting systems on top of data warehouses, but they just don’t cut it.
Implementing a central data repository to allow for full visibility into all data and reporting for every department is essential. It will help establish clear data management processes for maintaining clear, consistent data across the entire enterprise. By moving toward an enterprise view, the information can be used to rationalize processes, understand which businesses are most profitable, and divest those that are not.
Firms will not only be in compliance, but looking further ahead they can develop enterprise-level risk tools for analyzing positions and capital data in a much more efficient way. Banks need to adopt a more innovative approach for dealing with the high cost of regulations, such as managing the total cost of trading. An Enterprise Contract Management System is just that approach.
To learn more about how an enterprise contract management system can help you reduce your firm’s risk, download our Contract Risk Playbook: Risks Hiding in Plain View, an advanced guide for corporate boards and senior executives today.
DerivSource is an independent information source and online community for OTC derivatives professionals globally, with a community of over 15,000 members globally.
*DerivSource, SA0CCR and FRTB: Compliance Drives Renewed Push for Enterprise Data Management. 2016. http://derivsource.com/articles/sa-ccr-and-frtb-compliance-drives-renewed-push-enterprise-data-management-0
Last week, Exari teamed up with IACCM for an insightful webinar to explore the meaning of “Contract Certainty” and how you and your business can work towards achieving it. Attendees also got a look into our Universal Contract Data Model™ and what’s in store for the future with the newly announced CMA Contiki and Exari combination.
Exari’s Founder and Chief Product Officer, Jamie Wodetzki, kicked off the webinar with how you can begin to eliminate contractual uncertainty, like contracts that have expired, risks buried deep into the fine print and gaps in the paper trail. He addressed Revenue, Supply Chain, Process and Title Uncertainty, and the risks associated with each.
With all of the potential risks that live within your contracts, it’s crucial to have an enterprise view. This will allow you to constantly keep track of your businesses relationships with vendors, customers and trading counterparties. By having complete insight into all of your contractual data, you also gain an enterprise view of your business’s risk, the contractual risk score and a breakdown of where it lives. For example, your customer risk score might be lower than your liability risk score, giving insight into which ones you need to dig deeper into and work on.
Mike Maziarz, Exari’s VP of Marketing and Product Management, closed out the webinar with how we’re allowing our customers to move towards 100% Contract Certainty™, with the help from our Universal Data Model™. Mike also commented on the exciting Exari and CMA Contiki merger and how we complement one another to strengthen 100% Contract Certainty™ even further. If you haven’t watched the webinar recording yet, I won’t ruin it for you!
Click here to receive your copy of the webinar recording today!
Even after eight years since the financial crisis, we are still seeing firms continue to recover and take critical steps to put strategies in place for improvement. Firms are focusing on reducing their costs, while increasing their ability to respond to the changing regulations around ensuring financial health.
In particular, our largest global financial institutions are required to implement Living Wills with Recovery and Resolution Plans to ensure visibility under extreme financial or market pressures, and worst case, regulatory plans should the institution actually fail. While today we see how this only impacts the defined Global 20, it’s critical for these and other institutions to understand their contractual obligations and risks under all scenarios. The work to gain this understanding and visibility can be complex, time consuming, and costly.
Additionally, firms are having to respond to changes in the reporting of OTC derivatives going into effect this year. In fact, one of my global clients is looking at ways to unwind their current contract data to parse out the required details for measurement, reporting and re-papering of OTC derivatives alone. It’s a big job for many of our clients that is just getting started.
However, the well considered and industry-tested Universal Data Model delivered by Exari will significantly accelerate these institution’s view into their risks and minimize costs to analyze and respond. Assets Managers can easily reduce the time it takes to capture and analyze trading agreements, IMA’s, CSA’s and side letters from months to just hours. The Model is already enabling our customers, like the one mentioned earlier, to significantly save time and money by managing this in house, rather than relying on outside legal resources.
The Exari Universal Contract Data Model for Financial Services is a game changer and is already being adopted by the industry leaders who want to accelerate the compliance process, minimize risks, and keep costs under control.
For more information on how Exari’s Contract Data Model, please visit our products page
Who cares, you ask?
Well, you should.
Every business runs on contracts. And every business knows their customers (CRM) their accounts (financials) their suppliers (procurement) and their employees (HCM). What do all of these have in common? They are ruled and governed by contracts.
It’s a fact: most companies don’t know what’s in their contracts. Revenue. Risk. Obligations. Miss a commitment and you could lose a customer, an important relationship, your reputation, your job.
Enter Exari Contracts Hub.
With the Hub, you can store and analyze your contracts in a user-friendly and completely secure hosted environment. Using Exari’s patented technology, you can quickly and easily enter your contract data through our unique interview process or use one of our partners to do it for you.
Why the Hub?
We’ve heard over and over again that most contract lifecycle management solutions enforce burdensome workflow, proprietary data stores and cumbersome user interfaces. What do most companies want? One place to go to store, search and analyze their contracts.
Exari Contracts Hub is that place. Easy to store and search contracts. Easy to report on the data buried within. Easy to use for any business user and at a price point sure to make the CFO smile.
The scariest part of this Halloween season might be what’s lurking in the dark.
We’re not talking about spiders and skeletons, ghouls or goblins; we’re talking about all the important – dare we say critical – information about your business that is kept hidden in filing cabinets, inboxes and shared drives. That’s right: contract data. The phrase alone may be enough to send chills up the spine of every General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer in companies where contract data remains buried, disregarded, left for dead.
Indeed, far too many companies do not have any useful or meaningful way of analyzing the data in their legacy and active contracts – those common yet complex mechanisms by which nearly all of your external and internal affairs are governed. And when you have no way of knowing what and how many contracts you have, where you have them and what they say, you are exposing yourself to the most bone chilling word in today’s business world: risk.
One way to bury risk is to gain visibility into your company’s existing processes, knowledge and data. Visibility is the light bulb in the basement, the candle in the attic, the flashlight in the graveyard, the car keys in the abandoned truck with a full tank of gas.