Legal17 May, 2019

5 document automation myths holding your legal department back

As legal departments are under constant pressure to do more with less and contribute to the business at a strategic level, they are looking for ways to reduce inefficiency and increase productivity. In fact, as per a finding (Thomson Reuters), for 41% of corporate legal departments, the top benefit of improving efficiency is the ability to focus on strategic work.

Given the number of complex, repetitive documents in-house legal teams deal with, relying on manual, cumbersome processes to create them can result in wasted time, money and effort. What’s more, these processes increase the possibilities for errors exposing the business to risks.

Document automation tools helps legal departments overcome these challenges associated with creating legal documents manually. However, misconceptions about automated processes discourage legal departments from implementing them. In this post, we debunk 5 myths about document automation so that you can take full advantage of it to focus on what matters most.

Myth #1: Automation is not meant for complex documents.

Complexity increases when information is pulled from different spreadsheets and files as done when using manual processes to create legal documents. You will end up wasting hours searching for information (while some information might even be misplaced!) and sending the document back and forth for approval. Documents created manually can include errors and outdated information and can result in wasted time and effort.

On the other hand, automation involves streamlining document creation and approval workflows. You can set up advanced templates using the most up-to-date content (taking in account changes in laws, policies and regulations) that guide colleagues through simple options to draft documents quickly. This way, you don’t need to review every legal document while your colleagues can self-serve. Automation also enables you to set a standard language and track deviations. This ensures compliance, governance and the quality of the documents produced.

Myth #2: Automation software is expensive.

Consequences of manual processes including wasted labour hours and poor-quality documents costs a business a way higher than any document automation software. You can find a solution that suits your business needs and budget. In fact, you can even implement a software that is customisable to your growth. You can find a solution that is within your financial reach and fits your business now and in the future.

Myth #3: Automation requires tools and time to learn.

Automation tools are flexible and hassle-free; they can easily integrate into your existing processes and IT environments- this means you can continue using the same tools you use today. For an example, you can create and maintain a library of Word-based templates without the need of a programmer or the IT department. Automation tools are user-friendly and don’t require programming skills or expensive training.

Myth #4: Automation can’t replace the knowledge of Legal. Therefore, it’s a waste of time.

Indeed. Automation tools are not designed to replace the role of Legal within the business. Instead, it enhances the functioning of the legal department providing a structured environment with defined workflows. Automating the document creation processes increases efficiency levels and improves productivity. Streamlining administrative workflows to create documents significantly saves time and effort that can be utilised for strategic, high-value tasks.

Myth #5: Automation is necessary only if there is a high volume of documents.

Regardless of the volume, automating document creation processes can benefit legal departments. If you don’t have to create as many legal documents as a large CLD has to, you can still automate document drafting by having standard clauses and assembling repeatable clauses on the fly. This saves you time and ensure quality of the legal documents thanks to the minimisation of errors. Automation helps you improve compliance throughout the business. If you are a small growing CLD with limited resources, automation can help you keep costs low, maximise resource use and enable growth.

To conclude, automating document creation empowers colleagues to self-serve, while Legal stays in control.

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