Adobe Digital Dialogue

Streamline legal processes with e-signatures

Legal pro­fes­sion­als deal with a com­plex array of doc­u­ments, tem­plates and con­tracts, each with their own sta­tus updates and work­flow. For many organ­i­sa­tions, the legal line of busi­ness func­tion is large­ly man­u­al and can be con­strained by hav­ing to rely on out­dat­ed search meth­ods and error-prone infor­ma­tion flows. In this blog we look at how e-sig­na­tures can reduce legal costs and com­pli­ance risks.

Man­ag­ing con­tent for com­pa­ny legal require­ments is still heav­i­ly depen­dent on high­ly skilled peo­ple who are con­tin­u­ous­ly tied down with admin­is­tra­tion. In addi­tion to the cost and inef­fi­cien­cies of man­u­al process­es, paper legal doc­u­ments (tem­plates and signed copies) are dif­fi­cult to search for and access. Addi­tion­al­ly, with­out a robust work­flow it’s too easy for employ­ees to send out out­dat­ed con­tracts with incor­rect terms.

In the paper world, senior man­age­ment often don’t imme­di­ate­ly know the sta­tus of legal doc­u­ments and it can some­times take days in turn-around time to trans­act busi­ness.

Your legal team wastes time if they are required to work on basic agree­ments such as NDAs and engage­ment terms, instead of focus­ing their atten­tion to activ­i­ties where their exper­tise will have the most impact.

Speeding up legal transactions with e-signatures

By their nature, many legal doc­u­ments require ‘sign off’ by all the par­ties involved in an agree­ment, a process that can be digi­tised with e-sig­na­tures. Let’s take a look at how process improve­ment using dig­i­tal tech­nol­o­gy can stream­line legal oper­a­tions, enhance secu­ri­ty and reduce dis­cov­ery time.

• Con­tracts: most of today’s con­tracts involve the lengthy ‘print-sign-scan-email’ process for approval. This process is time con­sum­ing, suf­fers from poor qual­i­ty doc­u­ment repro­duc­tion and is often incom­plete (i.e. one par­ty signs, then nev­er sees the final copy). e-sig­na­tures stream­line this process sig­nif­i­cant­ly and don’t require a mul­ti­func­tion device. They also pro­vide a solu­tion where employ­ees can cre­ate and send agree­ments elec­tron­i­cal­ly for approval and sig­na­tures. Depend­ing on your company’s busi­ness rules, con­tracts that are low val­ue, low risk, stan­dard or do not require nego­ti­a­tion can now be auto­mat­ed.

• Work­flows: with e-sig­na­tures and dig­i­tal doc­u­ments, your legal team can build work­flows that fol­low your spec­i­fied busi­ness rules. This ensures the right infor­ma­tion and doc­u­ments are auto­mat­i­cal­ly used every time, increas­ing the accu­ra­cy and com­plete­ness of your con­tracts and records. An intu­itive drag-and-drop expe­ri­ence gives legal and con­tract man­age­ment oper­a­tions and busi­ness ana­lysts the pow­er to adapt pre­built work­flow tem­plates, or build one from scratch.

• Approvals: approvals and sign off are essen­tial parts of the legal process and e-sig­na­tures allow more than one stake­hold­er to approve some­thing with­out hav­ing to trav­el to a cer­tain loca­tion.

• Audit­ing and dis­cov­ery: e-sig­na­ture tech­nol­o­gy pro­vides a real-time dash­board and audit trail to know exact­ly when and who kicked off a process, edit­ed or signed a doc­u­ment, giv­ing you a com­plete view of your company’s oper­a­tions. You can also spec­i­fy doc­u­ment vis­i­bil­i­ty per­mis­sions based on user roles. For dis­cov­ery, a dig­i­tal repos­i­to­ry is much eas­i­er to search than a cab­i­net of paper doc­u­ments and you can also con­trol who access­es the archives.

• Reduc­ing doc­u­ment risk: an organ­i­sa­tion is exposed to legal and busi­ness risk when staff unwit­ting­ly send out out­dat­ed ver­sions of a con­tract, use the wrong terms, or include incor­rect or miss­ing infor­ma­tion. Employ­ees can also spend lots of time hunt­ing for the right infor­ma­tion, copy­ing and past­ing data and arrang­ing infor­ma­tion on every doc­u­ment they send out. Using e-sig­na­tures reduces the risks inher­ent in per­son­al doc­u­ment man­age­ment with a con­trolled process over how doc­u­ments are gen­er­at­ed.

The busi­ness ben­e­fits of e-sig­na­ture tech­nol­o­gy will impact your entire oper­a­tions – from dis­cov­ery to employ­ee sat­is­fac­tion. Make end-to-end dig­i­tal work­flows and the paper­less office a real­i­ty with trust­ed, legal elec­tron­ic sig­na­tures. E-sig­na­ture plat­forms like Adobe Sign accel­er­ate the pace of busi­ness by work­ing with your exist­ing process­es and sys­tems, expe­dit­ing trans­ac­tions. The data is also pro­tect­ed with indus­try-lead­ing secu­ri­ty stan­dards. And e-sig­na­tures can be used by organ­i­sa­tions of all sizes, not just large enter­pris­es.

Document Management

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