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The business case and ROI for Legito deployments

The business case and ROI for Legito deployments

About Charles Drayson

Charles is a UK lawyer who has used document automation for 20 years. He has worked for large law firms, corporate legal teams, and has automated legal and non-legal documents. He writes for Legito to share his passion for using automation to get work done. “I get a kick out of creating good content and seeing it used repeatedly and reliably by colleagues without fuss and bother”.

Charles Drayson

Nov 17 · 5 min read

A business case is not the same as a predicted return on investment (ROI), even if those terms seem to be used interchangeably. The objective is to demonstrate that a project is worth doing, perhaps to gain executive support, but perhaps to satisfy yourself before you put your reputation on the line. I suggest a business case is a reason to execute a project, and an ROI is an accounting device to project a financial advantage that includes figures for the costs and the rewards. It’s useful to consider both concepts, even if you are not asked for both. Otherwise, you might overlook some gems.

Long before Legito existed, I deployed a first-generation document automation solution for a sales team of 70+ people. I had a personal need to make the project work (I was struggling to do my job without something to bring order out of chaos), but I needed a more corporate motivation to win support for the project. Some projects will have a solid business case without a compelling ROI unless you take a wide interpretation of ‘return’ in an ROI calculation (a risky approach if your audience is cynical).

My first project appeared to be one of those. External events (think litigation, disgruntled shareholders, demanding audit conditions) transpired to deliver a clear imperative to deliver good governance of the sales / contracts /invoicing process. Cost savings, efficiencies, and cycle times were not on the list of objectives. Just fix a broken process.

Sometimes, the need to change is self-evident. Don’t let a request for an ROI obscure a manifest business need. Call the business case what it is.

 

My observation from supporting sales teams in the IT industry is that sponsors respond to an overwhelming business case even if they have asked for an ROI. Some bid teams try to express the business case using an ROI, and there’s no harm in that if the message isn’t lost in translation. Don’t let the numbers do a job that ought to be done by a clear statement of need. If one relies on an ROI as the principal expression of a business case, people try to assign numbers to some benefits that are tricky to express numerically with much precision or evidence. If that happens, cynics find it easy to pick a fight with the numbers, and the battle is lost.

 

Looking back on many projects related to document-orientated solutions, there was a business case that could be readily expressed with a few statements of need. Still, it was also possible to build a compelling ROI, even if some of the returns were incidental or perhaps unrelated to addressing the stated needs.

 

This is a particular problem for projects designed to promote governance and compliance. You could build an ROI calculation using numbers based on projected penalties from fines or litigation. However, many organisations have no direct experience of costly litigation or the heavy hand of regulatory fines, so the numbers might look too remote. The same difficulty applies to putting a number on lost business opportunities. In some industries, an organisation wouldn’t survive to recover from a governance or compliance failure. There’s no reliable data to put a figure on lost business. In those cases, speak truth unto power and be clear about the need. If the need isn’t sufficiently compelling, the project isn’t going to get support regardless of the ROI.

The project I described as a ‘just fix a broken process’ did deliver an impressive ROI, even if that was not our objective. If you can deliver ROI while meeting business needs, it will be easier to command support. Moreover, it could be the difference between getting mere approval for deployment and getting resources needed to increase the likelihood of success (for example, a budget to buy in some external consultancy assistance).

Before you build an ROI for Legito, take a free trial. A free trial is a great way to build confidence that you have selected the correct tool, but it is also an opportunity to experiment with a prototype solution to generate metrics for an ROI. The Legito consulting team sometimes gets involved in a trial project. Legito consultants can often build a rapid initial solution sufficient to prove capability as well as helping you to measure some initial results.

Legito projects often start with a document automation project (automatic production of tailored documents using variable data) to replace a legacy process of manual document creation. The time saved from manual document creation to automated drafting is easy to measure, and frequently reveals obvious savings with irrefutable evidence.

When measuring the benefits from Legito document automation, be sure to consider the cost of people checking for errors, fixing errors, and resolving formatting issues associated with legacy document drafting.

Here is a list of metrics you might consider measuring when building an ROI calculation:

Legito projects typically start small and expand after an initial quick deployment. It is usually possible to build a good ROI for a starter project – there’s no need to over-complicate the calculation by projecting results over a long IT project.

If you need help with an ROI, the Legito consultants have the experience to provide metrics from comparable projects. However, there’s nothing like a trial project to prove them for yourself.

Charles Drayson

Nov 17 · 5 min read

A business case is not the same as a predicted return on investment (ROI), even if those terms seem to be used interchangeably. The objective is to demonstrate that a project is worth doing, perhaps to gain executive support, but perhaps to satisfy yourself before you put your reputation on the line. I suggest a business case is a reason to execute a project, and an ROI is an accounting device to project a financial advantage that includes figures for the costs and the rewards. It’s useful to consider both concepts, even if you are not asked for both. Otherwise, you might overlook some gems. 

Long before Legito existed, I deployed a first-generation document automation solution for a sales team of 70+ people. I had a personal need to make the project work (I was struggling to do my job without something to bring order out of chaos), but I needed a more corporate motivation to win support for the project. Some projects will have a solid business case without a compelling ROI unless you take a wide interpretation of ‘return’ in an ROI calculation (a risky approach if your audience is cynical).

My first project appeared to be one of those. External events (think litigation, disgruntled shareholders, demanding audit conditions) transpired to deliver a clear imperative to deliver good governance of the sales / contracts /invoicing process. Cost savings, efficiencies, and cycle times were not on the list of objectives. Just fix a broken process.

Sometimes, the need to change is self-evident. Don’t let a request for an ROI obscure a manifest business need. Call the business case what it is.

 

My observation from supporting sales teams in the IT industry is that sponsors respond to an overwhelming business case even if they have asked for an ROI. Some bid teams try to express the business case using an ROI, and there’s no harm in that if the message isn’t lost in translation. Don’t let the numbers do a job that ought to be done by a clear statement of need. If one relies on an ROI as the principal expression of a business case, people try to assign numbers to some benefits that are tricky to express numerically with much precision or evidence. If that happens, cynics find it easy to pick a fight with the numbers, and the battle is lost.

This is a particular problem for projects designed to promote governance and compliance. You could build an ROI calculation using numbers based on projected penalties from fines or litigation. However, many organisations have no direct experience of costly litigation or the heavy hand of regulatory fines, so the numbers might look too remote. The same difficulty applies to putting a number on lost business opportunities. In some industries, an organisation wouldn’t survive to recover from a governance or compliance failure. There’s no reliable data to put a figure on lost business. In those cases, speak truth unto power and be clear about the need. If the need isn’t sufficiently compelling, the project isn’t going to get support regardless of the ROI.

 

Looking back on many projects related to document-orientated solutions, there was a business case that could be readily expressed with a few statements of need. Still, it was also possible to build a compelling ROI, even if some of the returns were incidental or perhaps unrelated to addressing the stated needs.

 

The project I described as a ‘just fix a broken process’ did deliver an impressive ROI, even if that was not our objective. If you can deliver ROI while meeting business needs, it will be easier to command support. Moreover, it could be the difference between getting mere approval for deployment and getting resources needed to increase the likelihood of success (for example, a budget to buy in some external consultancy assistance).

Before you build an ROI for Legito, take a free trial. A free trial is a great way to build confidence that you have selected the correct tool, but it is also an opportunity to experiment with a prototype solution to generate metrics for an ROI. The Legito consulting team sometimes gets involved in a trial project. Legito consultants can often build a rapid initial solution sufficient to prove capability as well as helping you to measure some initial results. Legito projects often start with a document automation project (automatic production of tailored documents using variable data) to replace a legacy process of manual document creation. The time saved from manual document creation to automated drafting is easy to measure, and frequently reveals obvious savings with irrefutable evidence.

When measuring the benefits from Legito document automation, be sure to consider the cost of people checking for errors, fixing errors, and resolving formatting issues associated with legacy document drafting.

Here is a list of metrics you might consider measuring when building an ROI calculation:

Legito projects typically start small and expand after an initial quick deployment. It is usually possible to build a good ROI for a starter project – there’s no need to over-complicate the calculation by projecting results over a long IT project.

If you need help with an ROI, the Legito consultants have the experience to provide metrics from comparable projects. However, there’s nothing like a trial project to prove them for yourself.

The business case and ROI for Legito deployments

Charles Drayson

Nov 17 · 5 min read

A business case is not the same as a predicted return on investment (ROI), even if those terms seem to be used interchangeably. The objective is to demonstrate that a project is worth doing, perhaps to gain executive support, but perhaps to satisfy yourself before you put your reputation on the line. I suggest a business case is a reason to execute a project, and an ROI is an accounting device to project a financial advantage that includes figures for the costs and the rewards. It’s useful to consider both concepts, even if you are not asked for both. Otherwise, you might overlook some gems. 

Long before Legito existed, I deployed a first-generation document automation solution for a sales team of 70+ people. I had a personal need to make the project work (I was struggling to do my job without something to bring order out of chaos), but I needed a more corporate motivation to win support for the project. Some projects will have a solid business case without a compelling ROI unless you take a wide interpretation of ‘return’ in an ROI calculation (a risky approach if your audience is cynical).

My first project appeared to be one of those. External events (think litigation, disgruntled shareholders, demanding audit conditions) transpired to deliver a clear imperative to deliver good governance of the sales / contracts /invoicing process. Cost savings, efficiencies, and cycle times were not on the list of objectives. Just fix a broken process.

Sometimes, the need to change is self-evident. Don’t let a request for an ROI obscure a manifest business need. Call the business case what it is.

 

My observation from supporting sales teams in the IT industry is that sponsors respond to an overwhelming business case even if they have asked for an ROI. Some bid teams try to express the business case using an ROI, and there’s no harm in that if the message isn’t lost in translation. Don’t let the numbers do a job that ought to be done by a clear statement of need. If one relies on an ROI as the principal expression of a business case, people try to assign numbers to some benefits that are tricky to express numerically with much precision or evidence. If that happens, cynics find it easy to pick a fight with the numbers, and the battle is lost.

This is a particular problem for projects designed to promote governance and compliance. You could build an ROI calculation using numbers based on projected penalties from fines or litigation. However, many organisations have no direct experience of costly litigation or the heavy hand of regulatory fines, so the numbers might look too remote. The same difficulty applies to putting a number on lost business opportunities. In some industries, an organisation wouldn’t survive to recover from a governance or compliance failure. There’s no reliable data to put a figure on lost business. In those cases, speak truth unto power and be clear about the need. If the need isn’t sufficiently compelling, the project isn’t going to get support regardless of the ROI.

 

Looking back on many projects related to document-orientated solutions, there was a business case that could be readily expressed with a few statements of need. Still, it was also possible to build a compelling ROI, even if some of the returns were incidental or perhaps unrelated to addressing the stated needs.

 

The project I described as a ‘just fix a broken process’ did deliver an impressive ROI, even if that was not our objective. If you can deliver ROI while meeting business needs, it will be easier to command support. Moreover, it could be the difference between getting mere approval for deployment and getting resources needed to increase the likelihood of success (for example, a budget to buy in some external consultancy assistance).

Before you build an ROI for Legito, take a free trial. A free trial is a great way to build confidence that you have selected the correct tool, but it is also an opportunity to experiment with a prototype solution to generate metrics for an ROI. The Legito consulting team sometimes gets involved in a trial project. Legito consultants can often build a rapid initial solution sufficient to prove capability as well as helping you to measure some initial results. Legito projects often start with a document automation project (automatic production of tailored documents using variable data) to replace a legacy process of manual document creation. The time saved from manual document creation to automated drafting is easy to measure, and frequently reveals obvious savings with irrefutable evidence.

When measuring the benefits from Legito document automation, be sure to consider the cost of people checking for errors, fixing errors, and resolving formatting issues associated with legacy document drafting.

Here is a list of metrics you might consider measuring when building an ROI calculation:

Legito projects typically start small and expand after an initial quick deployment. It is usually possible to build a good ROI for a starter project – there’s no need to over-complicate the calculation by projecting results over a long IT project.

If you need help with an ROI, the Legito consultants have the experience to provide metrics from comparable projects. However, there’s nothing like a trial project to prove them for yourself.

About Charles Drayson

Charles is a UK lawyer who has used document automation for 20 years. He has worked for large law firms, corporate legal teams, and has automated legal and non-legal documents. He writes for Legito to share his passion for using automation to get work done. “I get a kick out of creating good content and seeing it used repeatedly and reliably by colleagues without fuss and bother”.

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Insurance and Document Automation Part II: Staying Organized

Insurance and Document Automation Part II: Staying Organized

Insurance and Document Automation Part II: Staying Organized

Once an insurance matter has been finalized, it lives on.  Details of policy agreement must be maintained and tracked. Long gone are the days of keeping executed agreements and policy statements in cardboard boxes, stored away in musty filing rooms, and using complicated, time-consuming, and often arcane inventory filing systems. The need to be in compliance with various regulations, like the Dodd Frank act, and Data Privacy laws, requires smart, robust automated document management software that not only helps generate your documents, but helps you manage your documents as well.

Compliance Documentation

“If it isn’t documented, it didn’t happen”. Compliance to insurance regulatory requirements such as Solvency II, and data privacy rules such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is one thing, but proof of this compliance is something altogether different. If your company comes under scrutiny from a regulator, and undergoes an audit, an automated document management system with strong record taking capabilities may mean the difference between a positive evaluation and heavy penalties -or worse.  

Automated Document Lifecycle Management software that keeps an Audit Trail of every action performed on a document reinforces transparency and confirms your fair business practices.

Security and Confidentiality can be maintained by implementing comprehensive yet flexible User Permissions that can determine what content is available to whom, and which users at your organization are permitted to edit, or share documents internally or externally. These settings can be further bolstered using Template Categories that can organize Documents, and the automated templates from which they are generated according to department or office location, and restrict access based on those parameters.

Although adherence to data privacy laws require an aggressive approach, easy to apply Data Anonymization tools make it easy to stay compliant and protect the privacy of your customers.

Document Records

In addition to securing your documents for compliance reasons, it is important to have strong Document Records that can provide a quick, but detailed view of the important aspects of any given document. These details may include information like the parties, in a document, and their contact information. It may even include information about the drafting, review, and Approval of the document. Ancillary documentation related to a matter, such as medical reports and invoices, previously filed claims, and assorted files could also be uploaded as Related documents.

Specially selected Document Record Properties, Template Tags are additional ways to avoid spending time on data entry, and automatically pull data like policy fees and payment amounts from your automatically assembled documents to automatically populate your Document Records. Key dates such as policy renewal dates can be pulled and used to create automatic Document Alerts, ensuring that agents do not to miss opportunities to engage with customers.

An Automated Document Management solution that is used to pull this information and more, can help your company better summarize and categorize documents. This same information can be used to power Reporting and Analytics to assess how LEAN your operations are.

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Insurance and Document Automation Part I: Getting Organized

Insurance and Document Automation Part I: Getting Organized

Insurance and Document Automation Part I: Getting Organized

The Insurance and Reinsurance fields rank right up there with the legal profession and human resources as some of the most document intensive industries. Even without including the actual policy documents which are by themselves quite formidable, supporting files such as proposals, summary quotes, disclosure statements, are just a handful of the multitude of documents required to complete most matters.

Automated Assembly

Automated document assembly software will save you time, that much is clear, but in the insurance industry where so many documents require precise data to be entered in to forms and Tables in order to perform accurate Calculations, entering the correct data into your documents is essential for succcess.

The ability to pull Data from Sheets helps ensure that the information going into your policies is correct. You can also guarantee this by pulling previously approved information from other documents which you can be assured are relevant to your current matter. Strong document automation software can not only import data into a single document, but can be used to populate a Bundle of documents.

The right document management solution not only ensures accuracy, but also saves time. For instance, Batch Generation tools help users automatically generate multiple documents at the simultaneously.

Sharing and Collaboration

The parties working on an insurance matter normally range from different groups. It is not always necessary for everyone at an organization to review all the documents related to a matter, and in fact, for security reasons it may be preferrable to set up User Groups to maintain proper confidentiality and privacy concerns.

The use of User Groups also makes both external and internal Sharing easier, and the use of Workflows and Approvals help ensure that the right people see the right documents at the right time, building efficiency into the process and helping matters close quickly.

Time Savings

The number one complaint that consumers have with their insurers is how claims are handled. Some complaints center around speed and access. An automated document assembly solution that allows customers to access External Forms to complete a claim, not only empowers the customer by granting more control over the process, but also if using the right software, the information that is entered by the customer can automatically generate the necessary documents privately, meaning i the customer would not see the documents until they were ready to be shared by the agent.

Another way that automated document management tools help save time and therefore increase savings is through the use of Electronic signature solutions to execute agreements and polices. A trusted automated document management solution offers easy integration with popular eSignature tools. Some offer Biometric Signature solutions which are just as quick and convenient but with an added layer of security.

With the number of documents, and the complexity of the industry, Automated Document Assembly and Management is the only way to offer customers the best service and stay ahead of the pack.

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LIBOR Transitions: 2021 and Beyond

LIBOR Transitions: 2021 and Beyond

LIBOR Transitions: 2021 and Beyond

LIBOR, the world’s most important number, will be discontinued at the end of 2021. Published each day by the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) in five (5) currencies (US Dollars, Sterling, Euros, Japanese Yen, and Swiss Francs), LIBOR is referenced in tens of millions of contracts, combining for a value exceeding USD 240 trillion, ranging all manner of financial activity. Just about any financial institution that leverages global financial systems for transactions uses LIBOR.


WHEN WILL PUBLICATIONS CEASE?
ICE Benchmark Administration will cease the LIBOR publications as follows:

  • December 31, 2021 – GBP, EUR, CHF and JPY LIBOR; and the one(1) week and two (2) month USD LIBOR; and
  • June 30, 2023 – the overnight and one (1) month, three (3) month, six (6) month, and twelve (12) month USD LIBOR 


WHAT WILL REPLACE LIBOR?
LIBOR is set to be replaced by Alternative Reference Rates (ARRs) beginning from January 1, 2021, although the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) is not poised to completely replace LIBOR until 2023. SOFR is likely to be used in the United States and the United Kingdom, and elsewhere. Other countries are exploring using their own version of a benchmark rate for when LIBOR is finally phased out.

Alternative Reference Rates:

  • Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) (Fed Reserve Bank of New York – USD)
  • Reformed Sterling Overnight Index Average (SONIA) (Bank of England – GDP)
  • Euro Short-Term Rate (ESTR) (European Central Bank – EUR)
  • Swiss Average Rate Overnight (SARON) (SIX Swiss Exchange – CHF)
  • Tokyo Overnight Average Rate (TONAR) (Bank of Japan – JPY)

The Alternative Reference Rates Committee (ARRC) is a group of private-market participants convened by the Federal Reserve Board and the New York Fed to help ensure a successful transition from U.S. dollar (USD) LIBOR to a more robust reference rate, its recommended alternative, the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR).

How does LIBOR differ from these ARR’s?
LIBOR is currently published as a forward-looking rate (i.e., one month, three months, etc.), while SOFR is not. LIBOR is meant to represent a bank’s cost of capital, while SOFR measures rates applicable to short-term, secured financing.

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REMEDIATION: WHAT ARE THE CONTRACTUAL SOLUTIONS?

As mentioned above, the discontinuation of LIBOR affects millions of contracts. These contracts will need to be amended to reflect new rates. The sheer volume and complexity of the changes required leads to one essential question: “How should we manage the LIBOR transition in our contracts?” 

The most obvious contractual solution is to avoid referencing LIBOR in new contracts, even for LIBOR rates that will continue to be published after December 31, 2021. But, should it prove necessary, then best practice “fallback language” should be added to the contract, which would allow for the referencing of an alternative reference rate.

What is Fallback language? Fallback language refers to the contractual provisions that define a process to use an alternative reference rate should the benchmark rate (e.g., USD LIBOR) not be available. Fallback language generally has three key components: i) a fallback trigger event, ii) a benchmark replacement (ARR), and iii) a benchmark replacement adjustment. However, this is not a cure-all, as other factors must be considered and evaluated to ensure equity, including the maturity date, contract governing law and jurisdiction, and force majeure provisions. 

The ARRC is considering rules that will provide “hardwired” fallback language for contracts which refer to LIBOR as the reference rate, automatically converting that reference to SOFR. However, this also is not a magic bullet, and should only be relied upon as a last resort for those contracts which may have been missed during review. 

Even a new contract that references a rate other than LIBOR should be drafted with strong fallback language, because even the ARRs are not perfect, and could possibly face similar regulatory scrutiny as LIBOR. As with any major contract project, drafting should not only meet the current challenge, but also have a built-in flexibility to anticipate unknown situations – meaning contracts that allow for easy amending.

Next you will want to determine which options to use to apply the updates to the contracts, whether through:

  • Repapering the contracts completely
  • Amending existing contracts
  • Relying on Hardwiring regulations
  • Relying on existing Fallback Language


HOW DO YOU TRANSITION FROM LIBOR TODAY?
Any contracts referencing LIBOR rates after those rates have been discontinued will unnecessarily expose your organization to risk. No matter which LIBOR cessation date applies to your business, it makes sense to get started as soon as possible. As with any major endeavor on an enterprise level, it is important to plan.

  • Build a transition team.
    Assign a team the responsibility of overseeing transition activities. The size, make-up, and structure of the group will be contingent on your type of business, but at the very least you will want to include:

     

      • No fallback language
      • A member of senior management to own the project.
      • Legal & Compliance team members, who will be familiar with the regulations, and subject matter.
      • Technology team members, who will be able to ensure that the agreed solutions are possible to implement.
      • Other stakeholders, dependent on the nature of your organization.
  • Define a clear transition strategy.
    Develop a strategy document that comprehensively describes your planned transition activities, including tactics to minimize your organization’s risks, costs and delays. 
  • Gather all related contracts to a single location.
  • Assess your document management resources.

Already having in place a strong document management system, enhanced by automated Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) technology will make your life easier. Whether or not you have LIBOR specific classifications, a robust document management tool will increase the efficiency of your transition. 

If your organization does not yet have document management software, then now is the perfect opportunity to define your contract processes, and find a solution that will not only help with your LIBOR change management, but will also prepare you for any upcoming challenges in your business. 

  • Draft best practice fallback language that contemplates many different contract, regulatory, and product variables.
  • Assess and Categorize your contracts.
    Inventory all contracts that contain interest reference rates and perform an impact assessment. Evaluate the contracts and determine how any risk, if any, will be mitigated. This evaluation and risk mitigation will not only be a one time project, so being able to capture, and report on this information on a regular basis is necessary for maintaining compliance, and reducing exposure. Part of your document management assessment should include how detailed your document records will be.
    Some things to look out for include:

     

      • Weak in fallback language
      • No fallback language
      • Levels of risk depending on the fallback language
  • Apply Your Options (as referenced above).

The ARRC’s suggested transition strategy can be found here.


HOW DOES DOCUMENT AUTOMATION MAKE LIBOR TRANSITIONS EASIER?
As herculean a task this may seem, with the right legal technology, reducing your risk exposure can be done quickly, safely, and inexpensively. The key tools for success are: 

  • Automated Document Assembly
  • Automated Workflows 
  • Automated Data Extraction
  • Document Management and Organization including tools for Audit and Compliance
  • OCR capabilities

Automation Document Assembly

  • Preestablished Fallback Language, drafted and approved by your legal and product teams; this language is automatically drafted into contracts.
  • Dynamically draft references to alternative ACCRs, or triggers with Fallback Language depending on value, currency, term length, type of transaction or instrument, or more.
  • Automatically draft contract amendments based on legacy contract information.
  • Import data from spreadsheets or existing documents to populate fields in new contracts (and dynamically draft new contracts based on that imported data).
  • Batch Generate documents simultaneously with information from databases and spreadsheets.

Automated Data Extraction; Reporting and Analytics

  • Data on reference rate type, key contract dates, document term length and expiration, contract value, fallback language type, parties, and more is automatically pulled from contracts providing troves of data for strong reporting and rich analytics.

Document Management & Organization

  • Extracted data allows for easy classification of document risk.
  • Newly automatically drafted documents are automatically categorized based on their type and content.

Automated Workflows & Approvals

  • Automated Workflows will take contracts and, based on the type, expiration date, value, or risk classification, automatically send them to the correct stakeholders for review. 

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) (with Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning)
A strong OCR tool will read text, and help categorize risk according to fallback clauses, and the best tools utilize some type of machine learning for optimum results. Often however, these solutions do not provide comprehensive automated Document Management and Assembly tools. The top automated document management and assembly providers, however, develop partnerships with OCR experts to provide the best contract lifecycle management solution for managing a successful LIBOR transition.


References:

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Automating Success in Accounting and Finance

Automating Success in Accounting and Finance

Automating Success in Accounting and Finance

Precision is paramount when it comes to the Accounting and Finance fields. Even the smallest error can mean huge losses, especially to reputation. Up-to-date information, transparency, and security are mandatory prerequisites for success, especially when considering an Automated Document Management tool.

 

Statements

Whether you are an inhouse team or a firm, preparing financial statements is a routine but essential function. The structure of statements rarely changes, and creating one really amounts to data entry, which may be augmented with automated calculation features. Use of standardized formatting ensures that statements are always created with a professional and consistent look

Automations built into statements can automatically draft ancillary documents and appendices depending on the statement information. Should a certain asset type require a particular form, conditional logic will automatically create that form, and automatically populate it. Time is saved, and the risk of a person using the incorrect form is greatly removed.

Functions like data Import From Sheets make it possible to automatically populate statements with information that has already been captured in a spreadsheet report. Again, time is saved, as information doesn’t need to be entered once in the report and again in the statement, and there is the secondary benefit of ensuring that the information entered is correct, as the risk of human error is eliminated.

 

Easier Collaboration and Customer Engagement

Once financial statements, and other types of deliverables are drafted, they often need to go through internal review. Automated Workflows and Approvals can ensure that the internal review process is streamlined, and Reminder Notifications can keep a schedule of when deliverables are due.  

Other forms of engagement may include soliciting information from customers, for example, mortgage applications. Automated questionnaires, made available via secure URL link, or shared through specially created customer portals, let applicants complete applications online. Notes, and Instructions can help guide the applicants through the process. Initial drafts of any necessary documents are created in real time, and can be made visible to applicants or made to remain hidden.

 

Automatic updates, Security, Compliance

Confidentiality, compliance, and privacy, are all integral to the financial and accounting services. Ensuring on a case-by-case basis that there is language that meets obligations under Sarbanes-Oxley, LIBOR, latest SEC regulations, can be both time consuming and expensive. A good Automated Document drafting tool employs Template Version Control, ensuring that, once the required regulatory language is updated in the template, all the documents drafting from that template, including those still not finalized, are also updated.

Flexible, but robust Security Permissions allow sensitive information to be saved in a single database, but with flexible levels of security ensuring that confidential information stays that way. Audit trails promote transparency by tracking all actions made to a statement or any underlying documents.

Data anonymization features also ensure that accounting firms stay compliant.

 

The Accounting, Tax, and Financial Services industries value accuracy, efficiency, and promptness. It is clear that an automated document management solution that drafts documents quickly while reducing exposure to risk, is the must-have tool in order to rise above the competition.

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