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How Spreadsheets Kills Transparency in your Legal department

by PracticeLeague

Legal departments have used spreadsheets extensively when it comes to creating detailed records – after all you need to have a record of all the contracts, litigations and their processes, right?

While spreadsheets are fairly simple to use, have a straightforward approach and are free, their advantages are often overshadowed by their disadvantages. Not only are they time consuming to create, may lead to loss of data and have low efficiency, but they also kill the transparency in your department.

Every lawyer in the legal department knows that transparency is extremely important between all the members because a decrease in transparency leads to greater risks for the company, and nobody wants that. When it is your job to help in the reducing of risks and exposure, then it is necessary to be equipped with the right tools to handle such a task.

When you create detailed spreadsheets, not only are you trying to fit in a lot of information in those tiny cells without a specific format, but are also left quite confused by the end of the process.

Bullet Can you easily identify which spreadsheet is the latest version in the complete process?
Bullet Are others who are reading your spreadsheet able to easily understand the format and make important deductions and conclusions?
Bullet Is your spreadsheet same for all your reporting offices and branches?
Bullet Does the spreadsheet provide enough information about all your legal matters?
Bullet Does the spreadsheet let others easily add their comments and suggestions without them being missed?

On the other hand, once you do create the spreadsheet it has to be emailed to all the parties concerned and there are hundreds of emails sent back and forth between multiple people, making the process even harder.

While many legal departments have successfully used spreadsheets as a way to maintain records, there is a chance that they are being exposed to more risks, errors and control gaps that may seriously slow down the contract review process or make it difficult to follow up with previous ones.

This is specially true when you have an increase in the number of litigations and contracts that need to be reviewed and dealt with, but this slow and confusing process may lead to you just wondering what happened to the contract, where it has reached in the process and whether the right people are even reviewing what needs to be taken care of.

To avoid this misunderstanding and remove low efficiency in your legal department, it maybe time to invest in a good legal enterprise solution that will not only help you manage multiple contracts and litigations, but also do that with a lot less effort, time and error.

Not only the process of creating records will be much simpler but transparency within the department will be increased as every one can access the files and records, with a complete history and the latest additions. No more sending emails and compiling data across your offices – instead you can spend that time on important matters more efficiently!

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