Getting it wrong is not always the end of the world. The American journalist Kathryn Schulz wrote a fascinating book about how being wrong can be a valuable adventure (“Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error”). However, for lawyers and other professionals, mistakes can be damaging and sometimes downright irreparable. Moreover, they can lead to serious losses of money, time and reputation.
Contracts and legal documents must be perfect in every way, and the writer must be absolutely sure of every word he or she uses. But we must be aware that human beings are not machines, nor do we pretend to be. We are not perfect people, we all make mistakes sometimes.
Human error plays an important role when relying on manual drafting, management and review of legal documents. Human error plays an important role when relying on manual drafting, management and review of legal documents. Legal teams must be absolutely sure that there is not a single mistake in a contract, otherwise it could become null and void. Typographical, grammatical and formatting errors are some of the most common errors in legal documents, but they are difficult to prevent when the legal firm relies on manual handling. These document failures are the reason why legal departments can greatly benefit from investing in intelligent automation tools.
On the other hand, it is difficult to focus on negotiating contractual terms or taking care of the important things when one is preoccupied with correcting gross errors in agreements. Automated management systems will save your team time by pinpointing and correcting errors and automating processes so you can get more value from your documents and spend your time on more relevant tasks.
The effects of contract errors can be detrimental to a company in many ways: they can lead to lower productivity levels, unnecessary lawsuits, compliance issues and damage to its brand reputation. A single mistake in a contract can cost thousands of euros if the necessary precautions are not taken. It is therefore essential to implement a strategy to avoid the effect of errors in contract management. Companies that manage their contracts manually are more vulnerable to these mistakes, as they do not have a plan to check or prevent them. Technology and automation can certainly help.
We want to tell you how to do this by presenting three different types of common contract management mistakes and suggesting methods on how to fix them.
1. Typographical errors and missing data
Studies show that repetitive tasks lead to automatic behaviours and absent-mindedness that hinder performance. Inattention means low levels of concentration and frequent distractions which, in turn, lead to trivial errors. How many times have you handed in a document and then realised that it was riddled with typos and grammatical errors? It doesn’t matter if you have triple-checked the document for errors. There are still some that slip through the cracks when relying on manual checking. Avoiding this mistake in contract administration will give your brand a more professional reputation, as others will see that you strive to ensure perfection.
If you want to save your team the trouble of having to deal with a document full of typos, you should always check for errors with a contract editing tool. Automated contract editing has digital features such as intelligent spell-checking and grammar checking, as well as ideas for making your terms more concise and appropriate. In addition, automating processes can help take some of the stress out of remembering lots of details for your team, to ensure that their attention is focused on the really important tasks.
2. Complicated collaboration
Misunderstandings and confusion are common when teamwork is not efficient and communication is not fluid. Such misunderstandings can lead to costly mistakes that will take even longer to correct and that could easily have been avoided by adopting digital coordination and collaboration tactics. For example, drafting and editing a contract when two or more parties are negotiating or working together is an important phase in the life cycle of a contract, when the document is most susceptible to human error and miscommunication. As both sides try to update terms and make edits on their side, there is often confusion and organisational problems. In addition, many partners do not take the time to thoroughly review the agreement, make edits and correct errors, which results in a loss of value.
The use of intelligent software will help to avoid a drafting error in the life cycle of the contract. Its single repository allows all parties to have visibility of the adjustments made by any one person, which means less confusion and less miscommunication, and can review and control each phase. Automated management speeds up negotiation and collaboration without sacrificing quality, so you can avoid drafting errors and produce better agreements.
3. Version control and intelligent storage
Lapses of attention and memory are part of everyone’s life, and it is often easy to misplace or overlook a document in a pile of papers or files. It is a waste of time digging through files, emails and folders to find the latest version of the contract. Papers are easily lost, damaged or edited, as are documents stored on a full and unsecured hard disk. In addition, it is difficult for team members to coordinate and communicate what edits they are making without proper version control, resulting in conflicting information and different variations of the same document. As you can see, version control is an essential step in contract management if you want to avoid irreparable errors.
An automated repository system will prevent your team from miscommunicating contracts. Management software can organise all versions of agreements so that your team can work on the most recent one and, at the same time, refer to previous versions. Secure cloud storage also ensures that documentation is not lost or stolen.
Join the road to progress and start automating your processes to avoid human error and ensure that your activity is always flawless.
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