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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Document automation goes beyond assembly of individual documents. It is the design of systems and workflow that aids in the selection of the appropriate document and the assembly of those documents using file data or case data that covers the entire suite of documents. A document automation system will automate all conditional text, variable text, and data contained within a set of documents. Automation systems allow companies to minimize data entry, reduce the time spent proof-reading, and reduce the risks associated with human error. Additional benefits include; savings due less paper handling, document loading, storage, distribution, postage/shipping, faxes, telephone, labor and waste.

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The document automation/assembly industry

Document assembly was pioneered in the late 1970s. The basic functions are to replace the cumbersome manual filling in of repetitive documents with template-based systems where the user answers software-driven interview questions or data entry screen. The information collected then populates the document to form a good first draft'[1]. Today's more advanced document automation systems allow users to create their own data and rules (logic) without the need for programming.

Document automation software

While document automation software is used primarily in the legal, financial services, and risk management industries, it can be used in any industry that creates transaction-based documents. A good example of how document automation software can be used is with commercial mortgage documents. A typical commercial mortgage transaction can include several documents including:

Some of these documents can contain as many as 80 to 100 pages, with hundreds of optional paragraphs and data elements. Document automation software has the ability to automatically fill in the correct document variables based on the transaction data. In addition, some document automation software has the ability to create a document suite where all related documents are encapsulated into one file, making updates and collaboration easy and fast. Companies that offer document automation software include Exari, HotDocs and IMDS Group.

Simpler software applications that are easier to learn can also be used to automate the preparation of documents, without undue complexity. Clipboard managers such as textBEAST clipboard + image + capture allow the user to save frequently-used text fragments, organize them into logical groups, and then quickly access them to paste into final documents.

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