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Electronic signature

top.legal vs. Docusign: What Are the Differences?

  • Are you looking for a reasonable DocuSign alternative that offers an all-in-one contract automation platform? Software that gives you access to a wide range of features that the legal team should have to work faster and scale?

DocuSign is undeniably a strong name in the industry when it comes to signing documents electronically. However, there are a number of limitations that are obvious when using DocuSign, particularly when used by legal teams who are often looking for a more comprehensive and scalable solution for contracts.

In this article, we'll try to uncover the features and limitations of DocuSign compared to top.legal's contract automation platform.

top.legal vs. DocuSign: A feature comparison

As you might see from the direct comparison above, there are a lot of essential features that legal and sales teams regularly need that aren't available through a DocuSign subscription. In addition, many of the basic functions that are necessary to set up a reasonable process are only available through additional add-on fees. With top.legal, all functions for the contract process are available right from the start; we or our legal engineers also assist themselves in setting up the documents in detail.

From discussions with our customers and other market participants, we were able to compile a list of the most important criticisms of the DocuSign signature software:

  • No flexibility: Any minor change to the document by one of the parties requires that the document be uploaded from scratch to DocuSign and created.
  • No automation: Documents cannot be created and negotiated automatically. DocuSign Signature is only for signature purposes no longer.
  • No data collection: The recorded contract parameters cannot be evaluated, which makes it difficult to search and evaluate contract data, especially for contracts that date back further back.

Contract automation software such as top.legal is ideal to provide visionary legal and sales teams with simpler and more in-depth functionality when creating, managing and negotiating contracts.

The most important benefits of top.legal's contract automation software

Electronic signature is just the tip of the iceberg

DocuSign is now a household name for many companies that want to digitally sign their contracts. It significantly simplifies the signing process compared to traditional paper-based processes. But decision makers should know that there are a number of other functions as part of contract process automation that are useful to optimize processes for legal and sales teams.

The electronic signature is just the end of a usually complex negotiation process. top.legal's one-stop contract automation platform covers every phase of the contract life cycle, in the browser, with cost transparency that scales with your company.

Benefit from a transparent pricing model and don't pay per contract

Although DocuSign offers a monthly subscription model, the plans offered only include a limited number of signed or shipped contracts. In the long term, however, the model is a trap, as growth threatens with additional fees for increasing contract growth, which may not have been on the agenda.

top.legal always only offers its customers software licenses for an unlimited number of contracts and templates for a transparent and previously known monthly or annual fee. This allows companies to simply focus on closing more contracts without having to worry about the costs of signing more contracts. Also, unlike DocuSign, our customers don't need an Enterprise plan to benefit from our integrations with Salesforce, Slack, Microsoft Teams, or any other CRM.

Edit your contracts anytime instead of suffering from blocked Pdfs

If you need to change a document/contract, which is more common than you might think, that means that if the process runs through DocuSign, the entire document must be declared invalid and the upload process must be restarted afterwards. If, on the other hand, the contract negotiation process runs via top.legal, the contracts can be edited by both sides either by commenting or editing in markup mode without the contract being declared invalid at any point or the process having to be restarted.

Capture actionable contract data during and during negotiation

Metadata of a contract is an important component when digitizing contracts. However, DocuSign does not process this. This means that the negotiation history is not saved and is therefore lost forever.

The contract software from top.legal, on the other hand, creates digital contracts directly via its own infrastructure from users' inputs and structured data. The metadata and key parameters are of course stored directly and can be used for the further process. This also allows complex contract analysis of individual contracts and complete contract portfolios.

Manage not only templates and contracts, but also entire teams via top.legal

The typical user experience for DocuSign users is that they manage their PDFs via email, which can be a difficult or impossible task.

The contract software from top.legal, on the other hand, includes a granular rights concept for individual team members or entire teams. Read and write rights for templates and individual contracts can be selected. User-defined table views and dashboards can be created for this purpose. Documents can therefore be tracked directly in an application over their entire life cycle.

Real collaboration on contracts and templates that your team will love

In addition to the rapid preparation of contracts based on approved templates, top.legal also improves software, internal and external communication for faster approvals and identifies bottlenecks in the contract process. By bringing email, ad-hoc conversations, redline markup, and more together in one place, team members can collaborate across departments to create, review, negotiate, manage, and approve contracts.

With real-time access to the latest version of a contract, companies also reduce contract risks and delays, as everyone involved is on the same page. Here are a few reasons why automation improves team collaboration:

  • Integrated tracking function for negotiating and post-processing contracts, including audit trail
  • You can accept and reject changes directly in the contract editor
  • Seamless export function at any time from contracts and templates back to MS Word or PDF in the company's design

Avoid mistakes and unnecessary duplication during negotiations

Using top.legal to negotiate contracts can help your team reduce the risk of mistakes during the negotiation process. Since the process is always started from a current proposal and alternative and coordinated clauses can be made available for the negotiation case. This means that nothing is left to chance even during the negotiation.

Your team also no longer has to spend time looking for the current status of contract negotiations in a never-ending email chain. Overlapping and duplication of work or overwritten negotiations are then a thing of the past.

Frequently asked questions

Can I move my existing signed contracts to top.legal?

Of course it is possible. On the one hand, you can upload your existing and signed PDFs to top.legal. All metadata and key parameters can be stored here for later processing.

Alternatively, you can convert existing contracts to a template on top.legal. Our AI converts the uploaded contract into a machine-readable format. Our legal engineers will then assist you in creating a process for the efficient and appropriate conclusion of contracts.

How quickly can the software be implemented in the company?

Immediately after your consultation with one of our account managers, you can implement the software in your company. Our legal engineers will of course assist you in creating the initial documents and processes. We can also integrate your existing software (as well as CRM and ERP systems) into the processes for creating contracts.

Is top.legal helping you at the beginning?

Of course Should this be desired by you, we can also advise you on the next steps. We help you generate drafts and processes, train your employees, and integrate them into your company. Wherever you need us, we will be there for you!

How does the electronic signature work?

Signing a contract using an advanced electronic signature is a simple and intuitive process. First, the other contractual partners are invited to sign. The software creates a hash of the document, which ensures the integrity of the document. The other contracting party will now receive an email invitation with a secure link, which will redirect you to the document to be signed. At the moment of opening the document, the person responsible for the signature receives the request to enter a mobile phone number to send a PIN number. With the help of the PIN sent, the contract can finally be signed.

Is top.legal's native eSignature legally binding?

The eSignature is legally binding. It meets the requirements of the EU Commission regulation of July 2014 on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market (eIDAS). The eSignature can be easily used on a mobile phone.

Demo and pricing

To try out all other features, book a demo of the top.legal contract management software today. You can simply contact one of our experts for further information, including costs.

What other functions does top.legal offer?

Alerts: You can set automated contract reminders so you never miss a deadline again.

Analytics dashboard: The analytics function shows you information about the contract negotiation and its duration, as well as an overview of the results of the key parameters of your contracts. The respective details for the team and employees can be broken down to a separate level.

Tasks dashboard: You can keep an eye on deadlines and to-do's that you or employees have created yourself or employees via an additional overview on the dashboard.

Distribution of rights: Assign the tasks to which team member can view or change which contracts and drafts.

Team-based access rights: It is possible to share the contract templates with your colleagues and thus provide access to the latest versions. In this way, the risk of continuing to edit outdated templates can be eliminated.

Status Tracking: Keep an eye on the development of a contract over the entire processing period: from the creation of the template to the final eSignature.

Approvals: You can approve changes to drafts directly in the document editor. You can then immediately approve the approved changes for selected teams for further editing and use.

Tasks: To increase productivity, orders are described and delegated across teams.

Different teams: An unlimited number of teams can be created with team-specific task distributions for specific documents.

Template management: Organize your templates in a global account that is accessible to the entire company so that you always work with the latest templates.

Smart search: The intelligent search function allows you to search all parameters and contracts quickly and effectively.

External guests: By inviting external colleagues, such as lawyers, you can have your contracts checked directly for legal validity.

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