Procurement requests at companies typically have to secure sign offs from several different departments, including legal.
In hopes of better connecting legal teams to the procurement process, the intake-to-procure fintech Zip and contract lifecycle management (CLM) platform Ironclad have formed a strategic partnership.
The new integration between the cutting-edge tech companies will result in spending requests and accompanying contracts made in Zip being automatically routed at the appropriate time to in-house legal teams in Ironclad for their review and approval.
“Legal is a very core persona and party that needs to approve pretty much any substantial [spending] request, and we want to empower legal teams if they work in Ironclad to continue to work in Ironclad and only be notified when it's the right time for legal to approve,” said Rujul Zaparde, Zip’s co-founder and CEO.
“For example, you wouldn't want legal to review something before there's an approved budget because they might just be wasting their time reviewing a contract that will ultimately never get signed,” he told Legal Dive.
Zaparde said Zip provides standardized templates of best practices for spend request approval workflows.
But he highlighted that these workflows are no-code configurable because some companies might want legal departments involved early in the procurement process, while others may want legal teams brought in further down the line.
At whatever stage in the procurement process a company chooses to have legal notified, Zip will trigger a workflow in Ironclad that includes metadata about the spending request. This information would include the requester, the vendor and the amount of the request, among other data.
Once legal finishes its review of the procurement request, approvals and completed contracts are transferred back to Zip so the spend approval workflow can be finalized.
“The bridge between spend approvals and legal review has historically been disjointed – lacking proper collaboration, communication, and visibility into where approvals are at any given moment,” said Steven Yan, senior vice president of product at Ironclad, in a prepared statement.
“This new integration allows Zip and Ironclad users to collaborate seamlessly and provide invaluable insights throughout the process,” he continued.
Improved data sharing
Some of the improved insights legal teams will have access to in Zip include real-time updates about the status of all purchase approvals.
In-house lawyers also can review approval chains and any comments or other context about spending requests that may help them answer questions that arise.
Zaparde said this type of information is particularly helpful in a widespread remote work environment where an employee in the legal department can’t just walk down the hallway and ask a colleague in another department about the status of a request.
Overall, he said the Zip and Ironclad integration should save customers both time and money.
The graphic design software Canva, an early customer of Ironclad and Zip, said it was excited about the companies’ new partnership.
“Our legal team can now easily manage the contract lifecycle in Ironclad, while being pulled into the procurement process at just the right time,” said Michael Denari, Canva’s head of global spend and business systems, in a prepared statement. “At the same time, employees have full visibility and other stakeholders are pulled in early for review and approval in Zip.”