electronic office document management
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Reviewing documents

This section deals with the process of finalising an outgoing document. For the sake of brevity, reference will be made to the document. It is important to keep in mind that the process is about an outgoing, or Word for Windows document that is generated by the firm in the course of providing a legal service.

When a document is created, its status is always In progress. If the document is dictated by a solicitor and typed by a secretary, it has to be checked. It can be printed, and the solicitor can proof the printed draft. It is far more efficient however for the solicitor to review and edit the document on his computer.

Preferably the solicitor in most cases will prepare the document himself. He may then want to send it to another solicitor for review, or to a para legal or secretary to print, collate attachments etc.

To facilitate these last two processes, two additional Status options are included, namely Under review and Reviewed.

If Under review is selected, the user is prompted to select the name of the person to whom he wishes to forward the document. The terminology may not fit all situations exactly. Certainly a secretary or para legal will not be reviewing the work of a solicitor. However the intent is hopefully clear. By selecting Under review the user wants to send the document to another person for the purpose of that person performing some action on or in relation to the document.

After selecting the name, the user is prompted to send a message. This is usually a simple instruction to the recipient as to what is to be done. If a message is sent, the message is sent by mail with a link to the document. The document is also placed in the recipient's In progress view.

Everyone should become accustomed to checking their In progress view on a regular basis. Documents sent by the Under review method, are classified accordingly in the In progress view unless changed to Overdue or Urgent attention by periodic agents.

If a document is sent to someone for review, the recipient can either finalise the document (by setting the Status to Finalised) or send it the another person (or return it to the original sender) by setting the Status to Reviewed. The process is the same.

A document's Status cannot be set to Reviewed unless it has first been set to Under review.

By these two processes, a document can be moved from one person to another as required to ensure that the document is finalised.