5 hazards of conducting Q&A outside the data room

Managing due diligence Q&A via email and/or spreadsheets puts your deal at risk.

By AnsaradaMon Aug 05 2019Due diligence and dealmaking, Virtual Data Rooms, Q&A and collaboration

With up to 70% of the total deal time spent running Q&A, companies and their advisors have long endured unnecessary risks and inefficiencies associated with these outdated systems. We’ve listed out the top five risks associated with external Q&A – and more importantly, how we can help you avoid them.

1. Inefficiencies across systems

Using emails to facilitate complex Q&A has always been a messy process, fraught with admin burden. 38% of all actions in the Q&A process involve getting answers reviewed and approved before disclosure, and 90% of all questions take up to six interactions to answer – that’s a lot of individual emails across multiple guests.

With Ansarada’s platform, you can approve and answer questions directly through the Q&A system via email. The assigned participants receive an email notification when a new question or answer has been allocated; they can then answer or approve the question from their own inbox, without needing to log into the deal room. It’s a game-changer for senior dealmakers.

Bulk Q&A actions streamline the process further by enabling the right people to answer the right questions. Select multiple questions, assign the right disclosure levels, and request input from the subject matter experts using a range of bulk question editing actions.

2. Lack of visibility

Without a single source of truth, the full picture of how the deal is progressing will always be unclear. Departments operate and communicate in silos, creating multiple conversation threads and leading to critical details getting missed. Taking the time to check and review different systems to ensure answers align eats up significant resources.
With all Q&A occurring inside the platform, this isn’t necessary. Questions and answers are clearly viewable and accessible - in one place and synced in real-time - to those who have the relevant permissions.

3. Duplicated work

It’s these silos and multiple conversation threads that can result in the same or similar questions being asked repeatedly, and immense frustration for the person doing the answering - especially when it’s the 10th time. This is a huge waste of resources and energy at a time when they’re already scarce.
With all questions and answers tracked in a single place, you never run the risk of double up. Q&A workflows run seamlessly, with everything tracked at the back end for a clear audit trail that can be exported to Excel in an instant to bring to the board meeting.

4. Human error

It’s not humanly possible for anyone to stay on top of version control across thousands of email chains and spreadsheets in various drives. The information needs to be integrated and synced from all the systems it's being conducted in or it simply won’t be accurate.
Managing due diligence using our data room Q&A automates the process to eliminate the potential for human error that arises out of multiple conversation threads, duplicated work, or breaches of security or confidentiality, keeping you confident.

5. Issues of security and confidentiality

The biggest risk of Q&A outside the data room? Putting your deal and your reputation at stake with the risk of accidental disclosure.
Without clear tracking of who has asked/answered what, using systems that allow anyone and everyone to send and receive answers, there are bound to be unwanted discoveries.
After you’ve set up Q&A roles within the data room, subject security rules ensure that questions can only be forwarded to those with the permission to answer them. Once set up, the entire Q&A process runs automatically, eliminating the risk of accidentally forwarding a question or disclosing answers to the wrong people.
Control who can see the answers to protect your reputation, your company and the deal at hand, and reduce stress for all those involved.

Email gets a new lease on life

There are a lot of incredible due diligence Q&A features within Ansarada’s platform, but one unique functionality that makes the Q&A process easier than ever is the ability to respond to questions via email. Q&A via email merges the best of both worlds: an organized diligence tracking process combined with the convenience of email.

While it will feel like using email, as usual, your analysts will be able to clearly track everything at the back end, making Q&A much simpler – especially for senior stakeholders who can participate in Q&A directly via email, without having to learn or access a new platform.

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