By Anthony Scudieri, Manager, Product Marketing
Questions and answers (Q&A). Three words shortened to two letters that nevertheless encompass one of the hardest, messiest parts of the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) process for both buyers and sellers. In fact, dealmakers typically spend upwards of 10 weeks (about 2 and a half months) sending spreadsheets with questions and answers back and forth. And back and forth.
That’s a whole lot of drawn-out time with plenty of room for error. Particularly when you consider that you’re emailing highly confidential information around. Talk about insecure transmittals!
Navigating the Q&A period during an M&A transaction has long been a source of frustration for all parties. Historically, the seller has had an advantage, however. They choose the filetype and medium of communication. In the data room, the seller can run Q&A from a consolidated dashboard, streamlining and keeping their communications secure.
But what about you, the buyer? For you, coordinating questions from your array of lawyers and consultants so the seller receives only one, consolidated question list takes the pain of Q&A to a whole new level.
You painstakingly maintain a spreadsheet that travels between internal and external teams with a question list that can push into the thousands. At what point was there version control? How many hours is it going to take to identify and consolidate changes?
Imagine if you could answer, ‘Yes. That’s the only question list there’s ever been. Or ever will be.’ when you get asked the inevitable 'Are you sure this is the latest version?’. That’s what it’s like to use Datasite Acquire. A data room designed for the buy-side; it eliminates the hard work of seller-led Q&A.
Datasite Acquire has a built-in Q&A tool that consolidates the entire buyer team discourse in one place, so that everyone is on the same page. Now there’s no more uncertainty – and there’s a whole lot more time saved.
Your lawyers will also thank you. Consolidating your Q&A process in the data room doesn’t just make your life easier – it also stops all those emails flying around with confidential information.
At the core of Q&A is a team to ask questions and a team to answer questions. When you set up Q&A for the first time, you’ll create each of these teams, along with question categories and workflows.
With integrated Q&A, you can form as many workflow groups as you like. Does the accounting team need to be privy to what human resources (HR) is asking? Probably not (more on this later). From there, easily set up question categories to ensure the right people see the right questions.
Finally, using these workflow groups and question categories, you can create custom workflows as deep as you need, and benefit from auto-routing of questions. For example, let’s suppose you want to allow only members of the legal team to ask legal questions. Using Q&A, you can set up a workflow for all legal category questions to require approval from the VP of legal before they are released to the other side. Now everyone automatically respects the chain of command.
Once you have Q&A running and the floodgates are open, just look at the dashboard to see where your Q&A list stands in real time. You can even filter the dashboard by recent activity, assignee, question category, and question priority. Not at the office? Not a problem. You can ask, answer, review, and approve questions all from the Datasite mobile app.
Click below to speak to your client representative and find out more. You can request a personalized demo to learn more about how you can use this and other productivity benefits in your next deal or process.