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DPA Automation

A data processing agreement (DPA) is a contract that ensures service providers can securely process personal data. Although it’s a simple document, manually processing it takes a lot of time. Automation can help process DPAs from end to end in just a few minutes.

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What is DPA automation

DPA automation uses an AI-based engine that allows you to draft, review, execute, and track DPAs.

The old way

  1. A business manager requests a DPA.
  2. Their lawyer starts searching for the template. If files are stored in different locations, this can take considerable time.
  3. Once found, the lawyer sends the template to the requester.
  4. The template is then filled out by the manager and sent for legal review.
  5. If an outdated version is accidentally used, the process restarts. Once everything is in order, Legal sends the reviewed DPA to the manager.
  6. It’s then forwarded to the client to sign.
  7. After it’s signed, the DPA returns to Legal and is stored somewhere like a shared drive or drawer where it’s promptly forgotten forever.


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The requesting manager fills in a questionnaire-based template. The answers are then automatically inserted into a compliant template that was pre-approved by Legal. If all data is in order, the DPA is sent to the counterparty to e-sign. Magic!

Why automate DPAs?

0 min drafting time
80% faster contract turnaround
100% fewer errors
Accelerated DPA drafting

Even though DPAs are filled with complex clauses, it’s a simple document that can be drafted in less than a minute instead of hours. Using pre-approved templates prevent unauthorized edits and ensure all necessary clauses are present.

Easy delegation

Data needs to be handled carefully. But that doesn’t mean DPAs should be involved in every step of preparation. Automation allows DPA drafting to be delegated to other departments with little risk. Moreover, they can be filled out and processed by your clients with the help of a small questionnaire on a public-facing template.

Cost savings

Document automation cuts down on money spent on paperwork and lawyer hours. Cost savings can then be redirected to more fruitful endeavors. In the case of DPAs, this helps avoid penalties, which (on average) consume 4% of a company’s annual revenue.

No mistakes

When entering data manually, there’s always a risk of making a mistake. Uncorrected errors can lead to breaches that cost companies thousands of dollars each year. Automation handles this job for you much faster without error.

I want to automate DPAs

Signs that your DPA processing workflows need improvement

You suffer fines for non-compliance. Any activities related to personal data processing should be recorded. Otherwise, you can't prove compliance with local regulations. This in turn could lead to penalties.

You take a day or longer to prepare DPAs. Keeping data safe is a must for any company. But long legal reviews cause delays, missed revenue opportunities, and poor customer experiences.

You miss important clauses. If critical sections of DPAs go missing, you can't guarantee your data is protected. This may even render you non-compliant with certain data protection regulations.

You don't have an established template. This puts your customer's data at risk while making you responsible for mishandling client information should any third-party services you work with misuse it.

You can't find the right template. If you're searching more than one place for your templates, you're doing something wrong. If you're not lucky the first time, having to comb through multiple spots is not only time-intensive, but you can never be sure the version you find isn't out of date.

Find out how your DPA automated workflow can look

Using an NDA as an example, we’ll show you how fast you can draft all your documents. It takes just 57 seconds!

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How to automate DPAs

With AXDRAFT, you don’t have to worry about automation because we do it for you. But regardless of whatever software you choose, these steps will walk you through the automation process.

Define document variables

DPAs include information about how a company works with customer data. Typically, such information doesn’t change from client to client. You need to identify which parts may vary and what questions they answer.

Define the document’s workflow

The best process to set up is one where users are able to simply generate a DPA and send it to the counterparty. Thanks to automation, such responsibilities can be delegated to non-legal departments without risk.

Determine when to involve a lawyer

In situations when clients have some comments or questions before signing, lawyers will be to get involved. Having alternative clauses at the ready helps lawyers avoid spending too much time making changes while remaining compliant. After clarifications, discussions, and maybe some clause changes that both parties consent to, the DPA is signed.

Assemble a clause library

Clause libraries allow you to easily swap clauses in documents when needed. This helps make necessary adjustments and review documents faster while ensuring compliance.

Legal workload prioritization

When it comes to legal matters, they’re both important and urgent. This guide will help you get your workload prioritized right so you can delegate tasks and leverage technology to improve your efficiency.

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Essential features to look for in DPA automation software


By enabling non-legal units and stakeholders to request, draft, and sign contracts on their own, you save tens of hours weekly both for business and legal departments.

Access control

Customers entrust you with their data, which makes protecting it the highest priority. Role-based access ensures that data is accessible only to authorized users.

Public-facing templates

With public-facing templates, your customers don't need to create accounts to fill in and sign DPAs. You only need to send them a link to the document where they can fill in the necessary information.

Centralized storage

With a centralized repository, you can always be sure that your employees are using the latest versions of templates. It also makes finding necessary documents much easier.


Electronic signatures significantly speed up document execution and allow your clients to sign contracts wherever they are.

Frequently asked questions

A DPA is a legally binding contract that ensures that security and data processing activities are in compliance with GDPR requirements, and that data providers are able to prevent any potential abuse or breach of data.

A data processing agreement should include the information stated in GDPR Articles 28 through 36. In short, these are:

  • Data and processing details
  • Protection of personal data
  • Security measures to comply with GDPR
  • Actions when employing a sub-processor
  • Resolving subject access requests
  • Rights and privacy of data subjects
  • Duration of processing
  • Audits and compliance


It must also mention that the processor can only use the data in accordance with the controller’s instructions.

A data controller or data exporter is a company that owns the data. This company hires a data processor and provides them with access to the data.

A data processor is a third party hired by a data controller to process the data. The ways they can use the data is strictly limited by the DPA. For example, a data processor can be an accounting firm hired by your employer to calculate the payroll.

A DPA lays out the technical and organizational requirements for the controller and processor to ensure that data processing activities and security measures comply with GDPR requirements. It regulates how data should be stored, protected, processed, accessed, and used. It also states what contractors can and can’t do with the data.

A DPA states how personal data will be used and outlines the responsibilities of each party. This information must be determined by a data controller (a company that owns the data). Signing a DPA guarantees that both the controller and processor protect personal data in accordance with GDPR regulations. Automation simplifies this process by using applicable templates to draft DPAs in minutes and tailor it according to the situation or client.

Conditional logic

Documents are generated based on the client's answers to simple questions.

Role-based access

All sensitive data is protected from unauthorized access.

Public-facing templates

Just send your customers a link to the document. They can fill in the data without creating an AXDRAFT account.

Get the most out of your contract lifecycle

Here’s how much AXDRAFT CLM helps you save annually for every 1,200 contracts you process

⏱ Time you save

320 hrs

🔥 Value you gain


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⏱ Time you save

630 hrs

🔥 Value you gain


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⏱ Time you save

810 hrs

🔥 Value you gain


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⏱ Time you save

100 hrs

🔥 Value you gain


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⏱ Time you save

200 hrs

🔥 Value you gain


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⏱ Time you save

118 hrs

🔥 Value you gain


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⏱ Time you save

315 hrs

🔥 Value you gain

$28,3K + contract value

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Speed up your business with automation

Automated contracts are the new reality for legal departments. Optimizing workflows will help teams close deals faster and cut down on routine.


A non-disclosure agreement is a legal contract or part of a contract between at least two parties that outlines confidential material


A Statement of Work is a legally binding document that defines a project’s work management aspects that provides an overview of the project management scope.


DPAs ensure that security and data processing remain compliant with GDPR requirements, and that data providers are able to prevent any potential abuse or breach of data.


The MSA governs relations between parties, it outlines all activities and responsibilities. Managed efficiently it makes negotiations simpler and establishes an effective system for accomplishing mutual goals.


Axdraft is very easy to use and produces documents quickly. It is entirely customizable, and customer support is extremely responsive. In our case it allows attorneys to be more productive and less reliant on the availability of a legal assistant to draft estate planning documents and probate pleadings and related documents.

Amy L.
Attorney & Managing
Law Practice

Let automation handle the repetition

Routine busywork steals your team’s time. Automate DPAs and spend the time you gain on more productive activities

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Shift your contract management into high gear