Contract management software is a useful tool for simplifying the work it takes to produce and manage contracts. These programs minimize the amount of time needed to negotiate, and later establish, agreements between parties. The best part is, the software manages each contract throughout their entire effective periods.
Every business should strongly consider purchasing high-quality contract management software. Before choosing a program, however, you should keep in mind that the very best in contract management software should at least contain these seven features:
- Management. The heart and soul of any contract management software, this feature facilitates all aspects of contract management. It automates the tracking of contract processes and reports them.
- Creation. Good software allows you to draft contracts from their inception up to their completion. The process should be automated into legal and binding agreements, with any modifications to the agreement attached as amendments. A very important benefit of this is that it reduces the risk of any legal problems arising from the faulty drafting of contracts. All proper wording and templates are supplied by the software and thus eliminates the chance for error.
- Storage. As you can surmise, this feature of the software should allow you to gather and store all your contracts in your system. Though generally a basic function, this is nonetheless essential in keeping your records. A storage system also allows you to provide electronic copies of the contract for your clients’ convenience. This will protect against any possible accidents that may happen to physical copies of the contract.
- Payment services. The best contract software facilitates the negotiation of payments established in the agreement. It will also track any and all payments made accordingly throughout the contract’s lifespan. This is an invaluable feature as it provides a sense of cooperation between parties, giving them a single place to talk about the finances involved in their transaction. Your software will also keep a record of all amounts of compensation and the methods in which they were paid.
- Negotiation. All negotiation processes can be done via the software as well. Everything from authentication to evaluation and establishing of terms will be documented clearly, and in the proper format, by the software.
- Endorsement. This entails approval of the contract based on certain milestones achieved throughout its course. Any changes made to the agreement will also find approval. Since most contracts are online, both you and your client will be able to evaluate the goals established in the contract and give your thumbs up. The software will also safeguard against changes made without prior approval by both parties, ensuring a cleaner, more professionally-managed contract.
- Examination. The software will also handle the analysis of the contract. It will provide reports on agreements, financial analyses, and how well the contract is implemented based on the established agreements. Any well-run business will find this feature to be extremely important in all its dealings.
Now that you know what to look for in contract management software, inquire about the leading programs in the market today. Ariba Contracts, Verticalnet Contract Manager and Elance Enterprise are among the top software providers in today’s industry. Take some time to study each one, and choose the one that you think will best suit the needs of your company.