Contract authoring is one of the most important stages in the life of a contract.  An inefficient contract authoring process often relies on decentralised clauses, lacklustre compliance management and version tracking, inadequate line item management and a lack of unification of contracts and subcontracts.  These contract management pitfalls can hinder organisations and result in error-prone contracts with missing or misplaced clauses, overlooked key dates and milestones and a disorganised process that stalls the contract lifecycle.  Luckily, leading contract management software can provide intelligent contract authoring.  Read on to learn how to simplify and modernise the contract authoring process.

What Is contract authoring?

Also called contract writing, the contract authoring stage of the contract lifecycle involves contract parties and stakeholders putting the terms and conditions of a contract into written word by bringing together standard contract clauses, key dates and milestones, counterparty information, pricing information, line items, and other important contract data.

What Is enhanced contract authoring?

Enhanced contract authoring involves the use of an advanced contract authoring tool to automate and centralize the contract authoring process.  This enhanced contract authoring automation process should provide efficient and straightforward clause merging with the ability to merge important contract data with pre-approved templates from organizations’ highly accessible libraries – as well as simplified flow-down functionality and full version tracking.

You might be asking, “How do I trade in my current, manual process so I can get started with the helpful contract authoring tools and processes mentioned above?”

Contract authoring software

The right contract management software solution streamlines and modernises contract authoring with improved clause management.  Leading contract management software also improves the contract authoring process by allowing businesses to track compliance tasks and document versions, centralise item management, leverage flow down clauses and alerts and more.

Better contract clause management

Organisations can dynamically author documents using templates with merging field data and contract clauses from their pre-approved language library.  Intelligent contract authoring with contract management software provides businesses with a centralised clause library with which to produce accurate, compliant and timely contract documents.  Contract management teams can manage virtually unlimited document templates and versions with pre-approved clauses and data fields.

Organizations can also utilize these clause libraries for more specific templates such as those used for GSAFAR, and DFAR contracts.  Leading contract management software for contract authoring also supports CLIN (contract line item number) management and the seamless inclusion of line items within contract templates.  Contract documents can conveniently be exported as standard file formats such as PDFs and MS Word documents.  A file utility within contract authoring software can further enhance contract negotiation and version tracking.

Flow down clauses

Powerful contract management software for contract authoring can support flow down clauses and alerts if an organisation enlists a subcontractor for a contract.

For example, a business enters a GSA contract with a government agency.  For this hypothetical, the business needs to pass certain contractual obligations to a project management organisation.  Thus, the business would need to enter a contract with the project management organisation – or subcontractor.

Contract authoring software can help the business keep track of flow down indicators.  They can easily tag flow down obligations and clauses to be included in subcontractor contract documents.  Keeping track of virtually all aspects of the contract can make it easy to manage the contract with the federal agency and the subcontract with a project management company in an organized fashion.

What is the best contract authoring tool?

The leading contract management software suite from Four – Contract Insight® – is the premier contract authoring software solution. In addition to all of the tools mentioned above, Contract Insight allows for contract lifecycle management – including contract authoring – on their acclaimed mobile app for android devices and iOS devices. 

It also offers advanced tools for contract collaboration, clause management, and more associated with contract authoring and the full contract lifecycle via seamless integration with:

  • MS Word
  • MS Outlook
  • Google Workspace
  • MS Office 365
  • VISDOM® AI – Contract Insight’s proprietary contract artificial intelligence engine with machine learning
  • IntelliSign® – Contract Insight’s proprietary electronic signature solution.

Contract Insight from Four

Contract Insight is a cloud-hosted (SaaS) or deployed (on-premise) contract management solution.  The acclaimed platform is trusted by thousands of professionals for their contract management, legal document managementprocurement and sourcing needs.  Used by many Fortune 500 companies, Contract Insight gives you real time visibility into your contracts. It doesn’t just shore up your security; it will help you meet contract compliance regulations, centralise your contract management and improve your overall contract administration process.

For more information, contact John O’Brien, CEO at Four Business Solutions, global business consultants and software integrators providing business processes improvements in FinanceSupply Chain and Operations, across a broad range of industries.