3 Top Tasks to Keep in Mind in Contract Management
The keys to contract management are to make sure that you will have important records when you most need them and that you will maintain the integrity of your data at all times. A great way to achieve this is through a digital contract management system.
Here are the top 3 tasks to keep in mind in contract management and how contract management software helps you achieve them.
Creating a Digital Record
One of the main reasons that most people do not let go of a paper-based contract management system is that they fear that they must prepare for the worst by always having a paper backup. However, this anxiety is misguided: a statement printed at home has the same legal value as one received through the mail. Having a digital record to track invoices and documents saves you from last-minute scrambles for key records, particularly during tax season and end-of-year statements. Features such as full-text and criteria-based searching make contract management software a powerful tool to quickly find and locate contract documents and specific data. To encourage adoption of a new system by your staff, it is a good idea to look for an option that has integrated Microsoft Word features. Such user-friendly features enable a smoother user adoption process.
Setting Up a Review System
When you have only a dozen or so contracts, it’s pretty easy to keep track of term changes, due dates, and pre-established thresholds through a paper-based system. As your business grows and thrives, your number of contracts increases and it becomes much harder to maintain the same level of diligence and visibility. Stay organized and informed about your contracts with contract management software. By scheduling email alerts regarding deadlines or when there is significant deviation from approved contractual language can save you time and money. Having a digital review system accessible at all times empowers you to act faster and establish priorities more efficiently.
Protecting Your Data
When considering going from a paper-based to a digital contract management system, you’re taking a great step in protecting your contracts and the privacy of your clients from dumpster-diving ID thieves. However, improper digitization of your documents on your hard drive can open you up to other privacy risks. Using professional contract management software allows you to choose from several options that will proactively guarantee the integrity of your data. Given the rise of the cloud, it is a good idea for businesses to consider Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) options because these systems not only offer a high security level but also free the organization from making expensive financial commitments in IT infrastructure, hardware and software, and management costs.
If an organization is not ready to fully commit to cloud computing, there are several options that are a mix between on-premise, third-party hosted and self-hosted systems. No matter what mix of a contract management system you choose, make sure that the system is Statement on Auditing Standards No. 70 (SAS 70) compliant. In simpler terms, SAS 70 is a widely used compliance audit for assessing the internal control framework on service organizations that provide critical outsourcing activities for other entities. There are 2 levels of SAS 70 audits, Type I Audit and Type II audit, being the Type II Audit the highest level of compliance.