What is Spreadsheet Management with Contracts?

Many businesses try to manage their contracts using spreadsheets. While this may work if you have only a small number of contracts to handle, attempting spreadsheet management with contracts quickly proves problematic as the number of contracts you handle increases. 

What should you do if using Excel or Google Sheets for contract management isn’t getting the job done for your business? The best solution is to migrate from spreadsheet management to dedicated contract management software, which is a much more robust solution.

Key Takeaways

  • Many businesses use spreadsheets to manage their contracts – but quickly outgrow that approach
  • A better approach is to employ a contract management software solution
  • CMS solutions offer increased functionality, improved access, and speedier workflow

When Does Spreadsheet Management for Contracts Make Sense?

If the number of contracts your business manages is relatively small, you may be able to track those contracts in a spreadsheet. There are several contract management templates available for use with Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets that let you manually enter contract information into a preformatted sheet, and then track those contracts over time. 

Spreadsheet management with contracts may also be appealing if your company already makes considerable use of Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets, or if you have a number of capable spreadsheet jockeys in your organization. Unfortunately, it’s not a good option if you manage a high number of contracts – and, no matter what your contract volume, it’s one of the riskiest approaches to managing legal agreements that you can find.

When Should You Move Beyond Spreadsheet Management to Contract Management Software?

Spreadsheet-based contract management works fine – up to a point. When you need more powerful contract management and when you want to reduce your legal risk, the logical choice is to employ automated contract lifecycle management (CLM) software. CLM software, such as the Contract Logix, automates and helps manage the entire contract management process from beginning to end. 

When should you move to a CLM software solution? Here are some of the signs that it’s time to stop using spreadsheets for contract management: 

  • The number of contracts you manage is continuing to increase
  • Your staff is having trouble managing the contract workflow
  • You’re experiencing a number of spreadsheet-related errors (Forbes reports that 88% of spreadsheets in use today contain errors, such as mistyped data or incorrect calculations)
  • You’re running into difficulties meeting contractual deliverables, tracking dates, and renewals
  • You want real-time access to key contractual information that isn’t readily available (Ventana Research reports that 81% of users have to combine data from multiple spreadsheets to answer a simple business question)
  • You have concerns about data security and the number of people who have access to your contract spreadsheets

In short, as your business grows, you’ll find that spreadsheet management is both legally risky and increasingly inadequate for your contract management needs. The solution is to move to an automated contract management platform, such as that offered by Contract Logix. 

What Can Contract Management Software Do That Spreadsheets Can’t?

Contract management software is designed to do everything that a spreadsheet-based contract management does – and a whole lot more. With CLM software, the entire contract management process is automated and tracked via a central dashboard. All information is automatically updated as contracts move through the process, reducing the need for manual entry and speeding up the entire contract process. 

In short, CLM software manages all aspects of the contract lifecycle, providing multiple benefits to your organization. 

Accurate Contract Requests / Intake

Some CLM solutions like Contract Logix help automate the contract request and submission process using standard forms. this ensures that all requests and submissions include all the required information right from the start. From there, you can convert those requests into contracts. This also helps you track workloads for your contract teams.

Easier Contract Creation

CLM platforms let you build a library of pre-designed contract templates and clauses that you can use to create new contracts. These clause and template libraries include pre-approved terms, conditions, clauses, and language that helps automated the new contracts you create and ensure they comply with company, industry, and legal standards. 

Easier Data Entry – and Fewer Errors

With a CLM solution, much manual data entry is replaced by pre-populating fields with data already in your system. This reduces the need for – and the cost of – manual data entry, which speeds up the workflow and saves you money. (Aberdeen Research estimates that automating contract entry can reduce administrative costs by 25%-30%.) This automated data entry also significantly reduces the opportunity for human errors. 

Improved Tracking

A CLM system will automatically track the progress of all in-process contracts. You no longer have to just guess where a contract is in your system.

Automatic Notifications

A CLM system can send you automatic notifications of all upcoming deliverables, expirations/renewals, and other important dates. You’ll never miss any important contract-related date again.

Faster Access and Retrieval

Because a CLM system stores all contracts digitally, it’s easy to search for and retrieve individual contracts or pieces of information. No more rifling through filing cabinets to find what you need.

Improved Security

Contract management software is significantly more secure than an Excel or Google spreadsheet. Only authorized employees can access contracts in the system. In addition, you can regulate access to information at a very granular level based on roles and features.

Detailed Analysis

Unlike static spreadsheets, CLM software can provide detailed analysis of contract performance. This will help you create a more efficient contract process, draft contracts that are more beneficial to the company, and reduce any inherent risks. 

How Easy Is It to Migrate from Spreadsheet Management to Contract Management Software?

If you’re currently using a spreadsheet to track your contracts, you’ve made a good first step toward effective contract management. Migrating your existing contract data to CLM software is a relatively painless process. With a CLM solution such as Contract Logix, you can quickly and easily import all your current data – including any existing contract templates – directly into the new system. You lose nothing in the process but gain considerably in the long run.

Let Contract Logix Help You Move from Spreadsheet-Based Contract Management to a CMS Solution

When you need to move beyond spreadsheet management for contracts, turn to Contract Logix. We have been helping businesses automate their contract management since 2006. We offer robust CLM solutions that can incorporate your current spreadsheet-based contracts and data – so there’s less setup work involved. Let us work with you to move from spreadsheet-based contract management to an automated CLM solution. 

Contact Contract Logix today to learn more about moving from basic spreadsheet management to a robust CLM solution.