Contract Authoring - What You Need To Know To Get Started

07/2/21

CobbleStone Software defines contract authoring and explains what is needed to get started.

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

What is contract authoring software?

Well, the right contract management software solution streamlines and modernizes 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, centralize item management, leverage flow down clauses and alerts, and more.

Better Contract Clause Management

Organizations 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 centralized 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 GSA, FAR, 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 organization 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 organization.  Thus, the business would need to enter a contract with the project management organization - 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?

CobbleStone Software's leading contract management software suite - CobbleStone Contract Insight® - is the premier contract authoring software solution you could select to enjoy all the tools mentioned above and more!

In addition to all of the tools mentioned above, CobbleStone Contract Insight allows for contract lifecycle management - including contract authoring - on their acclaimed mobile app for android devices and iOS devices.  It's no wonder why in Forrester Research Inc.’s report - The Forrester Wave™: Contract Lifecycle Management For All Contracts, Q1 2021 - CobbleStone® scored the highest score possible for mobile support.

CobbleStone 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 - CobbleStone's proprietary contract artificial intelligence engine with machine learning.
  • IntelliSign® - CobbleStone's proprietary electronic signature solution.
  • a seamless OFAC search integration portal to keep organizations in compliance with the US Treasury Department.
  • so many other industry-leading and mission-critical CLM integrations.

CobbleStone Contract Insight, a CLM software Leader according to Forrester, is the only software solution that can equip you with every single one of the contract management tools mentioned above. CobbleStone’s trusted, award-winning software streamlines contract management with optimal governance, reduced friction, and high flexibility from contract requests to renewals.  CobbleStone has been a visionary leader in CLM software for over 20 years and counting.  CobbleStone, as a software provider, also remains SOC 1 and SOC 2 compliant to encourage paramount security.

Discover why thousands of contract managers trust CobbleStone Software with their contract management needs.  To learn more about CobbleStone’s unparalleled contract management software, book a free demo with a CobbleStone Contract Insight expert today!

To stay up to date on best practices, industry news, and CobbleStone Software updates, be sure to subscribe to our blog and YouTube Channel.

Are you interested in future-minded contract management software tools?  In our blog - 6 Critical Contract Management Tools for 2021 – learn how to leverage industry-leading CLM software tools for streamlined, user-friendly, and low-friction contract lifecycle management success!

Download Mastering Contract Management Whitepaper by CobbleStone

Sean Heck

Written by Sean Heck

Sean Heck is Content Marketing Team Lead at CobbleStone Software

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