Contract termination should involve rigorous financial analysis, contract performance data analytics, and the creation of a notice of termination. Unfortunately, contract termination involves tight deadlines and specific terms required to terminate a contract. Organizations need a strategy to identify contracts not meeting contract KPIs, write notices of contract termination, and secure proper contract closeout.
This article will show you how to implement this strategy readily with the help of contract management software.
What Is Contract Termination?
Contract termination involves ending an active contract before it is entirely performed per both parties' agreed-upon terms and conditions. If a written agreement is terminated before parties perform obligations, the requirement to fulfill these obligations becomes void. Contract termination must be completed with care to avoid missed obligations, lawsuits, and other harmful consequences.
A Comprehensive Contract Termination Process
Organizations need tools to:
- identify underperforming contracts.
- develop a contract authoring process with standard notice of termination templates and a dynamic clause library.
- confirm proper contract closeout with budget and invoice payment and tracking.
Steps must be taken to foster a contract termination process that gleans valuable insight into process improvement. As such, here's a three-step guide for streamlined contract termination with a leading contract management solution.
Step 1: Identify Contracts That Fail to Meet Performance Goals
Teams can identify contracts that fail to meet contract KPIs with several intelligent contract management software tools.
Contract Lifecycle Management Metrics
Utilities to compare contract performance data against previous years can equip organizations with beneficial contract analytics insights. Contract performance data solutions can offer visually engaging tools for these purposes.
For example, an executive graphical dashboard focused on contract KPIs could present contract performance compared to the previous year's. Organizations could view the contract and budget amounts of the current year against those of last year.
Additionally, you can easily display metrics such as:
- the total number of contracts within an organization's system.
- the number of open contract tasks to be performed.
- the number of contracts pending.
- contracts set to expire within the next 30 days.
Furthermore, one can easily determine how diverse an organization's contract portfolio is at a glance. Organizations can display contracts by type, department, and status to analyze this contract portfolio diversity.
Tracking Missed Payments & Deliverables
Organizations can track missed payment and delivery milestones against contract terms and conditions. Automated contract workflow updates can alert users if payments and deliverables fail to be met by their set date.
Additionally, advanced contract management software can allow users to track contract risk. For example, say an organization isn't receiving payment on time according to a contract's terms and conditions. They can track that contract's lifecycle process to determine payments that were missed and deliverables not performed on time. Additionally, they can see where things went wrong.
From there, they can leverage a contract management risk and opportunity assessment tool to track insights. Such insights include revenue loss exposure, reputation exposure, confidentiality exposure, and more. A risk assessment matrix can be provided based upon the risk information provided, which can display that information at a glance. Furthermore, notes and comments can be made to keep contract lifecycle management and risk insights in one centralized location.
Step 2: Dynamically Write a Contract Termination Letter
Organizations can follow a standard document writing process to write contract termination notices for contracts set to be ended. Please read our article on contract authoring to learn how to establish a contract writing process for your legal document.
Organizations can leverage termination templates within their contract management software system's template library. They can use contract data field placeholders to pull key information into a contract termination letter. A dynamic clause library can help organizations pull in clauses (such as those detailing early termination fees).
Users can also email a contract termination letter within a software system or as a templated email. As such, organizations don't need to waste time meeting contractual obligations that may:
- cost them money.
- hurt their reputation.
distract them from more beneficial contracts.
Step 3: Promote Proper Contract Closeout with Financials Tracking
At contract termination, contract management software can help organizations facilitate proper contract closeout. All the while, they can gain valuable insights to support the health of future contracts. Organizations can manage spending and stay within budget limits before contract closeout to avoid penalties. Additionally, organizations can determine the contract's remaining budget after contract rescission.
Financial tracking tools can also be used for tracking transaction history. Debit and credit card sums can be provided. Organizations can also track how many credits were incurred and how many debits were expensed. They can view:
- a contract's budget amount against the incurred amount.
- the remaining budget balance.
- the percentage of the budget used.
These financials can be exported to a spreadsheet format for future analysis and calculation with advanced contract management software. On the flip side, financials can be bulk imported using a structured spreadsheet file. Organizations can leverage spreadsheet imports with contract management software to simplify the analysis.
Simplify Contract Termination With Contract Management Software
Things don't always work out as planned. This truth applies to contracts as well. Perhaps an organization is dissatisfied with the way contract obligations are being met (or are not being met). Maybe they no longer need the products or services of a counterparty.
In any case, a notice of contract cancellation makes it very clear to everyone involved that a contract has been ended. However, contract cancellation should not entail a notice of termination alone.
It's time to enlist the help of CobbleStone's Contract Insight® for comprehensive management of contracts, including for termination.
Book your free demo today to learn more about CobbleStone®.
This blog post was updated on December 28, 2022. Its original publication was in May 2020.
Legal Disclaimer: This article is not legal advice. The content of this article is for general informational and educational purposes only. The information on this website may not present the most up-to-date legal information. Readers should contact their attorney for legal advice regarding any particular legal matter.