There are many moving parts involved with a contract, and it can be easy for your organization and counterparties to get mixed up at some point in the process. This is why a contract checklist is an essential part of the commencement of a contract. Your organization can utilize a contract checklist as a contract roadmap. Read this blog for an overview of a contract checklist – as well as what solutions your organization can leverage to navigate that contract checklist successfully.
A contract checklist helps you proactively organize a contract's critical preparations before finalizing it. A contract checklist helps foster proper communication, set contract expectations, and ensure that contract parties are on the same page.
Fundamental contract checklist steps can include:
- Contract Offer
- Contract Acceptance
- Clarification of Contract Parties
- Contract Subject Matter
- Contract Mutuality of Obligation
- Contract Valuable Consideration
Your Contract Checklist
It is crucial for your organization and any contract counterparties to be on the same wavelength with the checklist steps listed above. Let’s take a closer look at these contract checklist steps – as well as how you can tackle them for next-level legal operations.
A contract offer is your organization's invitation to a counterparty to enter into a contract – on specific terms and conditions. A contract offer can be expressed in several ways. These can include an oral statement and a detailed written offering.
Contract acceptance refers to when your counterparty confirms a willingness to be subject to the terms and conditions stipulated in your contract offer. Contract acceptance is a crucial aspect of a legally binding contract. Without contract acceptance, the contract process cannot begin.
Clarification of Contract Parties
Identifying contract parties elucidates who will be involved in a contract. Everyone involved with a contract must be aware of:
- the name of each business or entity involved with a contract.
- the type of business involved with a contract (a corporation, LLC, partnership, etc.).
- the names for those signing for involved contract parties.
- the official title of a counterparty’s signer, which designates signing authority.
There may be more involved in party identification (depending on the many variables involved in a contract). Still, these are some boilerplate aspects of contract party identification that you can expect.
Contract Subject Matter
A contract’s subject matter is the specific terms and conditions of a contract. You may come across terms such as “subject to contract” or “without prejudice.” These terms indicate that contract negotiations are still ongoing and that a contract has not been finalized.
Contract Mutuality of Obligation
A contract’s mutuality of agreement provides that, unless involved contract parties are expressly bound to perform, neither party is bound to perform. Essentially, a contract is void in the eyes of the law unless there is a mutual responsibility of contract parties to act as per contract terms and conditions.
Contract Valuable Consideration
Contract valuable consideration is the exchange of items between parties of value per a contract that make it valid. For example, let’s look at your sale of a house. You are giving up a home (an item of value) in exchange for money (also an object of value). The contract contains valuable consideration on the parts of involved contract parties and is considered legally binding and enforceable.
Tackling Your Contract Checklist
There are many ways that a contract checklist can be approached successfully. One tool you can leverage for contract checklist success is robust contract management software. Let’s take a closer look.
Your organization can leverage an enterprise contract management software system to quickly communicate about an offer with a previous counterparty if you want to streamline communication regarding a new contract with said counterparty - whose information you can already have within your system's secure contract repository. Your organization can also leverage a contract management software vendor gateway for an external, web-enabled contract offer for potential contract counterparties. This can drastically streamline and improve the contract offer in order to find a sensible counterparty for your needs. With surveys and rating and scoring tools for your potential counterparties, you can have a better chance at choosing the best counterparty. You can also get started with fostering contract communication quickly.
After contract acceptance, you can get started with full contract lifecycle management! Proper contract authoring, contract negotiation, contract review, and more will help you and your counterparties elucidate and put into legal action the checklist items mentioned above.
After your contract is accepted, your organization will need the contract lifecycle management software solution that offers advanced CLM tools. Powerfully automated contract writing tools, intelligence contract negotiation and contract collaboration tools, automated intelligent workflow and approval routing, and more will help you hit your contract checklist and more. The solution you need is CobbleStone Contract Insight®.
CobbleStone's leading contract management, vendor management, eProcurement, and eSourcing software solution offers complete contract lifecycle management tools - including:
- a secure contract repository for retaining contracts, counterparty data, and more.
- a vendor gateway for presenting contract opportunities to external vendors and potential counterparties.
- streamlined contract requests.
- user-friendly and robust contract writing tools that support seamless merging of contract data with templates from your organization's pre-approved clause library so that items on your contract checklist are included in a contract in an organized and accurate manner.
- a centralized process for contract negotiation, contract collaboration, contract review, IntelliSign® electronic signatures, and seamless contract eApproval routing.
- centralized contract analytics and tracking for compliance and contract obligations to keep you on track with your contract’s checklist items and legally binding requirements.
- automated key date notifications and alerts – such as those for seamless contract renewal with counterparties whose contract checklist you worked so hard on.
- robust risk management tools.
- straightforward workflow configuration and contract tracking for specific contract types.
- & Much More.
Given that CobbleStone Contract Insight is the only tool you can use to maximize all of the features mentioned above for contract checklist fulfillment, contract lifecycle management, and contract success, it’s no wonder why Forrester names CobbleStone a Leader in CLM software!
Discover why thousands of contract managers from a vast array of industries trust CobbleStone® with their contract checklist, contract lifecycle management procedures, and so many other crucial processes. To learn more about CobbleStone’s unparalleled contract management software, book a free demo with a Contract Insight expert today!
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