Contract administration can bring forth a host of challenges.
There needs to be an established plan and follow-through within a set timeline. Teams must track contract financials. There must be a plan for overseeing the contract lifecycle. Teams must have a plan for encountering risk variables.
Clearly, contract administrators have a lot on their plate. There is ample room for deleterious errors, contract risks, and bottlenecks – especially with manual contract methods. Fortunately, contract management software can help reduce the time-consuming need for manual processes. Here's how.
What Is Contract Administration?
Contract administration is the planning and execution of contracts. It involves oversight of contract lifecycle management and the tracking of:
- terms and conditions.
- contract financials.
- contractual risk.
- contract security and access.
- contract management KPIs.
The eight stages of contract management and contract administration go hand-in-hand. Administration requires an analytical and proactive approach, in addition to contract management responsibilities.
What Does a Contract Administrator Do?
A contract administrator is tasked with creating and managing contracts with which an organization is involved. A contract administrator is responsible for juggling:
- the contract lifecycle.
- contract requirements.
- task management.
- counterparty relations.
- contract financials.
- contract risk.
- key dates and milestones.
As such, contract administrators need an organized, seamless, and centralized plan to successfully address all of these responsibilities. Project management skills are a plus for better managing the contracting process.
What Is a Contract Administration Plan?
A contract administration plan is a blueprint for addressing the important details and processes surrounding a contract. It is used by contract administrators and their teams to:
- centralize the contract lifecycle.
- ensure the timely realization of contract obligations.
- promote key date awareness.
- promote accountability.
- reconcile financials and budgets.
- strengthen counterparty relations.
The best administration plans are supported by contract artificial intelligence.
Contract Management Software for Better Contract Administration
Leading-edge contract management software can help contract administrators create the best possible plan. Essential contract management tools can help contract professionals with every facet of the administration process.
Comprehensive Contract Lifecycle Management
No contract administrator should traverse the ever-changing landscape of administration with disorganized contract lifecycle management. Organizations and legal teams need a robust solution that:
- saves time.
- cuts costs.
- boosts revenue.
- provides a low-friction experience.
Cutting-edge CLM software solutions support contract administrators with user-friendly interfaces for the key contract lifecycle stages - including:
- automated contract requests.
- simplified contract authoring with the seamless merging of contracts with templates from an organization's pre-approved clause and template library.
- a unified process for contract negotiation, collaboration, and review.
- centralized and comprehensive contract analytics and contract data tracking.
- automated key date notifications and virtually real-time alerts.
- robust risk assessment, risk mitigation, and risk analysis.
- robust process configuration and tracking for specific contract types for a vast array of industries.
- integrated RFx management (including requests for proposal).
- easy yet detailed searching and reporting - which can include an ad hoc and custom report designer.
Intelligent Contract Risk Assessment
Trusted contract lifecycle management software supports comprehensive risk assessment and OFAC search mapping. Contract administrators can graphically visualize risk for future-minded risk management.
No longer arises the need to manually sift through contract records for any risk variables. Contract administrators and their teams can reap the benefits of a visualized graph system.
The graphs can plot contracts based upon an automated risk score. This score can help provide user-friendly risk analysis measurements of active contracts. As such, contract administrators can prioritize important contract risk factors for enhanced decision-making.
Furthermore, contract administrators and their team members can easily analyze intelligently projected contract performance. Hypothetical risk variables and exposure can be analyzed within an eye-catching risk assessment matrix.
The contract risk assessment matrix and statistical data analysis can help identify positive, neutral, and negative facets of contracts. As such, they can improve planning. Contract administrators can also reap the benefits of message alerts, as mentioned before. These can alert users if a contract incurs a value of X% higher than the average within their CLM system database.
Contract administrators can also use the OFAC search graphical risk tool. This tool can pinpoint if vendors, employees, and customers comply with the Office of Foreign Asset Control’s national sanctions lists.
This functionality allows contract administrators to reconcile OFAC compliance for pre-award and post-award contract management stages. Thus, they can improve risk mitigation. Similarly, contract administrators can configure rules to quickly alert users if a contract meets or exceeds a configured OFAC Search percentage.
Contract Administration Financial Data Reports
An eye-catching contract financials page can provide contract administrators with a simple but comprehensive financial summary for each contract. The report can include basic contract details and contract data at a glance, such as:
- the sum of contract transactions.
- the sum of contract expenses.
- the total contract budget amount.
- the contract budget amount remaining.
- the percentage of a contract budget that has been used.
Contract administrators can configure the Budget Used field within their contract management systems to set budget thresholds for contracts. For example, contract administrators can configure so that a resource is alerted once a contract’s used budget amount passes 80%.
Contract administrators can also run reports around the financials of all contracts within their CLM systems. These reports can be set to run by categories such as by contract type, department, counterparty, and various others.
Contract administrators are encouraged to use these contract management software financial data reports to attain a holistic view of contract finances!
Contract Administration Analytics With Executive Graphical Dashboards
Leading contract software solutions offer visionary contract analytics and reporting tools to enhance contract lifecycle management. CobbleStone Contract Insight® - for instance - offers executive graphical dashboards to push contract analytics into the future and answer questions important to your organization.
Executive graphical dashboards that CobbleStone® contract administrators can leverage include dashboards for:
- Contract KPIs.
- Contract Overview.
- Counts by Department.
- Vendor Management.
- Year Analysis.
- Bids Overview.
These dashboards can serve as one among many reasons why CobbleStone is the premier contract software suite on the market. They simplify and streamline contract management software processes with the foremost reporting tools.
Contract Administration Success With CobbleStone Software
Are you - as a contract administrator - interested in the functionality highlighted in this blog? If so, you will be excited to know that CobbleStone offers so much more than administration tools alone.
CobbleStone Contract Insight offers user-friendly features of contract management software - including those for the contract administration process. Your contract management team can efficiently:
- secure and unite contracts.
- seamlessly collaborate.
- oversee contract compliance.
- track costs.
- receive alerts and notifications.
- push processes into the future with VISDOM® Contract AI machine learning,
- efficiently sign with IntelliSign® electronic signature software.
- boost productivity.
- decrease expenses.
Quadrant Knowledge Solutions recognizes CobbleStone as a CLM Leader in the Spark MatrixTM Report - and it's plain to see why!
Get started today by booking your free demo.
This blog was updated on August 7, 2023. It was originally published in July 2021.