Contract Registries – Building Multi-Attribute Acceptance Registries

Would you like to have a secure central archive for your contracts and other important documents? Would you like this archive to be searchable via keywords and other attributes? Do you want permission control for individual documents, e.g only those who signed with e-signatures, or for the whole negotiating team?

One of our clients wanted all those things and we accepted the challenge to develop a contract registry for them. A few of the main problems we had to overcome were: a large number of documents (specifically contracts and annexes), a mix of paper documents and scans located on networked storage, coherence / organization of different versions of these documents, search functionality, permissions.

Solution

In response to our customer’s difficulties we implemented a contract registry as an AMODIT process. Such a process has a form with various types of fields which represent the attributes of the contracts and any related documents. For example:

  • parties to the contract (multiple entities may be specified)
  • links to e-signature information (if signed electronically)
  • basic parameters of the contract, i.e. signing date, when the terms come into force (and when the terms expired for archived contracts), amounts, payment terms
  • automatic notifications that important contract milestones are approaching (or have passed)
  • and any other information you deem necessary which might be specific to the type of contract being signed, e.g. annexes with the appropriate clauses, detailed implementation guidelines, references to governmental regulations which must be adhered to, etc.

In a fully electronic workflow these documents can be attached to the case as files, but in a ‘legacy’ workflow a scan of the contract document can be attached instead. Amodit simultaneously supports working in 3 general ways: fully electronic (recommended!), mixed (electronic and scans), legacy (scans only).

In complicated contracts, however, there can be many related documents so in our example we organized them in an additional table with an attribute specifying their type (e.g. annex, general conditions for the provision of services, excerpts from the National Court Registry).

The benefits of Using an Electronic Contract Registry:
    1. All the documents associated with a contract (annexes, attachments, etc.) are archived in one place. Additionally, if a scan of any document is updated it is added as the newest version, so users have full access to the history of content changes.
    2. Advanced search features enable users to create various types of statements for quickly and accurately searching the contract registry. (e.g. filtering for a combination of: contract type + date range + company)
    3. Users only have access to documents they are automatically associated with (they submitted them or were involved in that case) or have been granted access by the administrator of the registry. (Access can also be revoked, or granted temporarily. Read this article.)
What is the Typical Course for a Contract Registration Workflow?
  1. Cases in AMODIT can be created either manually or automatically. The registry administrator can manually initiate a case and upload documents and scans. Or, the AMODIT system can automatically create a case after receiving documents at an email address. For more info please read: Advanced Email Support – Threading Functionality.
  2. Contract registry administrators fill in all the required fields and then forward the case to the people responsible for further work. (e.g. the contract manager, or the Legal Department)
  3. The contract manager verifies the correctness of the data entered and fills in any additional information.
  4. At this point the contract either enters the archive if it is no longer in effect, or becomes a functional part of your Amodit system if it is still in effect. By using the information you decided to record on the form about the contract Amodit can now trigger events such as renewal notifications, milestone reviews, or financial analysis.

Any industry or organization that has an external legal requirement, or internal business practice requirement, to record contracts can greatly benefit from an electronic contract registry. HR, Legal, and Administrative Departments are all prime candidates where accuracy and control could be increased and costs could be reduced. The case described above, for example, was for the Legal Department for an international media agency.

Once you consider the added benefits of also using e-signatures, any business which signs many low to medium value contracts could achieve a significant competitive advantage. Try our FREE DEMO version (which includes some free e-signatures each month!) and see how you can use AMODIT to improve your business.