Whether you’re a business owner, department manager or procurement professional, you likely have contracts to handle. Excel? You may think that Excel is the best way, but it’s not the best for a contract repository, my friend. Let us tell you, it’s like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. In this post, we will discuss why Excel is not the best tool for managing your contracts and what you should be using instead.
Excel is not designed to be a contract repository. It’s designed to be a spreadsheet, and it excels at that task. But when you start using Excel as your contract repository, it doesn’t always work out so well:
Contracts are stored in different locations, not all accessible to the same parties. The data for contracts are scattered across different platforms, hard drives and lost at sea on the infamous shared drive, making it difficult to find where all your contracts are stored so you can review them regularly or keep them up-to-date as needed. Thus, spreadsheets are a poor tool for tracking contracts because they don’t have built-in version control and it’s difficult to track who has which versions of a contract. This can lead to confusion when people think they’re looking at the latest version of a document but actually aren’t because someone else has made changes without telling them (and vice versa).
Searching for information in Excel is slow and cumbersome, and you can’t quickly find what you’re looking for.
When you’re managing contracts, it’s important to have a workflow process in place. A workflow process can help you manage the procurement, your contracts and suppliers; it will ensure obligations are met on time, that key metadata is properly stored in your contract repository, and that contractual changes are tracked over time. It can help ensure you’re meeting your due diligence obligations and initiating, performing and managing contracts and your supply chain compliantly according to applicable regulations. The importance of a workflow process is especially true when it comes to legal agreements between parties or companies-there are many people involved in these agreements, each with their own responsibilities (and sometimes agendas). If one person doesn’t do their job right, skips a step or doesn’t capture an important term, this could cause problems later down the road when someone has questions about what happened during negotiations or wants something changed in the agreement itself.
Contracts are often modified over time to reflect changes in business goals, technology and other factors. But when you’re using Excel, there is no way to track which terms changed and when. This makes it difficult or even impossible to know if a contract has been updated since its initial creation.
You can’t tell who made the change either-you may have multiple people working on your contract repository at any given time, so it’s important that everyone knows who made what change so they can follow up appropriately.
Effective contract management lifecycle software will not only provide a single source of the truth but let you see how you arrived at that point through auditability and tracking of changes.
A contract repository is a place where you store all your contracts and related documents. You can use it to manage the lifecycle of your contracts, make changes, track versions, and share with others.
The problem with Excel is that it’s not secure. It’s not encrypted or password protected so anyone who has access to your computer can see what’s in there and they might even be able to edit it!
Often the answer to Excel’s lack of secure access and permissions is locking the register down to a select few individuals within the company. This isn’t ideal as it leads to a lack of collaboration on contracts, and a lack of visibility on key terms, by potentially important stakeholders who aren’t privy to the elusive contract spreadsheet.
An effective contract management system provides various access levels and visibility on contracts so that personnel who require it may have read-only visibility on contracts; it should offer collaborative contract management.
You’ve probably heard of using Excel for contract management, you’ve probably inherited your fair share of contract spreadsheets yourself. While it’s possible to use spreadsheets as a repository for your contracts, they aren’t designed to track the complex data that contracts require.
Contracts are legal agreements that are often lengthy and contain multiple sections with various fields of information and key metadata that simply can’t be queried effectively in Excel. In order to manage them effectively, you need a system that can handle this level of complexity-and Excel doesn’t have those capabilities built in.
Good contract management software will allow you to track changes and provide a one-version-of-the-truth account, enabling all relevant parties to have access (rather than having alternative versions stored or lost somewhere else). It should also help keep track and provide an auditable view of key stakeholders and responsibilities; providing a view on who has signed off on what parts and when changes were made by whom; this way there won’t be any confusion about who needs approval before moving forward on something important like signing off on an invoice from another company!
Excel does not have the features to support a contract repository. It’s not designed for this purpose, and it can’t be used in a secure environment. If you are using Excel spreadsheet as your contract management system, you may be missing out on some important functionality gained via a contract lifecycle management system that would make life easier for everyone involved with managing contracts at your company.
There are many other contract management systems out there -some of them are even a match for ours!
There are two main problems with Excel:
Excel has its uses, but when it comes to contracts, you need to step up your game. Excel lacks the necessary features to effectively manage your contracts.
Don’t let your contracts fall through the cracks. Upgrade to one of many dedicated contract management solutions available that can make your life easier and help you to be more efficient. Accord’s contract management solution is one option worth a look at.
Not convinced? Here are more reasons why you should ditch the spreadsheets and say farewell to using Excel as your contract repository.
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