A comprehensive guide to Contracts
Vendorful's Contracts module allows users to manage contracts they have in place with their vendors. In this article we will look at the options available to you that can be used to manage contracts.
Creating a new Contract
To create a new Contract select Contracts > Add a Contract in the main menu at the top of the screen. You can also click "Add a new Contract" when you are on the Manage Contracts page. When you add a new Contract you will start by giving the Contract a name in the pop up that appears. This name is just for organizational purposes. Feel free to name the Contract anything that will help you and your team remember what it is about or who it is with.
There are a number of options that can be set on Contracts to help you manage them. Let's work our way down the page as we go over each section and what it is for.
The options at the top of the page allow for general contract information and ways to help you better organize your contracts.
Right below the contract name will be a yellow status bar. This indicates that the contract is pending and is waiting to be signed.
Clicking the "Mark as Signed" button will remove the contract's pending status and turn the bar green indicating that the contract has been agreed on and will take effect on its start date.
Business Units & Categories
The tags available here help to organize your contracts. Business Units/Departments allow you to label contracts depending on what part of your organization this contract is relevant to. Similarly, Categories will allow you to further organize your contracts by labeling the contract with any custom categories your Organization has set up.
If your current contract is governed by a master agreement it can be set in this section by clicking the "Link to Master Agreement" button and selecting the master agreement from the dropdown. Note: In order to set a master agreement both contracts must have the same counterparty in the terms section which we will cover next. Changes made to the master agreement will not affect it's associated agreements. This section is just for organizational purposes so you can keep track of related contracts.
To mark a contract as a master agreement simply click the "is a Master Agreement" checkbox. Once this is done you will be able to set it as a master agreement on other contracts. Alternatively, you can set contracts as associated contracts while viewing the master agreements. Once you click the "is a Master Agreement" the area below will change to allow you to set associated agreements. You do this in the same way as selecting a master agreement and the same counterparty limitations apply.
The terms section contains important information about a contract such as who the contract is with and important dates specified in the contract. Let's take a look at our options here.
The counterparty of a contract is who we are making the contract with. In Vendorful this is represented by one of your vendors on the Vendorful platform. Note that this field must be a valid vendor. The auto-complete for this field will show you your available vendors. If they do not appear here you will need to add them in vendor management.
Start Date / End Date
These date fields allow you to track the start and end of a contract and can be used to set notifications about the contract from Vendorful. All contracts will show their start date, but end dates are optional. This can be toggled with the "Contract Expires" checkbox when editing the terms section.
The primary stakeholder is the person on your team responsible for overseeing or administrating the contract. Much like the counterparty field this field will need to be a valid Vendorful user on your team. The auto-complete will help you select available team members. If the person you are looking for is not found you will need to add them as a user to your organization.
This field allows you to show if you are the customer or the vendor in relation to this particular contract.
If the contract auto-renews over a specific period this field can be checked to allow the contract to renew in Vendorful.
In cases where there is information about a contract that you would like to keep in Vendorful that isn't part of the Terms or Billing section we have Custom Attributes. This section will allow you to create custom fields to keep that information in. The Custom Attributes system is robust to allow for a wide array of information to be stored. We will expand on how to create and manage the attributes in a future help article.
Documents & Notfications
The sections at the bottom of the contract allow you to keep any other additional notes or documents related to the contract.
The key documents section allows you to upload documents that are related to the contract or even a copy of the contract itself. Note that these files are separate from your organization's File Manager. If you would like to upload a document from the File Manager you will need to download them there and reupload them here to the contract. This also means that files uploaded here will not be found in the File Manager.
By capturing important clauses in this section, you can reduce the amount of time people spend looking through the actual contract itself. When adding or editing a contract record, you can copy and paste specific provisions into the contract. For example, it may make sense to add the language around Termination here so colleagues who look at the contract record can quickly see whether there is the ability to terminate for convenience or terminate for cause. Similarly, you might want to add the language governing the timing of payments and late payment penalties. Ultimately, the decision about what contract-related clause information you want to make readily accessible.
Notifications allow you to keep track of when certain documents are expiring or if they require attention for another reason. Notifications in contracts will create a task in Vendorful and assign it to a designated user who will be notified that they have been assigned to the task. There are a number of fields available when creating a notification:
Title (required) - The title of the notification. This is how the notification will be labeled in the user's task list.
Assign to (required) - This is who will receive the notification. This will be a user that is part of your organization in Vendorful.
Final Notification (required) - The date set here will determine the due date for the created task. The default date is based on the contact's expiration date but can be set to an earlier date if you would like to check in on the contract before that.
Start Date - This is the date and time on which the notification will be sent. By default, the notification will be sent immediately, but if you would like to delay the notification you can set a later date here.
Description - This is an extra text field that can be used to provide further details on the notification and the contract it is being sent from. This text will also be viewable on the user's task list.
Any additional information can be kept in the notes section. Notes can be edited as text fields and will be saved with the date and time of the note as well as the name of the user who added the note. Important: Notes are permanent once they are added. They cannot be edited or deleted. If you need to make an addendum or a correction to a previous note you will need to do so by adding a new note.