ContractWorks (which begins at $500 per month, billed annually) is focused on the tracking, storage, signing, and reporting elements of the contract management life cycle. Owned by the document management provider SecureDocs, ContractWorks doesn’t handle contract authoring or back-and-forth legal negotiations and there’s no built-in collaboration. It’s a simple system by design, geared toward giving businesses a transparent, customizable, and centralized process through which to categorize, track, and approve contracts. The targeted scope of what ContractWorks can do means it can’t serve as an all-in-one solution for your full contract management life cycle, like Editors’ Choice Agiloft can. However, as a dynamic, virtual file cabinet and execution pipeline for all of your organization’s legal contracts, ContractWorks is a powerful and comprehensive platform.
Pricing and Plans
Unlike Agiloft and most of the vendors in the contract management space, ContractWorks does not price by user licenses. The product starts at $500 per month, billed annually, for its 12-month plan. The other pricing option is $600 per month for the 3-month plan, billed quarterly. You can start on the quarterly plan and move to an annual subscription depending on your needs. Both plans come with a free trial and give you unlimited users, document storage, support, and training plus free implementation. You also get customizable alerts, reports, permissions, audit logs, document migration and setup, custom branding, and a host of other features, including the platform’s document tagging and template features.
The only thing ContractWorks does allot a user limit on is electronic signatures, for which the company rolled out a native eSignature feature in March 2017. Organizations get five free electronic signature users at no additional charge, but additional users come in packs of five electronic signature users for $1,200 per year. ContractWorks doesn’t integrate with Adobe Sign, DocuSign, or other third-party eSignature vendors, preferring to centralize that within its platform as a native feature. ContractWorks also offers a discount for non-profit organizations as well as volume packages for law firms or professional services firms looking to offer contract management through ContractWorks as a billable service.
Managing the Contract Lifecycle
ContractWorks keeps its user interface (UI) simple. The experience is icon-based and easy to navigate, and the top menu only has six tabs: Documents, Tags/Templates, Users, Reports, Sign, and Settings, and a universal search bar. There are five default roles with customized views of the features you’re given access to: Administrator, Full Access, Download Only, View Only, and No Access. But you can add your own customized roles with access to specific documents, folders, rooms, etc. Unlike Agiloft and Onit Contract Administration and Contract Review & Approval, when you log in, you don’t see a custom dashboard with real-time widgets and reports. ContractWorks takes you straight to your document repository to get down to business.
The Documents page is laid out like an email inbox. There’s the main inbox in the middle, a custom folder structure on the left-hand side for organizing your documents, and buttons on the top for uploading contract in bulk, creating new folders, copying, downloading, and adding attachments to documents. You can also use drag-and-drop to move documents into the inbox without the need to use the Upload button. The attachment feature is useful for adding change order or addendums to a master contract, and that entry in the inbox will show the attached documents.
While you can’t actually edit contracts in ContractWorks, clicking on a document will open the native PDF viewer, which shows a dynamic watermark customized to the user as an added security feature to preserve contract confidentiality. Another nifty security feature is two-factor authentication, which prompted me to enter a code sent to my mobile device every time I logged in.
The most unique features in ContractWorks revolve around tags, templating, and search. Tags in the system can be any field you want to make searchable or recordable in your contract. It’s an extremely flexible categorization feature that can encompass text, dates, numbers, percentages, or a yes/no response. For example, you could create an “Auto Renew?” or a “Confidentiality?” tag to quickly turn that setting on or off for a contract. Tags feed into the more flexible categorization structure that defines how ContractWorks approaches contract management.
When you create a new tag, you can add also add a drop-down menu that adds the tag to a particular department within your business or to a larger contract template. So, if you’re adding tags for employment contracts, then you can add the human resources (HR) department to the drop-down menu whereas, for a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), you might add the legal department. Tags are easy to create in the Tags/Templates tab, and you can then go back to the documents inbox and associate tags with particular contracts. The ContractWorks UI is similarly sparse and intuitive to that of Concord, but far goes deeper into granular contract categorization and search.
Templates are an extension of that idea. They group tags based on contract type, which helps clients tracking the same 5-10 provisions on a lease agreement, for example, to quickly search for that type of contract as opposed to a vendor contract, partnership agreement, NDA, or loan agreement. Templates are not related to contract creation; they’re additional management and categorization tools. Only admins or full-access users can apply tags and templates.
When testing the platform as an admin, I was able to pull multiple tags into a test template and mark default fields such as start and end dates, term, and contract value as required fields. I could then set up recurring notifications to specific users as well as automatic updates and auto-renew based on whatever interval I set. This is useful for subscription contracts renewing on a quarterly or annual basis. You can upload a document to associate with a contract template as well, though again, it’s not a full contract authoring template as you’d find in tools such as Agiloft. That said, ContractWorks tags and templates are more customizable and easier to use than traditional approaches, plus they’re completely searchable.
Once you’ve uploaded documents and added tags and templates, you can manage signers and electronic signatures in the Sign tab. As an admin, you can designate your five-signer or set up a signature template correlated with particular contract types. In this case, you can mark up a document with the specific locations for which you need a signature and who the signee is, and then save that as a template. If you’ve already set up a template, then you can click the pen icon in the Documents tab to immediately email out a secure link for signing. All signers gets a completed PDF copy of the contract sent to them via email, and in the Sign tab, you can filter by completed, uncompleted, or cancelled signatures.
The eSigning functionality is straightforward, and the native signing capability will soon be integrated with Salesforce and available in the Salesforce AppExchange, which ContractWorks said will be able to send a document created in Salesforce straight into ContractWorks for storage and signature as well as pull Salesforce fields directly into the platform as tags.
Reports and Notifications
ContractWorks is still in the process of building out its reporting functionality, but there’s a solid array of features and analytics with which to work. Under the Reports tab, you can manage both reports and related notifications in a calendar view. When creating a new report, I was able to choose from all of my tags and templates as columns to pull in, along with being able to filter the data my report pulled in by keywords or particular template. I then exported the report as a PDF and Microsoft Excel file.
Once you create a report, the Notifications Calendar and Notifications Report tabs let you configure emails and related notifications for specific users. You can also view all of your reports in the Saved Reports tab. Most importantly, ContractWorks gives you an audit log to track all activity by user and a complete history every contract in the system. Reports in ContractWorks are more about the movement of documents through the system and the actions users take, tracking when a document is uploaded, moved, renamed, and when details are changed to ensure traceability and catch errors. In that respect, the audit trail, reporting, and notifications calendar do their job. That said, the reporting capabilities aren’t nearly as in-depth or garnished with interactive charts and graphs as those in Agiloft and Onit, or the trend metrics and recommendations you’ll find in reports generated by Coupa Contract Lifecycle Management.
A Virtual File Cabinet for Contracts
ContractWorks is easy to use, meticulous in its contract categorization, and among the best experiences we tested for secure storage and tracking of contract documents. The platform also shines when it comes to quick search through its tagging and template structure. Plus, its native eSigning feature works well. If you’re looking for contract authoring, more extensive reporting, and deeper contract management life cycle features (such as workflow automation, version control, and built-in collaboration and task management), then Editors’ Choice Agiloft is a more powerful and customizable option. However, for customers primarily concerned with post-creation document routing and management with great security and comprehensive auditability, ContractWorks is a smartly designed and executed solution for those aspects of contract management.