How to Stop Tracking Contract Terms in Excel

By Juliette Kopecky

stop-tracking-contracts-in-excelEvery time your legal team produces a new contract, it creates another set of obligations and liabilities into the world on behalf of your company -- and those risks and rewards need to be monitored both individually, and at scale. Unfortunately, too many legal departments resort to the manual, time-intensive method of tracking contract terms in Microsoft Excel, Salesforce, or some other not-intended-for-legal-work database or spreadsheet.

Attention in-house counsels: You don't have to live like this anymore. New artificial intelligence software can get you out of the business of cataloguing and accounting for your contract portfolio "by hand."

Thanks to natural language-processing techniques, new AI solutions can actually read, comprehend, and categorize your contracts, up to and including identifying individual clauses in an agreement and parsing out specific values within those clauses. 


For example, new legal-centric AI can identify termination clauses, assignment clauses, payment terms, governing law, and execution dates in most any agreement, and can tell you which of your contracts has which version of each contract attribute. 


Modern AI can also go further and determine whether a contract automatically renews, when each party must give notice to terminate an automatic renewal, can distinguish between signature and renewal dates, can calculate dates that payments are due, can identify the parties bound by a contract, and can even identify the type of agreement a contract represents, be it a sales contract, master services agreement, lease agreement, service level agreement, privacy policy, etc.


So, instead of paying an intern or paralegal to spend hours reading every new agreement that your legal team executes and then log each one into your unwieldy, bespoke Excel spreadsheet, AI can build a similar table of clauses and terms in real time, at the speed and scale of software.


Which means the Excel spreadsheet can get sent to the Recycle Bin, and your interns and paralegals can get paid to do something more worthwhile than act as contract taxonomists.


Moreover, the software that automatically reads, categorizes, and identifies key data within your contracts can tie into your other workflow tools in a way basic Excel spreadsheets never could. For example, if your contract-analysis AI knows the exact agreements that are up for customer renewal in the next 90 days, and can identify the exacties parties to those agreements, it can feed that data to your customer relationship management (CRM) software and prompt your marketing, sales, and customer success teams to make sure each eligible customer renews for another term.


That's a much nicer way to live than hoping your legal team builds the right task list from your homegrown Excel "contract manager." Odds are you'll sleep better at night letting AI build a customer retention list, rather than tasking someone on your team to wrangle a pivot table correctly.


LinkSquares has built the exact AI contract analysis tool you need to retire your old Excel-based "workflow" for good. LinkSquares' artificially intelligent contract parser can identify over two dozen types of contract attributes that represent literally thousands of possible agreement templates and key values. That's more complex than any Excel spreadsheet you'd ever want to format by hand, and more accurate, too.


If you're ready to ditch the "Excel hell" of your current contract management paradigm, and put contract management in the hands of cutting-edge software instead, contact LinkSquares today.

New call-to-action