Today, the contract creation process is unnecessarily inefficient – even for the ones who draft the same types of contracts over and over again. One copy-pastes a bit and reads through the whole contract each time to make sure that there are no undesired changes.
With Precisely, you can automate and streamline your contract creation process by using custom templates. Create your template in our online Contract Creator and get quality-assured contracts in a matter of minutes! And of course, it works with all contracts.
Step 1: Create template
Click on Templates in the top menu to reach the overview of your templates. Once there, click on the green New template button to the top left and select whether you would like to start from scratch by clicking the Create blank button, or by using an existing template as a starting point by clicking From custom template. Enter the title and description of the template and choose access policy (or in other words, who gets to access the template), then click the blue Create button to create the template.
Step 2: Add documents
Next, it’s time to add your first document, for which you have three choices:
- Choose a document to copy from another existing template and click the blue Create button
- Enter the title of the document to be added and click the blue Create button, thereafter click the Edit button on the right side of the new document to either
- create the content of the document from scratch, or
- copy and paste existing content into Precisely’s Contract Creator
Pro tip: By clicking the document options button (the three dots) on the right side of the document in the individual template overview (accessed by clicking Templates in the top menu, then clicking a specific template) you’re able to manage the document properties (such as the contract category to appear in the archive) and even copy the document to another template. This is also where you delete a document in a template.
PS. You can also add appendices to a document in the template. The appendix will appear each time a document is generated from the template. Learn more here.
Step 3: Create and insert questions and references
Once the document is added and created, enter the document by clicking the Edit button in the template overview and choose what parts to make variable. These are the parts of the template that change from contract to contract. For instance, name, date or value of the contract.
Create questions, either in the Contract Creator or directly in the template overview, that will be asked when running the template, such as “What is the subject of disclosure?” or “What is the name of the company who serves as our counterparty?”. Each question will have a certain id, a reference, that is inserted into the document.
Now, insert references in the document. The output of the reference will be what the person running the template have answered. For instance, the reference name of the question “What is the subject of disclosure?” is disclosure_subject. Wherever you want the subject of disclosure to appear in the contract, you insert the reference named disclosure_subject. Simple as that.
Pro tip: There are a few types of answers to choose from, out of which some are more suitable for certain questions than the others:
- Short text – the answer is a short free text answer
- Long text – the answer is a long free text answer
- Numeric – the answer is numeric (and the answers can thus only be inserted as numbers). For a non-disclosure agreement, a question using a numeric answer could be “What shall the penalty amount to in case of material breach?”
- Date – the answer is a date. For an employee agreement, a question using a date answer could be “What is the start date of the employment?”
- Multiple choice – if the answer can be predefined, you can use multiple choice answers. When running the template, the user can only choose from the predefined answers to the question.
- Clause picker – if there are multiple clause alternatives to choose from, you can use the clause picker option. For instance, if there are different versions of non-compete clauses that you want the user running the template to choose between. This option is especially helpful for advanced users, who can review the clause options and their meaning in a diligent way.
After a clause picker is added, click the Add clause button to add clauses as needed. Then, click the Edit button (the pencil) next to the clause to bring up the clause editor, which is where you create and edit the clause’s content. When you have finished editing the clause, click the blue Save button.
Screenshot of a clause picker question from the end-user point of view, when running the template through the self-service questionnaire.
Pro tip #2: Questions can be made conditional by ticking the Make this question conditional box in the question editing view. For instance, a non-disclosure agreement might have a conditional question of what the penalty should amount to in the case of material breach. By making this question conditional, it could be shown, or not, depending on what the answer to a previous question is. Such as “Shall a penalty clause be included in the contract in case of material breach?”.
Step 4: Make certain clauses conditional.
Shall the secrecy clause only apply to certain colleagues? Shall the exclusivity of the distribution agreement be optional? Depending on what the answer is when running the template, certain clauses will show up in the final contract – and certain will not. The same logic applies to conditional clauses as it does to conditional questions as described above.
Choose what clauses to make conditional and highlight them. Then click on Make conditional and choose what rules that should apply, e.g. that the clause shall appear if the answer of Q1 is Yes.
Step 5: Create pages for themed questions
If you have multiple questions of the same theme, you could sort the questions using pages, improving the experience for the user running the template. For instance, the questions of a non-disclosure agreements could be sorted by disclosure subject, parties and disputes & penalty.
Creating pages is really easy and done by following just a few steps:
- In the template’s specific overview, click the Create new page button, located beneath your questions
- Select the order of which you wish to insert the page, give the page a title (optional) and click the blue Create button
Voilá! You just created a page.
From here on, sorting the questions and arranging the pages is really simple. Just drag and drop questions and pages until you have your desired order.
This is how pages are visualized for users who are running the template through the self-service questionnaire. In the example above, questions relating to disputes and penalty are grouped.
Step 6: Add preparations and rules for approvals
Now, let’s add preparations for the user to check off before running the template. Simply click on the New preparation button and enter the text. You can, of course, add as many preparations as you find suitable.
Also, in case you apply certain processes and rules for approval internally, here's where you can add who, or which group of people, is/are authorized to approve of a contract before it is sent for electronic signing.
- Click on Manage approvers in the template overview, select approvers and click the blue Save button. Then activate the Require approval switch to turn on approvals. It turns blue when activated and grey when deactivated.
- In case contracts generated from the template require approval by all of the approvers you selected in the first step, switch the Require approval by all approvers switch to active as well.
PS. Every approver will automatically receive notifications to their registered email. Also, all contracts or projects that require attestation will appear in the dashboard.
Step 7: Add default signees
If you have members of your team who are responsible for signing certain types of contracts, such as your CEO, your board of directors or heads of departments, you can add them as default signees to your template. When added as a default signee, they will automatically be added as signee to a contract that is generated from that template.
Adding a default signee is really simple. In the template overview, just click the Add default signees button. Then fill out the information and click the blue Create button.
You're ready to go! Create a quality assured contract in just a matter of minutes (if not seconds), simply by answering a few questions.