How to Automate Contract Approval Processes

May 13, 2024 • Tips • 6 minutes

Automating contract approvals can save you hours of work every day. If you spend a lot of time emailing attachments back and forth with stakeholders in your company, and with third parties, then automated approval workflows will be a game-changer for you.

It’s easy to set up approval workflows, and to apply them to any contract you’ve brought into Concord’s contract management tool. Let’s see how.

What is a contract approval process?

A contract approval process is a streamlined workflow that automates the review, approval, and management of contracts. This lets you define specific stages and approval criteria that each contract must pass through before finalization. 

By setting up automated approval processes in your contract management software, you can significantly reduce manual tasks, minimize errors, and finalize agreements faster. 

How to create contract approval processes

You can use contract approval workflows to standardize your approval process company-wide, by predefining workflows and applying them to contracts of your choice.

Here’s how to create automated contract approval processes.

  1. From your Concord Document Inbox, Click Approvals
  2. Click + Add new approval
  3. Add a Name 
  4. Add a Description 
  5. Click the Assigned to icon 
  6. Select desired approvers (users or teams)
  7. Click Add approval step if you’d like to add additional users for a sequential approval process.
  8. Repeat steps 5-7 until you’ve created the workflow you want. 
  9. Specify whether approval is required:
    • From anyone: Any of the specified approvers can be responsible for approval
    • From everyone: All specified approvers must approve 
  10. Click Save
Set up custom approval processes in Concord

How to add an approval workflow to a contract

Once you’ve created an approval workflow, you can add it to any contract in Concord with just a few clicks.

Here’s how to add an approval workflow to a contract.

  1. Open the document
  2. Click Approvals from the right-hand panel
  3. Click Set approval workflow
  4. Choose a Company approval  from the list
  5. Click Save

How to automatically notify the next approver in a workflow

You can easily set up your workflow to notify the next approver by email. Here’s how.

  • Navigate to the desired Document
  • Select the Company Workflow or Custom Workflow
  • Check the box Automatically notify next approvers when a step is complete.
  • Click Save

How to create custom approval workflows

You can also create a custom approval workflow at the level of an individual document. 

  • Open the document you would like to add approvals to
  • In the right-hand panel, select the Approvals tab
  • Click Custom Approval
  • Click Add a Step
  • Mandatory step: approval will always be required from the identified party.
  • Conditional step: dependent on the values in Smart Fields.

How to add conditional steps to your custom approval workflows

Custom workflows enable you to add conditional steps — for example, to automatically route the contract to a specific person in your company if the amount is over $100,000.

Here’s how to add conditional steps to your custom approval workflows.

  • From the dropdown, select the field on which to base the conditional statement. For example, if you require the finance department’s approval if a budget is over $100k, select the budget smart field.
  • Choose the modifier from the dropdown, for example, ‘greater than or equal too, and input the appropriate value. 
  • Select your Approver
  • If you need multiple steps, click the ‘+’ and repeat the above steps
  • Requesting approval will also automatically share the designated approver to the document as an Editor. Their assigned permissions will not be adjusted if the designated approver is shared with a document before requesting approval.

Automate your contract approvals, with Concord.

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What are the benefits of automating contract approval processes?

Automated approval processes bring a wide variety of benefits to growing businesses.

Here are the key benefits of automating contract approval processes.

Streamlined approval times

By automating your contract approval processes, you cut down on the time it takes to move contracts from initiation to completion. Forget the days of manual handoffs and waiting for physical signatures. Automated workflows prompt stakeholders to review and approve documents promptly, so you can execute agreements faster. This speed is especially crucial in industries like real estate or procurement, where timing can impact project starts or product availability.

Enhanced accuracy and compliance

Automation reduces the risk of human error by standardizing approval steps. Each contract follows the same path, with predefined checks that help you maintain compliance with legal standards and company policies. For industries such as healthcare or finance, where contracts must comply with strict regulatory requirements, this helps you manage compliance effectively without manual oversight.

Improved visibility and control

With automated workflows, you gain real-time insights into the status of your business contracts. This visibility ensures that you can track progress at a glance, manage bottlenecks before they become issues, and maintain continuous control over the contract lifecycle. For project managers and team leaders, this means you can anticipate delays and dynamically adjust resources or priorities to meet deadlines.

Streamlined collaboration 

Automation connects all parties involved in the contract process on a single platform. Notifications and reminders keep everyone informed and engaged, reducing the need for follow-up emails or meetings. In sectors like technology and construction, where multiple stakeholders need to coordinate, this seamless communication fosters better collaboration and decision-making.

Optimized resource allocation

Automating contract approvals frees up your team to focus on more strategic tasks instead of administrative work. This optimization of resource allocation allows you to redeploy your talent where it’s most needed, driving innovation and growth. For businesses in fast-growing fields, such as digital marketing or software development, automating routine processes allows your team to innovate without being bogged down by paperwork.

In all these ways, approval workflows dramatically save time. They enable you to automate routine tasks, so documents glide through the approval process with speed and efficiency. 

Approval automation makes sure every contract reaches the right stakeholder instantly, minimizes delays, and eliminates the need for repeated follow-ups. That means your team can focus on more strategic activities, accelerating your overall time to value.

Automate your contract approval process, with Concord.

Request demo

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