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Reviews

Best Contract Management Software

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Have you been worrying about contracts, storing documents, or chasing signatures? Stop the worry by putting contract management on autopilot. Don’t you want to focus on company growth instead? Our research shows PandaDoc is the best contract management software for most businesses. A library of contract templates, document collaboration tools, are at your disposal. Which makes your contract process simple and more reliable.

The Best Contract Management Solution for Most

PandaDoc Logo

PandaDoc

Best for Most

Create, send, and manage unlimited documents including quotes, proposals, contracts, service agreements, and more. Paid plans come with 450+ templates, in-document collaboration tools, a drag-and-drop document creator, and in-depth document analytics. Pricing starts at $19 per user per month.

So much can go wrong when you handle contract management manually. PandaDoc removes human errors. It has several features to keep every on track and stops problems from ever starting. This is why we have it as our top recommendation for most users.

Making contracts from scratch gets expensive. PandaDoc comes loaded with prebuilt templates. This get’s rid of compliance concerns because everything is specific to your industry. This platform allows you to fine-tune user and guest access too. Plus, it comes with collaboration tools for examining the fine print and making revisions together with your team.

The Best Contract Management Software to Consider:

  1. PandaDoc – Best for most
  2. Bonsai – Best contract management tool for freelancers
  3. Accelo – Best for service or retainer-based businesses
  4. Precisely – Best for multi-department contract automation
  5. ContractSafe – Best contract management for unlimited users
  6. Workday Strategic Sourcing – Best for supplier contract management

When Does It Make Sense to Invest in Contract Management Software?

If you want to ensure clarity between you and clients with contracts you created your self, and are tired of paying lawyers to create contracts you can’t even explain, it’s time for you to invest in contract management software.

From hiring new employees or entering a service-based agreement with vendors, contracts form an important basis of your business. They ensure you keep compliant with legal regulations, and cover your butt if something goes wrong. But they also protect your business against other forms of attack.

And if you’re tired manually managing contracts, and are beginning to feel it become even more time-consuming and labor exhaustive, this software is a must.

This is true whether you’re a freelancer, startup, small business, enterprise, or anything in between. The reality is you’re never too small (or too large) to invest in a contract management system that puts these worries behind you for good. 

The bottom line is contract management software is crucial if you no longer have the time or resources to efficiently manage your existing contracts (let alone manage new ones). This is especially true if you’ve lost clients, made critical errors, or missed growth opportunities in the past as a result of poor contract management.

#1 – PandaDoc — Best For Most

PandaDoc Logo

PandaDoc

Best for Most

Create, send, and manage unlimited documents including quotes, proposals, contracts, service agreements, and more. Paid plans come with 450+ templates, in-document collaboration tools, a drag-and-drop document creator, and in-depth document analytics. Pricing starts at $19 per user per month.

PandaDoc is an incredibly popular document and contract management software with more than 20,000 customers around the world. 

It’s an excellent choice for growing small businesses and startups because it provides the resources you need to draft professional contracts without hiring a legal professional. You can even transfer the important details from a proposal to a contract with a single click.

It also delivers powerful analytics without requiring a full-fledged sales team or data specialists to gather, monitor, and transform that data into something you can use. 

Basically, PandaDoc neatly plugs into the gaps your company has to help you handle contract administration and management on your own.

As a result, you can leverage enterprise-grade analytics and send well-designed documents for a fraction of the price of hiring new employees or contractors to do it for you. 

Whether you’re shooting a proposal to a prospective client or sending a finalized contract with a deposit invoice attached, you get everything you need to create, send, and manage documents and legally binding agreements with ease. 

You can also easily create repeatable and scalable approval workflows to streamline and optimize the entire process for onboarding new projects or clients. 

There are also over 450 pre-built templates to jumpstart document creation in just a few clicks. From digital marketing and business consultations to healthcare, manufacturing, and legal, you’ll find no shortage of customizable and well-designed templates for your industry. 

On top of that, every plan (even the free one) comes with:

  • Unlimited proposals, quotes, and contracts
  • In-document collaboration with comments, mentions, and replies
  • Unlimited payment collection via credit card, PayPal, or ACH deposits
  • Advanced security and compliance features
  • Document status monitoring and notifications

So, you get the benefit of a truly unlimited document management system and the security you need to rest easy, regardless of your business’s size and your monthly investment. 

You can start with the free plan and upgrade to a higher tier in just a few clicks within your account dashboard as your business grows or your needs change. 

Plus, the introductory plan is incredibly affordable, starting at just $19 per user per month. 

It comes with audit trail features, in-depth document analytics, and interactive pricing tables for fast and accurate quotes. 

If you need even more features, PandaDoc’s advanced plans start at $49 per user per month. They include single sign-on capabilities, ten different CRM integrations, a reusable content library, and custom branding. 

Sign up for the free plan or a 14-day free trial to take PandaDoc for a test drive today!

#2 – Bonsai — The Best Contract Management Tool for Freelancers

Bonsai Logo

Bonsai

Best for Freelancers

Get everything you need to create, send, and manage freelance contracts with ease. Includes time tracking, proposals, quotes, dozens of lawyer-approved templates, task assignments, and more. Automation and custom workflow capabilities included in advanced plans. Pricing starts at $19 per month for unlimited contracts.

As a freelancer, legally binding contracts are the most critical part of protecting yourself and ensuring you get paid on time. 

As such, you need a simple contract management tool that’s intuitive for you and your clients.

Bonsai delivers exactly that and does the heavy lifting for you, so you can focus on growing your business rather than spending your time on the nitty gritty details of managing contracts, proposals, quotes, and invoices.

Plus, you can choose from dozens of pre-built, lawyer-approved templates for contracts, invoices, proposals, scope-of-work agreements, quotes, and more. 

With Bonsai, you’ll never have to start from scratch or spend hours trying to craft a document in perfect legalese. 

From there, you can use Bonsai’s powerful drag-and-drop document builder to customize those templates to match your brand. 

Bonsai also makes custom workflows a breeze to set up. You can use them to automate the entire process from proposal creation to finalized contract to ensure accuracy and save even more time.

That includes automatic client-side notifications to shoot them a friendly reminder to accept your proposals, sign their contract, and pay you on time. 

You can even set up automated late fee accruals for overdue payments. 

On top of that, clients get a personalized private portal where they can view shared files, review your contract, and pay their invoices. 

But Bonsai also goes above and beyond for freelancers. You don’t just get contract management features, you also get additional tools to help you run your business, including: 

  • Time tracking capabilities
  • Essential project and task management features
  • iOS/Android applications for managing your business on the go
  • Unlimited collaboration with other contractors
  • Client relationship management tools
  • 180+ supported currencies
  • Customizable forms

So, you get an entire suite of products and tools built specifically for businesses like yours to streamline operations without breaking the bank. 

Aside from simple and intuitive business tools, the price is what really makes Bonsai an exceptional choice for solopreneurs and freelancers. The Workflow Plan starts at just $19 per month, which is a steal compared to most other options on this list. 

However, you’ll have to upgrade to the Plus Plan at $29 per month for automation tools, custom branding, a client portal, and subcontracting capabilities. 

Even then, $29 is a small price to pay for the number of features and tools you get in return. 

You can also add tax and accounting tools for an extra $10 per month. This module includes automated expense tracking, tax write-offs, and help with quarterly tax estimates, which are all extremely helpful since managing and tracking your taxes lays solely on your plate. 

Sign up for a free trial to see if Bonsai is right for you!

#3 – Accelo — The Best for Service or Retainer-Based Businesses

Accelo Logo

Accelo

Best for Service-Based Businesses

Choose from contract management on its own or an all-in-one client-based business automation solution. Includes time and budget tracking, an intuitive client portal, dynamic invoices, recurring tasks, automatic renewals, smart notifications, and reusable templates. Pricing starts at $39 or $79 per user per month.

Accelo is an all-in-one business automation solution built to help service-based businesses in particular. 

One of the biggest pains of managing ongoing client and service-based work is handling contract renewals and invoicing. It’s a constant grind balancing existing clients while taking time to scout out new clients and manage your business. 

As such, Accelo built a solution designed to automate the process and eliminate the time-intensive manual work required to keep everything up to date. 

It comes with everything you need to manage retainer clients and recurring contractual agreements. You can also easily track email communications and take private notes regarding projects and upcoming tasks. 

Plus, it also includes other contract management features like:

  • Time and budget tracking tools
  • Financial and executive dashboards
  • An intuitive client portal
  • Automatic and dynamic invoices
  • Replicable templates
  • Recurring tasks for ongoing projects
  • Unlimited contract types

You can also set up customized, automated notifications to let everyone know when a contract is about to expire or is up for renewal, separated by contract type. 

Advanced notifications help everyone—including your team and your clients—stay in the loop with what happens next. This is true whether the next step is a renegotiation, closing a contract for good, or renewing the same terms. 

Accelo’s contract management software, Retainers, is $39 per user per month with a minimum of three users. 

With that said, it’s important to note that this solution doesn’t include proposals, quotes, or anything that happens before a finalized contract. You’ll need to purchase the Sales solution for access to those features. 

For both solutions combined, you’re looking at $78 per user per month. 

Instead of doing that, it makes more sense to invest in the ServOps bundle at $79 per user per month. For $1 more per user, you get everything Accelo has to offer.

ServOps includes automation and management solutions for the entire client management process, from nurturing relationships and recurring contracts to project management and post-service client support. 

As such, it’s an excellent and affordable way to get all the tools and features you need to streamline your entire client-based service business under one roof. 

Sign up for a free 14-day trial or a live demo to see if one or all of Accelo’s products are right for you today!

#4 – Precisely — The Best for Multi-Department Contract Automation and Workflows

Precisely Logo

Precisely

Best for Multi-Department Workflows

Eliminate bottlenecks and speed up the approval process using custom workflows and multi-department automations. Includes automatic contract creation, intelligent templates, unlimited contracts, smart reminders, AI-powered data extraction, and dozens of third-party integrations. Pricing starts at $44 per user per month.

As a midsize or large business with multiple departments, you need everyone’s input and approval before sending contracts out for signatures and final approvals. The best way to ensure everyone’s involvement is with contract automation and custom workflows. 

And Precisely is a contract management software built to help you do just that. From drafting and reviewing to signing and archiving, streamlining the process has never been easier. 

With multiple departments, approval processes get more complicated. That can potentially hold up essential contracts from becoming active when they’re needed or expected. However, you can automate this process to save more time and encourage prompt approvals with ease. 

One of the best time-saving features of Precisely is the ability to use existing and frequently used contracts as fully customizable templates. So, you can say goodbye to creating new contracts from scratch. 

From there, you can update any existing info and send it off for approvals and signatures. 

Alternatively, you can set up contract automation APIs to pull contact information from your CRM, ERP, or marketing automation software rather than filling each contract out manually. 

However, automation doesn’t stop there. You can:

  • Easily set up pre-approved contract structures for other authors 
  • Decide who’s allowed to read and edit each contract
  • Set up automatic custom approval workflows
  • Manage and archive an unlimited number of contracts
  • Configure smart reminders for any event in the life cycle

The integration possibilities are virtually endless. Plus, you can set up as many automations and third-party connections as you need with no limitations. 

You can also use the built-in analytics and reporting tool to see the status of every contract in your unlimited cloud-based repository. And you can find whatever you’re looking for in a matter of seconds (rather than minutes or hours) using the smart search and filtering features. 

For essential contract management and e-signing features, pricing starts at $44 per user per month. However, that plan only includes one automated template. 

So, we highly recommend the Professional plan, which starts at $62 per user per month. It comes with essential contract management features plus unlimited automated templates, custom approval workflows, and approval notifications. 

Sign up for a 14-day free trial to take Precisely for a test drive today!

#5 – ContractSafe — The Best Contract Management Solution for Unlimited Users

ContractSafe Logo

ContractSafe

Best for Unlimited Users

Get unlimited user seats without breaking the bank. Paid pans include advanced end-user permissions, top-notch security, extensive onboarding and training programs, advanced search functions, automatic renewals, and more. Plans start at $299 per month for up to 500 active contracts.

Healthcare clinics, hospitals, legal firms, hospitality businesses, banks, and enterprise businesses typically have a large number of people using their contract management software. 

With the other options on this list, you’ll end up paying an astronomical amount of money to accommodate all those users. To help alleviate those massive costs, ContractSafe offers a range of plans that each allow for unlimited users, making it a more cost-effective option. 

Rather than paying on a per-user basis, you pay based on the number of active contracts in your account. 

Plus, administrators get complete control over who has read or write access to every document. 

These advanced user permissions—paired with robust security features and end-to-end data center encryption—equal peace of mind for businesses that regularly handle even the most sensitive information. 

Aside from security, one of the most common issues with introducing dozens or hundreds of employees to new software is user onboarding.

Beyond getting everyone familiar with a new platform, it’s not uncommon for long-tenured employees to be set in their ways and resistant to learning something new, especially if it’s vastly different from the system they’re already using. 

As such, ContractSafe offers various training solutions for getting your workforce comfortable and confident, including:

  • Unlimited live chat, email, and phone support
  • In-product guides and training materials
  • Customized training sessions built around your business
  • Complimentary implementation support and training
  • A dedicated customer success manager

Plus, you won’t have to start over from scratch if you’re migrating from a different solution. 

ContractSafe offers free document and data importing as well as its Jump Start service for extracting data from existing contracts. 

You can also leverage optical character recognition to easily search scanned documents, use advanced keyword searching to find exactly what you need, and create customizable dashboards to give each user an experience tailored to their needs.

Even with unlimited users, each user can still personalize their experience with customizable alerts and notifications. That way, they’ll never miss critical dates and they’ll always be on top of upcoming expirations. 

That further extends to keeping track of automatic contract renewals and recurring dates, which can adapt to a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annual basis.

ContractSafe offers four plans based on the number of contracts in your account, including:

  1. Basic – $299 per month for up to 500 contracts
  2. Standard – $499 per month for up to 1,000 contracts
  3. Professional – $699 per month for up to 2,500 contracts
  4. Enterprise – $899 per month for up to 5,000 contracts

As such, it’s most suitable for larger businesses and enterprises that need a large number of user seats at an affordable price. 

Schedule a free demo or start a free trial to see if ContractSafe is right for you!

#6 – Workday Strategic Sourcing — The Best for Supplier Contract Management

Workday Logo

Workday Strategic Sourcing

Best for Supplier Management

Streamline your supplier and sourcing pipelines plus the contracts associated with them. Includes in-app messaging, custom notifications, custom analytic dashboards, contract hierarchies, advanced search capabilities, and more. Custom pricing only.

If you manage contracts with various suppliers or handle sourcing for your company, you need contract management software that understands the nature of what you do. And Workday Strategic Sourcing lives up to the challenge. 

At its core, it’s a sourcing and supplier engagement platform built to help large businesses and enterprises streamline sourcing pipelines and the contracts associated with them. 

Since it’s designed with this use case in mind, you get a robust platform designed to help your business seamlessly manage contract obligations and provide stakeholder visibility across the entire organization. 

Advanced search capabilities are extremely important when you’re dealing with numerous contracts at different stages, especially if you have thousands of contracts to search through. 

As such, your team can use custom configurable fields to sort, filter, and search for what they need without spending hours sorting through contracts that aren’t relevant to them. 

You can also set up automatic scheduled reports to inform stakeholders regularly. Alternatively, you can set them up to run based on various actions or specific milestone dates, so key players are always in the loop. 

It also comes with a suite of collaboration tools, so everyone’s always on the same page. From renewals, renegotiations, and milestone dates along the way, you get everything you need to optimize your supplier and sourcing processes. 

Plus, the platform goes beyond essential contract management. With one tool, you can:

  • Transform renewals into opportunities to save big
  • Make real-time decisions in a collaborative manner
  • Leverage in-app messaging and automatic notifications
  • Develop custom workflows to streamline your processes
  • Gain bird’s-eye visibility for every contract, regardless of its status
  • Ensure suppliers fulfill their contractual obligations

You can even create contract hierarchies to see a crystal clear picture of all sub agreements made under existing contracts so you can use them as leverage throughout the negotiation process. 

With effective and proactive contract management, you can make sure you always have supplies on hand and obligations are fulfilled to keep your business powering forward. 

Since Workday is a custom solution, pricing isn’t available online. However, you can schedule a free live demo to learn more about the platform and decide if it’s right for you and your team. 

Schedule a live demo to get started today!

Methodology for Choosing the Best Contract Management Software

As we narrowed things down and reviewed each option on this list, we focused on distinct factors that should play a role in the decision-making process. 

Specifically, we focused on essential contract management features, various use cases, business size, and advanced software capabilities. 

Focuses on problems critical to contract management

Before we dive into specifics, let’s talk about the four main areas to focus on for contract management software and why you should have them.

Their are common pain points you are trying to solve or avoid with this software.

Contracts must be stored securely, you must be able to track key provisions, you also need to locate contracts based on specific criteria, and contract clarity needs to be a focus so the information explained within the document is understandable and able to be reported efficiently.

These are the core functions most software builds their functionality around. Having a virtual file cabinet, and a repository to search for documents in seconds is critical to properly being able to manage more business over time and will help your business grow in a organized fashion.

Every option on this list includes all of these features in some capacity. 

However, if you decide to choose something not listed here, make sure it includes (at least) these core features:

  • Document creation or importing capabilities
  • A searchable repository with enough storage space
  • Native e-signatures or integrations for it
  • Automatic notifications and alerts
  • Approval workflow capabilities for clarity
  • Basic collaboration features
  • Customer support

Some may also include free base templates you can use as a starting point for your contracts. They’re nice to have but not a hard requirement since you’ll develop custom contracts as your business grows. 

Use Cases and Business Type

If you’re a service-based business or dealing with suppliers and sourcing, this is the most important consideration because there are use-case-specific solutions available. 

These tend to be a bit more expensive, but you can rest easy knowing you’re getting a tailored solution to match your needs. Plus, you’ll benefit from various use-case-specific features you won’t get with another solution. 

As such, the extra investment is well worth it. 

For service businesses, we highly recommend Accelo. And for those handling supplier contracts, we recommend Workday

However, it’s not always a cut-and-dry distinction between the two. You may be a service provider that also handles supplier contracts as well. 

So, if that’s the case or you don’t fall under these categories at all, you’re better off basing your decision on the number of users you have and the features you need. 

Number of Users and Business Size

If you’re a freelancer or solopreneur, we highly recommend Bonsai. It’s incredibly affordable and includes various other features like quotes, proposals, and time tracking. So, it’s an excellent way to get all the tools you need to run your business under one roof. 

For small businesses and startups with more than one employee, we recommend PandaDoc. It has a robust free plan with unlimited contracts, quotes, and proposals. 

So, you can start without paying a single penny.

And it helps bridge any gaps you may have with your in-house staff without having to hire new employees. 

As a midsize or larger business, you have two options to choose from. ContractSafe includes unlimited users but limits the number of active contracts you can have in your account. 

On the other hand, Precisely offers unlimited contracts with per-user pricing. 

So, you can either:

  • Decide which payment structure works best for you
  • Base your decision on the advanced features you need
  • Sign up for a free trial or live demo of each software to test it out

Advanced Automation and Workflow Features

If you’re interested in advanced features or using them as a basis for your final decision, there are several features to consider. The right blend of advanced features can work wonders for your entire business.

So, we highly recommend making a list of what you need, prioritizing those features, and cross-checking your list with each software you’re considering. 

Don’t forget to think about:

  • Industry and use-case-specific features
  • Automatic document creation with re-usable templates
  • Advanced approval workflows to eliminate bottlenecks
  • AI-powered search and data extraction features
  • End-user or role-based access control
  • Real-time collaboration capabilities
  • Smart or automatic reminders and alerts
  • Trigger-based workflows and automations
  • Recurring contracts and automatic renewals
  • Invoicing and various payment methods
  • Advanced security measures and encryption
  • Analytics and reporting
  • Third-party integrations
PandaDoc Logo

PandaDoc

Best for Most

Create, send, and manage unlimited documents including quotes, proposals, contracts, service agreements, and more. Paid plans come with 450+ templates, in-document collaboration tools, a drag-and-drop document creator, and in-depth document analytics. Pricing starts at $19 per user per month.

Summary

Contracts come in all shapes and sizes, from new-hire paperwork and partnerships to suppliers and service-based agreements. Effectively managing and keeping a close eye on those contracts is critical for compliance reasons. 

Not only that, but your business has a lot to gain by implementing powerful automation features, keeping an eye on critical dates, and having a searchable database to store everything. 

Plus, the right software can even help you save money

Thankfully, there are dozens of tools that make contract management, e-signatures, and automatic expiry notifications a breeze. 

To recap, our top recommendations are:

  1. PandaDoc – Best for small businesses and startups
  2. Bonsai – Best contract management tool for freelancers
  3. Accelo – Best for client-based service businesses
  4. Precisely – Best for multi-department contract automation
  5. ContractSafe – Best management software with unlimited users
  6. Workday Strategic Sourcing – Best for supplier contract management

Don’t forget to use the considerations and methodology we talked about as you go through the process of choosing the best contract management software for you, your team, and everyone involved. 


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