Contracts are critical legal instruments for companies of all sizes in virtually every sector. Although sourcing, negotiating, and drafting contracts can be quite a tedious process, contracting does not end once the agreement is put to paper. In fact, the real work begins once all parties have signed the final documents. To ensure that the terms and conditions of a contract are being performed as stipulated, it is crucial to conduct periodic audits. This may be done at a micro level (i.e., by contract) or at a macro level (i.e., a review of the entire portfolio). Here are some of the key points to consider to perform a contract compliance audit:Read More
Contracting is a necessary facet of running a business, with many companies entering into multiple contracts on a daily basis. Of course, given that contracts are legally binding, enforceable agreements, they can carry some pretty significant consequences. Unfortunately, the management phase of the contracting cycle is often overlooked, as emphasis is placed more heavily on the front end of the contracting cycle, which involves negotiations and drafting. This is clearly an erroneous oversight because poor contract management will no doubt result in negative financial outcomes. Here are some key ways that inadequate contract management can impact a company’s financial success.Read More
Compliance is a tricky facet of running a business well and maintaining a robust contract portfolio. Understanding the many nuances will take time, and although attaining proficiency in the subject is certainly feasible, developing true expertise will require diligent research on many topics, as well as consistent involvement in the process over a fairly significant period of time.To help professionals get up to speed on the ins and outs of compliance management and understand what it will take to create the right corporate culture that will facilitate the creation and maintenance of an effective compliance program, here is a list of some books on the matter that are worth reading.Read More
Compliance is a rather complicated albeit quite necessary facet of contracting. Of course, formal compliance procedures are not necessarily applicable in all contractual relationships, but it is highly relevant in the realm of government contracting and for the healthcare industry. Even if the nuances of compliance are not presently pertinent to your company’s contract portfolio, it is highly likely that they will be at some point. As a result, all contract management professionals must have a basic understanding of the process. Here are the key terms to know:Read More
Companies engaged in high volume contracting will likely encounter a contract portfolio review and/or audit at some point. This may be an internal process conducted to analyze the contract management system in place, or an external party may conduct the review to verify compliance. In many cases, both internal and external reviews may have to occur, perhaps on an annual basis or only one time every few years. Regardless of the type and scope of review that must take place, there are certain steps the contract management team can take to ensure that they are prepared for any such process. Here is a general checklist that may come in handy:Read More
For the past few years, the healthcare industry has dealt with growing state and federal regulations by increasing compliance budgets and staffing. And as demands accrue for greater accuracy, privacy, and patient data security healthcare organizations are carefully considering ways to improve compliance.
One area of ongoing concern for healthcare organizations is contract management. Contracts are required for many aspects of business, but a Journal of Contract Management report found that over 70 percent of companies can't find 10 percent or more of their signed contracts. This alarming statistic should give any management team pause, but the issue is particularly sensitive for the healthcare industry. Lost contracts can lead to serious breaches of privacy, duplications and administrative errors resulting in penalties for the organization.
Successful management, both contract and otherwise, really boils down to cultivating solid working relationships. Obviously, the economics of a deal and the business operations of the parties involved are important facets of a smooth transaction. But, the knowledge and skills of the folks behind the scenes are equally important, if not more so. The team members’ soft skills are always relevant to how matters play out, especially when things go slightly awry, which is likely to happen in some form or fashion.Read More
The healthcare industry is a beast. It generates billions of dollars, but costs continue to skyrocket. With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, millions of previously uninsured Americans gained access to healthcare, and that expansion meant even more rules and regulations for hospitals and healthcare institutions to understand and follow. Healthcare compliance has always been a bit complicated, and this massive revision to the law has added to that. Here are some of the major healthcare compliance concerns and ways for companies to address them:Read More
The financial services industry is one of the most heavily regulated sectors of our economy. There is Dodd-Frank and Sarbanes-Oxley to contend with, among so many others. There is also the myriad of acronym-labeled organizations and agencies, on both domestic soil and abroad, tasked with overseeing the enforcement of these rules and regulations or the investigation of companies or individuals believed to have breached them. Granted, there have been a few outrageous dealings and unscrupulous scandals (okay, maybe more than a few) that had a rather significant impact on the economy at large. Because of these unfortunate occurrences and their considerable or lingering repercussions, some level of increased scrutiny and heightened disclosure rules was to be expected. Not surprisingly, this increased level of scrutiny also applies to how a financial services firm manages its contracts.Read More
Contracts are at the heart of virtually all business transactions. However, because contractual relationships vary drastically within and between companies and sectors, not all contracts can be treated in the same manner. Managing contract risk is an important part of the contract management process. Doing so can ultimately help a company’s bottom line. And failing to do so can result in dire consequences, both financial and otherwise.Read More