Contract Analyst vs. Contract Manager: Defining Roles in the Contract Approval Process

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An efficient and effective economy depends on innumerable contracts that require the steady hand of business professionals focused on reviewing, negotiating, and executing enforceable agreements.

Image illustrating the difference between a contract analyst vs contract manager

Legal professionals just getting started as contract analysts or contract managers typically enter the field with certifications that range from an undergraduate degree in business administration to a law degree. Potential candidates may have acquired two or three years of experience in a junior business, accounting, or human resources role.  

Understanding the differences between a contract analyst vs contract manager will help clarify each position’s unique roles and responsibilities.

Defining a Contract Analyst

A contract analyst—sometimes called a contract administrator or the “architect” of contracts—performs all of the planning and development of a contract. 

Analysts clarify why the contract is being signed and seek the most effective phrasing to protect the company’s interests. Analysts often create contract templates and standardized language to ensure the smooth execution of the contract. The analyst may search for conflicting conditions, discrepancies, or omissions during the review and negotiation processes. 

This role requires an in-depth understanding of delivery dates, disbursement amounts, and acceptable and unacceptable terms. The administrator establishes a framework to measure contract performance and determine if parties meet their contractual obligations. By the time a contract is finalized, a contract analyst’s work is largely done. 

Defining a Contract Manager

Once contracts are signed, contract managers ensure all parties meet their obligations, like project timelines and payment disbursements, on schedule and guard agreements against ambiguities, risks, and potential breaches. Contract managers likewise facilitate any agreement modifications, renewals, or renegotiations. 

Communication skills are a prerequisite for the position, as contract managers must explain and assign roles within a project, express project goals, and convey what’s at stake if the contract proves inadequate. This increased responsibility correlates with the increased pay of a contract manager vs contract analyst.

Contract Analyst vs Contract Manager At-a-Glance

Here’s a brief summary of each position’s unique responsibilities:

Contract Analyst

Contract Manager

Involved in early contract work

Involved in later stage contract work

Responsible for understanding contract enforcement rules

Responsible for reducing risk in a signed agreement

Sets up a system to monitor performance

Sets up a system to improve performance

Clarifies “why” a contract is made

Clarifies “how” the contract is fulfilled

Creates templates and standardized terms

Assigns roles and oversees implementation

Reviews for errors, omissions, and deviations

Reviews for risk, ambiguity, and breaches

Earns $64,000 yearly on average

Earns $83,000 - $120,000 yearly on average

Legal Tech Innovation Is Changing Contract Roles

Contract roles and responsibilities are changing as legal departments implement advanced technology. Both contract analysts and contract managers can leverage technology to automate routine tasks. As a result, legal staff can utilize innovations like artificial intelligence (AI) to accelerate the contract review process while ensuring that every agreement strictly adheres to playbook standards.

An AI-powered contract platform can help contract analysts improve templates and standardized language while completing comprehensive contract reviews that include context-based revision suggestions in just a few minutes. Contracts are assessed for potential risk based on the company playbook, past agreements, best-practice templates, and attorney notes. 

Contract managers can employ an AI-powered contract platform to automate aspects of the contract, such as notifying relevant parties when a document is up for renewal. With recent advances in AI and Natural Language Processing (NLP), a leading-edge platform can negotiate terms in a matter of minutes while providing full redlining and contextual suggestions for improvement.

AI represents one of the most exciting advances in the legal field. And while contract analysts and contract managers work at different stages of the contract lifecycle, contract review, negotiation, execution, and ongoing monitoring can all be enhanced by AI-powered legal technology.

LexCheck offers a leading-edge contract platform that helps teams automate contract review and negotiation while ensuring agreements adhere to company playbook standards. Contact us at sales@lexcheck.com to learn more, or request a demo to experience the technology first-hand.

gary-sanghaGary Sangha | Founder & CEO

Gary Sangha is the Founder and CEO LexCheck. He's a serial entrepreneur and an academic. Gary previously founded Intelligize, a legal technology company that was acquired by LexisNexis. He's affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania and Stanford University and started his career as an attorney at Shearman & Sterling and White & Case.