In many cases, you can have contracts that bring in recurring revenue, such as web hosting, managed services contracts, monthly blocks etc.
You can do do this by creating a monthly/periodic contract – i.e. end date at the end of the month etc. and then by copying it to the new period (the next month etc.).
Benefits of recurring Contracts:
- When copying contracts, the original contract information is copied to the new Contract – like service terms, the initial Block of Time value, Notes, etc. So if you create special notes regarding the Account (such as "Usually has problem with X" or "Make sure you speak with John"), these notes will also by copied to the new contract, keeping all the information intact.
- The contract sub-code will automatically be incremented, e.g. if the original Contract code is 1001 then the newly created contract code will be 1001.0001, 1001.0002 etc.
- you can handle many recurring Contracts with the Batch Copy Wizard which can create many new Contracts for the next period automatically (see below).
- The system will select the new copied contract as the default contract for the Account automatically, based on its start date. This means that you can copy a contract any time prior to its end; and the system will only start using it when the previous contract expires. Note: In order for the system to automatically select a contract by date; you should make sure the default contract selection for the Account is set to 'Automatic'.
- Contract-Price Charges will be automatically copied if requested. This means that you can copy the contract together with the contract-price charges to automatically bill the customer for the new contract.
- The contract's activity template will be automatically copied if requested. This means that you can copy the contract and automatically create the recurring activities for the new contract.
How is it done?
- Create a Contract record for the first month and fill in all the relevant Contract information as agreed upon with the customer; such as service terms.
- When the month ends (or at any time prior to this), you should copy the contract to the next month:
- Select it in the Contract window and use the Copy to next Date Range option from the toolbar
- Set new start and end dates for it (this will be applied to the next month).
- Determine whether you wish to copy the contact-price charges and whether you wish to create the activity templates defined for this contract.
- Alternatively we recommended on using the Contracts > Batch Copy Contracts for New Date Range option. This will let you create many new Contracts for the new date ranges at once. This option will help you manage all the recurring Contracts in one step every month. See more details below.
How to use the Batch Copy Wizard
Using the Batch Copy Contracts wizard, you can easily copy a batch of expiring Contracts to new Contracts that will be used for the next contract date range (i.e. for the next month).
You can copy Contracts that will expire soon and ones that have already expired.
In the first step of this wizard you need to select the Contracts you want to copy to the next date range.
After selecting the Contracts to copy, click Next. The Date Range selection window will be displayed:
In this window you need to select how you wish to determine the the new start and end dates for the new Contracts. We recommend in using the first option, which calculates the date range according to the current date range as defined in the contract. You can also select one of the other options which provide other ways to determine the dates.
After setting the date ranges, in the next steps, the system suggests copying the Contract-Price Charges along with the newly renewed contract. In case you have contract-price charges defined for the contract, it is recommended to copy them along with the contract, so way you will be able to easily generate an invoice for the new contract price. Click here for more details.
In the the next step you should determine whether you wish to apply the contract's activities when creating the new contract. Each contract in the CommitCRM system can be assigned a "Linked Activity Template." This template can be linked to a contract and applied whenever a user copies this contract to a new date range or creates a new contract based on the contract to which the template is assigned. See the Activity Templates user guide for more details.
Then you should click on the Create Contracts button. The new contracts will be created. These new contracts will be identical to the contracts they were copied from (except their sub-code will be incremented by one, they will have a different date range than the original contract). Contracts of type "Block of…" will have an empty block (e.g. 0 used hours).
When the wizard is complete; it will display a list of all the newly created contracts.