Many businesses develop contract agreements with their employees, clients or other businesses. To protect themselves in these transactions, companies hire contract analysts to look over the contract and ensure agreements are in the company’s best interest. Contract analysts must be skilled in business management and contractual regulations.
A contract analyst’s primary goal is to help a company avoid contractual disputes. These disputes can result in lengthy court battles, high legal fees and negative publicity, so a contract analyst works to protect both the company’s reputation and financial interests. Contract analysts review a company’s contracts before it signs, analyzing all clauses, stipulations, obligations and liabilities to ensure they suit the company. Analysts must be familiar with city, state and national contract laws to verify that the company is in accordance with laws and to avoid legal complications down the road. A contract analyst may also be responsible for looking over contracts and finding ways to cut costs for the company. He may be asked to renegotiate pricing or terms with the other party. In some instances, the contracts analyst is asked to draft the entire document and then bring it to the company’s management for review.
No specific industry-wide standards exist for contract analysts, and requirements can vary widely by company. Most companies prefer that contract analysts have at least a bachelor’s degree in a business- or legal-related field of study. Some companies require a contract analyst to have at least a master’s degree or MBA, with advanced and specialized training in contractual agreements. Other firms may prefer to hire candidates who have graduated from law school or passed the state bar exam because they understand the legal end of contracts and could potentially represent the company if a dispute arises.
A contract analyst should be extremely thorough and detail oriented, as the job largely consists of reading through contractual documents line by line. Contract analysts must also have excellent writing skills, as they are often required to write or rewrite contracts. They must be able to express themselves effectively and accurately in writing to avoid any confusion in the agreements. They must also be able to manage their time efficiently, as many contracts and deals are time sensitive. Employers may also require some knowledge of or experience in the company’s field. For example, a construction company may require a contract analyst to have a working knowledge of local, state and national building regulations.
Source: The Houston Chronicle