Lesson 7-- Contracts

Goldenseal is contract writing software that creates contracts, subcontracts and spec sheets. You can use it for construction project contracting, or any other type of legal documents or complete project specifications.

Each Contract record stores details for one legal document. It also can generate contracts and written specifications for a project. You can enter contracts with any parties involved in a project.

Creating Contracts

To enter a contract, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Contracts from the Income menu.
  2. Click the New button.
  3. Enter the type of contract, and the account that will be signing it (you can make contracts with customers, projects, subs or suppliers).
  4. If you want to include 'boilerplate' contract text, enter a Contract Package.
  5. If you want to include a detailed Scope of Work, enter the specifications source in the Specs Source field.
  6. If you’d like to type in contract text, click on the Contract Text button and enter it into the Header, Body and Footer fields.
  7. Click the Contract Setup button to enter other details for this contract.
  8. Click the Write Payroll button to assemble the contract as a word processor document.
  9. You can use the Status, Action Taken and Action Taken by fields to track the actual contract paperwork.

Contract Clauses

Contract Clauses are a 'library' of simple sentences or paragraphs that you can include in contracts. To set up contract clauses, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Contract Setup from the Options menu, and choose Contract Clauses from the submenu.
  2. You'll see a list of clauses. Double-click on an item to see details about the contract clause, or click the New button to add a new one.
  3. To change a clause, type new text into the Clause Text field, then click OK.

Contract Packages

Contract Packages are a set of contract clauses that you will include in specific contracts. If you create a variety of contracts that use different clauses, create a different package for each type of contract.

To set up contract packages, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Contract Setup from the Options menu, and choose Contract Packages from the submenu.
  2. You'll see a list of contract packages. Double-click on an item to see details about the package.
  3. Each contract package shows a list of all contract clauses, with check marks next to the items that are included in this package. Click on an item to add or remove a check mark.
  4. When you've included what you want in this package, click OK.
  5. To include a set of clauses in a contract, enter the contract package into the Contract Package field in a Contract record.

Contract Specifications

Goldenseal automatically creates a 'scope of work' that describes the work that you'll do for a project. It includes a sentence or two for each of the items listed in an estimate that has an item breakdown.

To set up specification text, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Cost Items or Assemblies from the Costs menu. You'll see unit costs which you can include in estimates.
  2. Enter text into the Specs Text field that describes this item. You can include 'substitution text' which will be replaced with specific information when Goldenseal writes a contract.
  3. Use the Cost Display and Quantity Display fields to determine how you'd like to display the cost and quantity of this item.

To include specs in a contract, enter an estimate or project into the Specs Source field of a contract record. Goldenseal will automatically use it to fill in a 'scope of work'.

Contract Preferences

Use Contract Preferences to set up the text for text substitutions in your contracts (see the next section).

To enter preferences, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Preferences from the Options menu, and choose Contracts from the submenu.
  2. You'll see a window with text substitution values (see the next page).
  3. The Contract Phrases section includes common phrases that will substitute into contracts. You can change the wording of the phrases that describe costs, allowances, and quantities. You can also enter the contractor name, as you'd like it to appear in contracts. HINT: If you'd like to include your company name in specification clauses, type it into the Contractor Name field. Type the name of a specific subcontractor into the Subcontractor Name field, if you'd like to use that in your subcontracts.
  4. The Substitution Match Text contains 'key word' text that you'll put in Cost Items, Assemblies and Contract Clauses. When Goldenseal sees this text, it replaces it with other values (see the next section).

WARNING: Do not change any of the substitution match text in this window, unless you are very experienced at customizing Goldenseal. Incorrect changes here will cause the contact-writing feature to fail. If you do change any subsitution match text, you'll also need to change any Assemblies, Cost Items or Contract Clauses that use the substitution text.

Text Substitution

Goldenseal uses text substitution to put specific project information into contracts. When it writes a contract, it replaces certain 'key words' with actual information from the project.

WARNING: Our contract writing software is already set up properly to substitute text in Assemblies and Contract Clauses. You shouldn't change these items.

Cost Item and Assembly Specifications

The specifications text in Cost Items and Assemblies can include the following text substitutions:

  • CTRNAME-- Goldenseal replaces this with an actual contractor or subcontractor name from Contract Preferences.
  • ITEMCOST-- Goldenseal replaces this with the exact or approximate item cost (depending on the value of the Cost Display field).
  • QTY-- the quantity of an item. Goldenseal replaces this with the exact or approximate quantity (depending on the settings of the Quantity Display field in the Cost Item or Assembly)
  • UNITSIZE-- the text from the Unit Size field.


Contract Clauses can contain substitution text for the project name, project size, your company name and address, and other values.

When Goldenseal writes a contract, it replaces the text with values from the project, the customer account and from your Company Info.

Singular and Plural

When you write specifications text, you can use a special format to handle singular and plural nouns. Write the singular form, ## and then the plural form-- box##boxes or foot##feet. Goldenseal will use the first word when there is only one item, and the second word when there is more than one.

Writing Contracts

To write a contract, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Contracts from the Income menu.
  2. Locate the contract record you'd like to use.
  3. Click the Write Contract button.
  4. Goldenseal will assemble contract clauses, contract specifications and the text you've written in the contract record, and create a text file on your hard drive.
  5. Open the text file with a word processor, and print it.

Finishing Up

The Goldenseal contract writing software is especially useful because your contracts will specify the exact same items that you include in your estimates. Forget something in the estimate, and it won't be in the contract either.

This might be a good time to use Goldenseal to write some actual contracts.

For example, you might want to consider writing a good solid contract for each of your house plants. It may not keep them from dying, but at least you can collect some hefty penalty clauses from them when they do.