It is pretty straight forward but not the most intuitive....
Start with a new layout based on the above table and with list view specified.
In layout mode, double click the body part and change it into a sub summary part. Specify the contract field as the "when sorted by" field.
Put a Summary field that computes the "Total of" Amount and your Contract field inside this sub summary part.
Return to browse mode and sort your records by Contract. (If you don't sort your records by the "sorted by field" this type of layout will appear empty.)
In FileMaker 10 and later, you can see the results in browse mode. In earlier versions, you have to preview or print the layout to see this report.
Is it true that I must always use that field (ie- Contract) as the primary sort field? Say I wanted to sort by another field (ie-date) and still have it sum the total (of contracts) is that possible?
Using this specific layout, you must always sort by Contract to group the records by the common value in that field.
Given that you have multiple records for each contract, how would you sort them by a date field? is this a value that will be the same for all records for the same contract?
IF so, you could specify a sort order that sorts by date and then also sorts by Contract.