In today’s hyper-connected world, conventional methods of signing and validating documents are increasingly being overshadowed by technological advancements such as electronic signatures. If you do not know much about e-signatures, here is a perfect place to learn about them and the benefits that come with signing a document online.
What exactly is an electronic signature?
You probably might have come across several definitions of e-signatures. However, let’s focus on one and the most straightforward one. An electronic signature is an electronic form of data which can be used to execute signatures on electronic documents or records. This type of signature enjoys the same validity status as that of the wet-ink signature.
In other words, an e-sign is a distinctive mark in an electronic form which validates and verifies a document, in the same manner as a pen-and-paper signature would. Adoption of this signing technology has been on the rise for some time now, particularly when dealing with legal, business, and government documents.
Benefits of electronic signatures for your business
1. Esign online and save your most valuable resource – time
First and foremost, esignature software speeds up the document turnaround time. There is no need to print, scan, post a document, anxiously wait for the recipient to sign and send it back to you. A lot of time is wasted in the process. With an electronic signature, you can process your urgent documents in a few clicks, within seconds.
More so, a top-notch electronic signature platform, allows you to sign documents anywhere, anytime, and on any device. It is particularly important for that pressing issue or, if you are out of the office or short of time to go there to get everything prepared. No such pressure for those who esign online.
Also, retrieving your documents becomes much quicker with an online signature solution. No more looking through heaps of paper when searching only for one document. Just access it with a click of a button. In a few seconds, the “missing” document is ready for you to modify or share with the relevant parties. E-sign software guarantees a noteworthy efficiency gain, which allows you to manage your time more wisely.
2. Quicker decision implementation
Enforcing decisions, especially in an organization setting, is not an easy thing. Numerous documents must be signed and approved by multiple stakeholders. And as you might be aware, the more time the signing and the agreement process takes, the more time it will take for decisions to be effected. It is not unusual even for sound business decisions to get lost amidst all the procedures and lose their momentum over time.
If you wish to lessen the gap between a decision and its execution, then you need electronic signatures to hasten the formalities associated with the approval process. With the stakeholders quickly signing off the vital documents with e-signature and giving the decision a mark of approval, you can implement the decisions much more quickly.
3. Increase productivity
The time you save while using e-sign technology makes you more productive by allowing you to focus on more important assignments. You get to automate document flow and eliminate repetitive tasks. For instance, if you use the same documents every day, the templates feature incorporated in the electronic signature app will come in handy. Create a single document, save it as a template, and use it as much as it is needed, with minimum adjustments to fit every particular case.
4. Reduce costs
Compared to the traditional way of managing paper documents, using e-signatures to sign pdf electronically or sign word electronically, is more cost-effective. You save on paper, printing, packaging, shipping, and mailing costs.
Additionally, e-signatures have helped in cutting down the financial impact of human error, which happens due to the signing blunders that slows everything down. The typical wet-ink signatures had a lot of mistakes and inaccuracies, and this could affect companies or businesses negatively.
Sure, some people may argue that getting a subscription for electronic signature also does entail some costs. However, the costs are negligible compared to those of the typical pen-and-paper method.
5. Saving office space
If you stop using the physical documents, think of all the office space you will be able to save for paper archive. You will no longer be needed to keep a stack of documents in all corners of your office. Get rid of those boxes and use all this space for better things. Again, thanks to the document management feature incorporated in e-signs, you will never have to waste your valuable time looking for documents manually.
6. Minimize risks and secure your document flow
Paper documents are somewhat fragile and subject to damage. Besides, you may send out an urgent document, wait for it to be sent back, only to realize that some signatures are missing. Electronic signatures get rid of these risks.
What’s more, an electronic signature system adds up to your document’s security, thanks to its robust encryption algorithms. Meaning, no third parties can access the documents without your consent.
A reliable e-signature tool also guarantees maximum control over your workflow. For instance, it lets the user track all adjustments made to the document. Thus, they are sure it was not interfered with and is 100% secure.
7. E-signatures are more legally defensible than wet-ink signatures
According to electronic signature laws such as The Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) and Electronic Signature in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN Act), e-signatures enjoy the same legal status as wet-ink signatures on any document.
Firstly, the majority of digital signature solutions employ additional security features, such as bank-level encryption and biometric signature capture, to reveal the real identity of the signer.
Secondly, electronic signature solutions require that documents are appropriately signed, with the signer being compelled to fill out all the blank fields before hitting the send button. Lastly but not the least, document pages sent to the relevant parties cannot be shuffled out of order or tampered with. These assurances, of the document integrity and signer’s identity, lead to a reliable, more defensive agreement.
8. Ensure compliance with the relevant regulatory bodies
Complexities in tracking paper documents may lead to compliance issues at the time of audit. Usually, if it’s established that a paper document, such as an agreement or contract has been tampered with in any way, then it is likely to result in expensive fines and endless lawsuits. The feature that makes e-signatures safe and secure also allows them to comply with the various state and federal laws.
9. Improve customer experience
No one would ignore that client satisfaction is a key factor influencing your business success. Your clients would be more pleased if your relations with them became more efficient. Electronic signatures save clients’ time and make the whole signing process much more desirable for them. They can sign documents anywhere, anytime they want and using any internet-enabled device they prefer.
10. Boosting eco and tech credentials for organizations
As more of your competitors and business rivals start to embrace a paperless office, your failure to emulate the same move will begin to stick out and make your organization look increasingly behind the times. Customers are now more environmentally aware than they used to be, and they are always demanding that they do business with companies that take their eco-credentials seriously. Signing document electronically, therefore, means you are on the right path, and you will appeal to that category of clients.
Electronic signatures do not force or impose changes on the way your company operates. Many e-sign solutions integrate with popular business tools you already use, including PDF, Google Docs, Salesforce, Dropbox, Microsoft Word, and more. Thus, you don’t have a reason for not investing in one. The gains realized from electronic signature software are beyond measure. Every organization, administration, or company is guaranteed to find its specific benefits based on its needs and the system’s ability to adapt them.
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