In this current climate, now that everyone is trying to conduct business in the cloud and with physical signatures being (almost near) impossible to enforce, the use of the electronic signature (e-signature), has come into its own.
With travel restrictions unlikely to be lifted any time soon, businesses and individuals need to adapt and find alternative means of signing documents and contracts, with companies also needing to ensure their employees are able to access e-signed documents remotely.
Although large companies have embraced the use of e-signature technology, SMBs are not far behind, and more and more have joined the ‘e-signature revolution’ to help streamline workflows, increase productivity and reduce costs.
According to Finances Online –
“The e-signature software market is one of the fastest-growing markets in the world, and the difference between using an e-signed document versus a traditional signed document is 37 minutes versus 5 days.
Compared to the traditional pen-and-paper approach, e-signatures are easier to use and offer considerable cost and resource savings, as well as an 80% reduction in turnaround time.”
To give you a bit more information, DocGovern and PandaDoc have put together this e-book, ‘An Introduction to Electronic Signatures’.
It outlines all you need to know from what e-signatures are used for and how you create one, to how legal they are. It also outlines the regulations in the US and the EU around them.
Although there’s a plethora of information out there about the subject, hopefully you find our e-book condenses what you need!
Compliance Regulations have been with us for what seems like an eternity, changing a little and impacting a lot.
Who would have thought one of the most impactful changes would be COVID-19, and the way we have to work not within the regulations, but around archaic processes.
Regulations such as ISO, GDPR and SOC 2 have not changed in the COVID-19 era – what they have done is make us all more acutely aware of our processes, processing arrangements, what is necessary and what is not.
One area in particular the current climate has seen an increase in, is the use of Electronic Signatures, or ‘eSignatures’.
Now that everyone is trying to conduct business in the cloud and with physical signatures being (almost near) impossible to enforce, the use of the eSignature has come into its own – although banks still use faxes like it’s the 1980’s!
With travel restrictions unlikely to be lifted any time soon, businesses and individuals need to adapt and find alternative means of signing documents and contracts – those companies also need to ensure their employees are able to access signature documents remotely.
The legal sector is one industry that has seen a significant increase in the use of e-signatures, with remote contract signings becoming a “must-have” rather than a “nice-to-have”. Many law firms have updated their policies around eSignatures, however, using an electronic signature does depend on any relevant legislation, regulatory requirements within the specific practice area, and the type of document being signed or executed.
Pre COVD-19, most businesses had a credible plan, but like Mike Tyson said, ‘everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth’. I wouldn’t like to argue with Tyson (this is true in so many ways!), plans are only as good as their test, and COVID-19 has tested us all in many different ways-
- How we were conditioned to work at a set location,
- handling paperwork
- requiring clients to be in person evidencing who they are
- witnessing their signature
- filling the paperwork and
- sending receipts by carrier pigeon?!
Additional practical considerations such as, not all documents can be signed electronically, and witnessing the signing of a document – given that a witness may not be able to be in the room physically, is it enough to witness it over a video link? are things that still need to be taken into consideration.
We are all creatures of habit and have been forced to make some radical life and business altering decisions during this current climate.
Like many businesses, we have seen an increase in the use of Document Automation Solutions – the solution of choice before COVID-19 may not be the one that you are thinking about now.
If you would like a no obligation assessment of your post COVID-19 operational needs for Document Automation, please get in touch with us today.