One of the most exciting technologies available online for business people, electronic signature services continue to grow their scope to match all business needs.
No More Fussing With Contracts
If you sign contracts with clients, suppliers, and employees on a regular basis, you typically have some boilerplate language in place to ensure that you can do minimal edits before you print and sign the document. The awkward point often comes when you need to call an extra meeting to sign the documents. With electronic signatures, your documents are available, ready for editing or e-mailing to the signee. Once you have made the changes that you want to in the document, you can put your own electronic signature on the document, e-mailing a link or the document to them that will allow them to view it anywhere, sign it and e-mail it back. It is that simple- no extra meeting, no travel necessary to the client site. Of course, those services are available right now from qualified vendors.
Solid Reporting Built In
Another positive for users of electronic signature technology is that instead of collating all materials as they come back in in files, you can organize the electronic files online, saving you even more time. Additionally, most vendors offer notifications and reporting that gives you a document status overview instantly, saving you time in the review process.
The way that current services have been built, if you do a cost analysis, you will probably find that you are saving hours of labor per week by using one.
One question that often comes up when talking about electronic signature technology is ‘Are the documents legally binding‘. The answer is yes. They are not any less legally binding than if you signed it with a pen. This is because many services have you register your electronic signature so that documents that are signed with it will be legally binding. The disclaimer that comes with the signature on each document also provides legal protections because the client or employee or vendor cannot sign with verifying that they understand the implications of their signature.
Ready to Scale
The roadmap for the future is even brighter for documents signed with electronic signatures. They currently are in use for:
- Invoices and Purchase Orders
- Letters and Correspondence
In the future, electronic signers will be able to electronically notarize a document before it is sent out or while it is received. Electronic notarization brings a lot more potential documents into the mix. Real estate and other types of transactions that normally have a special set of rules would suddenly be included in electronic signature types of transactions.
Another capability that electronic signature services are aiming for is to be able to apostille a document electronically. And although that isn’t for direct consumption, it will bring the cost down for businesses that use that type of signature on a regular basis. It will also take less time. The State of California, normally takes between 6 to 8 business days to apostille a document. If they adopt electronic signature services, their service will likely start to match the service levels that they provide for people who come into their offices in Sacramento, which is same day service.
Overall, electronic signature services are growing and attracting more and more businesses because of their ability to save them time and money.