If you have ever found yourself putting together important documents and contract forms, sending them to important clients via email or fax, and then anxiously waiting for their approval and return, then you will understand the amount of wastage in the system. Wherever you require a physical signature from your partners or they need one from you, you are necessitating the printing of documents which may span many pages. Of course, a lawyer can read a contract just as easily in digital format, but signing it physically means that the entire thing needs to be printed.
Electronic or digital signatures give businesses and the people they work with the best of both worlds. Here are some of the key benefits of this simple yet important technological innovation.
They are Equivalent to a Pen and Paper Signature
An electronic signature can be affixed to a document without having to print it out. It has the same legal standing as a physical signature, and is considered to be more secure by many security analysts. Electronic signatures are now backed up by legislative acts, such as the ESIGN Act and UETA, which have affirmed their legal status. Many contract attorneys have argued that electronic signatures are easier to defend in court. This is because digital signing software offers advanced cryptography, and can even incorporate biometrics to ensure that only the named individual can electronically sign their signature.
Signing a document electronically eliminates issues such as disordered contracts with pages out of order. Additionally, the digital process is the same every time and cannot be circumvented, deliberately or otherwise. This leads to contracts being signed correctly the first time, every time, reducing waste and excess administrative costs, which leads us to our next point.
They can Save Your Business Money
By going digital, many businesses can make considerable savings just on the paper and ink that now won’t be used in the unnecessary printing of large documents. However, there is a whole slew of other benefits of going digital. Utilizing cloud storage to hold digital documents keeps them safe, secure, and easily searchable (trust us, your attorneys will thank you!), all while saving you on the cost of physical space and filing cabinets to hold them.
Digital records are automatically preserved and organized with little to no human intervention, potentially saving you the cost of a salaried position to maintain your business’s records and archives.
They’ll Boost Your Eco and Tech Credentials
As more of your business rivals and partners begin to embrace a paperless office, your failure to follow suit will begin to stand out more and make your business look increasingly behind the times. Consumers are now more environmentally conscious than they used to be, and they are increasingly demanding that the companies they do business with take their eco credentials seriously. As awareness grows and more people realize that businesses can go paperless, they will want them to stop the practice of printing out documents unnecessarily.
Electronic signatures offer numerous benefits to businesses. If your business isn’t using such a system, then start looking for one today!