Businesses waste tens of hours a month on processing their paperwork. This time could be used to accomplish something important instead. In the near future, paperless solutions will eliminate most of the time-wasting in business and they already do so for tax returns, with more than 90% of those being filed electronically in the US. We have 6 good reasons why you should get on the frontline of the change.
Paperwork is generally very expensive. There are several factors that contribute to that. Employees’ time spent on processing documents, paper used for them, storage space, etc. – these are the ongoing operational costs that paper entails. There are also potential economic ramifications businesses might suffer if their paper-based records get lost or damaged. These are usually huge, so huge that 70% of businesses with a traditional docflow could fail within 3 weeks if they lost their papers.
Electronic signatures cut those expenses and risks out. Time spent on processing plummets dramatically, paper-related costs obviously do not apply, and documents signed electronically are stored on an ultra-protected server located somewhere on the other side of the world, instead of a metal cabinet.
There are two aspects to consider here – security of an electronic signature itself and security of methods used to store and transmit electronically signed documents. Electronic signatures are pretty similar to ink ones when it comes to protection. Like those, they don’t possess any characteristics that prevent them from being copied, and yet both types are sufficient to be used in business.
Storage and transmission, on the other hand, are where eSignatures can easily surpass the ink ones. That, of course, depends on the paperless office solution. Systems designed for work with confidential documents employ strong encryption to document storage and transmission. Safest solutions use PGP, or Pretty Good Privacy, a hybrid encryption method which combines advantages of both asymmetric and symmetric key algorithms and is virtually uncrackable.
Convenient and fast
Most high-end eSignature software solutions incorporate automatic syncing. What it means is that, first, all your documents are stored in a safe cloud, and, second, are accessible from any place with the internet connection. Let’s say you were on a business trip and needed a document that you’d worked on at the main office a few days ago. With a traditional paper-based approach, you would have to ask some of your employees to scour through stacks of documents, find the one you need, scan it, and then send it to you. Imagine doing this for 20 such documents.
Now, with a proper electronic signature application, you’d not have to ask anybody anything — all your documents are already with you, wherever you are.
However fast and convenient electronic signatures are, it wouldn’t make a difference if they weren’t legally recognizable. The good news is electronic signatures have been legally recognized in most countries of the world for some time now. The US and EU laws (the ESIGN Act and eIDAS regulation, respectively), for instance, specify that electronically signed documents, with a few categories being exceptions, bear the same legal value and enforceability as their ink-signed counterparts.
People love when things are made easy for them. Employing electronic signatures in a service-oriented business is a definite step towards cutting unnecessary bureaucracy and improving users’ experience and loyalty. Generally, clients want as little interaction and docwork as possible. Modern paperless office software is often designed to be free for signers to use, and the latter usually have little more to do than tapping in the right spot of a document sent to them for signing and slapping their eSignature there.
Ideal for SMEs and personal use
Why? Because electronic signature lets businesses focus on their actual growth and not on the growth of their paper stacks. It lets young companies to save on building paperwork infrastructure, and others to optimize their spendings and get more agile. Individuals, freelancers, or anybody who chooses to use eSignatures are spared the ordeal of going to the nearest printing office every time they deal with documents online.
Quality online eSignature software provides businesses with safe document exchange channel and storage ample to ensure unbreachable dealmaking. Imagine how much faster paperless negotiations can get compared to those carried out traditionally.
Paper seems so familiar but so becomes everything once you try it long enough. Be sure to give electronic signatures a try!