The Importance of E-Signatures: 8 Reasons to Make the Switch
E-signatures are faster and more secure than the traditional means of acquiring an important signature. If you haven’t caught hold of this modern business trend yet, you’ll want to after reading about all the ways it can benefit your company.
What Are E-Signatures?
Let’s start with the basics: what are e-signatures and how do they work? An electronic signature is a signature in a digital format on a dedicated digital platform.
Through trusted electronic signature software, you can send important documents to anyone in the world using a computer or smartphone. Once received, the recipient can type or draw their signature, accept the terms, and send it right back in less than a minute.
Traditional means of collecting signatures via mail, fax, or email take a great deal of time, money, and paper. Stacks of paper have to be printed, copied, distributed, and stored for safekeeping.
The entire process is costly and time-consuming.
With e-signatures, there’s no reason companies should waste valuable time and money collecting physical signatures the hard way. Electronic signatures simplify the process from start to finish, without sacrificing security or validity. This is just one example of the importance of e-signatures.
At BambooHR, we use e-signatures to smooth the onboarding process. Instead of having employees spend their first day filling out and signing forms, we send important documents like their W-2 and I-9 electronically. They can peruse documents at their own pace, sign using an e-signature, and show up on their first day ready for orientation.
Creating an E-Signature
So how do you create an e-signature? Getting started with this convenient and green tool is fairly simple. There are several user-friendly e-signature software options available. For example, the software packages BambooHR and other organizations administer typically offer two simple methods:
- Drawing out your signature: You can draw out your signature directly into the document by using your mouse.
- Typing out your signature: You can type in your name, which will automatically be submitted as an electronic signature.
The Importance of E-Signatures in Business Today
E-signatures can be a highly beneficial business tool for organizations. Here are the top eight reasons to start using them.
Deforestation is a pressing concern, which is something you’re probably already aware of. But did you also know that companies who adopt eco-friendly business practices are favored over their competitors? So, not only will an environmentally-friendly practice like using e-signatures help you attract the best hires, but you’ll be saving the pandas too.
If you’ve ever had to collect a signature before, then you know how long the process can take from start to finish. Electronic signatures provide a lightning-fast solution so the steps that follow the signature can begin immediately.
Collecting a signature can be a lengthy and complicated process involving several people to print, sign, witness, deliver, copy, and store. Electronic signatures are captured with the click of a button, greatly improving efficiency on both ends of the paperwork.
Thanks to digital encryption and audit trails affiliated with the digital signature (more about those below), electronic signatures are sealed, stored, and protected against hackers, a breach in security, and other threats.
Precise Legal Validity
Before digital signatures, legal investigations relied solely on handwriting identification and the words of the witnesses. Digital signatures document the time, date, IP address, and unique user identification key that was utilized at the time of signing.
Storage and Verification
It’s not uncommon for a filing cabinet to be overflowing with loose papers and manila folders. With electronic signature software, you can keep all of your documents organized and secured against fires, floods, and security threats in one place—a revolutionary change for the HR world.
Secure Important Documents
The digital signature that seals the document also keeps a record of any changes that were made after the document was sealed. In doing so, electronic signatures can prevent documents from being tampered with and keep a record of who last made changes.
A recent study suggested companies could save nearly one billion dollars by reducing their paper waste by a mere one percent.
FAQs About Electronic Signatures
Does Typing Your Name Count as a Signature?
It may feel a little informal—typing your name on a legal document and clicking a brightly-colored button to finalize the action. It almost seems too easy. Contrary to popular concern, typing your name and clicking submit does count as a valid signature that can hold up under investigation in a court of law.
What is the Difference Between E-Signatures and Digital Signatures?
E-signatures and digital signatures are two very different things, although both are crucial to the process. The electronic signature is the actual signature of the signer. The digital signature is the lock and key that secures the document and the crucial details therein. A digital signature can capture the date, time, IP address, and other essential details to confirm the validity of an electronic signature. It will also record the history of the document, keeping records on any changes that were made after the document was signed.
With a digital signature, one reliable platform enables you to send and receive documents, collect signatures, and lock them away behind a wall of digitally-monitored security.
Why Use E-Signatures
Say goodbye to all that pesky paperwork and kiss your filing cabinet goodbye, too. E-signatures will smooth the process for signing any documents and keep everything safe and secure. By providing faster turnarounds on administrative tasks, e-signatures can help you save time for things that truly matter in your business. Being able to authenticate documents while preserving security, boosting efficiency, and reducing costs is why using e-signatures is crucial for organizations today. Plus, you can’t get a paper cut from an e-signature!