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Which type of signing best suits your business?

January 20, 2021

This article originated from the Xero blog. The XU Hub is an independent news and media platform - for Xero users, by Xero users. Any content, imagery and associated links below are directly from Xero and not produced by the XU Hub.
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Being a document management system with a digital signing feature, we hear and see it all when it comes to the different ways practices and/or their clients are signing documents. The time and money it takes to manually print, sign, and scan a document as well as the security risks of free tools are often not considered. In this blog we’re going to take you through the most common ways of signing a document so you can make an informed decision about your process going forward!

If you want to automate your digital signing process, head here to learn more about SuiteFiles.

The traditional wet signature

The most common method of signing is the traditional print, sign, scan, send to client, print, sign, scan, send back. This method is comfortable, especially for tech adverse clients - they’ve used it for as long as they can remember, and it doesn’t involve any new learnings. It also gives you the security of belief that the person you sent it to or physically handed it to is the person who signed it (even if this isn’t the case).

The downside of this method is not just the cost of printing large documents with multiple pages, but the costs in terms of time and productivity. After receiving the document back, you then have to make any corrections, check they’ve signed all the correct fields, and then file it back to their client folder in your document management system.

Pasting signatures with a free tool

A common workaround we’re seeing more and more is using a free tool to paste a signature on a document before sending it back. This usually involves sending the document via email, the client will download it and choose to use one of the many free tools that lets you create a signature and paste this on the document. They can then download it from the free service and email it back.

This does eliminate the need for printing and scanning the document, but it tends to take even longer than the completely manual alternative and creates a security risk.

Paid digital signing tools

As more and more practices begin transitioning to cloud-based, they’re adopting new apps that let them achieve tasks in less time, increasing productivity. There has been a boom of paid digital signing services that let you request signatures and digitally sign them – you can then download them, email them to your clients, and file into your document management system.

By using SuiteFiles document management, you can remove the need to download the document and stop losing files sent by clients in your inbox. With SuiteFiles, your signed documents will automatically file back to the client folder after sending a signed copy to each of the signees.

Eliminate security risks and increase productivity

The main issue with each of these processes is the security risk it creates. If your practice is determined to continue with the same digital signing method, then we recommend using a document sharing service to make sure your document is being signed by the correct person and can hold up in court.

When you send a document with SuiteFiles, there are two options for your client. The first option is using SuiteFiles Connect to share securely - this means they’ll receive an email with a link to sign in to SuiteFiles with their Xero, Google, or custom credentials. They can then see any documents shared with them and sign digitally. Once completed, the document will automatically be sent to everyone who has signed and filed back to the original client folder.

The second option is through using our document signing feature. This means your client will receive an email with a link to sign the document in the browser. By using SuiteFiles for this method rather than manually emailing, you’re creating an audit trail which can identify the signer if needed.

Using SuiteFiles will also give your firm back costs in terms of money and productivity. SuiteFiles is focused on automating processes related to all your document management needs. This includes saving emails back to client folders on send and receive, saving documents your clients have edited back to their client folder, and the ability to set tasks for clients for an easy follow up process.

Why leave it there?

To learn more about SuiteFiles

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