Many businesses deal with enormous amounts of paperwork that requires signing on a daily basis. If you’re a legal practice, a healthcare organisation, a government body or similar meanwhile, these mountains of paper requiring your signature can reach astronomical proportions.
The issue with manual signatures
Aside from the potential for sustaining a wrist cramp from signing your own name over and over again, there are a number of other reasons why signing documents of any kind manually is no longer the best solution.
For one, there’s the time it takes to sign documents – while a single signature may only take a matter of seconds, having to repeat this over and over can really eat into the time of any professional, particularly where multiple copies of the same document are required. Then there’s the fact that you have to actually print out each and every document – bad for the environment, and not great for your stationary budget when stretched out daily over not such a long period of time.
The advent of the electronic signature should make this drawn-out process a thing of the past, but some still remain reluctant to move away from signing documents via traditional means. There are however many good reasons why they may be persuaded to change, and if that’s you, or another decision maker in your organisation, read on.
Save, time money, and reduce paper waste
A signature is of course a legally binding action, and it is required in many cases to verify that a particular action or statement has been agreed upon by all relevant parties, and uncertainty over whether a digital signature is suited to this purpose is an understandable concern for many reluctant to make the switch. But it is also one that can be easily allayed.
While in the relatively early years of the internet legislation may have remained a bit behind the technological curve, by the turn of the new millennium the UK legal system caught up with the pace of digital evolution. The Electronic Communications Act 2000 states that, “In any legal proceedings – (a) an electronic signature incorporated into or logically associated with a particular electronic communication or particular electronic data, and (b) the certification by any person of such a signature, shall be admissible in evidence in relation to any question as to the authenticity of the communication or data or as to the integrity of the communication or data.”
Similar legislation exists across the world, such as eIDAS in the EU and ESIGN and UETA in the United States, so wherever you do business, you can be sure that an electronic signature satisfies your legal requirements and needs.
Benefits of electronic signatures
So electronic signatures are legally binding, but what benefits do they offer over the traditional ink and paper method? Well, as mentioned above, signing documents repeatedly over and over is a time consuming process, but software which offers the capability to create a digital signature and sign documents using this makes it as simple as a few clicks of the mouse. In addition to this, the incorporation of electronic signatures into your workflow can significantly reduce waste, hasten the process of communicating your approval to suppliers and others, and eliminate the need to have physical drawers overflowing with legal documents.
But how do you go about seamlessly incorporating electronic signatures into your workflow? Nuance Power PDF makes it possible to sign PDFs directly and instantaneously. As described on our product pages, all you need to do is first set up your digital signature within the software, using your mouse or a touch-enabled device such as Microsoft’s Surface Tablet. Once this is done, all you need to do is open the document you want to sign, select the ‘place handwritten signature’ tool and then drag a box over the PDF where you wish the signature to appear.
Additional features within Power PDF make it possible for you to time and date stamp the signature, providing extra guarantee of its legal authenticity. Reduce your workflow in no time today by incorporating Power PDF into your daily operations and activities.