What are the Benefits of Signing Contracts Electronically?
Find out how the simple act of signing contracts electronically can benefit your business with a higher conversion rate and faster turn times.
Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash
Paper contracts are old-fashioned. With more and more of our daily interactions taking place online and technology advancing at such a rapid pace, it makes sense for contracts to follow suit.
One of the benefits of signing papers electronically is that you will likely finish your contract faster than if you were using paper. This is because electronic signatures make for quick and easy exchanges — meaning both parties feel like they’re in a hurry to get the deal done without any unnecessary delays. In addition to their time-saving nature, the use of technology in contracts and transactions allows you to be more flexible and creative with your business process.
Electronic contracts also allow for faster turnaround times because they’re faster and easier to read. In addition, there’s no waiting for a paper document to arrive or placing a call while you wait for a notary — all that is required is that both parties have access to a computer or mobile device with online access.
Consider these advantages of signing contracts electronically over paper:
Get contracts signed in minutes instead of days
Electronic signatures are easier for business owners to manage than paperwork or even faxed copies. Contracts can take minutes instead of days, thereby saving time and money in the long run. There’s no chance that your contract will be lost in the mail when signing electronically. The receipt of the document is instantaneous. Filing it with your documents is optional, making life even simpler when dealing with contracts and transactions (and saving on postage).
How much time is actually saved? A case study published by the Government of Vermont concluded that they had reduced its time to sign a contract by 75 percent.
Improved efficiency and reduced human error
When you automate the entire process, it’s much less error-prone. There’s no risk that papers could get misplaced or forgotten about in transit! No more waiting on couriers or the postal service. Most eSiganture tools have an audit trail function that allows you to see when and where the document has been circulated.
Manage document status
The status of all of your contracts can be managed by you and your team. You can easily monitor who has signed and whose signature is still required. With an e-signature, you won’t have to wait for documents to be received or returned, so you can get started sooner.
You’ll be able to monitor who signed what, when they signed it and whether or not they were authorized to do so. All of this information is available in your eSignature system.
Control access to documents
Use eSignatures as a security solution to ensure only those authorized can access the contract. This gives you greater control over who can view, change or even create contracts for your business.
The public and private sectors use electronic signatures for contracts, although some companies still require paper documents signed in advance of payment or service delivery.
Facilitates centralized document management
Using an eSignature tool allows businesses to centralize the management of all contracts. In addition, having the documents stored electronically in a single location will greatly reduce time looking for the correct contract.
Adopt a better environmental policy
It’s no surprise that a paper-based system creates a lot of waste. In the average small business, more than 10,000 sheets of paper are used each year. Electronic signatures can be an invaluable tool for reducing this load.
Gain trust from customers and people you work with
Signing a paper contract can seem old-fashioned or even suspicious if it’s not something that your partners are used to doing. An e-signature solution makes it easy to adopt legal contracts without coming across as fussy or overly cautious.
Improved Version control
When you need to amend a document eSignature tool allows the user to check out a document. This stops anyone else from making changes. You can simply make the required changes. Once finished, you can save the document, which will automatically be saved as a new version that is ready to be circulated to all stakeholders and provide an audit trail if anyone needs to see when and who made any changes.
The document is legally binding
American companies looking for a compliant eSignature solution should check that their chosen supplier complies with the U.S. Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN) and Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA). Other territories have similar requirements; for example, the European Union has published these regulations.
Online access allows you to sign from anywhere
No longer are you tied to signing contracts while in your office. As long as you have access to the internet with a suitable device, you’re good to go. For example, e-signatures make it possible to sign a document from any location at any time. That means you can send a contract to a potential investor while you’re on the plane heading to an important meeting or even thinking about your next big move from the comfort of your own home.
How can I select the most appropriate solution?
One company that has been around for several years is DocuSign. However, there are now DocuSign alternatives that have their own advantages when it comes to signing documents electronically.
There are various comparison websites where you can compare the features of each product. Once you have confirmed that the solution meets your region’s security requirements, you can start to compare the actual product details. Areas you should consider include:
Some solutions come with a price per user, making the solution appear cheaper than it first appears.
The flexibility of the plans available
Many providers limit the number of contracts or contacts that can be used each month.
Level of customer support
The flexibility offered that allows people to create, amend and circulate documents at the click of a few buttons should be backed up with 24/7 technical support.
The use of eSignature software is continuing to grow. Some predict that the market size will be as high as $25,211 million by 2030. The increase in businesses benefitting from the improved efficiencies will increase competition. Don’t be left behind when it comes to signing contracts.