Based on a recent survey, it was reported that over 44% of respondents stated that they use a workflow to collect signatures with one-third still printing to paper. This is very common in many different industries even though many businesses have heavily invested in workflow automation and digital transformations.
It is important to note that a digital workplace is crucial in modern day business when it comes to processes, transactions and decisions. Furthermore, it is often the case that processes and documents such as contracts, HR documents, financial documents, project plans shared via SharePoint need signatures to be added. In some cases, certain documents require a legally binding signature which is often the case when dealing with third parties which dictates the need for authentication, security and enforceable means to capture intent.
This is where eSignature solutions in the form of add-ons can help streamline the process of document signing and provide better workflow capabilities to SharePoint. After this connection has been established via a pre-integrated e-signature connector, documents that are secured in SharePoint libraries can easily be redirected for e-signing via SharePoint workflows. After this document has been e-signed it will be added back into SharePoint along with a fully detailed audit trail which will allow a business to go fully digital.
In our latest blog article, we provide 3 reasons for adding eSignatures to SharePoint to help transform remote working.
As many businesses will know, when going through a compliance audit, most will get asked to showcase the exact business process they went through. This will apply to both external-facing contracts as well as internal ones. During this process, many auditors will want to see records of each time sensitive documents were touched, when and who had accessed them.
Therefore, if your business fails to show tracked and recorded signing actions and not maintained, consistent records, you could be at risk of not showing compliance.
In order to ensure that this doesn’t happen, making use of a strong e-signature solution such as DocuSign for SharePoint can help to make sure that you automatically capture an audit trail of everything each signer saw and did during the signing process. Some of the activities tracked include selecting a button, adding a signature and downloading the documents. You will find that the date and time of each action is logged as well as the signer’s IP address.
Given the fact that the audit trail is embedded directly within the e-signed PDF, it automatically creates a self-contained portable record which helps to secure the signed documents as they make their way round SharePoint.
Overall user experience
As users in a digital world, we want to have the best possible experience when it comes to digital transformation. This is why the overall goal for many organisations is to simplify the process for all parties to seamlessly collaborate and do business together. However, this is never usually quite this simple as just having a digital process in place is not enough to demonstrate a fantastic e-sign experience. To take this one step further, an e-signature solution should be as flexible as the requirements/needs dictate. Some examples of this include:
- A fully responsive mobile signing experience on any device
- Different languages
Another area that can be improved with the use of e-signatures to enhance SharePoint is digital signature security. You will find that every time a document is e-signed, both the data within the document and the electronic signatures are secured using encryption technology. Furthermore, the digital signature will automatically setup a hash or digital fingerprint of the document and that will be used to validate the document. This will help to highlight whether or not a document has been tampered with, if it has been then the signature will be invalidated.
The best electronic signature solutions make use of digital signature technology to fully encrypt the document’s contents every single time someone signs the document. This will help to build a tamper-evident record for each individual signer which help to increase the accuracy of the audit trail and ensure that there is no ambiguity as to who has signed what and in what order and when. Most business transactions within a business require a number of signatures and therefore if anything is changed in between signatures it will be picked up. This gives peace of mind to anyone signing the documents that there will be no fraudulent behaviour during the signing process.
If you are a business that is working from home currently and is looking for a fully secure electronic signature solution for SharePoint to process business transactions then please get in touch with our team of IT experts today to discuss your specific requirements.
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