Electronic Document Management

Are signatures a stumbling block for your business?

Going paperless can seem like a challenge when your organisation relies on getting documents signed.

For many organisations, having documents signed is a fundamental part of taking work forward. Whether that means getting a client’s signature on a contract, lease or deed, or just authorising processes like claims on expenses, it can be hard to imagine life without intermittently putting names down in ink.

This is often seen as a stumbling block towards creating a paperless office. In fact, recent figures suggest the need for signatures is one of the biggest culprits behind the proliferation of printed documents in the first case.

On behalf of software company ARX, YouGov asked UK businesses about their habits when it came to procuring signatures. It found that more than 80 per cent of respondents print documents for no other reason than to get them signed, with the figure rising to 95 per cent among public sector organisations.

Intriguingly, though, the majority of businesses were aware that this process is inefficient. Some 72 per cent said getting ink-based signatures caused delays and 24 per cent of larger organisations said they lost a whole day per transaction getting clients to sign documents.

Consider this alongside the other ways in which working with paper causes productivity to take a hit – the time spent filing, shredding and searching for long-lost documents, for instance – and you’re looking at a serious hindrance. According to ARX UK country manager Ronan Lavelle, this prevalent attitude to signatures "completely undermines paperless office strategies".

"This research backs up anecdotal evidence that most businesses still print out documents because ink-based signatures are perceived as more secure and legally compliant," he commented. This impression is false, of course – electronic signatures have existed for a long time and are no less legally admissible than their physical counterparts.

Admittedly, being able to sign documents as normal does complicate the scanning process, so for many organisations, getting the experts involved is a judicious course of action that will ensure electronic signatures meet legal requirements.

Dajon’s electronic document management system has a wide range of features, including the ability to stamp documents with signatures, so why not get in touch to discuss your organisation’s needs today?