Surf APLast updated: 28 October 2022

Why should your practice adopt electronic signatures?

Joe Moore

Joe Moore11 October 2022

Electronic signatures have become more and more popular in everyday life. It’s more than likely you’ve already used e-signatures at some stage. Perhaps when receiving a delivery or when signing a contract online.

But how can this technology be used in your accounting practice and what benefits can it bring? If you’re a typical accountant, it’s highly likely you have a stack of documents on your desk waiting to be signed. E-signatures can be the perfect solution. E-signature technology can be used on many types of documents (e.g., financial statements), making it easy to adopt for your practice.

Why should you consider e-signature technology?

There are many reasons why you should consider e-signature technology. Below, we explore 5 of these:

1.       E-Signatures are fully secure and legally binding

As a service provider, there will be times when you have to send out confidential information, and this may raise concerns over the security of e-signing. However, e-signature providers see security as a top priority. They use encryption and layers of authentication to prevent fraud or any tampering, making them more secure than traditional wet signatures. In most countries, including Ireland, e-signatures are legally binding, making them admissible and enforceable.

2.       E-Signatures leave a digital trail

Traditionally, acquiring signatures with pen and paper left no record of how the signature was obtained. If any discrepancies or issues arose and the signature was questioned, there was limited verification that could be done. However, when using e-signature technology, you are creating a trail of the signature being obtained and a record of each interaction which occurred (i.e., document sent, document viewed, and document signed).

3.       E-signatures reduce time spent acquiring signatures

Before e-signing, acquiring signatures occurred in one of two ways. You either physically met the person whose signature you required, taking up unnecessary time and expense, or you used couriers to transport your documents, which could also cause lengthy delays. Electronic signatures allow you to send documents and acquire signatures via the internet. This drastically reduces the time it takes to obtain a signature. For example, a recent study found e-signature technology reduces the average time it takes to obtain a signature from 5 days to just 37 minutes.

4.       E-signatures are convenient

Electronic signatures allow you to acquire signatures digitally, meaning you can send your documents from any device and location, provided you are connected to the internet. The ability to send documents and acquire signatures from any device and location is extremely convenient. It allows you to work on the go, without any restrictions.

5.       E-signatures have a market demand

Aside from the benefits which electronic signature technology can provide, you may wonder if your customers would accept such a technology. A simple answer can be seen by a recent study, which found that the leading reason for the adoption of e-signature technology was the customer’s expectation for digital interaction.

How can we help you start using e-signatures?

For your accounts production needs, Surf Accounts Production has an inbuilt e-signing feature. Our cloud accounts production software allows you to easily send your final and statutory accounts to your clients from within the software. Your clients will then securely receive the documents which they can return fully signed. Surf Accounts Production’s e-signing feature also allows you to monitor the status of the signature (i.e., not signed, in progress, signed), and send a text message reminder to your client if they are taking longer than anticipated.

Of course, reading about a feature is not the same as seeing it in operation. So, why not book a free live demo with one of our product experts? By booking a demo, you can see our e-signing feature in action, as well as all of Surf’s other accounts production features.

Book a Surf Accounts Production demo