The rapid evolution of technology means business operations flow faster than ever. However, that increase in pace makes it easier for document errors to make their way into the workflow. What happens if a contract is missing an important section? What if it never gets to the right person for a signature? Errors like these could lead to catastrophic impacts for a company. That’s why it’s important to have technology that gives organizations more control over the entire document workflow.
What Are Some Common Document Errors?
Electronic documents have become the new standard in business. The old days of creating paper documents like contracts and waiting for a manual signature are rapidly fading into the past. However, a poor document control process opens businesses up to critical errors.
1) Lack of required signature — A document comes back missing essential signatures needed to complete a transaction.
2) Lack of file back-up — There should be a process in place that regularly backs up important business contracts.
3) Accurately capturing changes and revisions — Files containing updates and changes to contracts and other forms should be properly versioned and saved under the correct name.
4) Not using a centralized data store — Too many organizations have critical business documents saved on local drives or databases, making it harder for others to locate when needed.
5) Not using document templates — There should be a consistency in the documents produced for different business functions. Not using a template could cause a business to leave a critical section out of a document.
6) Sending unprotected documents — Individuals send important documents out without security, leaving them vulnerable to data theft.
It’s common for smaller organizations to rely on a home-grown document control process. However, they often lack the technical knowledge on properly managing them and electronic forms that require a signature to be legal. They lose a lot of time and money trying to backtrack and manually fix critical business document errors. Here are some other common document management errors.
How Do E-Signature Solutions Enable Error-Free Document Creation?
Electronic signature software allows organizations to send and receive legally binding eSignatures on vital business documents. It eliminates the need to continue maintaining physical paper forms, which cuts down on administrative costs.
More advanced platforms also integrate with common business tools and third-party applications like ERP systems, CRM software, accounting software, and HR management platforms. That enables the electronic signature platform to handle a variety of essential business functions like building quotes, creating contracts, and managing the supply chain process with vendors and suppliers.
There are electronic signature platforms that allow users to set up automated document workflows. Additional capabilities include being able to set the recipient order, schedule follow-ups, and accept signatures in different languages.
The ability to collaborate with other team members is another feature that can help catch critical business errors in documents like contracts before sending them for signature. Look for an electronic signature platform that allows for team collaborations. Features like task assignment and completion tracking help ensure the document contains all necessary fields and information before being sent out for an eSignature.
Other helpful electronic platform solution features to look for include:
– Ability to request additional material
– Setting up notifications around signature collection
– Generating documents with information pulled from company systems
– Support for different file formats
– Accessible from the web or a mobile device
– Support for using bulk email lists
Enabling and implementing the right combination of features helps organizations eliminate document errors and speed up the eSignature collection process. Here are 10 great options for workflow management of your business.
Creation of Legally Binding Contracts
Wondering what makes an e-contract legally binding? You’re not alone. But there are tips out there around how to ensure your electronic signature is legally binding. Building contracts that contain all required legal wording can be an organization’s biggest headache. A lack of consistency often leads to crucial errors that could jeopardize a company’s standing with a potential client or leave them open to potential legal action. The right electronic signature platform automates the inclusion of necessary language. You also maintain a clear line of sight into the collection of the signatures needed to make the contract legally binding.
Picking the right electronic signature solution helps companies eliminate document errors related to the lack of all required signatures. Some platforms allow users to do things like create self-service applications, use flowcharts to outline the signature collection flow for a contract, set passwords, and add permissions and restrictions for specific users.
Centralized Document Storage
One way of avoiding document errors related to items being held in different data stores around an organization is by picking a solution that provides data storage. Many electronic signature software providers provide back-up storage in the cloud. That gives everyone access to the latest version of contracts and other important documents, preventing errors like sending an incorrect version out for a signature.
Are E-Signature Solutions Secure?
Improperly secured documents could lead to a data breach. It could be caused by the document being intercepted in transmission or being accessed by someone other than the recipient. A document error like this can lead to a lot of time and money lost trying to mitigate the damage. Many business users do not understand how to put vital protections in place without help. That’s why it’s important to pick an electronic signature platform that makes document security a top priority. Here’s more proof as to why e-signature solutions are actually secure and a great option these days.
Many solutions use encryption to protect documents. Users can also add password protection and other protocols to a contract to ensure no one other than the recipient can view the document. There are electronic signature solutions that offer document storage on secure servers that account for to keep them accessible in case of an outage. Some providers go above and beyond by ensuring they meet all federal and international standards for data protection.
What Should I Expect to Pay for an E-Signature Solution?
The pricing varies depending on the number of features offered and the level of support offered by the company. Many software providers offer a basic low-cost tier. However, it’s a good idea to explore the list of features.
It’s important to account for the plans of a business to grow and expand. A business’s desire to opt for features like API access or the ability to adapt to a specific industry, like real estate can also impact the price point. Another consideration is the ability to create the legally binding contracts needed by the company.
Organizations can also take advantage of the grace period offered by many electronic signature companies to try the service out. That allows them to assess the helpfulness of the solution in removing errors from the document creation process.
A company stands to gain a lot by investing in the right electronic signature platform. There’s a lot of benefit in having an electronic document flow process that allows for the creation and tracking of error-free contracts and business documents.