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Unleash your firm’s true potential- 6 reasons to implement e-signatures in your accountancy business

Unleash your firm’s true potential- 6 reasons to implement e-signatures in your accountancy business

Within accountancy firms, there are a great number of documents in circulation. No matter if it’s an internal or external document, it’s important for to be able to have insight into these document flows.

With the help of various software aimed at the accounting market, accountants can digitally deliver and receive documents from customers and colleagues. But still, when it comes to the last step in the process, the actual signing the document, is still done manually in many organizations.

Here are the 6 main reasons for your firm to implement e-signatures into your document flow:

1. Shortens turn-around time

You have probably experienced it, the agreement has already been orally settled and “it just needs to be signed”. The old signing process where all signatures must be put on paper can sometimes take days or even weeks, depending on the number of internal and external signatories. A contract is drafted, printed, signed internally, scanned, sent by email or post to external signatories, who then would need to take the same actions. Keeping this old process in mind, using an e-signature solution could shorten the process time by up to 80%!

With a digital signing process, you only add the documents, the signatories, verification method and then the transaction can start. The signatories receive a notification to view and digitally sign the document. A platform like ValidSign makes it possible to sign anywhere, no matter time or device, meaning that documents can be signed within minutes instead of days or weeks.

2. Enhances document security

Using an e-signature to sign your documents will lower the risk of document tampering as it uses cryptographic certificates that shows if the document is in its original state or not.

When using an e-signature solution, you ensure that the document that was sent for signing is the one that was actually signed, and no changes were made to it. This could easily be done when sending a regular digital document for manual signing.

When using an e-signature solution, the signing data, such as the name and email address of the signer, including the time and date of signing are recorded.

This also makes the electronic version nonchargeable and legally binding. Depending on the needs regarding the burden of proof, you can also use additional verification methods such as a TAN code via SMS or bank authentication. 

3. Improves compliance

An e-signature solution uses encryption and authentication methods to verify the signer’s identity, this together with the timestamp provides an audit trail that can be used to determine who signed the document and when. By providing this auditable record, the e-signature ensures that the document is signed in a secure and compliant manner, which will help businesses comply with industry rules and regulations.

4. Improves the control over document flows

With the e-signature platform, you no longer need to waste time trying to figure out who still needs to sign the document. On the dashboard, you manage all incoming and outgoing transactions, and you can directly see the status.

It’s also possible to set up reminders for the document to be signed in a timely manner.

5. Increases customer satisfaction

An e-signature solution makes signing easier and more convenient for your customers, compared to traditional signatures. This will help improve your customer experience, leading to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.

6. Cheaper than the “on paper” signature

When you compare digital signing to the regular “on paper” signature, many people are surprised what it costs to actually sign on paper!

The costs for printing, the papery, delivery and storing the documents are quite substantial. Additionally, you should consider the time it takes for employees to handle the documents and the process in full, including follow-ups, reviewing the received document and forwarding into the next signer. Knowing that you can make the process up to 80% more efficient, you probably agree that the e-signature solution will pay for itself in no time!

 

Improve your turn-around time by streamlining your document process with ValidSign

 Through ValidSign’s standard integrations, the e-signing solution can be easily integrated with your current business systems. And with the mobile app, you can control the process and sign from anywhere and at any time!

It’s a fully cloud-based solution with a user-friendly interface, where you can profit from features like flexible workflows, audit trails, branded templates, and server possibilities.

Security is our highest priority, and by using the Netherlands most trusted data center, KPN hosting, we can ensure our clients that ValidSign complies with all current and new European data protection regulations through strict security and procedures.

Want to know more about how ValidSign’s e-signing solution can be implemented in your business workflow?
Contact sales@validsign.eu/ +31(0)85303 3676 or sign up here for a free demo and introduction meeting! 

Unlock the power of e-signatures- 10 ways your organisation will benefit

Unlock the power of e-signatures- 10 ways your organisation will benefit

In the world of business, change is the only constant, and your business needs to continuously evolve to survive. Finding new and improved ways of serving your customers, but also making current workflows and processes more efficient, are high up on the list. The constant need to evolve has contributed to the importance of the digital transformation within organizations.

Digital transformation is a long-term investment which offers great opportunities and benefits to the company’s future development.

Incorporating an e-signature solution in your business workflows is an important part when it comes to digitalizing your business processes.

An e-signature allows businesses to securely sign documents in a digital format, eliminating the need for physical documents and manual signatures. This can improve and streamline process while offering numerous additional advantages.

Here are 10 ways an e-signature can benefit your organization:

1. Increases overall efficiency:

An e-signature can simplify the signing part of the processes by eliminating the need for any physical documents or manual signatures. As there is no need to print, deliver or scan, it can significantly reduce the time and effort required for a document to be returned signed. E-signatures will reduce the overall time spent on administration and paperwork, allowing your staff to focus on more important tasks.

2. Improves document security:

Using an e-signature solution to sign your documents will lower the risk of document tampering as it uses cryptographic certificates that shows if the document is in its original state or not.

You can then ensure that the document that was sent for signing is the one that was actually signed, and no changes were made to it. This could easily be done when sending a regular digital document for manual signing.

This eliminates the risk of fraud and ensures that all documents are legally binding. By digitalizing the document process with a cloud-based solution is critical for safekeeping sensitive information and ensure your organizations continuity.

3. Reduces costs:

By eliminating the need to print, deliver, and store physical documents, businesses can save on costs associated with manual paperwork and documents. This leads to significant cost and time savings that can be reinvested into other areas of the business.

4. Improves customer satisfaction:

An e-signature solution makes signing easier and more convenient for your customers, compared to traditional signatures. This will help improve your customer experience, leading to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.

5. Improves compliance:

An e-signature solution uses encryption and authentication methods to verify the signer’s identity, this together with the timestamp provides an audit trail that can be used to determine who signed the document and when. By providing this auditable record, the e-signature ensures that the document is signed in a secure and compliant manner, which will help businesses comply with industry rules and regulations.

6. Provides flexibility:

The e-signature solution allows businesses to send and sign their documents from any device, and at any time. This provides greater flexibility when it comes to document handling, as it eliminates the need to be physically present or to use a specific device when signing.

7. Reduces human errors:

The e-signature reduces the risk of errors associated with manual signatures as you can standardize the documents and process through the digital signing platform, making it not only easier but also shorter. This helps to ensure that all documents are signed correctly and accurately, reducing the risk of costly mistakes.

8. Enables automated workflows:

The e-signature can easily be integrated with other business applications, such as CRM and accounting software. This will help automate workflows and reduce the need for manual involvement.

9. Enhances document control:

Through the online platform, you can see the status of your documents, and you can set automatic reminders to be sent in a special order to stimulate a faster signing process.
This will help to ensure that your documents are signed in a timely manner and eliminate the risk of delays.

10. Provides scalability:

By incorporating an e-signature platform, like ValidSign, in your business workflows, enables you to quick and easy scale up business processes to meet the demands of a growing customer base or workforce.

Digitalize the signing process with ValidSign’s e-signing solution 

Through ValidSign’s standard integrations, the e-signing solution can be easily integrated with your current business systems. And with the mobile app, you can control the process and sign from anywhere and at any time!

It’s a fully cloud-based solution with a user-friendly interface, where you can profit from features like flexible workflows, audit trails, branded templates, and server possibilities.

Security is our highest priority, and by using the Netherlands most trusted data center, KPN hosting, we can ensure our clients that ValidSign complies with all current and new European data protection regulations through strict security and procedures.

Want to know more about how ValidSign’s e-signing solution can be implemented in your business workflow?
Contact sales@validsign.eu/ +31(0)85303 3676 or sign up here for a free demo and introduction meeting! 

Document security 101: essential tips for your business

Document security 101: essential tips for your business

6 ways of boosting your document security

With the digitalization of today’s businesses, the methods of communication and sharing information have changed rapidly, and we find ourselves with many digital options, which has made our life easier in many ways.

But it has also made us vulnerable to threats and data breaches, and for organizations it has become vital to know and follow the best practices when it comes to document and data security.

We are therefore sharing our 6 tips on how to increase your document security within your office:

1. Keep your documents digital

This might be obvious, but having your documents digital brings you a considerable number of security benefits. You can, for example, set passwords and permissions, so only the right authorized person can access the documents.

Digital documents can also easily be tracked as they keep detailed logs of who has accessed them and when, which can be useful for compliance and auditing purposes.

2. Keep safe backups

Keeping safe backups of your documents can protect against data loss due to hardware and software crashes, but also, in case of disaster recovery such as a fire or other types of unexpected events. This can help ensure that you do not lose valuable information or files but also help you restore your data quickly and minimize downtime.

Some industries even have regulations that require businesses to keep backups of certain data. So is you are functioning within one of these industries, keeping backups of your documents can also ensure that you follow these regulations.

3. Keep the storage local

Since the introduction of the GDPR, it has become important to know where your data is stored as there are regional differences in government laws and data protection laws.

By storing your data within the European Union, you can ensure that it is subject to the laws and regulations of your jurisdiction. This can provide added security and protection against data breaches or unauthorized access.

4. Train your employees

Many security incidents are caused by human error, such as employees falling for phishing scams, sharing passwords, or inadvertently disclosing sensitive information. This means that your employees are the first line of defense when it comes to protecting your organization’s data.

By training your employees on how to recognize threats and avoiding making these types of mistakes, you can help reduce the risk of a security breach.

5. Keep inventory of your devices

Keeping an inventory of your devices is a critical step in maintaining the security of your data and protecting your organization’s assets. It allows you to track and manage your organization’s devices, including the location, condition, and software versions of each device. This allows you to recognize and assess risks, but also to take proactive action to minimize them.
Like within breach, you can quickly identify which devices may have been affected and take appropriate action.

It is also useful for compliance reasons, as it allows you to keep track of who has access to the device and the possibility of providing a record of access for auditing purposes.

6. Protect against document tampering by using electronic signatures

Using an e-signature to sign your documents will lower the risk of document tampering as it uses cryptographic certificates that shows if the document is in its original state or not.

When using an e-signature solution, you ensure that the document that was sent for signing is the one that was actually signed, and no changes were made to it. This could easily be done when sending a regular digital document for manual signing.

What is an electronic signature?

An e-signature is a digital version of a traditional signature that is used to sign digital documents. It is a way of verifying that the person signing the document is who they say they are and that the document has not been tampered with.

There are three different types of e-signatures: the Simple Signature, the Advanced and the Qualified. E-signature solutions like ValidSign are using the two later ones, as they provide higher levels of security.

The Advanced Signatures are like handwritten signatures, unique to each signer. An e-signature provider then follows a specific protocol called PKI, and this protocol requires the provider to use a mathematical algorithm to generate two series of numbers, called keys.

When a person signs a document with this technology, the signature is created using the signers key, which is being kept securely by the signer in the system. The mathematical algorithm acts like a cipher, creating data matching the signed document, called a hash and then encrypting that data. If any changes are made to the document, the hash will change, alerting you to the fact that the document has been altered with.

The resulting encrypted data is the digital signature.

What makes the document legally binding?

Whether a signature is made on paper or digitally, there are three key requirements that the signature needs to comply with: intent, identity, and integrity.

Intent

This is the most fundamental aspect of the signing. The signer must intend to sign the document, which means they must understand its content and be bound by it. This is demonstrated by the internal audit trials: as the signature process is recorded and saved. This shows the signer’s intent as well as the time and date of the signature.

Identity

The signature set must be by the person that is intended to sign. This can be proven by using the person’s email address, a certificate, SMS, eID or other types of tools to authenticate the signatory’s identity.

Integrity

The signature must be linked to the document in such a way that it cannot be separated from, or tampered with, without it being known. This is achieved using encryption and hashing, which creates a tamper-evident seal on the document.

Secure your documents with ValidSign’s e-signing solution

Through our standard integrations, the e-sigining solution can be easily integrated with your current business systems. With the mobile app, you can control the process and sign from anywhere and at any time!

It’s a fully cloud-based solution with a user-friendly interface, where you can profit from features like flexible workflows, audit trails, branded templates, and server possibilities.

Security is our highest priority, and by using the Netherlands most trusted data center, KPN hosting, we can ensure our clients that ValidSign complies with all current and new European data protection regulations through strict security and procedures.

Want to know more about how ValidSign’s e-signing solution can be implemented in your organization’s workflow?

Contact our sales department on: sales@validsign.eu/ +31(0)85303 3676 or sign up here for a free demo and introduction meeting!

 

Fast track your quotes: proven strategies for faster signatures

Fast track your quotes: proven strategies for faster signatures

5 simple tips for how to get your quotes signed faster

As you might know, businesses that manage to have above average customer service profits from a higher overall yearly revenue.
There is no do-over for a first impression, so it’s therefore important that your business provides high customer service from the get-go, including in the early stages of the sales process where the prospect is not yet a customer. 

When a potential customer has requested a quote from you, he will get a taste of how your company works. If the process takes too long, and it’s complicated, he might think twice about signing!

It’s therefore important to streamline and make your quoting process more efficient by removing known bottlenecks and move towards a more automated workflow.

The quoting process in short

The quoting process is a part of most sales funnels and is the final step before the prospect becomes a customer. How the quote is prepared varies between companies, and different clients might require different information or details.

Be aware that by having a quote process where there is a lot of back-and-forth communication, mistakes, or clarification needed, could lead to a potential conflict in the prospect’s expectations.

And once frustration and delays have emerged, it could possibly cost you the deal!

So, avoid losing the deal by having your quotes signed faster with these 5 tips:

1. Provide all necessary documentation and information

Questions always cause delays, this is why it’s important to make sure that all the potential questions have been answered prior to sending the quote and that all the necessary documents and information are included with the quote. This way, you eliminate the number of actions that the prospect must take in order to finally sign the quote.

2. Set a tight deadline

Without sounding too harsh, setting concrete and tight deadlines is an important factor for a fast signing process. Make sure that you and the prospect are on the same page regarding expectations and make sure to follow up on these deadlines.

3. Identify the decision maker is

To speed up the process, it’s crucial to know who will be finally signing the quote. By involving the decision maker early in the process, you can guarantee that your quote will be handled faster, instead of having the middleman pushing it through.

4. Timing is everything

Timing plays a crucial role in the sales process, together with understanding the prospect’s needs and situation. Make sure to ask the right questions and try to find out what important actions and events are planned that concern them, in order to determine the right timing.

It can be as simple as knowing that their high season is approaching, and they would need to close the deal prior to this, or it would be interesting for after. This helps you to set clear expectations, but also fto plan your time better.

5. Automize the process through an e-signing solution

Assuming that you have taken into account the above-mentioned four points, using an e-signing is a must when it comes to getting contracts and quotes signed quickly. Because the easier you make it for the signer, the more likely it is that that person will sign!

Why having an e-signing solution will get your quote signed faster

Speeds up delivery process

Not only is it easy to upload and send documents for signature, but there are also additional features that can save you even more time and effort. Like a template feature where you can create a standard process for sending your quotes, you can also use the team management feature where you can set a signing order, if there are multiple approvals needed.

Reduces human errors

When too many people are working on the quote or there are too many steps involved, the risk of human error increases. With a digital signing platform, you can standardize the process and make the road for sending the quote a lot easier and shorter.

Improves follow up and status tracking

Through the online platform, you can see the direct status of your quote. You can set automatic reminders to be sent in a special order to stimulate a faster signing process.
Still not signed? Then there is a possibility of contacting the prospect directly and clear up any potential questions he might have. This will improve the chance of getting your quote signed.

Enables the possibility of attaching multiple documents and information

With the digital platform, you can make sure to include all the necessary documents and information straight away, for the prospect to be able to make his decision easier. This will decrease the timeline by eliminating any potential questions that could easily been avoided.

Ensures the right person can sign

There might be scenarios where the decision maker is not able to sign. Then the signing authority can be delegated to whomever is decided or authorized to sign within the organization. There is also a possibility of using a mobile app and sign from wherever whenever, if access to a computer is the issue.

Digitalize the signing process with ValidSign’s e-signing solution

Through standard integrations, the solution can easily be integrated with your current CRM system and together with our mobile app, you can control your quotes and sign from anywhere and at any time!

With our user-friendly, fully cloud-based solution, you will profit from features like flexible workflows, audit trails, branded templates, and server possibilities.

Security is our priority, and you can rest assured that your data and information is secured with us! By using the Netherlands most trusted data center, KPN hosting, we can ensure you that we comply with all current and new European data protection regulations through strict security and procedures.

Want to know more about how ValidSign’s e-signing solution can be implemented in your business CRM workflow?

Contact sales@validsign.eu/+31(0)85303 3676 or sign up here for a free demo and introduction meeting!  

The future of HR: how digital solutions are changing the game

The future of HR: how digital solutions are changing the game

The 5 reasons why you should digitalize your HR processes today!

Today’s hybrid workplaces, home offices, and the increasing need for being more efficient, have driven the last year’s developments within the HR department. 

The need for digitalizing internal processes and workflows, most importantly within the HR department, has increased during and after the pandemic. 

The demand and expectations on the HR department has never been as high as it is today.

Digital transformation is therefore a must for each organization, to streamline the processes and create an efficient workplace where valuable time is freed up for dealing with more strategic tasks but also for investing in employee wellbeing and growth.

The importance of digital transformation within the HR department

The HR department is the heart of an organization, while you need to look after the organization’s goals and needs, you need to balance these with the ones of its employees. Stimulated and happy employees produce better results, but also attracts like-minded talent to the business.

There is therefore a need for focusing more time on strategizing and recruiting, but also developing and keeping your current employees satisfied. By digitalizing tedious tasks and paperwork, you will free up important time that can be invested in just that.

Keeping in mind a growing younger workforce that is increasingly technology driven and in search for freedom and flexibility, it has become a must for each business to drive digital transformation to be able to attract and keep this younger talent.

At the same time, you are also creating a scalable business where the internal workflow can fit and grow with the demand of the growing business.

So, digitalize your HR processes today! Here are the 5 reasons why:

1. Improves efficiency and enables a hybrid working environment 

When replacing mostly inefficient manual processes and document handling with digital ones, the greatest return on investment will be time and flexibility. Time to work on more important tasks and priorities, and the flexibility to do it from your home office when you want or need.
Employees can easily and securely access, and submit documents, fill in forms and sign off on approvals. Studies has shown that incorporating for example a digital signing solution can improve document turnaround time by up to 80%!

2. Reduces human errors and delays

We are only humans, right? Meaning that we all make mistakes, and with the growing amount of work and deadlines that all employees experience, we all run the risk of making mistakes or overlooking certain aspect of the job.

Manual paperwork and documentation can also lead to delays in regular processes as reminders are either non existing or also manual. So having for example a document signed can take weeks depending on the availability of the persons involved. By digitalizing your processes, you can automate and create reminders, follow-ups and other time saving initiatives that will shorten delays and minimize the human error.

3. Saves you money

Digitalizing your processes and documentation will save you money on supplies that is usually connected to paperwork, like paper, ink and other general office supplies.

You will also save money in connection to storing the documents, you would need both space and capacity for the growing amount of paperwork.
And don’t forget that time is money! Digitalizing your processes will save you time that can be better utilized on tasks that will support company growth.

4. Improves document security and compliance

Having your HR documents processed through a safe and secure digital platform, instead of physical documents circulating in the office or on the street, will improve compliance across the board. In addition to the possibility of having your brand reputation hurt, noncompliance is proven to increase the risk of threats like cyber-attacks and other similar data breaches. By digitalizing the document process with a cloud-based solution is critical for safekeeping sensitive information and ensure your organization’s continuity.

5. Boosts employee morale and growth

By digitalizing your processes, your HR department will get more time to focus on what is important for the growth of the business, the wellbeing of the employees! The department will have time for development meetings, trainings, and recruitment of new personnel, which is essential for the future success of the business.

For employees to have their voice heard and getting the training they want but also need, will increase their satisfaction and morale, that will in turn also attract new talent to join the team!

Digitalize the signing process with ValidSign’s e-signing solution

Daily tedious tasks like processing paperwork, waiting for signatures, and completing forms is not only time-consuming but also frustrating.

Processes like onboarding and contract management can be digitalized by incorporating an e-signing solution in your current workflow, keeping all the documentation digital throughout the process.

Through our standard integrations, the e-sigining solution can be easily integrated with your current HR system. With the mobile app, you can control the process and sign from anywhere and at any time!

It’s a fully cloud-based solution with a user-friendly interface, where you can profit from features like flexible workflows, audit trails, branded templates, and server possibilities.

Security is our highest priority, and by using the Netherlands most trusted data center, KPN hosting, we can ensure our clients that ValidSign complies with all current and new European data protection regulations through strict security and procedures.

Want to know more about how ValidSign’s e-signing solution can be implemented in your organization’s HR workflow?

Contact our sales department on: sales@validsign.eu/ +31(0)85303 3676 or sign up here for a free demo and introduction meeting!

Three ways to take the security and ease of use of your electronic signature to the highest level

Three ways to take the security and ease of use of your electronic signature to the highest level

Electronic signing is familiar territory for most accountancy firms in the Benelux or it is an important item on the agenda. With the electronic signature, accountants and tax specialists can obtain necessary signatures faster than ever, while still meeting strict legal requirements. Such a solution can be used for filing annual accounts as well as getting engagement confirmations, tax returns, HR documents and nondisclosure agreements signed.

Accountants digitally sign their documents with the advanced and qualified signature. During the signing process, electronic data is used to record the name and e-mail address of the signatory as well as the time and date of signature. In addition, a document is sealed when all the necessary signatures have been placed.

As a result, the electronic version also remains unchanged and you obtain the required signatures within a few minutes instead of days or weeks. However, there are a number of other ways to take the security and ease of use of electronic signature to the highest level. In this blog I explain the three most important ways.

From approval to digital signature

As mentioned, the two electronic signatures mentioned above are legally valid and just as secure or in some situations more secure than the wet signature. Nevertheless, there are still accountants who, despite the fact that they already sign digitally, still just need to approve some types of documents. An accountant can first of all eliminate the approval of his or her documents to enhance the security and thereby the ease of use of the electronic signature.

When approving a document, you depend on a log file in a third application for the burden of proof. You are dealing with a so-called vendor lock-in. In this case, a vendor lock-in makes the accountant and his customer dependent on the portal in which the approval is given. This is especially cumbersome for the customer because he or she cannot view the approved document afterwards, independently of this platform.

By having every document to be signed go through your digital signing platform, you can sign every document (or have it signed) on the basis of a low-threshold signature request via email, without having to provide customers with login details. In addition, the signed document is delivered as a PDF with the document of proof and you can have the documents validated independently of the signing platform. This is therefore not only more accessible than approval, it also ensures a safe and legally valid document.

Identification and Authentication

An important part of the electronic signature process is the verification of the identity of the signatories, which takes place prior to signing. When it comes to internal signers, this can of course be arranged quickly and securely, but how do you verify the identity of customers before a signature? An accountant can do this by doing face-to-face identity verification on location, so that at a possible signing moment he or she can rely on only the email address and telephone number of the customer to verify his or her identity. You will therefore have to invite your customers to your office. Especially in a time like this, with the Covid-19 rules and the fact that you have to wear a mask, it is not the most efficient way to verify the identity of your customer. Therefore, the second way to take the security and user-friendliness of electronic signature to the highest level is “verify the identity of your external signers through an additional authentication method”.

An additional authentication method offers you as an accountant the opportunity to verify the identity of customers and other external signatories, based on certain factors. Most accountancy firms use e-mail and SMS authentication, as mentioned earlier, but the extra authentication method that goes just a little deeper is iDIN bank authentication. iDIN bank authentication allows the user to verify the identity of the signers based on his or her bank details.

After receiving a signing request, the customer is asked to log into his or her online bank account, the bank details are checked and immediately after the approval moment, the customer is redirected to the signing platform to digitally sign the documents to be signed. iDIN bank authentication can be integrated with ValidSign’s digital signing platform so that the signer is automatically forwarded from the signing platform to iDIN, without having to perform any additional actions. The verification process is greatly strengthened in this way in a user-friendly way.

Streamlined Integration

We have arrived at the third, and also the last, way to take the security and user-friendliness of electronic signature to the highest level. This method is mainly there to improve user-friendliness, but it certainly provides a bit of extra security within the signing process. By integrating the signing platform with your trusted CRM system, for example, you can load the document, send it out for signature and automatically archive it in the right place in the CRM system. With more than 150 integrations, the ValidSign signing solution can be seamlessly integrated into your trusted application. In this way, documents can be digitally signed, without having to leave the trusted platform. In addition, from that moment on, your organization will always have a compliant file, since the documents are automatically placed back in the right place within the CRM system.

Now that you know how, as an accountant, you can raise the security and ease of use of your electronic signature to the highest level, you can of course start today!

If you would like more information about ValidSign, iDIN bank authentication or an integration, please contact us by email to info@validsign.nl