You’ll no doubt remember the good old days of printing a document, signing it, faxing it to your client or partner, asking them to sign it, and then faxing it back. Long-winded and a waste of paper in the best of times and an increased security risk at the worst, this ‘vintage’ way of conducting business is on its way out thanks to eSignatures. But what is an eSignature, and how can it help your Los Angeles accounting firm?
What is an eSignature, and how does it work?
Also known as an electronic signature, a digital signature, or even an e-signature, an eSignature is a way for the recipient of a document to confirm they agree with its content or for the sender to verify that they indeed wrote it. An eSignature works in the same way as a printed signature, but it is created digitally, either with a specially created image or text file, or written on the document using a stylus, mouse, or finger stroke. As more and more elements of business move into the digital realm, so too does the humble signature. Without a doubt, your business should embrace such a change. There are a number of esigning tools available including DocuSign, EchoSign, Sertifi, and RightSignature, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. So, the question becomes - which do you choose?
The benefits of using eSignatures in your line of work
As a Los Angeles CPA, there are a number of reasons why you may want to use eSignatures rather than printed signatures on pieces of paper. For starters, an eSignature is paper free, which means it saves on resources, reduces the need for printing, faxing, mailing, and filing, and leaves you with nothing to shred afterwards. An eSignature is delivered online, meaning there are no delivery costs and it is also incredibly flexible. Since you can sign any document from just about any device, you won’t need to wait until you’re near a printer or fax machine in order to get business moving – transmission is instant, no matter where you are or what you’re doing. In addition, the lack of paper needed will help your firm to become far more environmentally friendly and reduce its carbon footprint, while flexibility and reliability of the service is certain to impress your clients.
So, already you’ve saved yourself a fair amount of time, effort, and money, and increased your company’s green rating, but how else could filing in this way help your firm?
Filing with eSignatures is far more reliable than the old-fashioned method, as well as secure. Any document that you send can be digitally encrypted and audited and its storage will be electronic. This vastly reduces the risk of fraud or forgery and can ensure that sensitive data remains hidden. Sending bits of paper by post or fax always had its risks, but many of these can be alleviated with digital signatures.
The great news is that eSignatures are legal in all 50 states, as well as increasingly used worldwide. This means that your business can reach out to clients no matter where they’re based, and roll out a single eSignature procedure to cover all documents.
The bottom line is – in addition to making your process more efficient and secure, eSignatures help LA CPAs save time and money.
Does your accountancy firm use this method of filing? Do you have any advice for CPAs thinking of changing over? Please share your thoughts with us in the Comments section below.
To follow through on the tips introduced in this article, be sure to download our free guide 12 Ways for CPA Firms in LA to Utilize Technology More Efficiently.