Thinking about making the final leap to full digitalization? Read why CFOs and FDs should ditch the paper and embrace e-signatures for secure, seamless, and cost-effective digital workflow. 

Digital transformation has shown us that three things must be in harmony for an organization to run smoothly: technology, people and processes. Under the pandemic, we've arguably added a fourth — access to information.  

When teams are dispersed or on the move, everyone having access to the same data is vital if decision-making is going to be joined up and just-in-time. 

Inside finance departments, equalizing access to info can be tough to achieve. Finance relies on repeatable processes and that can make legacy tools hard to replace. Files are often kept in multiple systems and generated in different formats. 

One of those is paper. Even with advances in ERP, finance is still a paper-intensive department loaded-down with hardcopy throughput — a daily onslaught of forms, bills, tax submissions, statements and reports that need to be handled manually and often shared physically when they have to be finalized and signed off.

Budgets, invoices, forecasts, certificates — they all need someone to sign. E-signatures make it easier to manage the load.

Why use e-signatures in finance?

The right e-signing solution can hand finance teams eight essential advantages:

1. They’re consistent 

One thing about the finance function that hasn’t changed is the need for repeatability. Manual or virtual, workflow happens against fixed deadlines and within reporting and planning timescales that can’t easily be moved. E-signatures let finance teams distribute financial statements and approvals seamlessly in a predictable, automated digital process that can be configured to each firm’s bespoke needs.

2. They use less paper 

Whether you’re handling and sharing high volumes of sensitive business information, cutting back on paper reduces the risk of filing errors, saves space, and means less time spent managing cabinets filled with hanging folders. E-signatures keep finance documents in the cloud. That's faster and helps companies hit their sustainability commitments, too (if you sign up with SignRequest, we’ll even plant a tree).

3. They integrate easily with finance workflow

SignRequest is already integrated with more than 2,000 cloud collaboration platforms, including Google Workspace, Slack, and M-Files. We also work with most formats, from MS Excel and Word to Google Sheets and PDFs. 

4. Templates make reporting easier

With pre-approved templates, you can speed up the process of creating and approving reports, invoices, statements, contracts, and other standard finance documents. And if we’re talking speed, e-signing can shorten turnaround times for actioning and approving internal requests by 80% or more.

5. Advanced security keeps sensitive business information safe

Competitive pressures and financial regulation mean confidentiality is vital in finance. E-signatures can strengthen it by boosting transaction security and reducing the opportunity for fraud. Every connection to a SignRequest server is protected by Secure Socket Layer (SSL) 256-bit encryption. Two-factor authorization and Single Sign-On ensures that no one is accessing documents or seeing company numbers who shouldn’t be.

6. Audit trails for every document and signing request

With SignRequest, you'll be able to see the current status of every document sent for approval, all the actions taken by senders and recipients, and when. Has the CFO seen this month’s rolling forecast? Has the credit team forwarded your request to the comptroller? You’ll know in an instant. That’s great for keeping workflow on track. It also supports compliance when you need to demonstrate trusted timestamps and e-identify features to prove transactions are authentic.

7. They're legally binding and compliant

At SignRequest, we’re also ISO27001 certified — and GDPR compliant. E-signatures are also legally binding. They're valid under US and European digital signature legislation: eIDAS in the EU and ESIGN and UETA in the US. 

8. They won’t break the budget

SaaS e-signatures plans from SignRequest cost as little as 9 Euro a month. It all depends on the volume of documents you send. Choose the monthly plan that suits your team’s activity level. You can even try us out for free.

E-signatures cut costs and save time

  • Streamline and simplify: the manual processes attached to sending documents and chasing for approvals 
  • Going paperless costs less: less printing, posting, scanning, filing, and storing
  • Automate rote and repetitive finance tasks: win back more time for the team to engage in value-added activities like analyzing numbers to identify trends or improve forecasting accuracy.

Close the books on ink and paper

Research from McKinsey has found that 40 percent of day-to-day finance function activities can be fully automated, while another 17 percent can be ‘mostly’ automated. Count document signatures and approvals firmly in the first category.

CFOs know it, and most are already on the path to full office automation, finding new ways to make their teams more productive and efficient. 

Secure, user-friendly, legally binding e-signature software from SignRequest can accelerate the journey, reducing the need for physically sending reports and contracts up and down the approvals chain, freeing everyone to focus on value-added tasks.

E-signatures help finance teams streamline and simplify how they generate, share, and approve documents. From desktop or mobile, SignRequest empowers finance to send and sign documents from anywhere through a simple, user-friendly interface.

Ready to make your finance function digital from end to end? Choose one of our professional or business plans and take SignRequest for a test drive today.

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