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5 Reasons Why Accountants Are Making the Move to an eSignature Solution

Increasingly, accountants are turning to electronic signature solutions to speed up their document workflows. Waiting to print off, sign and scan important financial documents and statements is unnecessarily slowing your business down.

For accountants, adopting a digital signature process dramatically speeds up your workflow and helps cut down on costs.

The e-signature market has grown rapidly in the last few years, with the market projected to reach $14.1bn by 2026 – and for good reason.

What are the benefits of using an e-signature to sign off accounting and financial documents? Why should accountants ditch the outdated “print and sign” method?

In this article, we’ll discuss 6 key reasons why accountants should make the switch to an eSignature solution.

Meet Tight Deadlines

Especially during busy periods of the year – like tax filing season – accountants routinely suffer from mounting, tight deadlines. The traditional approach can take hours or even days to get documents sent and approved.

With an eSignature solution, there’s no more waiting around for your clients to print and sign documents. A digital solution also removes the need for documents to be mailed or faxed to you to approve. Sending documents by email or SMS is infinitely faster.

Accountants can also speed up their processes by using pre-made templates instead of compiling every document by hand. With digital signature solutions, it’s far easier to track the status of document signing. This makes it easier to manage outstanding signatures and improves your chances of meeting every deadline.

According to LunarPen, eSignatures slash the time it takes to obtain signed documents from 5 days to 37 minutes. Forrester estimates that digital signature solutions save accountants over 22,000 hours annually.

Better Customer Experience

Digital signature solutions provide a better, more seamless customer experience when compared to traditional signing methods. Simply put, signing documents is a pain. Dealing with paperwork is consistently hated by clients across the board. Any effort to streamline this process helps improve the customer experience (CX).

Another key effect on CX is improving accuracy and reducing errors. As digital documents are far easier to track, eSignatures lead to an average 80% reduction in errors. The fewer mistakes made, the happier your clients will be!

What’s the overall effect here? DocuSign estimates that eSignatures improve customer loyalty by up to 500%.

Compliant with Regulations

The biggest misconception when it comes to electronic signatures is that they’re not compliant with regulations. This simply isn’t true.

In the UK:

  • Most businesses and organizations accept eSignatures as a valid method for signing off documents.
  • HMRC now accept electronic signatures on some forms. Alongside this, HMRC & the UK Government are pushing their “Making Tax Digital” initiative to digitalize tax processes in the coming years. Electronic signatures will become integral to this.

In the EU:

  • The eIDAS Regulation set out the provisions for using electronic identification and trust services in the EU internal market.
  • The EU publish extensive guidance on ensuring eSignatures meet EU regulations.

Improve Internal Processes

Going paperless and using digital documents with eSignatures offers a more rapid document workflow.

This brings immense cost savings and a great improvement to productivity. Forbes found that organizations can achieve a 70% to 80% improvement in efficiency by adopting an accountant eSignature solution.

According to LunarPen, the average cost savings here lie between 55%–78.62% – or $20 per document. No more printing, handing it over to the right people to sign, and mailing it. This leads to an average 80% reduction in turnaround time.

For accountants and accounting firms, this massive improvement in productivity means you’re able to take on more clients than ever. Ultimately, switching to an eSignature solution will help your business grow faster and more sustainably.

Reduce Paper Waste

There’s no question about it: modern accounting wastes a lot of paper. In the UK, around £11m of paper is wasted by the accounting profession. There’s no doubt that’s significantly higher in the US and across the world.

There is a huge environmental cost for wasting this much paper. According to The World Counts, paper makes up 25% of landfill waste and 33% of municipal waste. One A4 sheet of paper requires 10 litres of water to produce – and one metric ton of paper emits 942 kg of CO2.

It’s therefore imperative that accounting businesses cut down on the paper we use. eSignatures is a brilliant solution here. By gutting the “print and sign” approach, businesses can cut their paper use drastically. This comes with dramatic cost savings too – as US businesses waste $8 billion a year on the costs of handling paper.

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