With more and more businesses these days conducting day-to-day operations remotely, and electronically it’s essential for them to have effective solutions in place to support the needs of their company, employees, and customers. Through the use of innovations such as cloud storage, screen share apps, video conferencing, online office suites, and more, small businesses can offer seamless services to their customers and useful methods of productivity and collaboration for team members.
How Signature Software Can Help
One of the most helpful and useful applications for small businesses is signature software, also known as e-signature or esign software. Often, throughout many businesses workdays, contracts and various documents (usually in PDF format) require signing by individuals and clients. When not in the same location, this can be somewhat of a nuisance. Prior to signature software, signed paperwork would need to be mailed in, faxed, or printed and scanned, thus delaying the continuance of specific processes until the signed copy is received. Through the development of signature software, however, businesses have been able to speed up the signature process tremendously in their PDF forms. Signature software essentially allows users to sign electronically directly on PDF forms and contracts, thus streamlining the process and saving time for everyone.
Several other benefits of e-signature software include:
- Security Enhancements - Through the use of signature software, businesses and clients can rest assured that their documents are well-protected, and any alterations or changes made to the documents can be tracked easier, as well as unauthorized viewership.
- Cost Savings - By eliminating the need to print and/or mail and store paper documents, companies can enjoy cost savings with paper and mailing cost reductions.
- Ease of Use - Employees and clients alike appreciate the enhanced user experience made possible through the use of signature software. With everything being able to be signed, stored, and sent all in one place, the entire process is made much more user friendly.
Small businesses have especially benefited from the e-signing of contracts and documents in the space of productivity. Through signature software, companies don’t need to waste time coordinating obtaining signatures, instead being able to redirect their time and energy on other daily tasks.
Features Offered Through Signature Software Services
While features will vary based on the signature software service used, there are some key features simultaneously offered and looked for by businesses everywhere.
- Helpful Reminders - Because documents often have deadlines or require signatures from multiple users, a signature software service that offers reminders and progress notifications for users can prove beneficial through the process.
- Enhanced Security - Security is paramount, with signers wanting assurance that their signatures, personal information, and documents will be kept secure and private.
- Regulation and Compliance - Most esign software programs work to address compliance factors and regulation needs that various industries and sectors require.
- Audit Trail Capabilities - Seeing who opened, who signed, and who changed a document is imperative in many business transactions. Many e-signature softwares offer comprehensive audit control capabilities.
- Mobility - Because team members and clients often need to sign and receive documents outside of the office, utilizing a signature software service that allows for mobile use can be crucial.
- Personalization - Being able to customize the functionality of the software service, as well as personalizing the features used by individuals, is an essential feature for companies to have access to improve efficiency.
- Integration - Most companies will use various softwares and applications throughout day-to-day processes. By using a signature software that integrates with other programs, it can help to streamline processes for employees and clients.
Three Types of E-Signature Services
While there are many different types of signature software options, they fall under three main categories for use.
- Open Source Signature Software - These are usually free to use, and can help with basic signature service needs, but don’t offer many of the features mentioned above.
- Local Signature Software - Local signature software is typically installed via hardware on local servers; Business owners are usually responsible for maintenance and upgrades.
- Software as a Service Signature Software - By far the most popular option, software as a service (SaaS) signature software is hosted by the provider, usually offers the most features, and doesn’t require the users to perform their own maintenance.
Top Signature Software Choices
When choosing the right signature software option for your company, it can be overwhelming - there are a ton of choices. We’ve reviewed the top 10 ranked e-signature software options for small businesses by industry experts for 2020 and listed them below:
Price: Starting at $10 per month per user
Features: Authentication, Auditing, Template Options, Multi-Party Signatures, Mobile Signature Option, Task tracking, Document Analytic Features
- Adobe Sign
Price: Starting at $20.99 per month per user
Features: Reminders and Notifications, User and Group Organization and Management, Payment Collection Integration, Integration with Dropbox/Outlook/Microsoft Word/Microsoft Teams, Website Integration, Signature Authentication
Price: Starting at $7 per month per user
Features: Mobile App, Customizable Templates, Integrations with G-Suite/Zoho/Outlook, Unlimited Cloud Storage
Price: Free and paid plans starting at $9 per month per user
Features: Payment Integration, Over 400 Pre-Designed Templates, CRM Integration, Content Library
Price: Starting at $8 per month per user
Features: Reminders and Notifications, Mobile App, Templates, Signing Link Invites, Payment Requesting Option, Attachment Options for Signers, Personalized Branding
Price: Free and paid plans starting at $9.99 per month per user
Features: Templates, Multi-Business Use, Audit Trail, Security and Auto-Expire Options, Team and Contact Management, App Integrations with Google Docs/Zoho/Dropbox/Salesforce and more
Price: Starting at $19 per month per user
Features: Mobile App, Salesforce Integration, Surveys, HIPPA Compliant, Payment Acceptance
Price: Starting at $13 per month per user
Features: Audit Trails, Customizable Templates, Reminders, Team Management Options, Centralized Dashboard
Price: Starting at $12 per month per user
Features: Biometric Authentication, Digital Fingerprints, Audit Log, Mobile App, Website Integration, Payment Collection
- Secured Signing
Price: Free and paid plans starting at $9.95 per month per user
Features: Video Confirmation, Reminders and Notifications, Audit Trails, Branding Options, Activity Reports, API