How to Say Goodbye to Paper Contracts

Submitted by Tech Support on Mon, 06/06/2022 - 10:34
signing an electronic document on a digital document on a virtual notebook screen

When it comes to going paperless, many companies have one big question: "How will we handle legal contracts?" Not to worry--the digital world has a solution. Here's what you need to know about how document management solutions like e-signatures can help you say goodbye to paper contracts once and for all.

How Document Management Helps You Go Digital

Document management is perhaps the best-kept secret in the world of digitization. That's not because it's unpopular; most people have heard of document management, and plenty of companies use it in their day-to-day workflows. However, not everyone realizes that this solution can also help you say goodbye to paper. In fact, many businesses hear the words "document management" and assume it's all about helping organize stacks of paper or get control of all those file cabinets.

That's true--but document management doesn't have to stop there.

Instead, document management helps bridge the gap between digital and physical worlds, giving you the foundation you need to get rid of paper in ways that make sense. With document management, it's easier to create scanning projects, store newly digitized documents, share files between locations, and more.

This is all good news, of course. But what about contracts? Don't those still need to be printed and signed in order to be legally enforced?

Well, that's where e-signatures come in.

Document Management FAQ: Are E-Signatures Legal?

E-Signatures are a digital solution to the "signature problem." Here are just a few examples of e-signatures:

  • Clicking "I Agree" on a list of terms and conditions.

  • Typing your name in a PDF signature box.

  • Signing on a mobile device with either your finger or a pen.

  • Any e-signature solution from a document management tool.

The good news is that all of these e-signature situations constitute a legal agreement. The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act, passed by the U.S. federal government in 2000, acts as "a general rule of validity for electronic records and signatures." That means e-signatures are both legal and enforceable.

Some signatures, especially on more sensitive contracts, may require extra authentication to be fully binding. In this case, you'll need a complete document management solution to help capture the necessary user authentication data and support the creation of your digital contract.

Benefits of Digitized Contracts with Document Management

So, now you know how to digitize contracts with document management and e-signature solutions--but why should you? Here are just a few big benefits of saying goodbye to paper contracts:

Security

Digitized documents are easier to store and protect than their paper siblings. For example, a digital contract can be protected with firewalls and passwords after it's signed, while a paper version of the same agreement would need to be locked in a file cabinet (and still wouldn't be safe from floods, fires, accidental loss, and other unforeseen circumstances).

Efficiency

If you're ready to cut extra steps out of your workflows, digitized contracts are about to become your new best friend. No more printing, signing, and then scanning or faxing to get the job done; just sign the contract, email it to the other party, and have them do the same. It's not just efficient--it's totally stress-free.

Flexibility

Need to take business on the go? Want to work from home? Paper contracts make this all but impossible--but digitized contracts, with a little help from an e-signature solution, are a much more flexible option. They allow you to do business wherever you go, whenever you need.

Modernization

Customers and employees alike have higher expectations these days. If you're still stuck in a world where paper contracts are the norm, people will start to view your company as outdated--which means they may be less likely to do business with you, apply for a job, or stay in a current position. To stay modern (and take advantage of all the benefits that come with the latest tech solutions), your best bet is to utilize document management and e-signature tools to create cutting-edge workflows.

It's time to say goodbye to paper contracts--and document management, with a little help from an e-signature solution, can help. You'll enjoy increased security, efficiency, and flexibility, and your customers and employees will love the modern approach.

Ready to get started with digital contracts? Contact us today to learn more about document management!

 

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