Electronic Signatures: We Now Use EchoSign

24 March 2012, Comments: Comments Off on Electronic Signatures: We Now Use EchoSign

We made the switch to EchoSign to speed up contract signing, make it easier on everyone involved, and store all our contracts in one location.

For years, we’ve handled contracts like this:

  1. We make a contract from Word
  2. Convert it to PDF
  3. Email it to the signer(s).
  4. Signer reads,
  5. Signer prints,
  6. Signer signs, and
  7. Signer either faxes or emails it back to us.
  8. We store it in our email, on our network, etc… but not generally in one easy to reach location for all parties.

It isn’t a bad system. But it could be easier. What if there was one central system, no emailing or printing, no faxing or scanning…? There is: EchoSign.

We made the switch for the reasons above and its tough to do the system justice in writing — there’s a link to a demo, below.

Some of you may wonder, “Is it legal?” Yes, and electronic signatures have been legal since 2000. Here’s a snippet from their website:

…Federal E-SIGN Act into law on October 1, 2000. The E-SIGN Act makes online electronic signatures in a commercial transaction equivalent to a written signature. EchoSign is fully compliant with the Federal E-SIGN Act, which is a safe harbor that “trumps” or “pre-empts” state law by design, and also pre-empts any state laws on electronic signatures that existed before or after the E-SIGN Act. All 50 states are required to comply with the Federal E-SIGN Act of 2000. Similar laws to the E-SIGN Ace have been passed inCanada, the UK and the European Union.

The system allows anyone to have a free account so your signers do not need to pay anything to use the system. We’re Google Apps users and it integrates with our Google Docs and authentication.

Another very nice feature is the ability to email a copy of approved contracts to “users” outside the system. For example, if you want your attorney to keep a copy of all your signed contracts, you can. We are using it to back-up our contracts to Evernote and Box.net.

There are iPhone and iPad apps for real signatures if you’d like to have those, too.

Once you start using it, you can add in your Twitter account to post when contracts are signed. It doesn’t say with whom or for how much. But what it does do is provide a referral code to EchoSign’s site. If people click on the link and sign-up for a paid account, EchoSign sends you a gift card. Kind of nice.

WebMedley and EchoSign

(Side note: the average time to sign an EchoSign agreement is 42 minutes. I need to speed it up, huh?!)

If you are interested in learning how it works, they have a nice video and step by step guide.

We’ll continue to bring you more internet tools to simplify your life.

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