To stay competitive and efficient, it’s critical for companies to adopt electronic signatures (e-signatures) as part of their everyday operations.
That’s a main takeaway from a new survey from software company airSlate and research firm Dynata.
Before all that 2020 brought – COVID-19, the shift to remote work, increased digitization – about 64% of businesses used e-signature at least monthly, according to the survey. During the pandemic, adoption increased by 50%.
CFOs understand the steep rise. For many companies, e-signatures were no longer an option – they were a necessity to keep money coming in and going out. Purchasers had to approve invoices. Execs had to sign contracts. Business had to go on.
What about the future?
The survey found that this move to e-signatures wasn’t just a temporary one for the pandemic, though. In a post-pandemic business world, most businesses will keep using e-signatures.
Specifically, 69% of businesses and individuals surveyed said they’ll continue to sign items electronically after COVID-19 and lockdowns end. What’s more, 81% of businesses say they’ll choose e-signatures over in-person signatures even when operations go back to the way they were before the pandemic.
That being said, some professionals still have hesitations about this digitized method. When companies were asked for the reasons they wouldn’t choose e-signatures, almost half (48%) cited security and privacy concerns. Two other top reasons were heavy reliance on physical paperwork or in-person signatures (44%) and unfamiliarity with e-signature technology (33%).
As CFO, you know how important it is to keep efficiency up – and e-signatures can help with that as the world continues in a digital, remote direction. But you also know the importance of security and privacy, not just for your company but for the vendors and customers you work with.
Consider how you can limit risk and resistance to e-signatures. For example, can you add password protection or two-factor authentication for documents? Can you educate employees and vendors about your e-signature process, including its privacy features? The less risk and resistance you face, the easier adoption will be in Finance and companywide.