Office & Productivity Software forum

General discussion

Adding Signatrues

by entrecon / August 21, 2007 5:54 AM PDT

I have some documents that need to be circulated to 2-4 people for final approval and have their signatures added.

the current proposed process is to e-mail the document to all of the users password protected and read-only through Outlook with voting buttons for approve or disapprove. If approved the person collecting the responses would add in an image of their signatures.

Any suggestions for improving this process or other options?

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Does this have to be done electronically?
by Kees Bakker / August 21, 2007 6:36 AM PDT
In reply to: Adding Signatrues

If those people are in the same building (or near each other) it seems easier to mail them the contents for approval, than visit them personally for their signature on the one and only original version on paper.


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I'm in a similar position...
by Khornight / August 21, 2007 9:29 PM PDT

Where one of the parts to my job involves sending things to about 8 different people for signing, this is currently done with a paper system, which generally means it takes about 3-4 weeks to get all the signatures (big office, internal mail takes a day, things generally get left on peoples desks for a day or two per sig)...

Worse than that, paper versions get lost (mainly under piles of other paperwork), I think an electronic version would save time and make it easier to find out how far round things have got.

Doing this individually (carrying around a bit of paper by hand for signing) is not possible, I have about 40 a day and they all need to be signed by different people in differing orders, it would take my whole day if I did it by hand... not to mention the fact that a lot of people aren't at their desk most of the time.

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Final Document
by entrecon / August 22, 2007 10:59 PM PDT

I am just doing the research on it, but I think the plan was to use the electronic method for 2 reasons. First, to speed-up the process. Moving the paper around can be a little cumbersome to get everyone's signature. The second reason is that they plan to keep the final documents in electronic format. They could scan them in after the signatures, but this is an added step they were looking to avoid.

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It's a diffculty isn't it.
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / August 23, 2007 9:16 PM PDT
In reply to: Final Document

If you want a document approved by physical signature then the manual version is necessary. But if electronic approval is the way forward for your organisation then the problem is not all end users, (those who you need to approve), will know how to attach signatures to emails. In a smaller organisation that is not too much of a problem, you could visit each one in person and teach them, but in a larger place like Khornights, that may be impracticable.

What about using master copies, stored in their own folder?

What I mean is, let each user reply to the email with their approval, (or not), and store that email with the master document in its own folder. That way, if ever the authority needs to be checked or confirmed, all the replies/comments etc are available to be viewed.

Just a thought.


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"If approved the person collecting the responses would ...
by Kees Bakker / August 23, 2007 9:36 PM PDT
In reply to: Final Document

add in an image of their signatures."

That doesn't seem like a watertight procedure and a unfalsifiable legally binding signature then, if it's just an image added by whomever. Electronic signatures are quite something else, with encryption and trusted third party certifications.
I would definitely opt for the good old fountain-pen here.


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In the UK at least
by Khornight / August 23, 2007 10:34 PM PDT

Email alone is considered legally binding, and if the company has a stong security policy should be just as if not more secure than ink.

As someone that works in HR I can tell you that we log what computer users are logged into and have security camera's all over the builtding (except HR Happy so if there is a question of soemone logging in as someone else, we can check.

But i also don't see the point of adding an image of their signature as that is far from secure (for a start anyone else emailed the sig picture, ie the next person to sign, will have it and be able to "sign")

Mark is right the problem isn't really "how to do it", it's how to make sure the signers know what they've got to do? IE that it's simple enough for even the most IT illiterate manager to do. I want to suggest PGP Key encryption, but I doubt that would be easy enough.

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Signature Pads
by entrecon / August 24, 2007 1:21 AM PDT
In reply to: In the UK at least

I was also looking at a signature pad solution that would allow them to sign and added a validation piece to at the same time. The pads cost about $200 each and I am not sure they will approve $2000 - $3000 to get 20-30 pads.

From a legal stand-point, there isn't a major issue. These are primarily Policies and Procedures that have to be on file based on some regulations. The bottom-line is that we have to show that we did our due dilligence in making sure the approval we recevied was correct.

Based on the input here, I believe that the voting buttons through outlook with a Read only version of the document will suffice. From my experience, the technology to allow this in an affordable way just hasn't been developed yet. If someone could figure out a way to do this in an inexpensive way I am sure they would have a good market to sell it to.

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