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Once you have a list of NSPs and authorized signers, and have verified it, where will you keep and maintain it? Since this is considered personally identifiable information, you will have to keep it in a secure place where only authorized people can access it.


What if the good ol’ boys at GoodOl’Boys, Inc. don’t want to sign electronically? When you receive paper signed documents, can you scan it back into the electronic signature system? KEY TAKEAWAY: Not all of your customers will be on board with an electronic signature program, and you may have to either convince them to use it or send them paper documents.



Is your current naming system for paper signed documents detailed enough to be the naming system for an electronic signature system? What happens when you have an amendment to a contract? How is that document named so that it is electronically filed with the original?


All electronic signature programs “lock” the contract once it is fully signed, so how do you handle amendments to a contract? Whereas before, you may have inserted a new page into an existing paper contract, but you can’t do that with an electronic signature document.

Most, or all, of the current electronic signature applications keep the sender (who may also be a signer) separate from other senders. So, can management see a group dashboard? KEY TAKEAWAY: Ensure that you have a way to aggregate the data you need across all senders/users in order to manage the electronic signature application and be able to identify trends and do reporting. Contracts that are written for paper signing may not work with electronic signature applications. The way items are presented in a paper document may not translate to an electronic signature metaphor. Will you have to make changes to your paper contracts to accommodate electronic items? If so, this can be a costly time- and resource-intensive effort that involves contracts, procurement and legal.

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Since we are talking about electronic files, you may consider keeping a copy of all electronic contracts in your own on-premise system or another cloud-based system to ensure accessibility and survivability of all of your contracts. Top on the list of maintaining a duplicate set of contracts should be the naming convention used, since there may be many amendments to the contract. These amendments will need to be electronically paper-clipped to the original contract. KEY TAKEAWAY: You may want to keep copies of your contracts in a second location, and this needs to be carefully thought through and planned for.

10 Many contracts have language that is oriented around a paper document and a courier send/receive process. These types of statements may confuse the customer and should be removed or made more generic. KEY TAKEAWAY: Read each paper-oriented contract and possibly make changes.

Many contracts ask the receiver/signer to add/complete information, such as their beneficiary information. Ensure that your electronic signature program allows for “fill-in-theblank” information. Even more importantly, consider if the applications you are looking at allow pre-printed contract information to be changed.

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We have been talking about electronic signatures, which are used in the US, Canada and other countries. However, some countries do not accept electronic signatures but do accept “digital signatures,” which are different. If you are sending signature documents to international countries, check to see if you need a digital signature application in addition to the electronic signature. Most e-signature companies do both types, but a digital signature requires additional work and preparation on your end. O

For more information, contact Mr. Porter-Roth at or follow him on Twitter @BudPR. summer.2015


DOCUMENT Strategy 2015 Summer  
DOCUMENT Strategy 2015 Summer  

DOCUMENT Strategy 2015 Summer