Signatures are an integral part of everyday processes. Purchase orders, travel authorizations, time off forms, patient intake, student permissions, new hire forms are all examples of routine everyday activities that require one or more signatures.
Printing for signatures is incredibly wasteful
Far too often, this simple business requirement means printing, signing, scanning and emailing to the next person. It’s inefficient, slows the process down and forces employees to waste time on unproductive work. It introduces unnecessary delays e.g. if the approver is traveling.
There’s a better way!
Fortunately, there is a better way using electronic signatures as part of a forms and workflow automation solution. With automation, the forms are filled in and electronically routed to the next person, who is notified.
They can view the request on any device, from anywhere and sign electronically without the need to print. The process will continue immediately and route to the next person.
It’s efficient, speeds things up, and saves employees’ time. Since your forms will automatically work on mobile devices and are available 24×7, managers can sign and approve from anywhere, at any time and using any device.
Types of electronic signatures
Wet signatures are similar to signing a paper form except you sign using your finger on a touchscreen or mouse on a computer. The system produces an image of your signature on the screen. Since the person signing the form does not have to login, there is way to guarantee their identity.
Secure digital signatures guarantee the identity of the signer as well as the veracity of the signed content. In this case, the person who is signing must authenticate to the system. It may still produce a signature image but the digital signature also uses Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) to produce a hash that guarantees the identity of the signer as well as the data being signed.
Both kinds of signature are important and useful depending on the business process. Fortunately, frevvo forms support both. Let’s take a look at how you can easily add e-signatures to forms and processes using frevvo’s modern, drag-and-drop designers.
How to add a wet signature to your e-form
Wet Signatures make it possible for anyone who has access to a particular form to sign forms electronically without authentication. For example, if you have a Sales Order and you want to get it signed by your customer, you should choose this type of signature. You don’t want to force the customer to remember a password, login etc. and slow down your sales process.
- Create a new form or open an existing one for editing.
- Expand the Palette at the top left.
- Drag the Signature control and drop it into your form.
- It will be automatically selected. The Properties panel at left will display the properties of the newly added Signature control.
- In the properties panel on the left, change the label as desired, e.g. “Sign here”. The displayed label changes immediately.
- Check the Required checkbox. The background will turn yellowish to indicate that a signature is required and the form cannot be submitted without signing.
- You can adjust the size of the signature control by clicking on the Style tab of the properties panel for Signature control. The width can be set from 1-12 columns wide. Experiment by clicking on the width selector.
- It’s very common to include a date next to the Signature. Drag and drop a Date control from the palette next to the Signature. You can create a business rule to autofill the date if desired.
- Save the form and test it. Try submitting without signing. frevvo will not allow you to submit without signing.
- Click anywhere in the Signature control. An entry dialog opens for users or approvers to sign the form.
- Sign. Click the Clear button, to erase and redo the signature.
When finished, click Done. The dialog will disappear and the signature image is displayed in the Signature control. The captured image is attached to the form submission as a PNG file and is also saved to PDF e.g. print view.
How to add a digital signature to your e-form
Digital Signatures ensure that the person signing the form is who they claim to be by enforcing authentication. The logged-in user’s id, the timestamp at which the signature was applied and the data which is signed are all encoded using Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) to generate a hash which is saved. At runtime, frevvo will automatically verify the validity of the encoded data to ensure that it has not been tampered with.
- Drag and drop a Section control from the palette and change its label.
- In the Properties panel, click the Security tab.
- In the Signature drop down select either Text/Signature Image or Wet Signature. The former will automatically print the user’s full name while the latter will pop up a dialog to capture an image similar to the wet signature above.
- Check the ‘Must Sign’ checkbox. This makes signing the section mandatory before submitting the form.
Choose Text/Signature or Wet Signature and check Must sign.
- Save all the changes and test the form.
- Notice that after signing all the fields in the section get locked preventing changes. If a mistake was made, the user can unsign by clicking the ‘Edit this Section” button, make desired changes in the values and re-sign.
- Multiple sections with signatures can be added to the form/flows for approvals from users. These can be hidden or displayed at various steps of the flow using the simple rule builder wizard.
In both the scenarios, the signature is displayed on the form, saved as part of the submission and also rendered in the print PDF for the form or flow.
Electronic signatures can significantly increase employee productivity simply by eliminating the need to print documents or to chase down supervisors for approvals. Using modern, process automation software it’s easy to design forms and workflows that can be signed electronically and route automatically.
It’s 2019! There’s no excuse for pen-and-paper signatures anymore.
To learn more about electronic signatures and how easy it is to incorporate them into your e-forms and automated processes, sign up for a free 30-day trial.