Online signing of accounts and/or other documents

TreadStoneTreadStone Feels At HomeAAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 206
Does anyone use or know of a system for clients to sign accounts and other forms online via email ?

Currently we maybe email clients pdfs and ask them to print,sign & return. Is there a facility for clients to "sign" documents and return via email a bit like you do when you apply for a credit card and click the box with the red cross to act as a signature.

The boss has asked so I thought I'd ask on here :)

Comments

  • knightyoknightyo HertfordshireRegistered Posts: 27
    Hi @TreadStone. I think you can do this through Adobe (think its called Adobe Sign or something like that). But I'm pretty sure the customer would have to have an app installed on their phone/tablet to do this. Sorry I'm not much help!
  • CeeJaySixCeeJaySix Well-Known Registered Posts: 645
    Yes, no expert, but I have signed forms in Adobe using a normal desktop reader (ie. the free one) - I think it is just the originator who needs the paid software to create the 'signable' forms.

    I imagine you would also have to be careful with your Ts&Cs and systems to make certain the signature is valid.

    Not sure how this could be integrated to get accounts signed digitally, or indeed whether HMRC/CoHo would accept...??
    TreadStone
  • WilloWillo Registered Posts: 10
    Hi there,

    I have used Iris Openspace, I can not fault the software to be fair.

    Regards

    Wilo
    TreadStone
  • burgburg Experienced Mentor GloucesterModerator, FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,323
    We use Adobe Sign. You create a document usually as a PDF and upload to the website. Enter the email address for the signer(s) and where you want them to sign on the document.

    The customer receives an email with a link to the document. Only they can sign I.e. It cannot be forwarded (but you can have multiple signers who sign in succession).

    Signature is via typing your name. Once signed everyone gets a final copy and you can see an audit trail.

    This is our default method of getting accounts/tax returns signed
    Regards,

    Burg
    TreadStone
  • TreadStoneTreadStone Feels At Home AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 206
    Cheer folks :)
  • Gem7321Gem7321 Experienced Mentor DevonMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,427
    I also use Iris OpenSpace - it's free :) and has built-in approvals for tax returns and accounts, or you can customise your own.
    Willo
  • mrme89mrme89 Banned User Posts: 621
    Another vote for Iris Open Space.
  • Gem7321Gem7321 Experienced Mentor DevonMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,427
    Do any of you who use OpenSpace use it for company accounts? And if so do you customise your approval so that it clearly states they are signing the directors report and balance sheet? I am reluctant to use it for companies as I'm not sure the approvals provided are sufficient.

    Any comments gratefully received!
    Rozzi Rainbow
  • Rozzi RainbowRozzi Rainbow Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 463
    Interesting question Gem. We have just started using OpenSpace - love it so far! - and haven't yet used it for company accounts, but I was about to in the next few days. I hadn't thought of the point you've raised, I'll be interested to see others' responses.
  • Rozzi RainbowRozzi Rainbow Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 463
    edited September 2016
    I've asked the partner in our practice who set up OpenSpace for his thoughts on this and he says:

    "I had also hoped to use this for company accounts but when I saw the options offered I decided that it could only be used for tax returns. Thinking about it logically, tax returns can be submitted by agents as long as they have the relevant confirmation but Companies House require a director to sign a set of accounts - which I can understand given the declarations made by directors in the accounts. On this basis I don't think accounts will be applicable on Open Space and therefore, we will have to keep on sending them for signature."
    Gem7321
  • burgburg Experienced Mentor GloucesterModerator, FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,323
    Unsure about Openspace but on Echosign you place where you want the signature to actually be on the document so I place one on the directors report and the other on the balance sheet as required. Been using electronic signatures for around 4 or 5 years now.
    Regards,

    Burg
    Gem7321
  • Gem7321Gem7321 Experienced Mentor DevonMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,427
    I like the thought of that @burg but the price tag puts me off!
  • burgburg Experienced Mentor GloucesterModerator, FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,323
    Not sure what you are looking at but I paid about £100 for the year?

    See here - https://acrobat.adobe.com/us/en/sign/pricing/plans.html

    Business is only required if you want multiple people to access the account from your end. Only one person send out documents to sign in our practice so the individual account is fine for us
    Regards,

    Burg
  • Gem7321Gem7321 Experienced Mentor DevonMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,427
    I can't justify it, not yet anyway and not when OpenSpace is free. I only have a handful of companies but if this area increases then I'll have another look :)
  • TreadStoneTreadStone Feels At Home AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 206
    Just an update on this.

    I managed to get time to set-up a trial of Adobe Sign today and found it really easy to send a pdf set of final accounts for client signature and then sign and return too. No problems.

    The only issue I had was that the recipient doesn't have to log-in to view the attachment. You simply click on the link and it opens the document. What if you accidentally send it to the wrong client ?

    Is there a setting to avoid this ? I did it all quickly before i left work so haven't been through all the guides/help etc yet.

    I'm going to try Iris OpenSpace tomorrow :)
  • TreadStoneTreadStone Feels At Home AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 206
    I've registered with Iris but still waiting for the them to supply the free 1GB before I can upload any documents......
  • TreadStoneTreadStone Feels At Home AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 206
    Right, I've given OpenSpace a whirl and it does the job.

    I'm much happier with the security aspect in that the client has to create a password themselves in order to view and approve the relevant documents. So they have their own access to the portal.You don't get an actual signature on the document but an e-approval is fine by me.

    I like Adobe Sign but the fact anyone can open the document on the recipient email causes concern for me.

    Unless, of course, there's a secure way around this ?
  • AAT_TeamAAT_Team Administrator Posts: 185
    edited March 21
    You can password protect PDFs by going to view > tools > protect > open > encrypt > password
  • TreadStoneTreadStone Feels At Home AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 206
    edited March 21
    AAT_Team said:

    You can password protect PDFs by going to view > tools > protect > open > encrypt > password



    Is there not a monthly subscription for that though ?
  • burgburg Experienced Mentor GloucesterModerator, FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,323

    Right, I've given OpenSpace a whirl and it does the job.

    I'm much happier with the security aspect in that the client has to create a password themselves in order to view and approve the relevant documents. So they have their own access to the portal.You don't get an actual signature on the document but an e-approval is fine by me.

    I like Adobe Sign but the fact anyone can open the document on the recipient email causes concern for me.

    Unless, of course, there's a secure way around this ?

    Ther is an option to password protect the PDF before you sent it to the client (see the attached screen shot)
    Regards,

    Burg
  • TreadStoneTreadStone Feels At Home AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 206
    Thanks Ian, I've literally just been messing around with Adobe and found the option to password protect in the last 10 minutes.

    Both seem good :)

    Cheers.
  • AAT_TeamAAT_Team Administrator Posts: 185

    Thanks Ian, I've literally just been messing around with Adobe and found the option to password protect in the last 10 minutes.

    Both seem good :)

    Cheers.

    Does that mean you didn't need a subscription @TreadStone ? It's really hard to tell if that feature is part of the subscription when looking at Adobe's website. Would be good to know for the future.
  • burgburg Experienced Mentor GloucesterModerator, FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,323
    AAT_Team said:

    Thanks Ian, I've literally just been messing around with Adobe and found the option to password protect in the last 10 minutes.

    Both seem good :)

    Cheers.

    Does that mean you didn't need a subscription @TreadStone ? It's really hard to tell if that feature is part of the subscription when looking at Adobe's website. Would be good to know for the future.
    I believe all features are available on the free version it's just that the volume you can do within 30 days is limited.
    Regards,

    Burg
  • TreadStoneTreadStone Feels At Home AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 206

    Does that mean you didn't need a subscription @TreadStone ? It's really hard to tell if that feature is part of the subscription when looking at Adobe's website. Would be good to know for the future.

    It's currently free as it's a 14 day trial but it's a paid for subscription after that.
    MarieNoelle
  • MarieNoelleMarieNoelle Trusted Regular Hampshire/Surrey borderModerator, MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,031

    I've registered with Iris but still waiting for the them to supply the free 1GB before I can upload any documents......

    Hi @TreadStone may I ask how long it took them to supply the free 1GB? I registered with them a week ago and still unable to upload! Thanks.
  • TreadStoneTreadStone Feels At Home AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 206
    edited March 24
    It says "within 48 hours" doesn't it ? I waited for 4 days then went onto live chat with them.

    "The 1gb doesn't need to be activated" was the reply. "Oh yes it does mate, according to the account settings" I said.

    I received an email about half hour later:- " Your free 1gb has now been activated" it said.

    I'm sure the account still shows 0gb used of 0gb available =)
    MarieNoelle
  • MarieNoelleMarieNoelle Trusted Regular Hampshire/Surrey borderModerator, MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,031
    Thanks for this @TreadStone I might give them a call on Monday.
    Tried to upload a file and got an email saying "you have 0gb out of 0gb available." Very helpful!
  • TreadStoneTreadStone Feels At Home AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 206
    Same here. It's decent though once you can start to upload and use it.
    MarieNoelle
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