Online signing of accounts and/or other documents

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TreadStone
TreadStone Registered Posts: 280 Epic contributor 🐘
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 :)

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  • knightyo
    knightyo Registered Posts: 27
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    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!
  • CeeJaySix
    CeeJaySix Registered Posts: 645
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    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...??
  • Willo
    Willo Registered Posts: 10
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    Hi there,

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

    Regards

    Wilo
  • burg
    burg Registered, Moderator Posts: 1,441 mod
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    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
    TreadStone Registered Posts: 280 Epic contributor 🐘
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    Cheer folks :)
  • Gem7321
    Gem7321 Registered Posts: 1,438 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    I also use Iris OpenSpace - it's free :) and has built-in approvals for tax returns and accounts, or you can customise your own.
  • Gem7321
    Gem7321 Registered Posts: 1,438 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    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 Rainbow Registered Posts: 465 Dedicated contributor 🦉
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    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 Rainbow
    Rozzi Rainbow Registered Posts: 465 Dedicated contributor 🦉
    edited September 2016
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    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."
  • burg
    burg Registered, Moderator Posts: 1,441 mod
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    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
    Gem7321 Registered Posts: 1,438 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    I like the thought of that @burg but the price tag puts me off!
  • burg
    burg Registered, Moderator Posts: 1,441 mod
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    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
  • Gem7321
    Gem7321 Registered Posts: 1,438 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    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 :)
  • TreadStone
    TreadStone Registered Posts: 280 Epic contributor 🐘
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    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 :)
  • TreadStone
    TreadStone Registered Posts: 280 Epic contributor 🐘
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    I've registered with Iris but still waiting for the them to supply the free 1GB before I can upload any documents......
  • TreadStone
    TreadStone Registered Posts: 280 Epic contributor 🐘
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    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_Team
    AAT_Team Administrator Posts: 503 🤖 Admin 🤖
    edited March 2017
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    You can password protect PDFs by going to view > tools > protect > open > encrypt > password
  • TreadStone
    TreadStone Registered Posts: 280 Epic contributor 🐘
    edited March 2017
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    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 ?
  • burg
    burg Registered, Moderator Posts: 1,441 mod
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    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
  • TreadStone
    TreadStone Registered Posts: 280 Epic contributor 🐘
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    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_Team
    AAT_Team Administrator Posts: 503 🤖 Admin 🤖
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    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.
  • burg
    burg Registered, Moderator Posts: 1,441 mod
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    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
  • TreadStone
    TreadStone Registered Posts: 280 Epic contributor 🐘
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    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
    MarieNoelle Registered, Moderator Posts: 1,368
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    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.
  • TreadStone
    TreadStone Registered Posts: 280 Epic contributor 🐘
    edited March 2017
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    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
    MarieNoelle Registered, Moderator Posts: 1,368
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    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!
  • TreadStone
    TreadStone Registered Posts: 280 Epic contributor 🐘
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    Same here. It's decent though once you can start to upload and use it.
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