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May 01 2014
Save Time and Money with E-Signatures
DeAnna Leahy, CCE, Sunroc Corp.

In today's busy, fast-paced world everyone is seeking new ways to save time and money. Here is way that you can electronically sign lien waivers, credit references, and other documents without ever having to print them out or leave your desk to walk to the printer. Previously, I would get a lien waiver emailed to me. I would print out the document, fill it out, sign it, scan it to myself and then finally return it to the customer by email. Now, with Adobe Acrobat XI, when I receive a request for a lien waiver by email as a PDF file, I simply click on "add text" to fill in the amount, through date, job description, and any other information required on the document, then I click on "place signature." This allows me to place my signature electronically onto the waiver.


After I click "send file", the program will let me know that I have added a signature or initials, and will ask me if I want to finalize the changes. I click "yes" to confirm, which then locks the information I have entered so that the document can no longer be modified and no further changes can be made to the information I have entered. I then simply send the document to the customer using Microsoft Outlook.


An additional benefit of this method is that I can then drag and drop that PDF file right into our document imaging system to be filed in the customers file - all without ever having to use any paper or leave my desk to go to the printer. If you don't have a document imaging system for your customer files, you can simply create a folder on your computer to save these lien waivers or other documents right on your computer which saves valuable storage space. When you need to look at the document, you can simply bring up the file on your computer rather than having to rummage through hard copy documents in a filing cabinet.


If the document does not come to you as a PDF file, you can use software such as CutePDF to convert the document to a PDF file. If I receive a Word document, I fill in the information needed in each field; print the document to the CutePDF Writer, which does not actually print the document, it simply converts the document from a Word document to a PDF file. I can then place my signature and email it to the customer.


I have found that this process saves me a great deal of time. Additionally, if you are someone that is always in search of new ways to go green, this process saves an enormous amount of paper.


The Federal Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E-Sign Act) specifies that a signature may be accomplished through electronic means. However, you may want to seek the advice of your legal counsel on specific recommendations for your company.