Since its enactment by the states of California and Pennsylvania in 1999, the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) has been adopted by 47 states through the U.S., though the remaining three states – Illinois, New York and Washington -- have similar statutes. Its purpose was to make electronic signatures as legally binding as pen signatures, which has become a necessary option after the development of computers and digital processing. A year later, the U.S. Congress passed the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN) to further establish the validity of e-signatures in trade.
It is possible to reduce overhead and become ESIGN and UETA compliant at the same time. When a business adopts the use of document management software, they cut down on the unnecessary cost of paper and issues concerning bulky storage. Furthermore, ESIGN and UTEA protect their right to use electronic signatures instead of traditional paper documentation. Digital signatures are now completely valid for contract reviews, invoice approvals and government forms.
More and more companies choose document management systems to consolidate the process of record keeping. These organizations can proudly boast that they are both ESIGN and UETA compliant when people ask if their e-signature is legally binding.
Document management can comply to both ESIGN and UETA regulations through advanced business automation, such as in the following ways:
· There are a few ways to electronically sign a contract. Smartphones and tablets allow the user to sign a touch screen. Document management software can allow users the ability to apply a secure workflow to digitally ‘burn’ a signature or upload an image of their autograph.
· According to the Consumer Disclosure clause, the consumer has the right to know if electronic consent is required and they must submit their approval before signing. This official notification and consent is programmed into many document management systems so that the signatory issues their consent via a web portal.
· For security reasons, anyone participating in the contractual agreement must authenticate their identity by signing in. Otherwise, it would just be a random computer user pressing the agree button. Document control software requires authentication to login, and keeps track of activities in an audit trail viewable by the system administrators.
· All contracts and official records have to be kept for as long as they legally apply. Even after the obligatory parties are long dead, there is still historical value in the record’s existence, unless they are to be redacted. Rather than a warehouse filled with filing cabinets, document management software stores official records in a computer server for easy, secure and immediate access.
· Every party involved in a legal contract agreement has the right to review it for accuracy and make a copy for their own records. Electronic web forms modules simplify this process by allowing the user to download a copy onto their home computer after they sign. This is much faster than setting up a meeting across town, or sending a letter via express mail.
Abiding by the regulations of the UETA and ESIGN Act, document management solutions make e-signatures as simple and efficient as a hand-written autograph.
Square 9 designs document management software employed by healthcare and legal practices, the financial sector, and international trade organizations. Their award winning document management solutions can fully automate any record keeping process and are backed up by secure encryption technology. To learn more visit www.square-9.com.