Implementing an electronic signature solution can have a significant impact on accounting departments. It can improve sales by shortening the time for closing deals. It can boost sales productivity, and enhance the overall on-boarding experience for customers.
Electronic signatures are beneficial in dealing with countless paperwork that must stay secure and confidential. They eliminate the risk of non-compliance by digitally archiving all financial documentation and therefore nothing is lost or missing.
Accountants and Tax professionals can benefit from reducing the piles of paperwork that may require multiple signatures. With the use of electronic signature templates, accounting departments can cut out the time and materials expense of printing, meaning employees are reimbursed faster, and accounting can finalize the monthly financial close sooner.
Compliant with Regulations
Accounting and tax profession is all about saving customers’ money while keeping them compliant with federal and state regulations. The most significant demand for using eSignatures in the accounting and tax departments is on Form 8879.
Even though IRS has not provided formal approval for using electronic signatures on Form 8879, the IRS issued Internal Revenue Bulletin 2013-4, on January 23, 2013. They stated, “E-signature standards will promote efficiency, reduce burden and improve identity proofing methods to confirm the identity of the signer.” What makes an electronic signature IRS-acceptable today is knowledge-based authentication (KBA).
On March 11, 2014, the IRS released guidance announcing that it would allow electronic signatures on forms 8879 and 8878, IRS e-file Signature Authorization for Form 4868 or Form 2350, as long as particular requirements were met.
Tax & Accounting Industry can use DigiSigner electronic signature software to process the following types of documents:
- annual engagement letters
- §7216 consent forms
- annual independence surveys
- management representation letters
- audit representation letters
- new client acceptance forms
- payroll processing forms
- W4 and W9 forms
Simple Process that Saves Time
Accountants and tax professionals can avoid the lengthy procedure of printing PDFs, signing them, and then return them by fax or mail. Electronic signature software allows documents to turn around in a couple of hours. Instead of spending hours on tracking documents, accountants can run contracts and agreements smoothly, while taxes and other forms are filled quickly and securely.
More Secure than Email or Fax
One of the top priorities for accounting firms is the security and confidentiality of their clients. Electronic signature software allows both secure authentication and data encryption, which helps protect against fraud.
Legally Binding Electronic Signatures for Accountants
In 1999, the United States began codifying e-signatures and on October 1, 2000, Congress passed the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN Act), which establishes interstate recognition that all eSignatures are as legally binding as pen-and-paper signatures.
Electronic signatures for accountants are also recognized within the European law governed by the Electronic Identification and Trust Services (eIDAS) Regulation.