February 10, 2015
Karen Peacey

Board administrators get your signatures done in advance.

As a Board Administrator, you are far too familiar with the difficulties in getting every Director to the right place, at the right time, with the appropriate documentation ready for signature.

That’s where The Aprio Boardroom comes to the rescue.

It uses Digital Signature protocols as a powerful business tool the ability to complete and sign documents online. Contracts, non-disclosure agreements, and dozens of other business documents can be executed in a web browser or from your tablet app. This technology is secure, legally robust, and efficient, and saves all parties time, money, and hassle.

Many people use the terms “e-signature” and “digital signature” interchangeably. However, an electronic signature and a digital signature are two different types of consent, from both a legal and a technological perspective. If a signature is digital, electronic, or written by hand on paper the old-fashioned way, the intent is the same. All three forms of signature indicate that the party signing a document agrees to the terms therein.

E-Signature

An e-signature, or electronic signature, technically describes a variety of types of electronic approval allowed under e-signature law. In particular, the ESign Act (http://electronicsignature.com/esignact/) which is the federal law guiding esignatures in the U.S. defines an e-signature as follows: “An electronic sound, symbol, or process attached to or logically associated with a record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record.”

Let’s makes sense of this definition. Practically, an e-signature could be a graphical stamp, a process, or even an audio file … not what first comes to mind when you think of a “signature.” An e-signature could be something as simple as a button that says “place order” (as is common on e-commerce websites) or as complex as a biometric signature.

Digital Signature

A digital signature involves a two-way digital handshake, something like a key and a lock. You can think of a digital signature as a rubber stamp, with the addition of bits of unique data incorporated into the digital stamp for authentication and security.

Fingerprints are also a common analogy used to describe digital signatures; both include unique data that is proprietary to the individual and not visible to the naked eye. A true digital signature incorporates computer code to indicate whether a signer or anyone else has modified or tampered with a file after signing. Once the final digital signature has been applied, any change to the file will be easily visible.

Because a digital signature requires both the sender and recipient to have specific software, executing an agreement with a digital signature is more complex than using an electronic signature. Both signature types are legally binding and used to prove consent and agreement.

Best of Both Worlds

Advanced Digital Signature technology offers excellent authentication for electronic contracts, but the process of applying a true digital signature can be complicated and off-putting for most users. That’s the reason why many companies choose a platform or a tool like The Aprio Boardroom, which contains the most important elements of both e-signatures and digital signatures.

Curious? Find out more.

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