From XU Magazine, 
Issue 30

Digital Signatures and Verified ID - The Secret To Customers And Profits

When the pandemic arrived, the future came silently with it, hidden under the immeasurable threat to global economies.
This article originated from the Xero blog. The XU Hub is an independent news and media platform - for Xero users, by Xero users. Any content, imagery and associated links below are directly from Xero and not produced by the XU Hub.
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Business As Usual for Accounting Professionals

Despite the complete disruption caused by the pandemic, accountants worldwide continued to lodge documentation as required by global regulators who have already moved towards digital.

Here in Australia, the accounting sector was already embracing the future and at the forefront of the continued digital transformation of business.

The solution for many firms was greater and deeper digitisation. Survival mode. Remote work for staff, tax-related and business matter access for clients who no longer wanted or were allowed to turn up at offices to sign in person. Creating a surge in online lodgements, integrated tax returns, self-populating tax forms, client portals and the transformation of digital marketing in a digital world.

“Digital Signatures are forcing as big a change to business as the arrival of the internet.” 

Exploding the myth that baby boomers wouldn’t embrace digital change.

Digital signatures

The most visible, effective and vital sign of this is eSignatures. If you paste your signature or an image into a document, that is an electronic signature. It is valid if it identifies the person signing, their intention and if the person receiving it consents to the eSignature. But it is not accepted as legally binding or court-admissible under the Electronic Transactions Act.

A digital signature is something else entirely. It provides robust verification of identity and provides a cryptographic key and the standards of Public Key Infrastructure as a way to guarantee that the electronic signature is authentic. If the content of that message is changed, then the digital signature becomes invalid. It is a mathematical code that conforms to the law to ensure the document to which it is attached cannot be changed after signing.

Only a year or two ago, businesses that had access to eSignatures for their clients and internal use were considered at the leading edge. Now even that is no longer enough. 

As 2022 dawned, Annature led the pack as Australia’s premier electronic signature provider with a feature-rich platform built on a highly secure blockchain model. Integrating with the leading document management solutions and working seamlessly with existing business tools, such as Xero as a Connected App Partner.

Global verification

But the eSigning platform of the future is more than eSigning - it has to be capable of identifying, signing and paying in one secure blockchain. In an Australian first, Annature is now integrating a global ID, payment, billing and invoicing verification powered by Stripe into that same workflow.

The process is lightning-fast, seamless and secure with proven AML and KYC functionality. Onboarding a customer and meeting regulatory ID obligations has never been more straightforward.

All backed by ISO 27001 certification to provide peace of mind for customers worldwide.

Annature uses blockchain technology to deliver a cryptographically verifiable database and audit trail for all digital signatures. This is a tamper-proof digital certificate for critical compliance information; the evidence is reliable and trustworthy at all times.

It sets up templates for solutions that are seamlessly usable in every unit or division and by any individual who needs to sign an internal or external document, contract, form, certificate, record, or record on your behalf.

Digitising allows business to be completed faster. Streamlined. White labelled with your branding and messages. Finding and tracking client documents and signatures in moments. Creating efficient back-office processes. Getting managers and staff up to speed with ease to deliver critical services. 

Apart from the instant access, you don’t have to pay for paper storage in cabinets and warehouses, allied to the cost of filing or retrieving the inevitable percentage of misfiled documents.

“Exploding the myth that baby boomers wouldn’t embrace digital change.” 

Subscription options 

It is based on the premise that as technology became cheaper, multinationals weren’t reflecting that in their subscription models for Australian and New Zealand businesses.

Re-thinking the way you work with eSigning saves an average of 2.2 hours per contract. Apply that calculation to your business. Estimate how many hours your executives and staff spend drawing up, verifying and signing documents.

Turn those hours into seconds. The calculation will be impressive. The re-shaping has profound benefits; re-deploying staff to higher-value activity is known to improve the bottom line by 10%.

Keeping data safe

As a former accountant myself, I recognised the strategic imperative of one major Australian firm which approached us to integrate and provide scalability of their systems for Digital Signatures and ID verification and payment solutions. They identified one of the attractions as having data stored onshore for customers who had concerns over keeping data safe and maintained with integrity.

“Multinationals don’t reflect cheaper technology in their Australian subscription models.”

Earning Qantas Points

It gives those customers peace of mind to pursue their ambitions and seek global opportunities - with potential partners who have equally demanding security concerns. With another first, we partnered with Qantas Business Rewards as the exclusive eSigning provider allowing our Australian clients to earn Qantas Points with ever envelope they send

Digital mindset

Digital transformation isn’t just a project; it needs a strategic philosophy. A change in corporate DNA.

Customers now expect their expectations to be met by fully resourced tools such as Digital.

Why leave it there?

To find out more about Annature

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