The Bottom Line on E-Signature: 5 Stats Every CFO Should Know

In an adverse business environment, CFOs everywhere need hard numbers and strategic data to prove the value of their spending and ensure every dollar supports company goals. Facing the threat of recession, volatile supply chains and rising costs, today’s executives are tasked with cutting expenses and expanding revenue—all while making decisions that position companies for long-term growth. With every new investment, CFOs have to answer essential questions:

  • How much will it cost compared with other options?
  • How will it affect our bottom line?
  • When will we see returns?
  • How will it make our process more efficient?
  • How will it ease risk management and regulatory compliance?

Amid the potential for a recession, the pressure to digitize and accelerate the sales cycle only increases, but other priorities still remain. In the face of growing cybersecurity threats and data regulations, CFOs must also ensure that the systems that manage their data are compliant and secure from breaches, particularly if handling sensitive information around financial performances and operational expenses like salaries.

For financial leaders looking for solutions, Docusign eSignature is an investment that facilitates growth, eases financial strain and leverages digital security and efficiencies. By creating a simpler, faster and more secure contract and agreement process, eSignature helps CFOs cut costs, increase income, safeguard confidential data and support overall flexibility—and it has the numbers to prove it.

Equipped with the following metrics from Docusign research and our How to Measure the Value of E-Signature whitepaper, CFOs can demonstrate e-signature’s direct business benefits—from saving money and accelerating time to revenue to preparing your organization to face compliance audits and scale on demand.

Five e-signature stats for CFOs

1. Spend less—and do more: E-signature cuts hard costs by 56% on average

When companies switch over to an electronic signature solution, one of the first benefits they realize is the vast reduction or complete removal of agreement costs. With e-signature, teams can say goodbye to the printing, scanning, courier and postage expenses associated with paper-based and manual agreements. Instead, they can create, edit, send and sign documents through an entirely digital and highly automated process.

The cost savings associated with the switch from paper to digital are significant—and exponentially increase with the volume of agreements, page counts, number of signatures and negotiation revisions.

Though savings vary by firm, e-signature users typically save between $4 and $10 per document and 1280 pages of paper per agreement on average.

2. Take back opportunity costs: Users sign 79% of agreements within 24 hours

Docusign eSignature recovers not only hard costs but also the opportunity cost associated with time-consuming, cumbersome contract and agreement workflows. A simpler signing process reduces the amount of time teams across the organization—including sales, HR, legal, finance and procurement—spend on NDAs, order forms, onboarding documents and more.

Through contract templates, standardized workflows and automated approvals and storage,  Docusign eSignature users experience an improvement in contract turnaround times exceeding 75% on average.

Even more, when employees have to spend hours manually creating, sending, updating and filing documents, they lose precious time they could have spent on strategic, revenue-producing work. eSignature removes these routine and repetitive tasks from teams’ heavy workloads so they can focus on the higher level aspects of their jobs and expand income streams. With over 400 integrations with some of the top CRMs, ERPs and other productivity software—Oracle, Workday, Microsoft, Google, Salesforce and more—eSignature saves significant time in cross-department workflows, enabling teams to do more with less.

With an average of 300 labor hours saved per month, employees can turn their attention to the big-picture objectives and open up new growth opportunities.

3. Accelerate income flows: Time to deal close falls by an average of 41%

An automated and digital contract process increases the pace of document approvals. For businesses with ambitious sales goals, turning around order forms and invoicing documents faster is a crucial step in increasing both the number of transactions and profit margins.  Net-net: a faster, stress-free sales process accelerates time to revenue.

With less time spent on each agreement in the sales workstream—even for documents that require several approvals—negotiations, sales orders and growth goals can progress at a rapid pace. eSignature automates complex routing flows, not only saving teams’ energy for important tasks but ensuring contracts follow the correct approval process every time.

The overwhelming majority of e-signature users (73%) see an ROI in less than three months—and 90% see a return within six months.

4. Enhance contract security and compliance: Over 70% of users report fewer security and compliance incidents

Ultimately, fast, cost-effective agreements are only as valuable as their security and compliance. Docusign eSignature automates key steps in the agreement process to ensure all information remains accurate and confidential to support compliance with industry and company standards. Docusign eSignature comes with robust data encryption and validation, industry certifications and signer authentication measures, reducing the risk of security breaches. The software can also pull and save data directly from signed forms to preserve customer information and help eliminate data entry errors.

Among surveyed e-signature users, 58% experienced an increase in data and document security.

The implications of greater contract security and compliance support go far beyond cost savings—though they do remove costs associated with security infringement and large noncompliance fines. Amid rising privacy concerns, built-in document compliance support helps save companies from facing a reputational blow and losing trust among customers, investors and the public, especially when handling confidential client or business information. Between California, Colorado, Connecticut, Utah and Virginia’s new data privacy standards and the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), data security regulations are becoming increasingly common and urgent.

At their most severe, GDPR fines can cost firms as much as €20 million or 4% of their previous year’s global annual revenue.

5. Elevate customer experiences: Customer satisfaction increases for more than 70% of users

Internal teams aren’t the only ones who benefit from an improved agreement process through e-signature. Signing also becomes much more convenient on the client side. While managing their busy workloads, the last thing customers want to do is spend time going through a taxing paper contracting process. E-signature simplifies signing by automating manual steps and enabling remote signatures from virtually anywhere and practically any device.

After implementing e-signature, 20% of users experienced a drop in customer complaints, raising customer satisfaction and saving internal customer support resources.

Investments in technology are investments in thriving

In an unpredictable economy, strategic investments in technology lower costs, simplify processes and lay critical groundwork for success—enabling agile mid-recession pivots and post-recession scaling. In fact, companies that struggle to recover from economic slowdowns often do so because they fail to consider different scenarios and proactively prepare.

Though some companies may be tempted to enter “survival mode” and cut costs to the bone when budgets and margins tighten, this study shows that taking steps to empower faster scaling prepares companies to hit the ground running when conditions stabilize. Strategic digital transformations can forward cost, revenue and growth goals—easing today’s financial pressures and creating efficiencies to capitalize on tomorrow’s expansion opportunities.

In 2022, 53% of CFOs said they aim to fast-track digital transformations by investing in automation, cloud technology, artificial intelligence and data analytics.

As markets continually shift, there are financially sound reasons that a robust e-signature solution can advance a company’s goals in the near- and long term.

73% of e-signature customers attest that a recession increases and/or doesn’t alter the need for this versatile technology.

An investment Docusign eSignature pays dividends

From preserving margins to decreasing liabilities, CFOs have a lot on their plate during both economic peaks and downturns. But as the results show, investing in eSignature provides timely efficiencies essential to making it through market turmoil—and reaching new heights during stable times. Docusign eSignature offers companies a solution to more cost-effective sales processes, while supporting security, sustainability and compliance priorities.

Learn more about how Docusign eSignature can drive measurable improvements to your organization’s bottom line, employee productivity and customer relationships in our recent eBook, How to Measure the Value of E-Signature.