eSignatures a compelling opportunity for the Australian government

By Brad Newton, vice president, Australia and New Zealand, Docusign

Businesses and governments today are experiencing a document processing revolution. Administrators in these organisations are realising that antiquated filing cabinets can be consigned to history and documents instead processed and stored in secure, low-cost and easy-to-access electronic repositories.

The Australian government is already taking steps to realise the potential of electronic storage, processing and management. The Australian Taxation Office is studying the costs and benefits of electronic invoicing and the Digital Business Council is preparing an e-invoicing framework.

Yet there remains the nagging concern that the government is not yet doing all it can. Electronic invoicing may be a leap forward, but billions of dollars in potential savings could remain on the table if the government does not embrace eSignature software.

So how does e-signature software work? Docusign’s e-signature software is effective, efficient and highly intuitive. A user simply uploads a document in a common format such as Microsoft Word or PDF, adds the names and addresses of signers and other recipients (including specifying an order they should sign) and drags and drops tags where signatures, initials and dates are required. The completed document is then stored safely for easy retrieval.

Docusign’s software is already delivering considerable savings to Australian businesses and not for profit organisations. For example, commercial law firm Colin Biggers and Paisley Lawyers has used Docusign to save 250,000 pages of documentation in the sale of 250 apartments, delivering a raw cost saving of $85,000. No less an organisation than Telstra anticipates saving more than 8 million pieces of paper in contracts alone by using Docusign.

Government bodies in the United States and other countries are also convinced of the merits of eSignature software. As well as relieving employees of mundane printing, mailing, faxing and scanning activities, these organisations are streamlining processes, reducing errors and improving security. Perhaps most importantly, they are delivering a user-friendly digital experience to voters who are increasingly wedded to their desktops, tablets and smartphones.

The performance and merit of Docusign’s eSignature software is also borne out in the size of the business. Docusign is used by more than 225,000 companies globally, with more than 85 million users in 188 countries. Ten of the top 15 United States financial services companies use Docusign and 13 of the top 15 United States insurance companies use the technology.

The Australian government is now in a strong position to embrace eSignature software across a range of activities. The government will quickly see rewards across a range of activities, including human resources and procurement processes, permits, engineering document approvals and inter-agency agreements. Departments and agencies will become more efficient and user-friendly, and gain the agility needed to respond quickly to change. With eSignature software now proven worldwide, now is the time for the government to embrace the rewards it can deliver.

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