eSignatures offer the same legal standing as a handwritten signature. They provide a fast, secure, and accurate identification alternative for signatures, all while keeping all your records compliant. This applies to nearly every legal document including those circulated for board governance purposes.
Specifically for boards, there are many occasions when eSignatures prove vital to good governance, expediting the speed of business, and driving secure collaboration in the boardroom and beyond. Let’s see how eSignatures work, how they will improve your workflow, and how OnBoard makes eSignatures easier than ever.
Examples of eSignatures In a Corporate Governance Setting
Approve Minutes in Seconds
eSignatures dramatically expedites the time necessary to sign meeting minutes. OnBoard streamlines the processes by making signing as easy as a mouse click. No more page by page initials. Just real time savings.
Most state laws and bylaws require attendance records must be signed by the company secretary and frequently the board chair. Each page often needs an initial. And subject to your jurisdiction, it’s often mandated that everyone in attendance also apply their signatures.
With eSignatures, the whole process is streamlined. Instead of printing, carrying around record books, and seeking the signatures of directors, you can set up a simple workflow to achieve the same results. Using the attendance report built right into OnBoard, eSignatures allows you to seek an electronic signature and stay digital end to end.
Action by Written Consents in Lieu of a Meeting
The signatures of directors may be necessary for numerous agreements. Where time is pressing but a meeting of directors would be unnecessary, eSignatures are key. For instance, here’s how the Indiana law works in practice:
Sec. 2. (a) Except to the extent that the articles of incorporation or bylaws require that action by the board of directors be taken at a meeting, action required or permitted by this article to be taken at a board of directors’ meeting may be taken without a meeting if the action is taken by all members of the board. The action must be:
(1) evidenced by one (1) or more written consents describing the action taken;
(2) signed by each director;
Examples of frequent actions taken in this manner include:
- Amending the bylaws
- Electing or removing officers and/or directors
- Changing corporate policies/information
- Financial decisions or resolutions, such as approving loans and setting salaries for employees
- Issuing stock or approving share transfers
- Purchasing, leasing or selling real estate/assets
- Appointing signing authority / power of attorney
- Hiring employees or contractors
With eSignatures you obtain a faster method of obtaining written consent, improved record keeping, together with enhanced security.
eSignatures Improve How You Work
Improved Record Keeping
With the granular security provided by OnBoard, there’s an explicit grant of permission to sign any document. There’s always a ready reference. In the real world, you sign and often don’t maintain good referenceable records. eSignatures provide you a repository of everything you ever signed, always available for reference.
For Time Sensitive Materials and Transactions
Often getting signatures from directors is a tremendously time-sensitive endeavor. For example, state laws and bylaws often require executive appointments, granting loans, and stock option grants to be approved in writing, often within a narrow timeframe. Utilizing eSignatures provides direct and immediate written consent for any action that can be taken during a board meeting. eSignatures solve the need for fast responses from remote and traveling directors who may be challenging to reach.
A Single Hub to Monitor Progress
Executive administrators can manage and track any document that needs a signature. Directly in OnBoard, the eSignature dashboard provides complete visibility into the process. You can see exactly where a document is in its workflow – who signed it, when they signed, and what signatures are still outstanding.
OnBoard’s secure eSignatures allow you to always verify the signature is from the intended recipient through the individual’s unique OnBoard ID. With our granular permission management, only those with the authority to view and sign documents have access. Your directors secure eSignature can be produced instantly and reliably.
Employing eSignatures doesn’t end with the board meeting. Consider an occasion where your Chief Financial Officer needs to sign a new contract. Without eSignatures, she would negotiate the deal, receive the contract by mail, sign it, mail it back; perhaps a week would pass start to finish. With OnBoard, she can simply upload the document to OnBoard, apply her eSignature, and return the PDF within minutes.
A Clear ROI
Your board’s last use of paper were those aggravating instances when digital documents required a wet-ink signatures. Printing, signing, mailing, were all throwbacks to the pre-digital age. That’s now over.
What’s more, if you’re already leveraging an eSignature solution for your board and management materials, outside of a board portal, you should consider consolidating your solution. We are removing the middle man, replacing third party eSignature software. The OnBoard suite offers every tool necessary for effective governance, reducing your cost and reliance on other eSignature vendors. All with the advanced security and ease of use you expect from OnBoard.
Across the world eSignatures are generally treated exactly as traditional wet-ink signatures. In the United States, for example, the ESIGN Act and its state level siblings demand that signatures be granted legal effect or enforceability whether created electronically or with traditional ink. To find out more check out our blog post on the legal status of eSignatures around the world.
How eSignatures Work in OnBoard
The eSignatures workflow in OnBoard is a fast, streamlined process. Administrators simply upload the document that needs a signature and appended where the singer must take action. Directors immediately receive a notification that a signature is pending, and with just one click they sign their name. That’s it. Directors will always have a record of every document they signed. Administrators always have a simple workflow to understand what signatures are outstanding and what’s been signed. Uniquely, we provide the ability to imbed eSignatures directly into the board agenda.
This is as easy as it sounds. The workflow offers a powerful benefit to all OnBoard users to securely enhance collaboration and board governance. To learn more, drop us a line!
This information is intended to help businesses understand how eSignatures work the legal framework that governs them. However, Passageways does not provide legal advice. We advice all boards to consult and annually update their bylaws, in accordance with their state laws, with the advice of legal counsel.
About The Author
- Passageways builds collaboration software that helps people do meaningful work, from the board of directors through to the team and people who do today’s indispensable work. OnBoard is a board governance solution, designed to improve collaboration for directors and administrators throughout the complete meeting life cycle. OnSemble's an Employee Intranet that connects an entire workplace to one central collaboration hub, builds your culture, and inspires employee engagement.
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