Electronic signatures in Senta are designed to adhere to the EU eIDAS regulations (Regulation (EU) 910/2014 on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market) and the Electronic Identification and Trust Services for Electronic Transactions Regulations 2016 (the UK eIDAS Regulations).
Not all transactions will be suitable for electronic signing. For example, it may not be possible to use Senta for signing deeds.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Requesting signatures
- One-off signatures
- Signing as part of a job
- Setting up notification emails to clients for Electronic Signatures
- Signing documents
- Cancelling signing requests
PDF documents can be signed in Senta. We anticipate adding support for other file formats in a future release.
Electronic signing happens in two parts: firstly, you must upload a document and request a signature, and, secondly, your contact must then sign the document.
You can request signatures from any contact on Senta, but they must be activated for the client portal to be able to sign.
You can request a one-off signature for any document that is on the client’s Documents tab already, or you can upload it first - just drag the document from your computer and drop into the documents area, or click the Upload button.
Choosing the document
Click the tickbox next to the document and click the Request signature button.
If you want to have a practice document signed, click the Request signature button without selecting any files. You’ll be given a popup with the clients documents and the practice documents.
Requesting the signature
Next, you’ll be prompted for the requester (that’s you by default) and the signer (that’s the primary contact by default.)
You can also add instructions for the client -- perhaps details of what the client is signing and why.
Please note that the "Instructions to the client" section is not an email to the client. A default signature request email is sent out to the client whenever you request for them to electronically sign a document. Anything entered into the "Instructions to the client" section will show as an instruction to your client in the portal when they click into the document to sign it.
This is how the instruction appears to the client:
You can also add extra documents for signing at this point.
Once you’re ready, click Request signature and the client will be sent an email, asking them to sign the document. The email also contains a link to the file on their client portal.
Signing as part of a job
Requesting documents as and when is fine, but it can be very useful to request signatures as part of job. For example you might want to have the client sign accounts or a tax return when you’ve completed them, or perhaps sign an engagement letter as part of the client take-on process. In these cases, you can add a task to the job to request a signature at the appropriate time.
You have three options for choosing documents:
- Choose the documents when the signing task is ready for you to do
- Have the same practice document automatically attached for signing every time
- Have all the documents you’ve added to the job automatically attached for signing
1. Choose the documents when the signing task is ready
This is the normal situation. When the signing task becomes ready, you add the documents that you want signed. Just click the Send signing request button on the task.
2. Have the same practice document automatically attached
To enable this option, just to go to the job setup and find the signing task.
Click into the instructions to the client box and add any instructions.
Then, click the paperclip icon to choose from your practice documents. The documents you add here will be the ones that will always be signed in the job.
When you click Send signing request on the task, you will see that the standard documents are already in place. A copy of the practice document will be added to the client’s Documents area.
If you assign the task to Senta in the job, your signing request will be sent automatically to the client when the task is ready, with the standard documents attached.
3. Have documents you’ve added to the job automatically attached for signing
To enable this option, just to go to the job setup and find the signing task.
Tick the Automatically sign any job documents tickbox.
When the signing task becomes ready, all documents that you’ve added to the job will be added to the signing request, but only if you’ve set the document to be visible to the client. Documents that are not client visible, such as your private working papers, will not be sent for signature.
If you assign the task to Senta in the job, your signing request will be sent automatically to the client when the task is ready, with all of the job documents attached.
Setting up notification emails to clients for Electronic Signatures
Whenever an 'Electronic signature' task assigned is to a client, an automatic notification email will be created and sent to the client (or queued in your practice outbox if you have this feature enabled).
While you are able to edit the wording of this notification email (see editing notification emails) these notifications will need to be generic for all of your signing tasks, so you may also like to add an additional 'Send email' task into your job which gives more detail on the specific document to be signed. You should set the email task to occur before the signing task, and include a message in this email saying that you will be sending a link to the portal to sign the document in a following email.
There is a full guide on adding to jobs should you wish to add this in.
Once you’ve sent the signing request, your client must now review the document and add their signature.
Firstly, they must sign in. A task will be ready for your client to sign a document. They click Sign to review the document.
Your client will be presented with the document in their browser. From there they can Sign, Reject or Download the document.
Agreeing & Signing
When they are happy, they can click the Sign button to add their signature. They will be presented with a panel, asking them to acknowledge that they are signing the document electronically and that they intend a binding electronic signature to arise.
To confirm this, they must type their full name into the box and then click Sign now.
Please note: the first and last name should exactly match the values stored in their contact details on the client record.
After signing, they are given the chance to download the document, a signed copy of document or just the signing receipt. They are also sent a follow-up email with a link to download the signed document.
If your client does not agree to the document, they can click Reject to reject the document. They are asked to type a reason for rejecting the document.
Already signed elsewhere
If your client has already signed the document elsewhere, either on paper or via another piece of software, you will need to cancel the in progress signing request.
Cancelling signing requests
A signing request generates a second task; the first task is assigned to the Senta user and is set to "In Progress", and the second task is assigned to the client and this appears in their client portal.
When cancelling a signing request, ensure that both the main task and the subtask are cancelled:
To cancel both tasks, select the tasks using the tick boxes and go to More actions > Cancel tasks:
If the signing request was sent via the Documents tab, the tasks will be located in Ad hoc tasks in the Work tab. If the signing request was sent as part of a job, the tasks will be located within that job.
When you want your client to sign a document, they are sent an email advising them of this.
When your client has signed, you are also notified. For a one-off signature, you can be notified via the notification globe or via email, or you can choose to turn this off.
If your signing task is part of a job, you can add any notifications you like to the job, or you can just rely on the next task starting in the job.
Click here to learn more about notifications in Senta.