How Using DocuSign During the COVID-19 Pandemic Has Helped One Early Adopter Realize the Benefits

Laura Schultz
3 min read

Laura Schultz, Company Secretary Operations Coordinator at leading biotech company CSL Ltd, shares how using DocuSign for eSignatures has helped her save considerable time and effort by streamlining signature processes.

We started using DocuSign in November 2019, shortly after it was first integrated with Diligent Entities, to gather eSignatures for resolutions and other standard documents.

Initially I only used it to request signatures from people based in other locations and continued to get wet-ink signatures from colleagues in our Melbourne office. However, when the pandemic hit and most of us switched to working from home full-time, it really came into its own, enabling me to get documents signed remotely without delay.

Speeding Up and Streamlining Processes

I can foresee that DocuSign will be even more valuable when it comes to occasions when I have multiple documents to be signed, for example annual statements.

In the past, the annual statement approval process has been long and time-consuming, involving printing, scanning, waiting for signed documents to arrive back in the post, rescanning and saving them in Entities and filing the original paper copies. Inevitably there has usually been an element of chasing involved.

Now that we have DocuSign integrated with Diligent Entities, the process will be so much easier and more streamlined. I’ll just need to create a resolution in Word and attach it along with the company statements and accounts to the data library and send out signature requests to the relevant directors. The system will take care of reminders for me, and I’ll get emails to let me know when each director has viewed the relevant documents and when they have added their eSignatures.

So far, I’ve found that when I’ve requested signatures through DocuSign, I tend to get them back within the hour. I’m anticipating that it will save a lot of time. Using it consistently, even when we’re all back in the office, will also help to standardize our processes, boosting efficiency.

Improved Security and Version Control

Using DocuSign for documents that need to be signed by people based in other offices will also improve security. There will no longer be a risk of sensitive documents being intercepted in the post or by hackers breaching our email security. Meanwhile the permission settings in Entities will make sure only the relevant people are able to access the documents.

The eSignature doesn’t replicate a physical signature, like pasting a scanned signature onto a document. It embeds unique identifying codes into the document, which confirm that the right person has digitally signed it and exactly when and where they did it.

If the document changes after they added their eSignature, their signature is invalidated, so there is no way changes can be sneaked through later.

The setup also means that there will no longer be a risk of people accidentally referring to a version of a crucial official document that has since been superseded. And with everything being stored together in Diligent Entities, there will be no worries about documents going astray.

For added reassurance, Entities will also record every time a document is accessed and who accessed it.

Positive Feedback From Colleagues

I have been running DocuSign training sessions for other admins, here in Australia and in the UK and the US. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with several people commenting on how straightforward it is to use. I’m hopeful that they will adapt to using it quickly and really see the benefits.

Looking Forward to Future Efficiencies

I anticipate that, once we’ve switched over to using DocuSign as standard, we will see substantial time savings. That will free up time and mental space that we can use for more strategic activities that we currently find it hard to get round to. There might even be opportunities to collaborate with colleagues around the world on projects to bring even more efficiency and consistency to our global operations as a group.