What is signature automation and its benefits?

A woman uses a tablet to add a digital signature to a document as part of a signature automation process.

Learn how you can get your business documents signed faster and cheaper with digital signature automation.

Practically every business decision or transaction requires a signature. Invoice approvals, contracts, and even vacation requests need to be signed. But, keeping track of the dozens of documents you might need to sign every day can become a challenge.

You can implement a digital signature automation system at your business to make managing the process easier.

What is signature automation?

Signature automation makes use of e-signatures and digital signatures to approve and validate documents. Instead of putting a pen to paper, e-signatures allow you to add a legally binding digital stamp on electronic documents. Digital signatures are a specific kind of e-signature that comes with additional security certificates.

Signature automation, then, uses e-signature software to establish workflows and processes to request and receive signatures. In most cases, you’ll be sharing PDF files over email or cloud platforms.

Automated signature benefits.

The greatest advantages of signature automation are time and money savings. You’ll no longer have to print documents, wasting paper and ink. Sending and receiving digital documents is nearly instantaneous, and adding a signature requires — at most — a few mouse clicks. With mobile solutions, you can also receive, request, and add signatures from anywhere.

Signature automation also helps you manage the signature workflow. You can easily track documents and set recipients, ensuring documents don’t get stuck or lost. Signature automation systems can also be integrated into all departments and applications, which reduces the need for manual data entry and the chance of human error.


Types of e-signatures for automated signature processes.

Three types of electronic signatures that integrate into signature automated systems include simple e-signatures, advanced e-signatures, and qualified e-signatures.

Simple e-signatures are the easiest to implement. However, they don’t include any identity verification and are best used for basic documents. This type of signature is not legally binding since it provides little or no protection against fraud.

Advanced e-signatures add some improved security features, as they are linked to specific signers. This signature is attached to a digital certificate that allows the signer to be formally identified. Advanced e-signatures are suitable where verification is preferred, but the document is not legally binding.

Qualified e-signatures are the strongest form of signature, as they include third-party identity verification. These signatures can be legally binding, which makes them appropriate for vendor forms and other formal documents. Qualified e-signatures also provide effective risk mitigation.

Types of signature automation workflows.

Can you use signature automation with any file type?

Signatures are most commonly used with PDF documents. However, other types of file types support e-signatures, including:

How to get started on signature automation.

It’s easy to get started with signature automation. A few automated signature processes and workflows can be used, depending on your business needs.

You’ll no longer have to print documents, wasting paper and ink, only to use a scanning app to share the files online.

Adobe Acrobat makes it easy to request and add signatures to PDFs. You can quickly create signature workflows, make an electronic signature from scratch, track the signature process, and send reminder notifications. Acrobat also integrates with many popular business tools, making implementation a breeze.

Discover everything Acrobat can do for your business.