Distributing Documents for Signing (start to finish)
With our flexible document signing options, Connectworks makes it quick and easy for you and your clients to send, receive and sign documents.
Any document can be signed via Connectworks (not just ones generated using our templates) and an unlimited number of documents can be signed by any of your clients subscribed to a signing enabled plan.
Connectworks allows for documents to be signed both electronically and physically. Different methods can even be employed by different signatories on the same document. You can require a signatory to have an account, which is more secure, or not require it, which is easier for them. Connectworks also supports the witnessing of electronic signatures.
This article outlines the start to finish process of uploading, distributing and recording signed documents.
There are two requirements that must be met for your clients to be able to sign documents electronically.
1. The entity for which you are publishing the document for signing must be subscribed to Connectworks under one of our plans that allows for electronic signing.
See more on our subscription plans here.
2. The signatories wanting to sign electronically must have an email address recorded in their Connectworks profile. If one (or more) of the signatories do not have an email address you can still complete the signing process in Connectworks. We support e-signing and physical signing by multiple parties on the same document, this is detailed in the below section uploading physically signed documents. Just follow along with with the steps below to complete signing using any or a combination of signing methods.
Publishing documents for signing
You can publish documents for signing from within the relevant entity's document repository.
If the document is to be e-signed ensure there is an email address recorded against the signatories in the Parties tab prior to publishing the document. After checking the email is completed simply navigate to the document repository.
For clients who you do not have a recorded email address, a hard copy of the document must be printed and signed, scanned and uploaded as per the instructions outlined in the section Uploading physically signed documents. Then the other signatories can also sign electronically and/or manually to complete the process.
Select from the options below for the signing process for either uploading a new document into Connectworks or sending a document that is already loaded:
Publish a document for signing during upload:
1. In the documents tab click on the "I would like to…" drop-down menu.
2. Select Upload a document.
3. In the Publication and Access section of the upload form complete:
The required signatories - you may select individual signatories from the drop-down menu or leave it set to the default "all current (directors/trustees) must sign".
Identify whether a witness to the electronic signature is required - digital signing for witnesses is enabled.
Select the method of signing:
Sign and scan a hard copy only- for clients with no recorded email. Include clients who will be signing hard copies using this option so that they are recorded as signatories in the later steps.
Login required before signing - this is selected by default if the client already has a Connectworks login.
E-draw or scan & upload signature only - no login required, but client can create one after signing if desired.
Once you’ve filled out all the required fields, click Create and the document will be published and emailed to the selected signatories.
Publish an existing document for signing:
First, navigate to the relevant document repository containing the existing document that requires signing.
1. Select the tick box of the document.
2. Select the Cogs menu and then amend signatories.
3. After adding the required signatories and assigning the method of signing click update.
NB. this does not yet distribute the document to the selected signatories, you will be redirected to the documents tab, where you will see the document displaying as "Signing preparing" in the description beneath the document name and "Not yet Published for signing" in the slide-out panel.
4. To complete sending the document for signing simply select the tick-box, then use the Cogs menu and select distribute for signing. The document will then be sent to the chosen signatories, and the status of the document will update to Awaiting signing.
Document signing - signatory view
After publishing a document for signing the signatories will receive an email to advise that the document is in Connectworks and available to be signed. The email will look something like this:
The staff member who distributed the document will also receive an email notifying them that the document was sent:
After clicking on the emailed link, and logging into Connectworks (if required) the signatory will be directed to a copy of the document to review. After reading the document, they click Approve and sign.
The signatory is first be asked to confirm that they have read the document, and that they consent to being bound by its contents. To move to the next stage, they mark the checkbox affirming their consent and click Next.
NB. In the example above we have also set the document as requiring a witness. This section will only appear if the witness requirement is selected when publishing the document for signing.
Creating a signature
After completing the first declaration the signatory will be asked to sign the document. There are three options:
Draw a signature with your mouse.
Use a saved signature.
If preferred, print a hard copy, sign, scan the signed document and upload.
After choosing the signature method for the document, click Next. They'll be directed to the final confirmation screen (or witness section if selected).
They will be asked to declare that they are the person named as the signatory, that they consent to the signature drawn (by them or us) being considered a valid representation of their signature, and that they consent to the document being signed.
If the signatory has a Connectworks login they will then be asked to re-enter their Connectworks password. This is to confirm that they are still the person currently operating the Connectworks account.
After giving consent to this final stage of the signing process, click Sign the document, and the signing is done.
Witnessing Electronic Signatures
Where a document has been designated as requiring a witness to the signing, a statement of this will appear in the Declaration section. A witness will then have to complete:
a digital signature
Uploading physically signed documents
There may be circumstances where you have published a document for signing in Connectworks but also given one of the signatories a physical copy to sign. In these circumstances, you can scan and upload a copy of the physically-signed document and record this against the published document in Connectworks to show that it has been signed.
This also enables the document to be digitally signed by some signatories and physically signed by others, while recording all signatures against a single document in Connectworks. To do this:
1. Locate the unsigned document using the Awaiting Signing filter in the left column.
2. Upload the signed copy by selecting the tick-box of the document, click on the Cogs, and click upload signature.
You can then upload the signed document, fill out additional details, and record the document as signed.
Viewing signed documents
Once your client has completed the signing process, you can view the signed documents in the Signed filter of your documents tab.
For the signatories of a document who do not already have a Connectworks login, they will be given the option of registering a Connectworks profile after completing the signing. It's free for your clients to register, and this will create a personal workspace where they can log in and review their signed documents any time, as well as upload & store their own personal documents.
The client's workspace will look similar to the image below, with outstanding documents & tasks, and recently signed documents appearing on the main dashboard. If desired we can add your firm's own branding to this client login view. See our article here for more information about our Branded Client Portal.
Retracting Documents or Amending Signatories
Any document sent in error can be retracted, or have its signatories amended by selecting the document and then selecting this option in the cogs menu. Retracted documents can be re-sent if required. However, once a document has been signed it cannot be amended or deleted.
Completing signing when signing policy has been met
Sometimes a document is distributed to multiple parties, but only a given percent are required to sign before the document is deemed approved.
In this situation, once the document has met the prescribed threshold you can simply mark it as complete using the Cogs menu and selecting Complete signing.