Too many cooks? The implications of multiple document signers
It is very common, when talking about contracts, to assume that the two parties on either side are just two individuals. In truth, the majority of the time that is not the case. So many contracts nowadays are with regards to several different people within both parties. So what are the implications of that? And how can a contract be signed, enforceable and completed when multiple document signers are required?
Fear not! Contractbook is on hand to help explain the practicalities of this and how our software can help in the instances where the world and his cat has to sign a contract before it is completed and fully compliant.
Compliance: How can a contract have multiple signers?
A contract can have multiple signatures added to it to help strengthen the power of the contract itself. It is common for companies to do this so that all relevant parties within a company know what the company as a whole is signing up for. As a result, having more than one signature for a party means that compliance standards are raised. It means that more than one person from that party is happy to put their name to a contract so that risk is minimized and expectations are emphasized.
Benefits of having multiple signers in one document
There are many benefits to having multiple signers in one document. While from the outset many within a company may think it adds another step to finalizing a contract, in practice it actually strengthens the contract itself. Plus, getting one, two, or a handful of signatures from one party on a contract should not be administratively onerous. With the right software in place, collaboration to this extent should actually enhance a contract and not add any more time or effort to complete a contract.
Having multiple signers in one document is a massive benefit to a contract as it can protect both sides of the contract from risk. For that reason, it secures the interests of clients and companies alike as it means that more people have agreed to a transaction or agreement, thus reducing the chances for breaches of contract - or simply for contracts to be signed that are not in the long term interest of one or both sides. By getting more signatures on a document, it is essentially being checked over for any risks or difficulties that may transpire from it. Those risks and difficulties can thus be ironed out before the legally enforceable contract is signed.
How digital and automated contracts for multiple signers can free up time
So many companies’ immediate response to contracts and having them signed is to create a PDF that allows for multiple signatures. While that is certainly one way of getting a contract signed, it is by no means the best. In fact, we think that it is a pretty terrible way of completing contracts. We despise PDFs here at Contractbook! Our software, instead, creates dynamic machine readable contracts that are formatted in such a way that you can harness the data in your contract - at any stage of its life cycle. From there, it is possible to build automated workflows. PDFs, in comparison, lock in data never to be used again - simply because it can’t be extracted. Not because that data or information is not there.
So yes, while you can sign a PDF, it is far better to put a piece of technology in place that allows your signatories to sign a dynamic document. It allows the whole process of creating, establishing, negotiating, and completing a contract to become smarter and more efficient. It frees up employees’ time and materially reduces the administrative effort that creating a contract in PDF format can be.
For, not only is getting a contract signed by multiple, digital signatures quick and painless with our software, that contract can then be stored in such a way that it can easily be used again. Automation can help every step of the life cycle using our technology. Data driven documents can be created seamlessly, leaving employees with the time to better channel their efforts where they will add true value.
For some, getting multiple signatures on a contract sounds like a lot of hard work. Because, it does mean that there are more people’s opinions and voices that need to be heard. Yet, that is slightly missing the point.
By asking people to sign their agreement on a contract, it also means that they are happy with the terms and conditions set out within it. If they are not happy with it, (sensible) people will not put their name to such a document. Instead, they highlight and identify problems that could be huge issues in the future for a company. Those issues could be much more hardwork than the initial effort required getting multiple signatures on a contract. Plus, the results from that contract could be even better too with more input from several people within a party. Compliance will be of a higher standard and the value derived from the contract (financial or otherwise) could be of a much better quality too.