The missing link in our workflow optimization

The missing link in our workflow optimization

APELDOORN – CaseWare International, van oudsher een internationale jaarrekeningspecialist gevestigd in Toronto, is in de afgelopen tien jaar uitgegroeid tot een volledige praktijk ondersteuner in de accountancy markt. Zij ondersteunt accountants wereldwijd vanuit haar open platform CaseWare Cloud, waarmee accountants al hun opdrachten van start tot eind kunnen uitvoeren. CaseWare Nederland is met 65 medewerkers binnen vier Nederlandse vestigingen, de Nederlandse distribiteur van CaseWare International. Het platform wordt wereldwijd gedistribueerd en per distributeur toegesneden op de wensen van de accountancymarkt in het vestigingsland. “Think global act local is altijd ons uitgangspunt geweest”, aldus Richard Schiphorst, Managing Director bij CaseWare Nederland. De transitie van een desktop platform naar het samenwerkingsplatform Cloud, biedt het bedrijf de mogelijkheid om haar scala aan type oplossingen uit te breiden.

Kwaliteit en betrouwbaarheid

Sinds maart dit jaar maakt CaseWare Nederland gebruik van de online handtekening van ValidSign. De aanleiding hiervoor was dat het proces rondom de ondertekening van verwerkingsovereenkomsten sub optimaal verliep omdat documenten zowel opgesteld, uitgeprint, ondertekend, gescand, per mail verzonden en achteraf handmatig gearchiveerd moesten worden. CaseWare Nederland realiseerde zich dat het proces voor het ondertekenen wel degelijk efficiënter kon. Schiphorst: “Wij staan voor kwaliteit en betrouwbaarheid en willen dit ook uitstralen naar onze klanten. Met ValidSign kunnen wij dit waarmaken, omdat alle benodigde stappen in één enkele handeling succesvol worden afgerond en de documenten na ondertekening inzichtelijk blijven in de ValidSign portal. Daarnaast maakt de optie om een ondertekenvolgorde in te stellen het bijna onmogelijk om foutieve documenten te versturen of om onjuiste geadresseerden op te geven”.

Partnership met ValidSign

CaseWare Nederland is in eerste instantie bij ValidSign terechtgekomen door de ontvangen referenties over de oplossing vanuit haar eigen klantenbestand. In januari 2019 is dan ook de integratie met ValidSign vanuit het CRM- en documentmanagementsysteem “AuditCase” tot stand gekomen. Wat de combinatie ValidSign en AuditCase zo sterk maakt? Het gehele proces van een accountantskantoor, van het aanmaken van het document, het interne goedkeuringsproces, de statusinformatie en archivering worden in één keer afgehandeld. Zowel voor CaseWare Nederland als voor haar klanten geldt dat zij binnen één handeling klaar zijn en de rest geautomatiseerd verloopt. “De oplossing voor ondertekenen van ValidSign was de ontbrekende schakel in onze workflow optimalisatie”, zegt Schiphorst.

De integratie met AuditCase is nog maar het begin van de samenwerking tussen ValidSign en CaseWare Nederland. CaseWare biedt een totaaloplossing voor accountantskantoren, waarbij accountantskantoren zelf kunnen bepalen welke deelapps zij wel of niet willen gebruiken afhankelijk van de opdracht. Dergelijke apps zijn onder andere de PBC+ app voor het gestandaardiseerd opvragen van documenten en met de WWFT+ app de gehele Wwft-registratie voor klanten worden gerealiseerd. “Door de oplossing van ValidSign ook hiermee te integreren zou het proces volledig geoptimaliseerd kunnen worden. Ik ben ervan overtuigd dat dit in de nabije toekomst gerealiseerd zal worden,” schetst Schiphorst.

Tijdswinst

Alle uitgaande verwerkingsovereenkomsten en commerciële documenten binnen CaseWare Nederland worden momenteel digitaal ter ondertekening aangeboden via ValidSign. Omdat de oplossing naadloos integreert met AuditCase zorgde ValidSign binnen een maand na uitlevering al voor 20 tot 40 minuten tijdwinst op de afhandeling van het totale ondertekenproces per document. “Wij kozen ervoor om de uitlevering van ValidSign middels een web sessie te doen, welke direct na het tekenen van de offerte ingepland kon worden. En al vrij snel na de uitlevering van ValidSign hadden we de diverse communicatiemiddelen voorzien van onze eigen huisstijl en konden onze medewerkers ermee uit de voeten”, aldus Richard.

Meer ValidSign in de toekomst

Voor CaseWare Nederland is digitaal ondertekenen een onvermijdelijke stap gebleken. Het is dan ook niet meer weg te denken uit de processen binnen CaseWare Nederland. Als het aan Richard ligt zal de oplossing, niet alleen voor verwerkingsovereenkomsten en commerciële documenten worden ingezet maar binnenkort ook worden toegepast op de gehele HR afdeling voor onder andere de ondertekening van arbeidscontracten.

PGB Pension Fund. “Digital signing? Do it right away!”

PGB Pension Fund. “Digital signing? Do it right away!”

The value of digital signing for PGB Pension Fund

“Digital signing? Do it immediately!”, laughs Frans van Veen of PGB Pension Fund. “It saves so much time.”

About

Pension fund PGB regulates pensions for employees from different industries. In 1953, the fund was founded by employers and employees from the Grafimedia. Today, Pension Fund PGB operates in various sectors, including industry and services. Together with its executive organisation PGB Pension Services, Pension Fund PGB is working to keep pensions good and affordable.

Since 2016, Pension Fund PGB has been working with validsign’s digital signature to (have) documents signed both internally and externally. The fund has a lot to do with signing documents, in particular pension contracts and prolongations. There are hundreds of them a year. In addition, internal documents such as declarations, invoices and decision lists are now also signed with ValidSign. Compared to signing on paper, this brings many advantages to the pension fund.

“ValidSign’s digital signature allows us to (have) documents signed independently instead and time independently. Digital signing gives us a huge amount of time. ” Frans van Veen, Actuary at Pension Fund PGB

From paper intensive to paperless

Digital signing makes a huge difference for PGB Pension Fund. Previously, all documents were signed on paper, which often caused delays in processes. Elske Heringa, who works as an Official at the Pension Fund, says: “Previously, paper documents were lost or we had to wait a long time before documents signed came back. You didn’t know exactly where the documents in the signing process were.”

Digital signing was initially primarily used for external documentation. This concerns the pension contracts – also called connection contracts – towards employers. The digital sending of documents for signature was so good that they wanted to use it more intensively internally. Digital signing of all documents saves time and insight into the entire process. Within the validsign environment it is clear which documents are signed, which still need to be signed and by whom. It is also possible to send reminders to those who have not yet signed. They will receive a reminder email. Documents are not lost in this way and the status of the documents to be signed can be checked at any time.

“We often have documents that have to be signed by eight or more people. If this is done by post, it is very difficult to track where the document lies. Thanks to the digital signature solution, this is insightful,”says Frans van Veen.

Once every two weeks, the board of Pension Fund PGB meets for the board meeting. Previously, the board members spent at least an hour getting all the paper documents initialled and signed. ValidSign now sends the documents digitally and makes it easier to get multiple people to look at the documents. In addition, it is now possible to sign place and time independently. It is also no longer necessary to paraferon on every page in the document and one signature per driver is sufficient on a document. Signing paper intensively for an hour in one location is a thing of the past.

Integration ValidSign & M-Files

For the past year, it has been possible for Pension Fund PGB to send and sign documents directly digitally from the document management system M-Files. This has been made possible by the Enjoy & Deploy party, which has supervised the integration between M-Files and ValidSign. Digital signing is thus included in the total document workflow of Pension Fund PGB. The ValidSign cloud platform no longer needs to be called manually. This also means that documents no longer need to be stored manually. The documents are sent directly from M-Files and automatically return to the system after signature. Additional actions such as storing and archiving documents are therefore unnecessary. Documents are also very easy to find. Frans van Veen: “We wanted to do everything entirely from M-Files. Now that we can also digitally sign from M-Files, digital working has become even easier.”

Safe and easy sign

For Pension Fund PGB, it was important in the search for a suitable supplier that digital signing takes place within the Dutch cloud. ValidSign was the ideal party for this because ValidSign is a strategic partner of KPN. This means that data is stored in kpn’s trusted data centre and the data remains within the Netherlands. In addition, The Dutch Bank has “the right to examine/audit”, which means that the data centre is monitored. ValidSign complies with current and new data protection regulations in the Netherlands, as well as throughout the EU, with strict procedures.

For the employees of Pension Fund PGB, the digital advanced way of signing also feels secure. “I find a secured PDF file more secure than a scanned PDF with a few signatures on it. There’s still no messing around with that. Not with the digital signature solution,” concludes Frans van Veen. Additional SMS authentication is also used when sending digital documents for signature by the Pension Fund. In addition to an e-mail with the sign request, the recipients are also sent an SMS code. After entering the SMS code, you can only sign it. This creates an additional layer of security within the sign process.

ValidSign is not only safe, but also very simple and can be used immediately without explanation, according to Elske and Frans. After the extradition by the consultant of ValidSign, the employees of Pension Fund PGB were able to work with it immediately. ValidSign’s user platform is both clear and user-friendly.

Digital signing is and remains an ideal solution for Pension Fund PGB. Employees would also certainly recommend it to other organizations that depend on paper-intensive processes. “Digital signing? Do it immediately!”, laughs Frans van Veen. “It saves so much time.”

 

Digital signing proceeds:

  • Time savings;
  • Understanding the sign-up process;
  • Simplify signing.

 

 

City of Utrecht “ValidSign is spreading like wildfire “

City of Utrecht “ValidSign is spreading like wildfire “

Utrecht, 30-1-2020. Dutch municipalities today have to deal with the digitisation task of government. Sustainability plays an important role in this. Processes can be digitized in different ways and the digital signature is one of them. ValidSign’s solution has been supporting the city of Utrecht since the beginning of 2018 in its digitisation process. For the municipality with more than 1000 employees, the solution has become indispensable.

Process optimization and insight

Within a municipality, a huge number of documents are signed. Complex sign-up processes are regularly involved when multiple signatories who are not working in the same location have to sign one and the same document. “Documents were previously drawn up, printed, signed, scanned, sent by mail or mail and archived manually afterwards. As a result, documents remained for a long time, damaged or came back incomplete. Fortunately, this no longer happens within the processes where ValidSign is used.”, says Frank Visser, Functional Administrator at the Municipality of Utrecht.
The Municipality of Utrecht ended up at ValidSign by tendering a European tender and during the project “Digital signing externally” in 2018 they started the platform. Process optimization was initially the reason to arrange ValidSign. The digital signature solution allows documents to be sent out digitally for signature, eliminating a whole number of steps from the sign-up process and their status is insightful afterwards. At the time, a pilot was launched for the signing process on evictions for social rented housing. A rent arrears of 2 months can give the municipality reason to remove the tenant of a social rented property from the property. ValidSign allows an eviction form to be signed digitally without the chance that citizen data will be available on the street.

Organisation broad

“We realized that the digital signature could provide a solution for many more colleagues. The fact that most ValidSign users within the municipality of Utrecht have started using the solution by word of mouth is actually enough. The ease that the solution brings is unprecedented. A few months ago, a news item about ValidSign was posted on the intranet page of the municipality. As a result, more questions about the solution poured in,” says Visser. Ali Provily and Frank Visser have been held responsible for the roll-out of the signing solution within the municipality of Utrecht. Thanks to the user-friendliness of ValidSign, they got to know the product well enough within a short time frame to be able to transfer it internally to colleagues. They host at least two internal ValidSign demonstrations every week.
ValidSign is therefore being used for more and more processes within the Municipality of Utrecht. First of all, the Purchasing Department makes the most of the solution to have both internal and external documents, including procurement contracts, signed digitally. For example, it could take weeks for a purchase contract to be completed. By sending the contract digitally for signature, it will be completed within a few hours. If it takes too long, a reminder will be sent to the signer so that he or she signs the document on the same day. ValidSign is also used by the HR department to sign secondment contracts that hire external employees. Previously, one depended on the physical presence of a signatory and now the employment contract is sent and signed digitally. In addition, the Work and Income Department uses ValidSign to sign cash distribution agreements. Many more documents are signed digitally within the municipality, but due to GDPR legislation, the application administrators cannot see this.

The future

Digital signing cannot be imagined for the future within the municipality of Utrecht. Visser explains: “We hope that the entire municipality will sign digitally with ValidSign within two years. Every head of the department of the municipality of Utrecht has been informed of the solution and increasingly transfers the solution to colleagues within his or her department when a particular process can be optimized with ValidSign”. Within the municipality of Utrecht, work is being done with the Enterprise Content Management System Alfresco. Once the integration with Alfresco is realized, this process will only be accelerated. Documents can then be sent out, managed, and automatically archived after signing in the right place in the Enterprise Content Management system.

O2 Accountants: “I wish I had started ValidSign ten years earlier!”

O2 Accountants: “I wish I had started ValidSign ten years earlier!”

We always say: customers pay us to think, not to do. ValidSign helps with that. All that “do” work: print, make sure the partner is there, sign it, then copy and save again, put it in a letter. That doesn’t really make any sense when it’s easier. ValidSign’s digital signature is the solution for this,” says Teun den Ouden, Partner O2 Accountants

O2 Accountants

O2 Accountants is an accounting company with four different branches in the Netherlands, founded in 2002. Since its inception, the organization has grown rapidly and 700 customers are currently served. O2 Accountants is distinguished by the consultancy work; 40 of the work is spent on the right tailor-made advice for the customer. The motto is: “Customers pay us to think, not to do”. ValidSign’s digital signature solution fits perfectly with that.

Process acceleration and insight

Since the beginning of 2017, O2 Accountants has been using validsign’s digital signature. The reason for this was that it generally took a long time for documents signed to come back. Sometimes they didn’t even come back signed. The turnaround time was very long or even infinite. In addition, there was no insight into the number of documents that were available for signature with customers. “We wanted to speed up the signing process, but also to gain a better understanding of the number of documents being sent out,” says Teun den Ouden, Partner at O2 Accountants.
Previously, everything went by post and the secretariat had to prepare and send everything manually, often in duplicate. There were a lot of actions involved. Margot van der Sluis, secretarial assistant at O2 Accountants, had to deal with this daily and explains: “Since the use of ValidSign, our time savings have increased by 70. Purely because of the reduced number of actions. We no longer need to print or scan documents. I’d be very depressed if this was reversed.”
How Did O2 Accountants end up at ValidSign? Primarily by the reference of account office Accon AVM. Teun explains: “Accon AVM was in a trial period at ValidSign and was very enthusiastic.” In no time, O2 Accountants was already able to work with ValidSign. “We got a demo from the consultant and after the rendition we started working on it the same day.”

Click & ready

All outgoing documents within O2 Accountants are currently no longer sent by post, but digitally via ValidSign for signature. Annual accounts, commission letters, normal letters, you name it. These are at least 4,000 documents a year. These are digitally drawn up and sent by the Secretariat of O2 Accountants. “The accountants themselves no longer have to worry about it. They just need to open the email with the sign request and click to sign,” says Teun. ValidSign offers a digital platform with a dashboard that shows all transactions. “ValidSign’s dashboard gives a nice overview of the number of documents sent and (not yet) signed. The lead time is shorter and we have insight into the entire signing process.”
In addition, it also becomes easier for customers to sign documents quickly. “You notice that the threshold for the customer is lower and the feedback is higher. We no longer have to whine to the customer to sign because it’s easier.”

Business growth

O2 Accountants has grown strongly in recent years, each year by about 15. “We’ve really grown, but the secretariat has remained the same.” The digital signature allows significantly more work to be done in less time. According to Teun, ValidSign’s solution also costs little. According to him, these costs are thus recouped. “I never really calculated it, but I think we’ll have validsign back in three months.”
ValidSign thus contributes to the business goals within O2 Accountants, including through process acceleration and an insightful sign-up process. The piece of professionalism is also important for the accounting firm. “ValidSign has a good look-and-feel and it’s professional. That’s what we want to radiate to customers,” says Teun. “ValidSign is a kind of marketing for us. The tool just looks good.”

Fully compliant

ValidSign complies with European laws and regulations with its solution. For accountants, that’s very important. “Accountants often think in risks and find new things scary, but the digital signature is legally better than the wet signature. It’s easy to prove that the digital signature is legally valid,” teun concludes.
For O2 Accountants, validsign’s solution was also the ideal outcome to comply with the GDPR. To comply with the GDPR, processor agreements were sent digitally with ValidSign. “With ValidSign, we could easily ship the processor agreements to all our customers in one go via a bulk upload. In addition, we could easily send a reminder to all our customers. I think we have already signed 80 of all the processing agreements sent back. In this way, we were very quickly compliant with something that is considered annoying and irritating by many.”

More ValidSign

Digital signing cannot be imagined for the future and will probably be applied even more automated when it is up to Teun: “With us, the secretariat has a dual function. We not only like that they do the action, but everything that goes out the door is also read by the employees without knowing the content. Will that disappear in the future? I don’t know. There’s a relatively lot of work in that check. If this can eventually be automated, the digital provision of documents for signature may also be automated. The sending by the secretariat is then skipped. I can’t possibly.”
It is therefore clear that ValidSign will be used in the future within O2 Accountants. Digital signing is fully integrated into the business process and offers O2 Accountants many advantages. “I wish I had started ValidSign ten years earlier!”, laughs Teun.