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.”
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.”
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.”
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.