With the increase of remote workers, offshore consultants and too much knowledge sharing, it has now become increasingly easy to hire people who will work remotely on projects. This also means that many times, you run the risk of putting your business in jeopardy if one of your workers decides to go rogue. This can be circumvented by signing NDAs and contracts prior to commencing a business relationship over the internet. Gone are the days when you had to print, sign, scan and send back a document to your potential employer or partner – thanks to online document signing solutions.
EchoSign and DocuSign are two extremely well known and competitively priced services that offer to take care of the drama and headache of document collaboration and signatures. Here is a brief review of both services that will hopefully make your tech life easier.
EchoSign starts you off with a simple link “Get a Document Signed” on its homepage. Once you click, you only need to fill in fields that you would for an email (To, Subject, Message), upload a file and select signature options and your first document is ready for you to add signature, name, date fields etc.
DocuSign calls their start process “Start a New Envelope” which leads to a very similar yet detailed and seemingly complicated procedure for setting up a document for signature. An email address, message and document are required for this. Once the upload is complete you can easily add in the signature, date fields, and other options.
EchoSign sends an email to the other party to sign. If the signatories have been allowed to suggest edits or make changes to it by the document sender, then the document is converted into a Google Doc and can be edited and submitted for review prior to being signed. Signing the document itself is very easy and one can pick from a number of options including drawing out a signature.
DocuSign sends an email to the other party to sign in accordance with the workflow, allowing a document to be signed/approved amongst multiple parties in a particular sequence. There are however no options to edit & review a document within the system.
Value for Money
EchoSign is offered as a free service as long as your maximum number of signatures is 5 per month. At $15/month, a user can go up to 50 agreements per month and have parallel and serial workflow options (like DocuSign). As the packages become more expensive and team size increases, more editing, collaboration, branding and integration options become available at the cost of agreements per month that remains constant at 50. An increase may be sought by contacting EchoSign beforehand.
DocuSign has 3 packages that start at $15/month and limits signatures instead of documents. It gives virtually unlimited cloud storage for your documents (EchoSign has limits on this as well) and provides no editing capability. For medium-sized organizations the Workgroup account is competitively priced at $20/user/month and offers virtually unlimited signatures and agreements. It also gives access to advanced workflow, signature, group, forms and data integration options.
EchoSign is for individuals and businesses who frequently do business online and maybe signing contracts and NDAs as they would need the review and editing capabilities.
DocuSign is for businesses and organizations who are interested more in review and workflow capabilities than simple contract signing. This is useful for streamlining approval processes, completing standard checklists, etc.