Electronic signatures provide a method of adding an image of your signature as a means of quickly approving documents. Electronic signatures are less secure, and should only be used on documents that are only being distributed internally and carry relatively low risk or value. Examples would be an expense report or vacation request.
Digital signatures provide an additional level of security for any documents, and provides assurance on the authenticity of both the document being signed, as well as the signee. Digital signatures should be used for any internally distributed, higher risk or value document. Examples would be a project charter or an approval for an expenditure that meets materiality criteria.
Documents should be signed as PDF using one of three platforms:
- Adobe Reader - A free utility that allows for viewing and signing of documents
- Adobe Acrobat - A paid program that can edit documents and create PDFs
- Bluebeam - a powerful tool used in development and construction to view and markup drawings. This can also be used to sign documents
In addition to these tools, you may send or receive documents via DocuSign, a platform that provides a synchronized envelope for multiple documents and parties, and a high standard of security and verification. For more information on how to sign documents, view one of these articles