Expert Interview with John Gainor Of RightSignature On Everything You Need To Know About Digital Signatures

Digital signaturesLet’s face it – the business world has changed forever and irrevocably. Many of us will never even meet our clients or employers thanks to the great networker, the Internet. And yet, we still need to get papers signed and contracts sealed to keep the gears of commerce turning.

Digital signatures are an important detail to the paperless business culture we are inhabiting. And yet, the thinking around digital signatures is stuck in the past with understandable concerns about authenticity and legality.

This is starting to change, according to John Gainor of the company

RightSignature. RightSignature is an innovator in the digital signature field, inventing the biometric, hand-drawn signature for electronic forms. This goes a long way toward easing people’s concerns and gives a feeling of authenticity to electronic documents.

John Gainor took a moment to tell us about their software, and shared some reasons why every company with a global clientele needs to make peace with the digital signature and embrace the world we’re living in.

 

Can you introduce us to RightSignature? When was your company founded? What need did you perceive that inspired you to start the company in the first place?

RightSignature was founded in 2008, and our founders built it as a tool they wanted to use themselves. They were shocked that there wasn’t any good tool out there to quickly and easily send the documents they used every day to get them signed online with a real, handwritten signature.

We’re a company built on innovation, and the biometric, hand-drawn signature was our first. RightSignature pioneered electronic signature technology with the first e-signatures that look like your actual written signature. This crucial detail makes our customer’s contracts look more like contracts, and helps them appear more professional and more trustworthy to their business prospects.

 

What does RightSignature do? Can you give u a brief overview of some of its features?

RightSignature lets you choose any document, add fields like text input and check boxes, then send it to your recipient. Then your recipient gets an email with a link to securely fill out and sign the document with our electronic signature software. As soon as they’re finished, the completed document is instantly and automatically returned to you, the sender.

It’s easier and more secure than fax, and faster and cheaper than overnight shipping by a landslide.

However, there are quite a few other features in RightSignature that can help clean up your workflow as well. Our automated reminder emails ensure that no contract ever gets lost on a messy desk, for example; and our mobile apps let you do business from anywhere, any time.

 

Who uses RightSignature? What are some industries and demographics that you know of that have used your services?

RightSignature is used by professionals in dozens of industries, ranging from the biggest Fortune 500 enterprises to the tiniest mom-and-pop shops.

We do pay special attention to the underserved small and medium-sized business community, and we’re particularly a favorite in HR, accounting, law, insurance, realty, education, finance, and healthcare.

We’re proud to be a chosen partner of the American Bar Association and the Financial Planners of America, and we were recently chosen as the top accounting tool for 2015 by Accounting Today.

 

RightSignature does have a boatload of features. Could you give us an overview of some of the most popular and powerful ones that people have responded to?

First is our deep, powerful API, which we’ve used to build over 40 integrations with the most popular web apps in the world – tools like Google Docs, FreshBooks, and ShareFile. Our API is also available for our customers to build custom integrations to incorporate RightSignature as a seamless part of their workflow in order to do things like automate document sending or embed a RightSignature document into their own tools.

Two other first-to-market innovations we added in 2014 are quickly becoming favorites of our users by expanding what they can do with their documents. Our Collect Payments feature lets users add a payment box to their documents that lets users securely charge the signer’s credit card or collect payment information for future billing. Similarly, our Request Attachments feature lets users add a field so the document signer can upload an attached file as a required part of signing the document.

 

Can RightSignature be used for multiple signatures? Can you give an example of a situation where that would be particularly helpful and useful?

RightSignature can be used to gather several signatures on the same document, or easily send the same document over and over again to get a separate signed copy from many different people.

For the first example, last week we spoke with a staffing company with clients in over 40 states who uses RightSignature to send benefits approval packets to each employee at every one of their clients. They used RightSignature’s Sequential Signing feature to make sure the docs went to the employee first to select their plan, then to the client company to fill in private employee eligibility information – with each party signing off with a legally binding signature.

In the second scenario, we wrote a case study last year about a preschool that uses our Online Forms feature to embed their Waiting List Application document on their website. The form requires a deposit, which the parents can pay with the Collect Payments feature, saving hours of hassle clearing payments and reconciling records.

 

Similarly, can you give us one or two hypothetical situations where electronic signatures would be way more efficient that shuffling documents through the mail or by fax?

Another customer in advertising told us about a deal he closed with a client using RightSignature in 7 minutes while waiting to board a plane. He received the initial inquiry email during pre-boarding in the airport’s VIP club, and had a signed contract in hand before the plane took off so his team could get to work right away.

We hear these stories every day from our customers. It’s a huge source of pride for us at RightSignature.

 

If you had to speculate, how much time and money does an individual or company stand to save by using RightSignature?

Paper documents are costly in so many ways that it can be hard to count them all up.

There’s the cost of overnight shipping, printer ink and fax toner; the staff time wasted hunting down contracts that were lost or never returned; and the extra rent a business has to pay to store filing cabinets full of musty old paper records.

Then there’s the opportunity cost of all the other deals your business could have pursued instead of wasting time on paperwork. Even on our most basic plan, customers can experience an ROI as high as 2500%.

 

What would you say to people who are concerned about the security of electronic signatures? Have you ever heard of any cases where electronic signatures have been used to commit fraud?

Electronic signatures have the same legal standing as paper signatures, according to laws like the E-SIGN Act and UETA in the U.S. and similar legislation around the world. RightSignature improves on that, though, by including features like secure password-protected logins, biometric signature-capture data, and a full audit log for each document to make sure that our documents are even more legally sound than paper can be.

We understand that our clients use RightSignature to get their most legally-sensitive documents signed, and we take the security of our platform extremely seriously. RightSignature features bank-level security and has never experienced any major outages or security breaches.

 

Lastly, what are some other reasons that RightSignature can come in handy? Like, for instance, the re-usable templates and form overlays?

We set out to do one thing and do it well, and that thing is getting documents signed.

However, we work hard to make sure that RightSignature is flexible enough to work for any situation. We allow our customers to send documents however they want, whether by sending a single document, lightly customizing a Reusable Template, or embedding an online form in their website. And we offer document signers 7 different ways to sign, from a typed signature to our in-person signing iPad app.

At the end of the day, though, RightSignature is a simple tool designed to let you get your important documents signed. Our focus is on making sure we let you do that faster, cheaper, more easily, and more securely than is possible anywhere else.

For more updates from RightSignature, like them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter.

Expert Interview with Antonie Potgieter Of Tribulant Software On WordPress Plug-Ins

Wordpress PluginsIt has never been easier or quicker to start an online business, with websites like Squarespace, Weebly, and many more offering to build you a beautiful website instantly.

This creates an opportunity for someone to capitalize on new and innovative ideas, riding on creative momentum while the ideas are still fresh and the energy is still high.

Not everyone with a good idea is already an e-commerce expert. Getting lost in obtuse programming code and unknown systems is a surefire way to lose momentum. Third party software is a lifesaver in that someone else does the hard work for you.

WordPress is a popular choice, powering 48% of Technocrati’s Top 100 Top Blogs as well as a total of 74.6 million blogs as of February 2014, according to Managewp.com.

Tribulant Software is a company that specializes in a full range of elegant WordPress plugins for every aspect of e-commerce, from a shopping cart plugin to a newsletter generator and much more.

Tribulant Software’s Antonie Potgieter took a moment to tell us about his company and some of its features, and share some insights on how to make your own WordPress site the best it can be using WordPress plugins.

 

Can you introduce us to Tribulant Software? Where are you based out of? When was your company founded?

Tribulant Software is a company based in South Africa that was founded in 2009. We develop, market and support premium WordPress plugins and related products.

 

What inspired you to form Tribulant Software to begin with? What did you feel that other plugin companies were missing?

The business started with an email/newsletter plugin for WordPress since there was a market for it. So we developed other plugins as the market and WordPress users required further software for their websites.

 

Tribulant Software offers a wide array of WordPress plugins, including many in a plugin bundle. What’s included in the bundle, and what kind of businesses would most benefit from it?

Our WordPress plugins bundle includes a Shopping Cart plugin, Newsletter plugin and Banner Rotator plugin. It can be used by anyone, really, from an individual posting blog posts and selling custom services to large companies/organizations with big e-commerce sites doing hard-core email marketing.

 

You also offer an FAQ plugin that lets companies automate the FAQ section of their websites by managing groups of questions. What are some reasons a company might want to go this route? What are some of the advantages?

Yes, that’s right, the FAQ plugin allows your users to submit questions on your website. Some questions may be irrelevant, but many of these questions are frequently asked questions which can be published with thorough answers onto the WordPress website. As a result, you are able to provide your users with quick answers to regular/common questions, which saves you time in communication and support as well.

 

You also have a banner rotator plugin. Can you briefly describe what this one does? What are some advantages of changing the banner frequently? How often should companies be switching up the graphics on their website to make it look fresh and interesting and keep people’s attention?

The Banner Rotator plugin lets you publish image, Flash and code ads on your WordPress website in various ways. Banner ads can be organized into sizes and zones, and can be displayed in posts/pages or widgets or even be hardcoded into the theme.

 

How tech savvy does someone have to be to install your plugins?

Knowlege of WordPress is essential, and then some knowledge of the Internet and technical terms are a plus. The plugins are designed and developed to be as user-friendly as possible, so anyone with willingness and a goal in mind can use them with ease.

 

For companies that have not yet taken the plunge, what are a few reasons for a company to start a WordPress blog/site? How can it be used to help SEO rankings as well as raise potential customers’ awareness of a company’s existence?

WordPress is an amazing platform. It can be used for anything from blogging to running large scale websites with big communities. If you feel the need to launch a website, I will highly recommend WordPress. There is a wide variety of plugins and themes available to achieve just about anything.

 

How much time and money does a company stand to save by using your plugins? Can you give a few examples of other things businesses might do with the time and money they save?

Most of our plugins are not specifically aimed at saving money, but rather at monetizing and making money. For example, with our Shopping Cart plugin, you can sell services, products, and much more.

With our Newsletter plugin, you can market and promote your existing services, products and more. With our Banner Rotator plugin, you can monetize the traffic of your site by putting 3rd party banner ads and gaining earnings from clicks/impressions.

For more updates from Tribulant Software, like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, and connect with them on LinkedIn.

On Digital Marketing With Brightpod’s Sahil Parikh

Digital marketingSome aspects of business are still enigmatic to decision makers. While PerfectForms offers peace of mind through creating a more efficient workflow and better reporting systems, things like effective marketing strategies still confuse people. What’s actually working? How do you know?

In order to sift through a world of almost endless digital marketing tools, PerfectForms caught up with Sahil Parikh, founder of Brightpod, a web-based project management software for marketing teams. Through his online writings and social media conversations, Parikh has given readers a glimpse into his online marketing strategies, and he elaborates with PerfectForms here:

 

Some months back, you wrote a blog about your experiments with site re-targeting for Brightpod. At the time, you were still uncertain as to whether it was the most efficient use of your marketing dollars. Did you ever come to a final decision on whether you would continue to pursue it or not?

We pushed pause for a couple of months and have since pursued it again. Recently, we have been getting a steady stream of conversions with re-targeting. Personally, I like re-targeting (even if people don’t convert immediately) because it lets you remind people about your product since they showed an interest by visiting your site.

Note: Re-targeting is a process where companies single out their most likely customer online (people who are already visiting their websites). Then, once the customer leaves their website, the business will continue to put ads in front of that user no matter where they’re working online.

 

So you use re-targeting as traditional branding? Like a billboard planting a seed where possible conversions can take place at a later date?

Yes, this is exactly why we are using re-targeting. There is always a problem with attribution (you really don’t know if they have seen your ad and converted), but at least we can remind them that Brightpod exists if they need to use project management software for marketing in the future.

 

What marketing methods have seen the greatest ROI for Brightpod?

We drive more than 50% of our traffic via organic search, a.k.a. SEO. Last year, we setup landing pages for keywords pertaining to our business and what we thought people would search for. This investment is paying wonders today. This traffic is niche, well-targeted, and actively searching for what we can offer them.

For example, search for:

-”alternative to trello”

- “marketing project management software”

SEO traffic is evergreen, inexpensive to acquire, and qualified.

Besides SEO, our Twitter conversations are also helpful, as is being reviewed on blogs and participating on Quora. These all have high conversion rates (people who sign up) on our site.

 

Your Twitter handle reads “Kicking $aa$.” That’s clever! How would you describe SaaS technology to someone who isn’t familiar?

First, they should go to Amazon and buy my book: The SaaS Edge. SaaS refers to software that is accessed via a web browser. Here, the customer does not have to worry about setting up, configuring, or even hosting the software. That is done by a SaaS vendor. I often ask people if they use Gmail. If they nod, then I explain to them that they are already using SaaS, since Google maintains Gmail and all they do is use the browser to login and check their mail.

 

On your personal website, you state that your motto is, “Life is short. Work smart. Have fun.” What does working smart mean to you?

Working smart means working efficiently and productively. This way, you save time and can plouw that time into the things you love doing. Working smart also means minimizing distractions, not wasting time, and focusing on getting things done. This translates to using productivity tools, minimizing email notifications, and just being smart about how you spend your time.

 

As a writer, company founder, and start-up builder, how do you find time to “have fun?” What outside hobbies or passions do you pursue on your free time?

I play a round of golf every Saturday morning. On the other days, I either play tennis, go for a swim, or take a brisk walk late in the evening.

 

Does pursuit of those passions make you more proficient in your professional endeavors? How?

Absolutely. I feel energetic after any exercise. This helps me focus and get stuff done quickly. Plus, working, playing sports, and spending time with my family (including my 4-year old daughter) balances my week really well. This is the “have fun” part of my motto.

 

What three online tools have helped you in the business world, and why would you recommend them to other aspiring entrepreneurs?

There are quite a few tools I use for Brightpod, but for general business/productivity, I highly recommend these three tools which I use on a daily basis:

Google Apps: These are hassle-free and let me check my email from anywhere.

Intercom: This allows me to be in touch with my customers from anywhere.

HipChat: This allows me to be in touch with my remote team from anywhere.

Follow Brightpod on Twitter.

5 Reasons to Ditch Excel Spreadsheets

Worldwide, over one billion people use Microsoft Office, so it’s safe to say that the number of people who use Excel is in the hundreds of millions. And according to Google Trends, interest in Excel has remained strong over the past decade. Excel is flexible and powerful, used for everything from tracking financial transactions to functioning as a makeshift database.

 

Excel spreadsheets

Excel is great for many purposes, but creating electronic forms is not one of them.

 

However, Excel is far from ideal for many office processes. It’s great for storing information and making calculations, but when offices try to use Excel as a replacement for standardized forms, flaws become obvious. Following are five reasons to ditch Excel spreadsheets as a substitute for electronic forms.

 

1. Multiple Stakeholders Mean Multiple Spreadsheet Versions

It’s easy to make and share an Excel spreadsheet template for, say, budget calculations or project schedules. The problem is, when one person makes a change to the spreadsheet or adds something to a field, other stakeholders’ spreadsheets aren’t automatically updated. That means five different people may have five different versions of a “standardized” spreadsheet – a situation ripe for misunderstandings and errors. Businesses need a solution that updates everyone in a workflow process whenever someone makes changes or additions.

 

2. People Can Do Things in Whatever Order They Want

Suppose you set up an Excel template for reporting business travel expenses. Someone returns from a trip and can’t find a receipt for a taxi, so they fill in the rest of the spreadsheet figuring they’ll send an updated version once the receipt is found. The finance department figures the blank space in the spreadsheet means the person didn’t use a taxi and cuts a reimbursement check that doesn’t include that cost. The returned traveler now has to submit an amended spreadsheet, and Finance has to go through the hassle of cutting another check, wasting time and resources.

 

3. There’s No Audit Trail Without Major Hassle

Unless you design, implement, and enforce rules about saving versions of Excel spreadsheets over time, you can’t know exactly how a given spreadsheet was changed. Maybe a decimal was misplaced a week ago and it has thrown off calculations ever since. Or perhaps two numbers were transposed, or someone misread a “9″ as a “4.” Finding errors could be difficult to impossible, forcing you to go all the way back to written notes and hope you notice where the problem arose. Without an audit trail, fixing errors is fraught with complexity.

 

Excel spreadsheets

Without an audit trail, chasing down errors can require major detective work.

 

4. There Are No Reminders or Notifications Built In

Imagine that each department must submit a spreadsheet based on a standardized template as an email attachment. The person in charge of collecting the forms and taking action looks at her email and sees that every department representative has replied by Friday afternoon. She can start on them first thing Monday. But one of the department heads forgot to attach their spreadsheet, and they’re taking next week off. Suddenly there’s a problem. You need a solution that delivers automated notifications upon completion of a form so it’s always clear who has completed it and who has not.

 

5. It’s Difficult to Enforce Compliance and Uniformity

One person fills in a contact form for a new potential customer and enters the phone number in a ###-###-#### format. Another person enters phone numbers in a (###)###-#### format, while another enters them as ##########. Getting everyone’s data formatted consistently can be a time-consuming hassle. With an electronic forms solution, however, you can set up fields so that everyone must enter information in the same format. In fact, you can set up workflows so that data entered once can populate more than one form. It saves everyone time and ensures uniformity and compliance.

 

Conclusion

Excel is used by millions because it’s a great spreadsheet application. It’s probably not going away anytime soon. But Excel isn’t ideal as a substitute for electronic forms. You need a custom form solution that lets you make electronic forms that look like paper forms, but function infinitely better. PerfectForms lets you do exactly this, with an easy drag-and-drop interface. And once you create forms, you can link them into smooth workflows that can significantly speed up processes.

With PerfectForms, everyone always uses the same form version, and you can set it up so people can’t submit incomplete forms or forms with improperly formatted information. You can create automated reminders that let the next person in a workflow know that a particular form has been completed and submitted, creating an audit trail that lets you know exactly where any given workflow stands. Try out PerfectForms for free and see for yourself the many ways it’s superior to using spreadsheets as forms.

How to Simplify Your Expense Reporting

Expense reporting can be a major headache, particularly if you rely on paper expense forms. Typically, employees collect receipts and keep records of their expenditures, and then submit expense reports that are approved by someone in authority. If forms are incomplete, hard to read, or lost, the whole process can screech to a halt, increasing frustration.

 

Expense reporting

Expense reporting doesn’t have to be a frustrating ordeal.

 

What’s more, you have to hold onto expense documentation for tax purposes, and you don’t want there to be inaccuracies. Here are some ways you can simplify your expense reporting while making it faster and easier for everyone.

 

Stop Using Spreadsheets for Expense Reporting

Yes, spreadsheets are electronic and have some advantages over paper forms. Plus, you probably already have spreadsheet software and default templates for expense reporting. But spreadsheets are really not good enough. Not only do they take time to fill out, upgrades to templates have to be communicated to every affected employee. Worse, a spreadsheet submitted as an email attachment can easily be overlooked, and making sure each and every employee fills in all the information can be challenging. Electronic expense report forms are a superior solution for expense reporting.

 

Add Drop-Down Menus to Expense Reporting Forms

With electronic expense reporting forms, you can enforce uniformity of reporting with drop-down menus attached to fields. You can, for instance, have an “incidental expense” field with a drop-down menu that explains whether the expense was for laundry/cleaning, taxi fare to a hotel, or the cost of sending a package by mail. Or you can have a drop-down menu that lets employees indicate if meals were provided at a conference rather than purchased separately. This can eliminate guesswork as to whether an expense can be claimed and allows Finance personnel to more accurately account for travel costs.

 

Consider Using Per Diem Amounts Rather Than Actual Expenses

Some companies reimburse employees with a per diem rather than for actual expenses. There are IRS-approved per diem rates that vary depending on location. The per diem for San Francisco is higher than the per diem for Jacksonville, for example.

 

Expense reporting

Per diem rates can make travel expense reporting easier on everyone.

 

Using per diem rates typically makes it easier on your employees, because they don’t have to adhere to the standard record-keeping rules for expenses. They just have to substantiate time, place, and business purpose of the travel. First and last days of travel can be pro-rated if travel takes less than a full work day.

 

Help Employees Keep Up With Expenses

Educate and remind employees of ways they can keep better track of their expenses. One easy way they can do this is to use their phone to take photos of receipts. If an original receipt is lost, they can print out a picture. And if you use expense reporting forms that are available online or on mobile, your employees can work on their expense reports during, say, a long layover, and get their expenses turned in as quickly as possible.

 

Create Custom Expense Forms Tailored to Your Organization’s Needs

Your organization’s expense reporting needs are unique, so ideally you should have electronic forms that are customized to your requirements. If you’re worried this may mean undertaking a major IT project, relax. Today you can get affordable software that allows you to create electronic expense reporting forms without writing any code. PerfectForms offers you a drag-and-drop interface that lets you create the exact form you want in minutes. And you can easily include things like drop-down menus and notifications, and link forms into streamlined workflows.

Once you try PerfectForms for expense reporting, you’ll see how flexible and powerful it is, and will discover countless ways you can create electronic forms and workflows to make any number of business processes more efficient. Have a look at PerfectForms’ demo, or feel free to contact PerfectForms and take that first step toward making expense reporting faster, more accurate, and less of a hassle.

Success! 4 Businesses That Did Better with PerfectForms

Rare is the business in any industry that doesn’t use forms. Forms are great for standardizing procedures and ensuring that all necessary information is available before taking the next step in a process.

 

PerfectForms

Forms help businesses run smoothly, but paper forms aren’t ideal.

 

Paper forms, however, are outdated in the age of 24/7 connectivity. Paper forms cause “friction” in work processes, slowing things down and raising the risk of problems ranging from indecipherable handwriting to accidental shredding to an important form falling into the wrong hands.

Electronic forms make sense for today’s business, whether you’re selling cakes or providing construction services. Electronic forms don’t slow down processes the way paper forms do, and they can be automatically routed to the right recipient, so they’re never lost. Here are four businesses in four industries that have streamlined processes and improved productivity with PerfectForms.

 

1. Visalia Unified School District

In California’s San Joaquin Valley, the Visalia Unified School District serves 27,000 students at 44 educational sites and employs 2,500 people. Schools have always been heavily dependent on forms because of the massive administrative requirements educational facilities face. But dealing with paper forms for nearly 30,000 people is expensive and time-consuming. One heavily used paper form cost $10,000 per year just in printing costs!

With PerfectForms, the Visalia Unified School District automated accident reports, substitute teacher requests, transportation requests and more by creating electronic forms that looked exactly like their paper counterparts so the transition to filling them in electronically was easy. Results were impressive, cutting the amount of time and resources devoted to administrative tasks so the district could concentrate on its core function of education. Reduced printing costs, lower labor costs, and easier reporting yielded an impressive return on investment.

 

2. Madison National Life Insurance

Insurers have to collect vast amounts of information, much of it away from the office. When all that takes place on paper, approving new policies is slower, and chances for mistakes are higher. Madison National Life Insurance, which serves 49 states, wanted to not only reduce the friction that results from paper-based processes, but to allow agents to enter and submit information from the field using mobile devices. They also wanted conveniences like auto-filling that allows data to populate multiple forms at once, again reducing error rates.

 

PerfectForms

Mobile electronic forms can improve efficiency significantly.

 

Madison National Life Insurance used PerfectForms to create automated workflows with electronic forms agents could fill out and submit from wherever they happened to be. Data from forms is automatically routed to an administrative server rather than waiting on someone’s desk for a signature. The result is a much faster approval process, and since PerfectForms allows creation of electronic forms that look just like their paper counterparts, training for electronic form use was minimal.

 

3. Affinity Management Group

Business consulting and survey firm Affinity Management Group found that its existing system, based on Quask, wasn’t holding up under increasing deadline pressure and rising customer demand. But they were able to integrate PerfectForms with their existing system to greatly increase operational efficiency and improve customer service simultaneously. Surveys can now be executed much more quickly, helping clients make better business decisions faster and saving time and money.

The one-year return on investment for Affinity Management Group has been impressive, and response rates to the surveys created with PerfectForms have been significantly higher than industry norms. Workflows are faster, and clients get more complete information so they can make important decisions in the shortest amount of time.

 

4. Ogden Clinic

Healthcare services providers not only have to deal with huge amounts of information, they must also comply with strict regulations and need work processes that create an audit trail. Paper forms simply can’t do the job in today’s business environment. The Ogden Clinic turned to PerfectForms to streamline workflows using electronic forms. Though some were skeptical at first, the pilot project of automating HR processes was an overwhelming success, transforming workflows and automating formerly cumbersome processes.

The Ogden Clinic enjoyed major time savings from the electronic forms and workflows they created with PerfectForms, and they freed up IT resources to concentrate on other projects. Now, processes like mileage reimbursement, employee reviews, and IT services are electronic and automated, and an audit trail is created automatically, for more accurate and thorough reporting.

 

Conclusion

PerfectForms is a flexible, scalable solution that has transformed workflows in a wide range of industries by allowing easy creation of electronic forms and workflows. With an intuitive drag-and-drop interface, you can create pixel-perfect forms either by themselves or as part of defined workflows without knowing the first thing about programming. Have a look at our demo and see how easy it is to replace tedious paper-based processes with streamlined electronic workflows. The possibilities are practically unlimited!

How to Find the Right Form Creation Software

When your business has a quick and easy resource for creating business forms, you’ll save time, reduce waste and resource consumption, and help keep administrative functions organized.

 

Form creation software

Today’s business doesn’t have time for paper forms and outdated processes.

 

Paper forms served well when there weren’t electronic alternatives, but when you implement electronic forms you quickly realize how many disadvantages there are to paper-based processes. Not only are waste and environmental impact reduced with electronic forms, there are no more problems with lost or damaged forms, and completed forms can be immediately delivered to the appropriate person when they’re completed.

You have many options in form creation software, so it’s important to know which qualities are most important so you get your money’s worth and maximize your return on investment. Following are several characteristics you should look for in your form creation software.

 

It Should Have a Powerful, Intuitive Interface

Few companies have the time or resources to devote to a major IT project to develop custom online forms. Look for electronic forms software that doesn’t require programming in order to create great-looking, perfectly customized forms. Ideally you should have a visual, drag-and-drop interface that makes intuitive sense so you can start designing forms right away without having to climb a steep learning curve.

 

It Should Allow Mobile Access

Mobility is essential in today’s business world. When your custom electronic forms are accessible via mobile, you empower your workers in the field to complete forms wherever they happen to be, saving time and reducing the chances of forgotten forms and errors. Repair technicians can log repairs from the jobsite, and employees who travel frequently can complete and submit expense reports from the road with no hassle.

 

Reporting Should be Simple and Straightforward

Many companies have to be able to produce reports showing things like resource expenditures and compliance with industry and government regulations. Your form creation software should make reporting easy and allow you to drill down into the data collected by your forms so you can make informed decisions backed up by documented data. You should be able to draw data from multiple forms or workflows into a single report for maximum flexibility and power.

 

You Should Have Options for Where Software Is Hosted

 

Form creation software

On-premises or in the cloud: does your form creation software offer a choice?

 

Many small businesses prefer to have their software hosted in the cloud. That way there’s no need to maintain on-site servers, and all upgrades are rolled out automatically. But some businesses, due to security reasons, want to host their software on their premises on their own servers. Look for form creation software that offers you the choice of on-site or cloud hosting so you can allocate use of your resources optimally for your specific business needs and finances.

 

It Should Be Scalable

Does your form creation software grow as your business grows? It should. In fact, streamlining forms and workflows using form creation software is a great way to improve productivity and accelerate business growth. Look for form creation software that works whether you’re a five-person start-up or a Fortune 500 company so you can be confident that your forms solutions scale up right alongside your business.

 

Help and Support Should Be Readily Available

The company that provides your form creation software shouldn’t abandon you after you’ve made the purchase. Look for a provider that offers extensive resources and help whenever you need it. They should offer tutorials, training videos, and access to the help you need so you’re always confident you can create the forms and workflows that will improve business function. Your provider should make it as easy as possible for you to get in touch if you find you need help.

 

Conclusion

The right form creation software can make a tremendous positive difference in how well your business functions, making processes go faster, reducing errors, cutting resource consumption, and enabling conditions for more rapid growth. Choose your form creation software with care, ensuring it is easy to use, mobile-friendly, offers easy reporting, and is scalable as your company grows.

PerfectForms offers all these features and benefits and more. And with PerfectForms, you have the option of hosting the software on your own servers, or in the cloud. You simply won’t find a better combination of features, power, and ease of use than you will with PerfectForms. Have a look at our demo and see for yourself how easy it is to create pixel-perfect forms and connect them into powerful workflows that smooth business processes and help ensure success.

Yes, You Can Easily Create a Form Online

Most businesses use forms in multiple capacities. Forms were invented to help standardize and streamline processes. Rather than making a verbal or written request for something (vacation time, a new desk chair, or reimbursement for expenses, for example), employees could use forms so that the person fulfilling the request would have all pertinent information available. Forms make sense.

 

Create a form online

In their time, paper forms improved efficiency.

 

But paper-based forms have limitations. They can be misplaced, damaged, or sent to the wrong person. The person receiving them can also lose them, or may have difficulty reading handwritten information. But when you create a form online, these problems go away. You may think, “Sure, I would love to create a form online, but I don’t know how to program, and we don’t have the budget for a new IT project.” It’s OK, because now it’s easy.

 

Creating Online Forms Does Not Require an IT Initiative

Maybe once upon a time you’d have to hire a programmer or get one of your IT people to create a form online, but all that has changed. Today’s form creation software lets non-programmers create electronic forms without writing the first line of code. User interfaces have improved to where if you know how to drag and drop, you can create a form online. The software does all the programming for you, so all you have to do is arrange the fields of your form as you want them, label them, and then add finishing touches like your company logo. Once your form looks exactly like you want it, your form creation software creates the online form for you. You can create a form online to streamline countless business processes.

 

Get New Employees Working Right Away

Bringing a new employee on board requires collecting a lot of information. In order to process their payroll correctly, you need identification and tax information, and if the new employee signs up for company benefits like insurance or a 401K, still more information must be collected. Create an online form for each of these information needs, and you eliminate the risks of a form being lost or illegible, and you eliminate the potential for errors that comes from having to manually enter handwritten information into a database. You can even make it so that information entered once populates multiple forms.

 

Allow Employees to Submit Forms from Mobile Devices

The workforce is more mobile than ever today. If you have employees working in the field, whether making repairs, installing equipment, or handling claims, it’s very inefficient to have them complete paper forms and then turn them in. But when you create a form online for common field tasks, like logging a repair, and make that form mobile-accessible, employees can complete the forms quickly and easily right from their phone or tablet. It saves time, makes recordkeeping easier, and reduces error rates significantly.

 

Create a form online

Boost efficiency by empowering employees to complete forms from mobile devices.

 

Link Multiple Forms Into Cohesive Workflows

When selecting the software that allows you to create a form online, look for software that also lets you link multiple forms together into workflows. This is a terrific way to ensure no steps in typical work processes are skipped and that the proper recipient receives forms the instant they’re completed. Think how much inefficiency you can squeeze out of work processes by creating electronic forms and connecting them into defined workflows. Multi-step processes become faster and more efficient, saving your company time and money. No longer do you need a storage room full of filing cabinets to store all those completed forms.

 

Make Projects Easier to Manage

With electronic forms connected into logical workflows, project management becomes smarter, not harder. A project manager can view an entire workflow and know instantly which steps have been completed, and whose actions are required next. And all this is done without the hassle of paperwork. With faster workflows, high efficiency, and low error rates, your company can make more competitive bids on projects and have an easier time remaining on schedule and within budget. You can create a form online to document every work phase, creating a comprehensive audit trail that can be used for reporting and compliance purposes.

 

Conclusion

Electronic forms help companies maximize their competitive advantage in today’s accelerated marketplace. And you don’t have to know how to write code or undertake a major IT project in order to create online forms and link them into smart, streamlined processes. With PerfectForms, you can create a form online that looks exactly how you want, simply by dragging and dropping elements into place. And you can connect forms into workflows with the same drag-and-drop convenience. Why not sign up for a free trial and find out for yourself how easy it is to create a form online? You’ll be amazed at the possibilities.

5 Signs Your Company Needs Better BPM Solutions

BPM stands for Business Process Management, which is a practice that improves business performance by increasing business agility and encouraging operational excellence. If your business is a metaphorical engine, BPM is the master tool that fine-tunes it so it performs optimally. Just about every business has processes that for whatever reason have become inefficient or unreliable. By scrutinizing these processes and identifying inefficiencies, then implementing BPM software to streamline and automate, you can make them run far more smoothly.

 

BPM solutions

BPM tunes up business processes so they run smoothly and don’t break down.

 

In other words, BPM helps maximize your business’s return on the investment of the time people put into carrying out processes. Rare is the business that can’t benefit from BPM solution. Here are 5 signs your company could benefit from better BPM.

 

1. Your IT People Face Increasing Challenges

If you’re trying to save money by continuing to use outdated software, your IT team could be needlessly suffering. Perhaps they are spending more time keeping aging servers working or are inundated with help tickets complaining about slow software and hardware. With a better BPM solution, you root out inefficiencies in processes and streamline them through upgraded software. Many great BPM solutions offer the option of running in the cloud, which removes the hassles of on-site server maintenance. If your IT staff is ready to cry “Uncle!” maybe it’s time to look at a new BPM solution.

 

2. Workflows Provide Little Visibility and Transparency

Project managers and departmental heads often need to know exactly where various projects stand. Who is the last person to provide input? Does the next person in the process know his or her input is needed? What steps are left to be accomplished? A great BPM solution offers visibility and transparency into the mechanics of processes. Plus, it can include checks and balances like alerts that notify key people that they need to accomplish an action so that the process can continue. Knowing which steps have been completed and which steps are next can greatly enhance efficiency and productivity.

 

3. Your Work Processes Are Typically Long-Running

 

BPM solutions

Most work processes are complex enough to benefit from the coordination of BPM.

 

If your business provides quick services that only require a couple of steps, then BPM software may not be necessary. However, most businesses (of every size and across industries) engage in work processes with multiple steps, and often these processes are long-running. BPM software helps orchestrate processes so that no steps are forgotten or skipped and quality is maintained throughout. Whether you engage in design projects that take weeks or months, or provide services that span hours to days, a BPM solution can streamline and offer quality assurance.

 

4. Multiple Human and Non-Human Systems Need to Be Coordinated

In many work projects, a combination of human actions and automated actions are involved. Perhaps one engineer can’t make necessary calculations until someone else creates scale drawings. Or maybe HR cannot approve or deny a vacation request without seeing a calendar or schedule of time-off requests that have already been approved. BPM is made for coordinating the various human and non-human activities that go into completing a process, ensuring that all steps are completed and the information the next person in the chain needs is handed off as soon as it’s ready.

 

5. You Want to Improve Customer Service

It doesn’t matter if you sell wedding dresses or welding equipment: if you want to remain profitable and grow as a business, you have to provide outstanding customer service. Typically, numerous customer-facing business processes are involved in providing excellent customer service, so you can develop a comprehensive view of customers across contact channels. With a top BPM solution, you can develop a consistent framework to manage all aspects of the customer relationship process, so customers need never feel ignored, misunderstood, or forgotten about.

 

Conclusion

The great news is, you don’t have to invest in a major IT project to have a BPM solution that benefits your business. With PerfectForms, you can get started immediately, creating custom online forms and linking them into workflows that are far more efficient than outdated, paper-based processes. And you don’t have to know how to program, because PerfectForms offers an intuitive, drag-and-drop interface that allows you to visualize processes immediately. Why not try out PerfectForms for yourself for free? See how easy implementing BPM and raising efficiency and productivity can be.

4 Ways to Make Your Automatic Payroll Deposit Process Better

Automatic payroll deposit

Getting to here is faster when employees have automatic payroll deposit.

 

Perhaps you started your business with only one employee and were able to handle payroll, and the writing of that one paycheck, yourself. But even with fewer than five employees, payroll can become amazingly complicated, and the risks you take with payroll mistakes can be very serious. Incorrectly calculating your state unemployment insurance or getting someone’s tax withholding wrong can lead to expensive fines as well as unhappy employees.

When you include automatic payroll deposit as part of your company’s payroll program, you save time over manual check preparation and make paying employees more efficient and secure. Employees don’t have to worry about losing a paper check, and check fraud is virtually eliminated. The United States government saves tens of billions of dollars every year by using automatic payroll deposit as opposed to traditional paychecks, and employees save the indirect costs involved with cashing or depositing their own checks.

Whether you have been providing automatic payroll deposit for years or are implementing it for the first time, there are several things you can do to make the process better for all parties. Here are four ways you can make your automatic payroll deposit process better.

 

1. Hold an Annual Automatic Payroll Deposit Drive to Encourage Participation

You can encourage participation in your automatic payroll deposit program by designating an enrollment period and turning it into an event. You could set up a booth in your lobby or company cafeteria, or add a special page to your employee web portal explaining the benefits of automatic deposit and how to enroll. Some companies encourage participation by holding a prize drawing (such as a gift card) for new enrollees. If you hold a direct deposit drive annually, you should steadily improve participation with each round, for a positive return on the investment of effort.

 

2. Offer Employees the Choice of Paper or Electronic Pay Stubs

Many employees are perfectly happy with electronic pay stubs that they can print out themselves if they need to. A few still prefer to have paper pay stubs. If your employees don’t have online access at work, you can install one or two kiosks in common areas where they can log into their employee account securely and view or print their latest pay stub. Implementing an automatic payroll deposit program is all about options and convenience, and letting employees know they can access either paper or electronic stubs with direct deposit can encourage higher participation levels.

 

3. Make the Signup Process Part of the New Employee On-Boarding Process

 

Automatic payroll desposit

Make it easy for new employees to start out with automatic payroll deposit.

 

When new employees join your workforce, they usually have to fill out a number of forms during their first days on the job. Making these forms electronic and setting up the on-boarding process so that information entered by a new employee can be used to populate multiple forms at once speeds the process up considerably. Have enrollment in automatic payroll deposit as part of the new employee on-boarding process and both you and they can enjoy the advantages of automatic deposit from the very first paycheck. When signup is convenient and done electronically, employees have fewer excuses for not signing up.

 

4. Offer Year-Round Signup Through an Employee HR Portal

Creating an online HR portal for employees can make many HR processes more efficient, such as requesting vacation days, changing tax withholding, and enrolling in automatic payroll deposit. When these processes are paper-based, information passes through a number of hands, and the probability of errors goes up with each handoff. It’s all too easy to misread how someone’s name is spelled, or transpose two numbers in an employee ID when information is entered manually. Making HR forms electronic and providing automatic alerts for key HR employees when a form is submitted streamlines processes while reducing error rates.

 

Conclusion

When a paycheck must be passed from hand to hand between the time it is printed and the time it is deposited by the employee, its security is less certain, and there’s a lag between when an employee is paid and when he has access to the money. Using automatic payroll deposit and making enrollment as easy as possible for employees with electronic forms encourages participation and ensures nobody spends excessive time filling out forms by hand and tracking progress with phone calls.

PerfectForms lets you create custom, pixel-perfect forms with your company’s logo, colors, and styles with an intuitive drag-and-drop interface. What’s more, you can connect multiple forms into sleek, electronic workflows, reducing manual handoffs and errors and making processes significantly faster. Why not try PerfectForms out for free? You can see for yourself how easy it is to create accurate, beautiful, customized electronic forms and workflows.