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Under The Bonnet #2: Dropbox and DocuSign

May 26, 2023

You might be mistaken for thinking that the glamourous life of a financial planner is all about meeting clients, discussing their goals and aspirations, and putting in place strategies to achieve these. Well, it is to a point, but then the hard work starts – the administration to make it all happen.

This part of the process involves two key elements – providing documents/information to clients and getting their acceptance/signatures. For many years now I have been using Dropbox and DocuSign at Counterpoint. They are not unique in what they do, but they are simple and effective services that help smooth out the administration in my business.

I have personally used Dropbox for over 10 years as a cloud storage service for my personal files, and really like the ability to access files from any device. In Counterpoint, I use Dropbox to share documents that are too big to email or have sensitivities to them that means that shouldn’t be sent via email. Once a client has a link to their “folder” in Dropbox, they can access their documents, which can be password protected if required. As the world moves more towards online “portals” for clients to access their documents, I’m sure Dropbox will continue to fit into my business processes.

While there is a move towards less signatures from clients due to using online authentication, I don’t think the need to have a client sign-off to confirm their instructions/acceptance is going away just yet. There is an element to a “signature” that still carries the most weight. Many service providers are now accepting digital signatures actioned via a number of provides – DocuSign being one of the main ones. Once I discuss with a client how digital signatures work and they confirm are happy to use them, I explain how they will get emails from me (via DocuSign) with instructions on how to review the documents, and then sign by typing their name into the required field.

The uptake of these technologies across my clients has been very high, with around 80% of clients happy to sign via DocuSign and even more happy to stop reviewing any hardcopy documents anymore. Having said that, there will always be circumstances where clients want and need real documents to review and sign, so I don’t think I’ll stop buying stamps for quite a while.

Car story: This pop-top VW Kombi van is very similar to one that I travelled around Australia in for 3 months when I was 8. In a post about technology, it’s crazy to think my parents set off with access to only a paper map and public payphones!







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