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SIGN, our digital signature feature, allows users to obtain a digital signature on PDFs. This is not included in the standard package.

How SIGN works

A PDF is sent in a secure message asking the recipient to sign it.

To sign the document the recipient has to login to accSEND using their (unique) username and a password. Only the user has the rights to create and change the password. The password is not displayed to any users within the system.

Once their login has been authenticated the recipient has to click a button labelled 'sign' displayed in the document viewer and are then asked to click another button to confirm that they wish to sign the document.

On clicking to confirm their signature, a signing sheet is appended to the PDF and the following details are written to the signing sheet:

  • First and last names of recipient/signatory
  • Email address of the signatory
  • The client IP address of the signatory
  • The server date and time of the signature (ie the moment the confirm signature button was clicked)

Making the signature unique

The signature automatically locks down the content within the PDF to prevent tampering after the signature is recorded. A unique ID is recorded within the PDF which can be used to validate the signature within the PDF and that the document has not been subsequently altered. This validation is done via a secure web page – a copy of the signed document can be uploaded to this page to determine if the signature is valid and if the document has been tampered with after the signature.

When the signature is recorded a server-side (self-signed) digital certificate is utilised with a unique password for digital signing being accessed from Amazon’s Key Management System. This is used to digitally sign the document and embed Adobe compatible digital signature information.

SIGN audit trail

Within accSEND the following are recorded:

  • The date/time of signing are recorded against the PDF in the database
  • The date/time of signing are also recorded against the document signature request in the database
  • An audit record of the signature is written and stored in the database, including:
    • file name
    • the signatory’s user data
    • the clientside IP address of the signatory

Legality of Digital Signatures

The Law Commission have confirmed that “Electronic signatures can be used to sign formal legal contracts under English law”. More information can be found here.


accSEND standard plus SIGN is £40 per month.

If you are a Mercia totalSOLUTION or Practice Track Online customer then you already get accSEND standard as part of your website package. Add the SIGN feature for just £20 per month. You can switch it on within the administration section of accSEND or fill out our simple form to activate SIGN now.

Find out more

To see this in action watch our SIGN video Demo LOGIN