There are third party products on the market offering some form of an electronic signature add-on for your Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance environment, but did you know that this is already built in to the system out of the box? With just a little bit of set up, you can be using electronic signatures within your organization without an add-on!
What is an Electronic Signature?
First and foremost, let’s discuss what an Electronic signature is and what it can be used for. Electronic signatures are used to confirm the identity of a person who is reviewing and/or approving a process. This is a substitute for a written signature and is often seen in real estate transactions and is becoming a more widely accepted practice. Because there is an audit trail tied to a password authenticated login, this is a great way to approve of transactions without the hassle of printing multiples sheets of paper and cramping up your writing hand.
Setting up Electronic Signatures
The first step in setting up Electronic signatures in D365 is to obtain a Microsoft Key Vault certificate. This can be requested through D365 by navigating to Settings > User options > Account > Electronic signature > Get certificate. A new window will pop up asking you to enter a password that is tied to this certificate. This certificate only belongs to you, so please take care when setting it up!
Administrators will need to ensure that the configuration key for Electronic signature is turned on in the System administration module under License configuration.
System Configuration for Electronic Signatures
There is a bit of configuration involved to setup your D365 environment to allow for Electronic signatures, but the end result will be worth the effort. Most of the parameters needed for this functionality can be found in the Organization administration module.
The initial setup will include a Notice text that will alert users to the requirement to electronically sign a document. The next step will include reason codes with descriptions that the signer will select when signing. Then, you will set up the processes that require an Electronic signature. You can even include unique user defined signature requirements.
Signing Documents Electronically in Dynamics 365 for Finance
When a change is made in a form that has been configured to require an Electronic signature, a Sign document page will be displayed with the Notice text that was set up in the Organization administration module. The user will then select the appropriate reason code and enter comments if that is enabled. Lastly, when the user ID appearing in the signer field is a match, it can be submitted.
There are opportunities to utilize Electronic signatures in D365, and the benefits can be realized quickly.