In this article we are going to approach a subject that concerns to the day to day of the companies: the document signature. We speak of invoices, contracts or any other that a professional or SME presents or is presented it from other public companies or administrations.
In the case of the invoices, the habitual thing is that they are sent by email electronic, so that they occur by signed of two main forms: signing by hand and scanning the document, or inserting in him a scanned image of the signature. We passed it to pdf and we enclosed to an email. This method is well, but more modern procedures and with many advantages exist already.
How we signed digitally a document? First we are going to determine two concepts that we must know clearly: digital certificate and digital signature.
Difference between digital certificate and digital signature
It is a data set reunited in a file, that ties and confirms that the data of validation of a signature correspond with a legal natural person or. That is to say, they confirm who is signing the document.
The digital certificate is what we solicitd to the National Factory of Currency and Timbre (FNMT) and used to identify to us before the public administrations and to sign taxes, to pay fines, etc. The professionals and SMEs usually delegate this action in their consultant's office, that unloads the electronic certificate in its computer to be able to operate with Property or the Social Security in its name.
The digital signature has to do not only with the identity of the signer, but with the own document. It is a process that allows us to verify that who has signed the document is the person or company who claims to be; it allows us to identify it, what is called authentication of origin (we verified who has signed it) and I do not repudiate (who signed cannot say that she did not do it). Also it allows us to verify that the document has not been altered or modified since was emitted and signed by its emitter; what is called integrity. So that the digital signature grants to the process three qualities that do it safe and valid legally: authentication, I do not repudiate and integrity.
Therefore, the digital certificate is the electronic file that allows our identification by telematics means. The digital signature is a mechanism that allows us to sign electronically what before we did by hand, and so that he is trustworthy verifies who is the signer and the validity of the document.
An example: in order to sign an electronic invoice sent to a City council we must have, first of all, our installed digital certificate in the computer; and secondly, for the own process of signature, to use a software as Autofirma, that signs the invoice using the digital certificate.
Difference between digital signature and electronic signature
Although they seem synonymous, these terms do not mean the same. The digital signature is the procedure that assures the identification the signer, its responsibility to the signed salary and the integrity of the document, that is to say, that has not modified since it was signed. The electronic signature is a term ampler than the digital signature, that includes other methods of authentication.
According to the Regulation eIDAS of the European Union, that regulates the processes of electronic identification, exists three types of electronic signature, of minor to greater legal security.
- Simple electronic signature. It is the case of a document signed in paper, scanned and sent by email electronic.
- Electronic signature outpost. It unequivocally identifies the signer and it avoids modifications, for which it uses methods as geographical coordinateses, verification by means of SMS or biometric information. It is the case of the signature that we make in a tablet the distributor who leaves a package at home us.
- Qualified electronic signature. This signature is created by a qualified device of creation of electronic companies and cradle in a qualified certificate of electronic signature, as the digital certificate or the DNIe. It is the case of the signature used with the Public Administration.
In summary, following the document type that we are going to sign we can or we must use a procedure or another one. In order to present documents to the Public Administration qualified signature is required and we needed our digital certificate and to use a software of signature as Autofirma.
In order to sign an invoice before sending it to the client we can make it by means of simple electronic signature, but better if we do it by means of qualified, using our digital certificate and Autofirma, or outpost by means of a specific software, as Viafirma or Docusign.
In order to send a contract or an order of domiciliation IT KNOWS to a client, we will use an electronic signature outpost by means of Viafirma or Docusign, that allows to have a platform of integral management of the signature, a space Web where we raised the document to sign, we signed it, we sent to the client for its signature and once it has signed it we received it. All this informed in real time into the state in which is the process.
Adopting the digital and electronic signature in the daily processes we will take an important step in the digtal transformation of our company. We will do it more eficiciente because in many cases we will save time; we will win in legal security because more will adjust to the European norm in this field. And we will gain in image before our clients and suppliers, among others many benefits.