Microsoft SharePoint Guide For Your HR Department: Collect Signatures Workflows

collecting digital signature

Need to get a few signatures on a document before it’s ready to file? Microsoft Sharepoint has a workflow for that — this guide will show you how to use it.

Collecting signatures can be a tedious process. 

You have to go person to person, making sure you get all the right people to sign all the right forms. If you’re emailing the document, it’ll often sit in someone’s inbox unattended to, holding up the entire process. 

Whatever your role in your organization may be, you likely have more important things to do than babysit a document while it gets signed by the right parties. The good news is that, with the right know-how, you can automate the entire process.

In this installment of our Microsoft SharePoint Guides, we’ll walk you step-by-step through the process of implementing a collect signatures workflow. 

What Is A Collect Signatures Workflow And When Should You Use It?

The Microsoft SharePoint Collect Signatures workflow automates the process of getting a file signed by other members in your organization. Instead of having to manually send the document to your coworkers and superiors, you can have Microsoft SharePoint take care of it for you, saving you the time you would have spent personally on the process. 

How Do I Create A Collect Signatures Workflow In Microsoft SharePoint?

  1. Create A Document Library: Create a document library and naming it as needed, whether that’s related to a specific project, department, or topic.
  2. Upload Documents: Next, add the documents for which you will be seeking signatures.
  3. Set Up Your Workflow: Under the “Add a Workflow” page, fill out the following fields:
    1. Workflow: Select the workflow template that suits your purposes — in this case, select “Collect Signature-SharePoint 2010”
    2. Name: Name your workflow to match your document library.
    3. Task List: Select “New Task List”
    4. History List: Select “Workflow History“, or, if you want to create a new history workflow then select the “New history list“.
    5. Start Options: Configure how the workflow can be started — for a manual start, check “Allow this workflow to be manually started by an authenticated user with Edit item permissions“.

      To require permission to start, select “Require Manage Lists Permissions to start the Workflow“. For an automatic start, select “Creating a New Item will start this workflow“.
    6. Click “Next” to proceed.
  4. Workflow Settings Page 2: Fill out the following fields to complete your workflow:
    1. List Your Reviewers: Here you need to add all personnel from whom you will require signatures for documents in this library. If you choose not to set any, that allows you to select a signing authority each time the workflow is initiated, which many users find to be more convenient if they don’t always have a set list of people from whom they need signatures. 
    2. Order: Decide whether the process will be handled serially (one at a time), or in a parallel fashion (all at once) among your signing authorities.
    3. Request: Set the message that will be sent to assigned personnel in the workflow.
    4. Due Date: You can set a due date for all tasks, if you require one.
    5. CC: You can configure the workflow to notify associated personnel when the workflow starts/ends.
  5. Completion: Once you click “Save” on the workflow settings, an email will be automatically sent to the person to which the first task is assigned. You can track the process of the documents in the library you set up in step 1.

How Do I Check The Status Of A Collect Signatures Workflow In Microsoft SharePoint?

  1. Click the “Files” tab.
  2. Click “Workflows” on the ribbon.
  3. Select the “In Progress” text, listed under the title of your library & workflow.
  4. Under “Collect Signatures Workflow“, you will see the task status of that particular item. It will show you who it is assigned to, as well as the history, detailing who has already seen the document.

How Does A Collect Signatures Workflow In Microsoft SharePoint Work?

Upon receiving the document, reviewers will have three options available to them:

  1. Signs: The recipient can sign the document, as requested.
  2. Cancel: This will cancel all tasks for the person currently assigned in the workflow, and then move the process to the next person in the order.
  3. Reassign Task: This assigns the task from one person to another person.

Need Expert Assistance With Microsoft SharePoint?

Setting up a collect signatures workflow doesn’t have to be complicated, but it’s OK if you’re not sure how to take advantage of everything that Microsoft SharePoint has to offer.

Vision Computer Solutions can help:

  1. Book a Microsoft SharePoint consultation with our team.
  2. Tell us what you’re trying to achieve with Microsoft SharePoint.
  3. Let us show you how to optimize your Microsoft SharePoint processes.

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