Benefits of signing reports securely

This document outlines the reasons for using eSign to sign your report securely and provide an audit trail.

Document 1013  ¦  Last updated:  08/15/2017 RR2

Signing appraisals is something you've undoubtedly done thousands of times.  It's a vital step in the report process and officially states that all of the conclusions, statements, and work done are accurate and truthful.  Your signature, and all that it's attached to, is tied to your reputation.  That's why it's so important to secure it, especially when it includes your license number.

Fraud and cybercrime are unfortunate byproducts of technological advances and are becoming increasingly frequent and more complex.  While we know it's impossible to create an iron‑clad PDF file, there are other workflow tools you can implement to protect yourself and your livelihood, such as auditing and authentication.

Authentication allows you to validate who you are without question.  Auditing gives you a record of every change made to your report.  TOTAL achieves both of these key items in four ways:

  1. Utilizing profile validation (logging in with a username and password) when you first open the program.  This login is tied to your a la mode username and password.
  2. The ability to sign reports securely by directly integrating our eSign technology into both products.  This solution is two‑fold:
    • eSign takes you through a one‑time identity verification process the first time it's set up.
    • eSign applies a unique digital marker attached to your e‑signature.  Every time you sign a report, eSign attaches the unique serial number.
  3. Anyone can verify a report's serial number on our secure website  From here, you or your lender can compare the report against the original.  That way if someone steals your signature and creates a bogus serial number, they'll know immediately.
  4. An audit trail is created by storing digital fingerprints of the appraisal report on our secure servers every time you deliver a report.

Using secure signing methods ensures the integrity of your work, even when it has left your direct control.  All of these features are most effective when paired with good signing habits required by USPAP (to see the current USPAP guidelines, click here).

Using eSign secure signing, along with other measures, demonstrates you've exercised due care in protecting yourself from identity theft or unauthorized signature use.  Secured signing practices act as deterrents to fraudulent behavior, keeping your reputation and your business safe.

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