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Shoeboxed - RightSignature Integration: Expense Reports Made Easy

By: Daryl Bernstein / Friday, July 20, 2012


Shoeboxed eliminates the pain of expense tracking – it’s a time-saving service for digitizing and managing your piles of paper receipts. You send your paper receipts to Shoeboxed by postal mail, then sit back as Shoeboxed does the hard work. Shoeboxed sorts the receipts, scans them as IRS-acceptable images, and verifies each document individually. For a more hands-on approach, you can upload receipts yourself using a traditional scanner or smart phone.

Then you can throw out the paper (ooh, that feels good!) and access your receipts online, export them to an Excel file or other popular cloud-based accounting apps, or generate expense reports within Shoeboxed. And now, with RightSignature integration, you can add a legally binding electronic signature to these expense reports.

After installing the Shoeboxed add-on inside RightSignature, simply create an expense report in Shoeboxed. Then, when you go to send a document in RightSignature, you can select your new expense report.

Taylor Mingos, Founder & CEO of Shoeboxed, says:
Handling paper receipts and collecting signatures on paper documents are painful experiences. Just like Shoeboxed makes expense management simple, RightSignature makes getting documents signed easier than ever. We’re excited to partner with RightSignature to help businesses eliminate paper and boost efficiency.”
With over 500,000 users in 100 countries, Shoeboxed is putting an end to receipt clutter. RightSignature and Shoeboxed are both cutting-edge software solutions that make the paperless office a reality. For more on how you can use these two popular apps to improve your efficiency, check out our guest post on the Shoeboxed blog: Overthrowing the Paper Dictator: RightSignature and Shoeboxed Lead the Revolution.

The Right Way: Wicked Wingsuits Lets Humans Fly

By: Daryl Bernstein / Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Our new series “The Right Way” profiles RightSignature power users, revealing their success secrets and the technology tools they use every day.

Photo by: jeffnebelkopf.com / tonywingsuits.com
If you’ve ever dreamed of flying, meet Wicked Wingsuits – the world’s largest wingsuit rental service. It’s the Netflix of human flight. RightSignature’s Steve Stormoen caught up with Simon Repton, CEO (Chief Excitement Officer) of Wicked Wingsuits, to learn how this adventurous company spreads its wings.

Ok, first things first. What in the world is a wingsuit, and why are yours so wicked?

Simon Repton: Most skydivers jump out of an aircraft and fall straight back to earth. A wingsuit is a suit with a special material between legs and from the legs to the arms that allows you to fly by catching the air and generating a form of lift. It allows you to leave an aircraft many miles away from where you want to land and glide to your destination. You have full control over where you want to go, with a range of 3, 4, 5 miles from where you jumped.

So here’s the deal: a wingsuit has to fit you very well. And just like you don’t get straight into a Formula 1 car to pass your driving test, you don’t go straight to the top-of-the-line wingsuit. You start with your Mini Cooper model and move up to the Ferrari. Each suit costs about $1500 and has to be custom made. We rent the suits out so the customer can learn more about flying and different suits. Or, some people decide to order a high-performance suit, but it takes a few months for the suit to be custom made. In that waiting period they can rent beginner or intermediate suits, train, and become better pilots. We also get business from people who just don’t like making the decision or the commitment to buy a wingsuit. Just like some people would rather rent than own a home, we’re catering to the people who want to try new and different things, and that might be what brought them to wingsuits in the first place.

We rent the suits monthly. The service is like Netflix—we send you the suit with a return shipping bag. You keep it for a month or more, and send it back when you’re done.

What’s the story behind Wicked Wingsuits? How did you come up with the idea?

SR: I was travelling and I was at a skydiving event where I met a tall, big guy who bought an unmatched suit. Now, it might have been the right suit for him to own, but not the right one to learn on. There are lots of people in this situation, so what’s the good solution? I thought about this for quite a while. On a drive from Iowa to Oregon, I decided that the solution was renting suits out. I looked around to see if anyone else did it. There were a few local services, but nobody national, and not by mail order. So we started Wicked Wingsuits with 4 wingsuits. Once we rented those out, we bought 4 more, and 4 more after that, and now we have 100 suits.

We started our service only in the US and we still do most of our business in the US. But there’s a lot of demand elsewhere too, so we began shipping to Canada, South America, Europe, Australia, we’ve shipped to Morocco even. In the winter, skydiving slows down because of the weather, so we’re expanding to the southern hemisphere to keep our inventory circulating during the offseason.

Wicked Wingsuits looks like a niche market. How do you grow your business?

SR: It’s definitely a niche market, specialist market. There are over 30,000 registered skydivers in the US, though we don’t know how many are active. Here’s the cool thing about wingsuits, though: in order to fly a wingsuit, you have to have made 200 skydives. Every year the sport gets new people joining it, so every year there’s a new group of people who reach 200 dives and are ready to try wingsuits. We didn’t really know this would happen going into our business. This is our second summer of operations, and we’re learning something very interesting. So, we carry 3 types of suits, right? Beginner, intermediate, and advanced. People last year who rented beginner suits are renting intermediate suits this year, and the intermediates are renting advanced, and we have a whole new base of beginners.

Right now, the popularity of wingsuits is bringing new people to skydiving. You can see wingsuits on our YouTube channel, on National Geographic and TV specials, and fall in love with the idea. A wingsuit, you know, it fulfills peoples dreams of flying. It’s like a magic carpet. And we only need enough customers to keep our inventory out. Not everybody appreciates this approach—we don’t need every person in America to rent a wingsuit in order to make a profit.

You routinely jump out of airplanes, which seems from the outside like a pretty huge risk. What’s the biggest risk Wicked Wingsuits has taken as a business, and how has it paid off?

SR: First of all, jumping out of a plane is about risk management. Jumping out of an airplane and risking death is totally unacceptable. But if that risk is managed, if it’s mitigated, then the outcome becomes acceptable. Very, very few people die or get seriously hurt skydiving, because the risks are managed to an acceptable outcome. In that sense, you can apply that lesson of risk management to anything—driving a car, or meeting people. We definitely applied that lesson to Wicked Wingsuits. When we started out, instead of buying 50 suits, we allowed the demand to grow our company and buy more suits as we needed them. As it turns out, 50 suits might have been ok, but we had no way of knowing that before we started, and we made ourselves successful by how we managed risks. Second, in skydiving, you always have plan B. When you jump, you always have two parachutes. From day one, we had a bailout plan. Our bailout plan if the business didn’t work was to sell the inventory and forget about it.

Other risks like liability issues do come up, but we handle them the same way. We’re sending people an expensive piece of equipment with all sorts of liability attached. We have to consider theft. We have to be clear about what our terms are, about how our customers use their suits, and about their skydiving experience. Those are really the three things we have to know to protect ourselves from a liability standpoint and make sure our customers are protected as well.

So, a lot of communication goes on with the renter. Originally we had a faxed contract. That didn’t last long at all. We quickly figured out that we needed an electronic version of all this, and that’s when we found RightSignature.

Speaking of... can you tell us how you use RightSignature, and which other online tools you use the most?

SR: We primarily use RightSignature for this whole waiver thing we have, which is pretty cool. We keep the documents on Google Docs, and use the Google Docs integration to grab the newest version when we make a revision. I also use RightSignature for 1099 forms, non-disclosure agreements, basically everything I can. When we expanded into Switzerland, I needed to talk to people about proprietary agreements. I set up an Online Form, and used it to review and sign all of them up. Also, because we travel, we use RightSignature on the iPhone extensively, and we make use of the iPad In-Person Signing app to rent our suits out in person as well.

As for other tools, I have a background in systems management and database and development experience, so I had my own tools and I knew what I was looking for. We do try to do things in the cloud as much as possible—we use LongJump for our CRM and databasing, and for form-based notifications. It’s a great way to keep track of our work and take care of these legal documents in a form that’s centered around our lives and not our fax machines. Finally, when we test our users for their knowledge about key parts of skydiving, we use SurveyMonkey for an online questionnaire.

Paperless Office Software: 14 Web Apps to Harness the Cloud, Boost your Efficiency, and Reclaim your Desk

By: Daryl Bernstein / Monday, July 16, 2012


Those still dreaming of a paperless office can wake up: the explosion of online software and mobile devices into the professional landscape has made that dream possible and practical for the first time. This article will help identify the most common sources of paper cluttering your desk and filling up your filing cabinets, and introduce some of the best paperless office software and tools to head these problems off at the source.

The Magic of Paperless Office Software

Going paperless can drastically reduce your paper and printing budget. You’ll also save money on office and storage space, with bulky file cabinets no longer an issue. Delicate records will be cheaper to preserve and easier to access, since electronic documents are easier to search and sort. Going paperless is also good for the environment, reducing landfill waste, overforesting, and use of hazardous chemicals found in many inks. And just about everybody will be grateful to never have to use a printer again.

Analysts and pundits have been predicting the shift to a paperless office for decades—the term was first used in a BusinessWeek article in 1975. Yet, despite its status as the “office of the future” for nearly 40 years, the paperless office is still nowhere near standard in most industries—and the reason is poor implementation. It’s easier to focus on replacing the paper you already have rather than the paper you’re yet to have, even if that gets you nowhere closer to solving the problem once and for all. Instead of trying to tackle that ponderous mountain of invoices and sticky notes on your desk first, this guide will go in a different direction. Let’s start by identifying some common sources of incoming paper, and the best tools to replace each traditional process.

1. Move Document Signing Online

Legal forms and contracts are some of the final holdouts of the paper world. When it’s time to get an agreement, proposal, NDA, or form signed, even the staunchest paperless office aficionado will revert to the old "print, sign, and fax" tradition. RightSignature, however, has the power to turn this convention on its head. Our popular cloud-based software-as-service enables you to create a form or send an existing document to one or many signers, who can apply a legally binding electronic signature online—which looks just like a regular signature. The signed copy is automatically returned and archived, and never once is a printer or fax machine involved.

RightSignature also boasts seamless integration with dozens of other cloud-based paperless office software programs, including many of those mentioned in this article. These integrations are crucial, making digital records significantly more convenient to share and transport than your old paper files. For example, the integration between RightSignature and BambooHR lets you simplify your employee onboarding process and get employment forms filled out and signed online.

2. Digitize Your Notes to Self

Paper’s largest advantage is effortless mobility. You can write down a personal memo or to-do list at home, put it in your pocket, and take it with you to work or while running errands. Today, however, we are rarely further away than our pocket or handbag from an internet capable device, and with the right software it’s easier than ever to let your notes move with you.

Take Evernote, for example—a cloud-based service that lets you create and edit notes, documents, images and web links and synchronizes automatically to any computer or mobile device you might use. Evernote aims to help its users remember everything, and does so without burying them in sticky notes. And to replace your day planner, consider Google Calendar, our favorite calendar manager, and Tungle, a convenient web application for coordinating meeting times easily.

3. Streamline Financial Record-Keeping

Along with email, this is the area that has the most adoption already. Digital accounting is long since standard, but new solutions have expanded the range of what users can reasonably expect from their financial records software. Xero is accounting software that follows its users, giving full mobile access to records you might have otherwise buried in Quicken or miles of paper records.

Meanwhile, Shoeboxed is a service that lets you digitize and organize your receipts automatically, and will integrate them directly with any other accounting software you might use. QuoteRoller produces professional-looking online proposals without paper hassles. Finally, Harvest and FreshBooks are two excellent tools for businesses or independent contractors for tracking work time, managing billing, and sending invoices.

4. Replace Meeting Materials and Work Together Better

Perhaps the greatest advantage to moving to cloud computing is that it allows multiple users to contribute to the same project at the same time. Those who have used Google Docs to update a massive spreadsheet simultaneously with a few co-workers are familiar with this functionality. Cloud collaboration finds its greatest use in software suites designed for project management and file sharing, like Basecamp or Huddle. When everyone working on a single project is using the same software and sharing the same files digitally, long printed reports become completely unnecessary and, truthfully, start to seem kind of silly.

Of course, none of this removes the need to meet face-to-face or over the phone to make decisions, brainstorm new ideas, or assign tasks to team members. These meetings usually end with a printed copy of the notes sent to every single attendee—unless you use minutes.io to take concise, automatically formatted notes online and send them as soon as the meeting ends.

5. Make a Resolution, and Stick to It

You may have the best intentions of a paperless office internally—and you may even pull it off—but your contacts outside your business or organization won’t know that unless you tell them. However, if you convince others to go paperless, it will help you stay paperless as well. Next time someone wants to hand you a piece of paper—whether it be a contract or a memo, a five hundred-page report or a business card, just remember the magic words: “Could you email that to me instead?”

By now you should be prepared to step into the world of the paperless office. Yes, really. Now that you have the right tools, and the right software, you can choke off the tidal wave of paper that flows to your desk every day. If you’re still unsure, many of these programs, like RightSignature, offer free trials, so you can get used to using the software before you have to pay a dime. The paperless office truly is here—are you ready to embrace it?

Around the Campfire: RightSignature Integration with 37Signals Messaging App

By: Daryl Bernstein / Wednesday, July 11, 2012



37Signals is a software powerhouse – the creator of beautiful, intelligently-designed project management app Basecamp and simple CRM Highrise (RightSignature add-ons are available for both). We're pleased to announce integration with another popular 37Signals product - team collaboration and messaging app Campfire.

Campfire provides instant messaging and real-time communication across your entire team. Beyond the scope of a basic IM client, Campfire makes communication between two or more people painless, and adds image sharing, instant transcripts, and one-click conference calls to the mix as well. Campfire runs on any computer in any web browser without additional software to install and offers an iPhone app as well for chatting on the go. The platform is designed from the ground up to help your business or team collaborate, with all the most important features exactly where you need them.

RightSignature imports your Campfire contacts and syncs them in your address book. After activating the integration, select any document or template in RightSignature and begin typing the name of one of your contacts in the Signer or CC field. RightSignature will automatically suggest matching contacts from your Campfire account, so you can simply choose your recipient and send your document for digital signature online.

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