By Brad Newton, vice president, Australia and New Zealand, DocuSign

For most small business owners, the most stressful time of year is just a few weeks away. Most owners face a daunting list of financial and regulatory reports that must be completed to wrap up 2015/16 and enter 2016/17 on a sound footing. These reports range from income tax returns and business activity statements to annual reports, workers’ compensation insurance paperwork and fringe benefits tax returns.

Unfortunately, for many small business owners and managers, the resources required to create these reports can divert key employees from critical business planning and revenue-generating activities. Few activities are more wasteful than digging into boxes or filing cabinets for old leases and contracts that in extreme cases may have been misplaced or archived off-site.

In order to remain competitive and customer-focused, small businesses need to minimise the time spent locating these and other documents.

So how can businesses do this? The key is to implement e-signature software from DocuSign. This widely used software enables owners, managers and relevant employees to electronically sign nearly any type of document (including Word documents, PDF, Excel and text documents) and store that document in an electronic repository for easy retrieval as and when required.

Yet e-signing and storing a document is only part of the requirement small businesses that aim to operate as efficiently as possible. DocuSign can also help businesses streamline key processes by integrating seamlessly with a range of market-leading software products, many of which are delivered as services from the cloud. These products include Salesforce customer relationship management systems, Microsoft Office productivity software, Dropbox file-sharing software, Google Apps intelligent software, Google Drive cloud storage and file backup and NetSuite enterprise resource planning software.

So the (considerable) upside for small to medium businesses is using the easiest, fastest and most secure way to send, sign, manage and store documents in the cloud. With eligible small businesses able to claim immediate deductions of the cost of implementing DocuSign (provided the implementation cost is less than $20,000), owners now have compelling reasons to investigate the benefits that DocuSign e-signature software can deliver.