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Homegrown Australian Technology Stars Back ESignatures Push

Nitro leads challenge to make permanent change in Australian legislation

Nitro Software (ASX: NTO), a global document productivity company, has begun a campaign to make electronic signatures a permanent feature of the Australian business landscape, and tech leaders of Australian-born companies with a combined value of more than A$100 billion have added their voices to the campaign.

In response to disrupted business conditions as a result of COVID-19, the Federal Government introduced temporary measures to enable the electronic execution of documents. This has proven critical for business continuity, given the travel and social distancing restrictions imposed to manage the pandemic.

The Treasury Laws Amendment (2021 Measures No. 1) Bill 2021 would extend that temporary measure until 15 September 2021, meaning organizations executing documents would not have to secure physical, or ‘wet’, signatures. In its submission to the Senate Economics References Committee inquiry into the Bill, Nitro supports that element of the Bill but calls for the changes to be made permanent.

Importantly, the Bill does not prohibit ‘wet’ signatures, giving Australian businesses the choice of either.

High-profile Australian entrepreneurs including Scott Farquar and Mike Cannon-Brookes at Atlassian, Cliff Obrecht at Canva, Craig Scroggie at Next DC, and Patrick Grove at Catcha Group have endorsed the submission made by fellow Australian entrepreneur and Nitro’s co-founder and CEO Sam Chandler, to the parliamentary inquiry into the legislation, which includes measures on eSignatures and is currently sitting in the Senate.

Nitro conducted two research reports during the height of COVID-19 to gain more insight into remote working habits. The first report found there was a 70 percent fall in the use of printing by Australian companies since the start of the pandemic, coupled with a 108 percent increase in electronic signature requests - demonstrating that eSignatures have become an essential part of business functionality.

Mr. Chandler’s submission states, “It is our belief that permanently enabling electronic execution of documents will enable Australian organizations to operate more productively and efficiently and will enable Australian businesses to remain at the forefront of technological innovation. A return to mandated paper-based document execution risks leaving Australia as an outlier in global business practices. The Federal Government’s indication that our international borders will effectively remain closed for an extended period into 2022 only reinforces the need for Australian businesses to be able to operate as seamlessly as possible in an increasingly digital world.”

Nitro, the brainchild of Mr. Chandler and a group of close friends, was founded in Melbourne in 2005. The company has gone on to become a major success, with headquarters now in San Francisco and offices in Melbourne, Dublin, London, and Toronto. Nitro is a trusted document productivity platform that delivers PDF editing, eSigning, and powerful analytical solutions to help accelerate business outcomes. The company partners with over 11,700 businesses across 154 countries and helped unlock productivity in over 2.2. billion documents in 2020 alone.

A copy of the submission is available here.

For more information on Nitro, please visit: https://www.gonitro.com/

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