DocuSign & Adobe Sign’s Calculated Fields are Good for Much More than Just Calculations
How do you build a simple tool to both allow custom pricing calculations and contract signing on an eSignature platform? You use the DocuSign Calculated Fields or the Adobe Sign Calculated Fields, of course!
That’s the straight use of these fields, but they also open up other uses / options on either platform.
How are Calculated Fields Typically Used
A good simple use case example of calculated fields came up in one of our recent solutions where our customer wanted to allow their clients to get immediate pricing as part of an office cleaning and janitorial service quoting/contract signing solution.
The client would initiate the request directly on our customer’s site by selecting the types of services they needed, fill out their business / personal info and submit. The data is immediately sent to DocuSign and the web page redirected to that platform to review and sign the contract. The customer could change the square footage ranges from a dropdown list and, in the process, see an updated quote on pricing, all with different discounts being displayed for various sized spaces and different services. Once they signed, it was no longer a quote, but a new contract. Voila!
This is what’s often referred to as a Configure Price Quote (CPQ) solution, albeit this is a much simplified version of it.
None of that is new, though most folks are unaware of this cool control on the DocuSign and Adobe Sign platforms.
How are Calculated Fields Different
Calculated Fields on DocuSign provide the ability to dynamically conduct arithmetic calculations on data fields during an agreement signing. These calculations can be for numbers or dates, such as setting an effective date for a contract based on the date an agreement is signed. Adobe Sign additionally provides the ability to concatenate text to create suggestions of text or terms.
DocuSign’s Calculated Fields assume number calculations and, as a result, all data presented is right aligned. You can format the data to have 0 or 2 decimal places. Additionally, you can perform some data operations with predefined functions such as to obtain date differences.
Adobe Sign fields have more flexibility by allowing various date / number formatting and manipulations. As a result, you can manipulate data presentation for numbers and text, as well as the types of calculations that can be performed such as getting the minimum value from a set of fields, or rounding up/down of calculated value.
What are Some Unique Uses of Calculated Fields
So, you may be asking, “Ok, wise guy! What’s the not-so-typical use of calculated fields?”
Good question. I’m glad you asked! ?
Calculated Fields do very well in allowing your customers and document singers to dynamically change values to see immediate result during their signing, sure! In the process, the round-trips, requesting revisions based on specific customer needs, is reduced or eliminated, and your Time To Close or Time Value of Money metrics improve.
On the other hand, many integrated solutions and robust Contract Management System like Conga in conjunction with Salesforce, or custom applications, provide for uses cases that are simple to complex for presentation and even customer manipulation of the data before sending any of the information for signing to an eSignature platform.
Does that mean Calculated Fields have no use?
Actually, they have a hidden and an important value! Given the formatting options they provide, especially for numbered values, where it’s imperative the data is right aligned or localized (such as with date presentation differences between US vs. Europe or South America), they are a perfect solution.
All calculations and CPQ manipulations by sales staff or even customers can still be conducted on a system better designed for that purpose, then properly presented for final execution on the eSign platform.
Bottom line is that whether you wish to use Adobe Sign or DocuSign’s Calculated Fields to allow your customers to manipulate their custom quotes directly on those platforms, or you wish to incorporate at least the formatting of these fields in conjunction with your existing CPQ or other quoting applications, Calculated Fields deserve a serious consideration for data manipulations on your eSignature platform of choice.