ECMA – Electronic signature platform for chartered accountants

By offering an electronic signature solution for the accounting profession, our aim was twofold: to accelerate and to secure digital transactions within firms. To adapt the tool to the everyday work of charted accountants, we organised various working groups. In October 2018, during the chartered accountants conference, we launched a turnkey and perfectly secure tool, thanks to a connection via Comptexpert, the institute’s authentication system.

Jean-Yves Moreau
Vice-Président, ECMA

ECMA relied on Universign to launch the new electronic signature platform for chartered accountants


ECMA, a non-profit organisation founded in 1901 and created by the Conseil Supérieur de l’Ordre des Experts-Comptables (French High Council of the Institute of Chartered Accountants), is responsible for offering digital tools to chartered accountants, and has recently launched the service. Reserved for members of the Ordre des Experts-Comptables, this electronic signature platform relies on Universign trust services. 

An expectation shared by industry professionals

Since the launch of the platform last October, during the Institute’s 73rd Conference, ECMA was able to clearly gauge the enthusiasm within the profession. Over 300 chartered accountants registered at the Conference, and the feedback has already been very positive. 

Beyond the financial advantages related to the use of an electronic signature solution (savings on printing, delivery fees and storage), users also underlined how the simplicity of its use and the speed of processing. With the electronic signature, agreements can be instantly formalised, thus reducing the delays incurred during manually processing. With no software to install or specific equipment required, chartered accountants can now sign any type of document online, wherever they’re located. All they need is an internet connection. With a simplified user experience, the electronic signature contributes to a firm’s improved productivity and image. 

Ultimately, the goal is to make the electronic signature accessible throughout the profession, made up of 20,000 chartered accountants. With, they will benefit from a tool which perfectly complies with the needs of the profession and the requirements of the European regulation regarding trust services. Whether accountants are processing documents like accounts records, engagement letters or even payslips and fee statements, the electronic signature offers an effective response to the need for digitalisation and the simplification of processes. 

A side-by-side partnership 

To respond to the expectations of the profession, ECMA has brought together various chartered accountants within working groups. This was a prerequisite, in order to offer a solution suited to the needs of the profession. Ultimately, the goal was to directly offer the electronic signature within the business software used by chartered accountants. 

Security in the digital era

To respond to security issues and combat the illegal exercise of the profession, is supported by Comptexpert, the institute’s authentication system, which guarantees a professional’s membership within the Ordre des Experts-Comptables. Users, chartered accountants or appointed employees can seal or sign documents, or invite third parties to co-sign. The electronic signature guarantees the integrity of documents and the identification of signatories. It therefore considerably reduces the risk of fraud. 

To offer this electronic signature service, ECMA is supported by Universign. The French expert in electronic signatures offers a complete range of qualified trust services (electronic signature, seal and timestamping) in accordance with the eIDAS European regulation. Its simple and intuitive signature process, and the ease of integrating the SaaS platform via an API, were determining factors for the quick deployment of 

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