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Info for E-signature Admins

This article applies to: Electronic Signature

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Units that want to use the Electronic Signature service need to designate an administrator (or admin) to assign licenses, maintain groups within their unit, and provide primary technical support for their unit. The unit admin's responsibilities include organizing users into groups, managing users, and guiding the unit on decisions about workflow and business continuity.


Adobe Sign organizes users into groups. A user must have a primary group, used for administering licenses. An online course, Adobe Sign - Group Manager Training is available at no cost.

Groups are used for the following functions:

  1. Document templates can be created for a single user, for a group, or for the entire university. It is most appropriate to limit templates to your group unless your job is making university-wide forms and processes. Do NOT publish template to the entire university without approval.
  2. Workflows can be defined for a single user, for a group, or for the entire university. Again, the group is most appropriate level of sharing. Do NOT publish template to the entire university without approval.
  3. Admins can run reports for their groups to compile statistics for usage.

You can have additional groups for the purpose of sharing templates or workflows among a subset of users. Groups can also be used to impose different levels of restrictions on users or tasks. When a user uses a template published in a group, the rules established in that group apply, and the resulting documents are managed by that group's manager, not the user’s primary group manager.

For instance, HR might publish a form that should only be used by certain individuals in each unit. Those people would already be in groups according to their unit. An HR_Rep group might be used to make that form available to the right set of representatives without releasing it to everyone in the university.

Managing Users

CIT has provided a small application for managing the licenses of users in your group. You may use this application to issue licenses for eligible users: active staff and faculty, including temporary and contract staff (students, retirees, and alumni are not eligible). If you are already a group admin, you can use the application at Once signed in, the application will provide assistance in common tasks.

Individuals who will be signing high-value transactions in Adobe Sign must be provided with a Cornell enterprise account. High-value transactions are worth more than $25,000, or are agreements on behalf of the entire university, such as real estate agreements.

Departmental Users

If you would like your contracts to be sent from a departmental email address rather than a personal one, you may create an Adobe Sign account for an Exchange Group Account (EGA). This method is also useful because it allows several people to share the management duties of the collected contracts and stores the received documents under a non-personal account. To use this management method, you first need an EGA. If you don't already have a suitable EGA set up, see the Request an EGA article for details.


  • The email address and display name you select should be one that will be recognizable by those you are contacting to obtain signatures.
  • Several emails will be sent by Adobe to this EGA for each agreement that you send out, so it should be an EGA where those emails are delivered to the appropriate people and don't interfere with other business processes using the same EGA.
  • Once you have an EGA, your group admin can enroll the EGA for a license using the management tool. After that, the group admin can submit a ticket through the IT Service Desk to share the EGA with the appropriate list of people.

Once the sharing is set up, individual users should continue to log in to Adobe Sign with their own NetID and password. Users will see a new button in the lower left corner of the Dashboard, Switch to shared account. Once switched to an account, all agreements will be send from and returned to that account. The History sub-tab of the Manage tab will show the actual actor who logged in to the account, so a proper audit trail is kept.

Don't use the EGA account to sign documents. If a signature from your office is needed on a document, route it to an individual during the signing process, so that the signature authority is clearer.

Box Workflow

Adobe provides info regarding getting your documents signed by others in Adobe Acrobat for Box. Scroll down to the section entitled "Send your documents to get signatures." 

Business Continuity

It is important to devote some planning to business continuity for times that staff is on vacation or out sick, or times when there is staff turnover. Adobe Sign stores documents in the account of the user who initiates the workflow, and these documents CANNOT be moved to another user's account. They can, however, be made accessible by another user. This can lead to issues of business continuity when documents and workflows stored in the account are required for the university's business and the account owner is unavailable.

Most of the following measures are not needed if units and departments follow the best practices above of using Departmental Users or a Box Workflow. If neither of these are in use, the following methods are needed.

For coverage during a person's planned absence, Adobe's recommended method is to use account sharing, and is relatively easy to set up. To initiate account sharing, click  the Account tab in your Adobe Sign dashboard, then, on the left, click Sharing Status . Click the plus sign to share your account with someone else. You can keep this sharing arrangement permanently or you can set this up for only the periods where coverage is needed. Once set up, the person to whom you have granted access will see a new Switch to shared account button at the bottom right corner of their Adobe Sign dashboard. Clicking on an account name will allow that person to see your documents, both completed and in-progress, and if you have granted those permissions will also be able to send new agreements on your behalf.

If you have not planned in advance for a staff member's absence, you, as the Group administrator, can set up sharing between members of your group. (Please be sure to notify the users involved and to keep a record of your actions.)

If a staff member has left permanently, Adobe recommends sharing the departed staff member's account with the next occupant of the position, so that historical documents are accessible. While this will work on a small scale, over time this will yield an unmanageable tangle of sharing arrangements. For this reason, we recommend either the departmental account workflow or the Box workflow instead.


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