August 3, 2022

Prepare hundreds of documents for signing with Agrello and Excel?

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Prepare hundreds of documents for signing with Agrello and Excel?

Sometimes we get into situations where it's necessary to quickly create dozens or hundreds of documents to be signed on the same basis. Whether it's renewing internal work rules, making changes to customer contracts, or signing subscription agreements. In such cases, connecting Agrello to an Excel file in the Microsoft Onedrive cloud folder via Zapier significantly speeds up paperwork.

What's Agrello and what's Zapier?

Agrello is an electronic signature service that lets you conveniently and quickly send documents for signature via a secure online environment. The document is uploaded to the Agrello cloud service and the signer receives an email invitation to sign. You can sign using Mobile- ID, Smart- ID and Agrello's own digital signature.

Zapier is a web service that lets you connect different web-based tools and automate business processes without the help of a programmer. More than 5,000 different web apps can be linked together in Zapier.

Agrello's Zapier connection was completed in early 2022 and has already been used to create more than a thousand documents.

Linking Excel and Agrello saves many hours that would otherwise be spent creating and distributing each document. In addition, the risk of manual errors can be avoided, and once the link is established, Excel can be supplemented with new data at any time, automatically creating new documents that are signed in Agrello.

Example: How can the signing of internal rules be automated?

To better understand how the connection of Excel with Zapier works, let's go through an example where changes to internal rules are sent to employees for signature.

The process consists of three steps:

  1. Preparation of the document base and the Excel spreadsheet.
  2. Creating a document base in Agrello
  3. Connecting Excel and Agrello in Zapier

Preparation

First, the base of internal rules must be prepared in Microsoft Word and the fields that are employee-specific must be marked there.

Dynamically filled fields must be entered in Word with logical brackets, for example {{employee name}}. To avoid errors, you mustn't use punctuation or spaces in the text enclosed in parentheses.

Next, we prepare an Excel file with a list of all employees and the data to be included in the document. A separate row must be created for each employee and a column for each dynamic field.

The table must contain the e-mail address of the employee to whom the invitation to sign should be sent.

We also recommend using a so-called control column (e.g. "Send for signature"), with which you can tell Excel whether this row should be sent to Agrello or not.

The Excel file must be saved in your company's OneDrive directory, because only there Zapier can access the file.

Creating a document base in Agrello

In Agrello you can easily create a document base. You need to select the "Template" option in the "Create New" menu and then simply upload the prepared Word file.

Anyone can create an Agrello account by themselves and for free. With a free account you can create three documents per month. So, for automating larger quantities, a paid account is required.

Setup in Zapier

Anyone can also create a free Zapier account. Once the account is created, the first connection ("Zap") must be made. There's a quick form on the desktop for this.

Type Excel on the left and Agrello on the right in the search box.

In the next line, type Updated row in the "When this happens..." field and Create new document from a template in the "Then do this!" field and then click the ”Try it” button.

Next you need to tell Zapier which Office 360 account to use ("Choose account") and which file to search for there (Set up triggers).

Connect a new account or select an existing one, press "Continue" and then select a file.

Finally, select the "Trigger" column. This is the column where, when the content changes, a specific trigger is activated and a contract is created in Agrello. For this we select the column C "Send for signature".

How does the "Trigger" column work?

When we set up the Excel connection, we specified "Send for signing" as the C trigger column. This means that Zapier will create a new contract in Agrello when you write something in this column.

This way we can check in Excel which document to send to Agrello. All you've to do is write, for example, "Yes" after a certain row, and then Zapier knows that it can take that row and create a document in Agrello.

Finally, you press Next and test your trigger.

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The next step is to set up the Agrello connection in Zapier. As with Excel and OneDrive, you must first connect your Agrello account.

In the next step, you'll select the document base (Template ID) and link the Excel fields to the document base fields. We select the bottom of the sample work order that we'd previously loaded into Agrello. When you select the bottom, Zapier automatically detects which dynamic fields are used in the document.

Then we can enter the name of the dynamically created document (document name), which can be, for example, the name of the employee and a static text.

The next two options determine what Agrello should do when Zapier "challenges" it.

  • Publish document and send invitation after creation determines whether the invitation to sign is sent immediately (select the True value) or the document remains in Agrello as a draft (select the False value).
  • Output Type defines whether the digital container format (asice) commonly used in Estonia or the PDF format preferred in other parts of the world is selected for signing.

The fields for signers must then be filled in.

In the first field of the Username list to invite to sign the document, you need to select the email address of the employee from the email column in Excel.

Once one is selected, the next signer can be added in the next row. In this example, we're dealing with a company representative who won't change - so we add him as static text.

And finally, we add the employee's name from Excel to the dynamic field of the document.

Then we press Continue and then Test zap. As a result, a new document is created in Agrello, which is sent for signature.

If everything works, you need to press Publish zap.

Finally

Once this setup is complete, the connection between Agrello and Excel is complete and will work as long as this Zap is active. This means that at any time you can add new rows in Excel that will automatically create a document that will be signed in Agrello.

This type of permanent connection has already been used by several small businesses to save time on paperwork. We've written more about an example > Case study: Closing investment rounds faster with Agrello.

Have fun with the integration!

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About the author
Jarmo Tuisk
Jarmo Tuisk
Jarmo is in charge of Agrello’s product development. He is making sure that we offer something unique to outperform other similar solutions on the market.

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