Productivity & Efficiency

5 Benefits of Using of a Live Form

Replacing hard copy requests and email exchanges with live forms introduces significant benefits to document collection and management processes.


Gathering information about clients, new hires, or applicants throughout the application and onboarding processes can be done digitally or on paper. Collecting this information over email allows both processors and submitters to exchange information instantly, at least in theory.

The unfortunate reality is that often this process is not instant, but rather messy and inefficient, not to mention that it’s also far from secure.

Nevertheless, once this information is received and entered into the appropriate database, every delivered form field becomes static, until manually altered.

In many circumstances, client or applicant data may change – either regularly or randomly – and organizations need to maintain awareness of these changes and have in place measures to update form fields in a timely fashion so that business data remains accurate and reliable.

An alternative to static forms – either as printed hard copies or as email attachments – is live forms. A live form, or fillable form, is a type of digital form that records form field inputs across the lifecycle of the form hosting site. This means that when you pull historical form field data, your results will include all total inputs from field inputs, even if the form has been altered or users have changed their inputs.

What is a Live Form?

Web application forms accept inputs from users – either as constrained options such as dropdown menus or text-field inputs – and pass these inputs into a database configured to match the number of form fields and their data input types. The transaction is static and remains unchanged unless it is manually changed or overwritten by input from a separate form coded to replace that particular table and row in the database – the way users create new passwords to replace lost or stolen ones.

However, if the form fields connected to the database ever change – you rewrite the dropdown menu or disallow certain formats of text-field input – you will lose query-friendly data from searches as old inputs that no longer match the current form fields are excluded. Depending on how new changes are coded, additional skewing may accrue from the persistence of old data in renamed form fields.

For example, if you had a form with a dropdown menu that contained the options:

  1. Red
  2. Blue
  3. Yellow
  4. Green

If you dropped Green for Purple but added Purple to line 1, you would get results reflecting:

  1. Red Purple - deleted
  2. Blue
  3. Yellow
  4. (blank)

By contrast, live forms preserve all field inputs through changes, even when form fields are updated or altered. Live forms don’t distinguish between current form field inputs or past, or between current options and those disabled. Live forms create a holistic view of historical data, enabling a greater depth of analytical insight.

How Live Forms Improve Efficiency and Yield More Insightful Data Analytics

Replacing hard copy requests and email exchanges with live forms hosted on a single, secure platform introduces several significant benefits to document collection and management processes.

1. Reduced Email Requests

When document collection processes are conducted over email, each document in the process represents an individual request and response in a ballooning volume of email threads that may be continuous or discrete. Live forms consolidate requests and responses, easing the burden of tracking and managing the information contained in multiple emails for both processors and clients.

Cutting out unnecessary manual processes saves time and reduces the chance of errors.

2. Real-Time Data

Because they allow multiple entries in the same form field, live forms generate real-time data. For data analytics – however, you’re structuring and analyzing your internal data – this means that the analytics you have at any moment accurately represent the present state of affairs. In effect, live forms eliminate lag time between analytical operations and decision-making.

3. Time Saved

Live form data collection through a single platform radically cuts turnaround times in document collection phases for different processes. For example, in the banking industry, live form-enabled document collection in loan applications can reduce overall processing times by as much as 80%.

4. Ease of Use

Because live forms can be altered in real-time according to use cases, senders can make individual adjustments to suit particular clients. This allows organizations to deliver clients customized forms, optimized for ease of use.

5. Customer Experience

Live forms can eliminate the need for clients to fill out and upload static forms that contain many form fields and questions that don’t apply to them. This reduces uncertainty and time wasted. Most one-size-fits-all client forms contain dozens of line items that don’t apply to the client in question. This creates doubts that force clients to hold off and contact the requesting organizations to clarify.

Explore FileInvite’s Live Form Functionality

FileInvite streamlines document collection and onboarding processes with a SOC 2 Type 2 compliant client document portal platform that secures all exchanged information with end-to-end 256-bit encryption in transit and at reset.

To learn more and experience these benefits firsthand, start your fully-featured trial today.

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