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Tax & AccountingNovember 20, 2023

Why accounting firms need to use a client portal and how to find the best client portal for your firm

Gone are the days of printing and mailing out documents to clients to review and sign. As more and more firms work with clients remotely, it’s important to have a secure and efficient method of exchanging documents online. A cloud-based secure client portal is a key tool that all accounting firms need to enable this.

What is a client portal

In essence, a client portal is a secure channel or hub for sharing and managing sensitive and confidential information between accountants and their clients. A client portal offers greater security than simply emailing documents or sending documents via less secure online tools. It can also be more efficient and cost effective than spending time and money on printing and mailing documents back and forth with clients, as everything happens digitally, with just a few clicks.

Efficiency of workflow

A client portal offers many efficiency benefits. For example, accountants can view the status of documents within the portal to see if a client has opened or signed the document. Reminders to review or sign documents can be fully automated, thus minimising the need for follow up calls and emails. Automated notifications can also alert accountants when a client has added or amended a document into their portal.

Client Portal software that is integrated with your Tax return software or Document Management software can enable a more seamless end-to-end compliance workflow. With an integrated software solution, it can be just a few clicks to get a tax return sent, signed and saved securely against your client or job. This also makes it easy to view all documents relating to a job or client and retrieve these documents in future years.

Essential security measures

Accounting firms handle sensitive and confidential financial information. Hence, maintaining high-level security is paramount.

According to the Wolters Kluwer 2023-24 Accounting Evolution Report, 79% of ANZ firms and 74% of SEA firms are still using email as their primary communication method with clients. Sharing documents via email results in significant vulnerability for firms who are already at heightened risk of cyber-attack.

A client portal helps to mitigate these risks with advanced encryption technologies that protect data from unauthorised access, ensuring compliance with stringent data protection regulations. Additional features such as multi-factor-authentication provide further security against unauthorised access to sensitive data.

Client Portals where the login page branding can be customised provides an additional deterrent for cyber-attackers, who face legal consequences for impersonating a brand. At the same time, accounting firm clients can feel more reassured when they can see familiar firm branding and information on the login page.

In conclusion, a client portal is an essential tool for accounting firms looking to enhance their efficiency and security while providing superior client service. Client portals streamline communication and protect confidential client data. Furthermore, the increased efficiency and security create opportunities for personalised service and real-time insights, fostering stronger client relationships. Ultimately, a client portal is no longer a nice-to-have, it is a must-have tool for all accounting firms who communicate and collaborate with customers online.

CCH iFirm Client Portal for accounting firms

CCH iFirm Client Portal is a secure, cloud-based Client Portal which provides an easy-to-use, secure channel to share documents for review or digital signing with clients.

View the status of documents at a glance in the portal, benefit from our tried-and-tested security innovation, and the intelligent integration with our Signatures, Contacts, Practice Manager and Document Vault tools to enable a more seamless workflow.

Learn More About CCH iFirm Client Portal
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