Client portals have come a long way since they were first introduced. Revolutionary as they were, the first portals were simple tools—clunky and barely more secure than your Hotmail account. Those stone-age portals required a level of technical understanding that few were comfortable with.
Today’s client portals are no longer just for file sharing, modern client portals offer a whole range of features and upgrades that make you more efficient. First, let's make sure we're all on the same page and know what a client portal is.
What is a Client Portal?
A Client portal is a cloud-based and secure website to give you and your clients a convenient location for all communications and actions pertaining to the relationship and their account. Both you and the client can track progress, share documents, make notes ,and pay invoices among other functions in a client portal. Because everything happens in the portal, anyone at the business can view interactions and close loops.
Why CPA's, Accountants, and Tax Professionals Need a Client Portal
Client portals can seem complicated and daunting, so we’ve put together a list of 3 things today’s client portals can do for your business.
1. Secure and Simple File Sharing
File sharing is still the most important function of a client portal. Sending sensitive files through unencrypted email is dangerous and even illegal in some areas. Outside of standard email you have limited options, all of which have obvious drawbacks. Not everyone has access to a fax machine, and quality is often poor. Standard mail is far too slow. Encrypted email is expensive and only useful for a single task.
Modern client portals make file sharing as simple as posting a picture to Facebook, and keep your data more secure than it is on your hard drive.
2. Seamless Client Management
Because client portals are so simple to use, they are an ideal place to communicate with your clients. Portals provide a single platform for you to:
- Upload and inspect documents
- Make notes and requests
- Ask for and provide clarification
- And more!
Keeping your communications in the same place as your sensitive documents lets you streamline your workflow, making the whole process more efficient.
More robust client portals like Canopy’s offer collaborative features beyond even communication. Engineering a space where clients and tax professionals work together allows for features like intelligent client surveys and simplified online invoicing.
3. Modernize Your Practice
The third advantage client portals can give your practice is modernization. Modernizing in the tax industry doesn't need to mean riding the cutting edge. However, you do need to stay competitive in a fast-changing world. Clients and young talent alike expect businesses to take advantage of well-established technology to provide a quality experience. Today that means more than just having a website and a Facebook page.
Canopy is a one-stop-shop for all of your accounting firm's needs, with robust tools like our Client Portal. Sign up free to see how our full suite of services can help you today.
There are countless industries that require a client portal, but accountants in particular, require a secure, effective and convenient portal for their clients.
Why do accountants need client portal software? Accountants have incredibly transactional relationships with their clients. Filled with careful correspondence, sensitive document sharing, and frequent deadline-oriented tasks - a client portal can only help streamline all of these efforts into one, secure location, making life easier for everyone involved.
6 Features Accountants Need in a Client Portal:
Now, we've talked about why you need a client portal, but what exactly should accountants look for. Not all client portals are equal for CPA's or accounting firms. If you're an accountant looking for a portal, here are a few features you need to have:
1. Dashboard with activity updates.
2. Secure Document Sharing and Storage
3. Communication Tools
4. Branding Capabilities
5. Training and Resource Library6. Insights and Reporting Analytics Tools