Secure Exchange of information with Clients

Meeting with the SFV Breakfast Group the other day, we were talking about how to transmit information to clients - and get their information back.

TaxPros using Lacerte and Drake could easily do that.

Those of us using ProSeries can't even produce a draft copy without using an outside software tool.

But we need more than that. We don't just want to send things to clients. We need a secure place to receive their data and signed documents, as well. The system needs to be secure and affordable. And most of all, it needs to be user-friendly.

Some of the tools we've used in the past required waaaaayyyy too much client hand-holding and staff training.

Most of the DMS systems I looked at were either expensive, or only designed for the firm to use - not for client use.

Here are two nifty, affordable solutions I found last week:

1. SecureDrawer.com  - created by a working CPA

  • About $10 (2 GB) - $30  (6 GB) per month - up to $595 per month for high volume. 
  • You can integrate it into your website.
  • Your clients can upload a variety of files.
  • You can include notes with your uploads.
  • You can set an expiration date on the folder or documents
  • Various staffing tools.
  • They have a DMS service and a back-up service, too.

2. ClientWhys Client Portals. Developed by a practicing EA and his team.

  • About $25 (.5 GB) - $35  (2 GB) per month. 
  • You can integrate it into your website.
  • Your clients can upload a variety of files.
  • You can include notes with your uploads.
  • You can set an expiration date on the folder or documents
  • Various staffing tools.
  • Lots of nifty things, like fillable PDF organizers and marketing tools.
  • They have tax pro websites and offer CPE courses, too.

 

Since we have all our marketing , forms, etc, taken care of, we opted for the SecureDrawer.com   system. The clients and staff who've been downloading and uploading files are really liking it. Even some of the clients who don't have the strongest Internet skills have no trouble with it.

 I'd love to know what you're using and how you like it.

 

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Eva Rosenberg, MBA, EA, is the publisher of TaxMama.com, and author of the weekly syndicated Ask TaxMama column. She provides answers to tax questions from taxpayers and tax professionals worldwide.

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