May 18th 2012
By Michael Alter
If your clients are unfamiliar with web portals, you can explain how web portals save everyone time and make the exchange of files easier. For end clients, using a web portal means they never need to be concerned about an e-mail server being bogged down or rejecting the exchange of large QuickBooks files.
Sharing files on a web portal allows accountants and end clients to access the same electronic documents simultaneously by simply going online and logging in with a username and password. Web portals offer instant access and effortless file sharing with clients.
Communication and Security
- Web portals provide a secure online method of communication between you and your clients. The web portal operates as a repository for the exchange of documents (tax returns, financial statements, PDF files, QuickBooks files, Word docs, Excel files, etc.) needed in engagements with your clients – documents your firm may currently store as paper in file cabinets.
- The web portal, when leveraged to its fullest, serves as a primary interaction point between accounting and payroll professionals and the end clients. Documents can be added to the portal from either side, accessed and reviewed whenever it's convenient.
- Web portals have grown in popularity because they make accounting and payroll professionals' jobs easier. They are recognized as a more secure means for delivery of client documents, as states are beginning to close the door and restrict the use of e-mail for the delivery of client data. Files of any size upload instantly and encryption is often automatic, as is notification that new documents have been loaded to the web portal.
Additional Benefits and Savings
- Paper: Documents that are scanned and stored as electronic records are more easily accessible than files stored on CDs or thumb drives.
- Mailing and associated costs: Faxing and using snail mail are all but eliminated with web portals, as are the administrative costs of maintaining client hard copy document files. Some web portal software offers the ability to send and receive invoices and other correspondence.
- Productivity: Less time is spent filing and organizing paper documents, allowing for more time to be a rainmaker or simply freeing up time for greater work-life balance.
- Marketing: Web portals quickly brand you as a technologically savvy firm.
Ultimately, working through a web portal translates to the secure and efficient exchange of documents for all.
Thomson Reuters has an excellent white paper on web portals, Implementing a Firm-Wide Portal Solution, that you might like to read. If you'd like more information about the features a web portal should offer, you can visit the ClientWhys website.