08 24 2021 / Document Workflow

Three Secure Ways to Share Documents with Tax Clients

Three Secure Ways to Share Documents with Tax Clients

Accounting and bookkeeping firms need a quick and secure way to share files with clients. Document sharing is, after all, a vital part of your service. However, if you’re relying on multiple services to share documents or the process is complicated, clients may take longer to respond or become frustrated. Clients also want reassurance that their personal, sensitive data is protected.

So, what’s the best way to share documents with clients? Here are three secure options.

How to Share Documents Securely

Many firms overlook the importance of finding a secure, client-centric solution for file sharing. File sharing can be risky if you aren’t using the right solution. Here’s why:

Sensitive Data Can be Exposed

Failing to use a secure file sharing service may expose your client’s sensitive data. With unsecured sharing, unauthorized parties may unintentionally (or intentionally) gain access to the document’s data. 

Your clients’ personal data must be protected, and careless file sharing puts their information at risk.

A single data breach can lead to:

  • Loss of clients
  • Significant costs
  • Loss of reputation

Even the largest companies in the world are at risk of cyberattacks.

You’re at Risk of Cyberattacks

In addition to exposing sensitive data, unsecured sharing can also increase the risk of cyberattacks, such as man in the middle attacks or denial-of-service. 

Secure document sharing can help reduce the risk of cyberattacks and sensitive data being exposed. Here are three ways to share documents securely.

1. Cloud Protection

One way to share documents securely is through the cloud. Google Drive, Firefox Send and Microsoft OneDrive are just a few examples of cloud services that allow you to share files securely with your clients.

Secure cloud services encrypt files while they’re being uploaded or downloaded and while they’re stored. Encryption can help protect your files from hackers. Documents that are stored on the cloud can be accessed anytime and from virtually any internet-connected device.

While convenient and free or low-cost, there are some drawbacks to using cloud services. Google Drive, for example, requires you to manually share access for each individual file. Because there’s no way to automate file sharing, the cloud can be a tedious and time-consuming option.

Human error is also a concern. The larger your staff, the greater the risk of someone sharing a file with the wrong person or forgetting to share it altogether. 

Basic cloud protection, using the services above, are not enough on their own to offer you and your clients true security. Instead, you should use a solution that:

  • Scales with the growth of your business.
  • Automates workflow without jeopardizing security.
  • Integrates neatly into your existing workflow.

Cloud protection may be sufficient for some files, but it’s not enough for true protection of sensitive client data. In addition, when your firm’s reputation is on the line, it’s important to look beyond basic document sharing methods and security.

2. Password Protected Documents

Another way to share documents securely is through password protection. For example, clients can download files, but they’ll need to enter a password to access them. Password protection means that only the client, who has access to the password, can view the document.

Adobe and Dropbox are two services that offer password protected sharing.

The primary advantage of this option is that it restricts access. If clients use shared computers, password protection ensures that no one else can open or view the file. Password protecting your files can also help build trust among clients. 

Although passwords add an extra layer of security, they also add an extra step to the sharing process. Passwords must be shared securely. If clients have a habit of losing or forgetting passwords, file sharing can quickly become cumbersome and time-consuming. 

Weak passwords may also increase the risk of hackers or other unauthorized persons gaining access to the file. If passwords wind up in the wrong hands, unauthorized parties may gain access to the client’s information. This scenario can happen if:

  • Passwords aren’t shared in a secure way
  • Clients write down or save passwords, and others can access them

Services like Dropbox or Adobe also come at an additional cost that can range from around $20/month to nearly $200/month.

The additional expense and extra hurdle in accessing the file make password protection a less-than-optimal solution.

Password protected files offer sub-optimal security for sensitive client data. Instead, using a robust solution that integrates into your workflow neatly is best.

3. Secure Client Portal

Secure client portals, such as TaxDome Client Portal, give you the best of both worlds (cloud and password protection) without all of the headaches and hassles of the first two options on this list. Documents can be uploaded and securely accessed from one central platform that’s easy to access anytime and on any device. 

Clients can scan, upload, approve and e-sign documents within a single hub.

Rather than using multiple services, which can easily create confusion and frustration, clients can log into one platform to access everything they need. Clients only need one password to access, upload and sign documents. Bills can also be paid via a secure client portal. With the option to use Face ID and smartphone access, clients don’t even have to worry about remembering passwords.

In TaxDome, documents are encrypted and securely stored on the cloud. Cloud tax document storage means that files can be accessed from any internet-connected device. Whenever new documents are uploaded and shared, clients are notified, so they can take action right away. 

Rather than having to jump through hoops, clients can log right into the portal to access, download and upload files. This streamlined approach to file sharing saves clients time and frustration.

What if a file needs to be shared with a third party?

TaxDome secure client portal also makes it easy to securely share files with third parties. Simply create a share link and add an expiration date. The party will only have access to the file until the expiration date. 

Expiration dates add an extra layer of security when sharing files with third parties and ensure that only the right parties have access for a limited time.

Conclusion

Sharing documents is a key part of an accounting and bookkeeping firm’s business. Whether clients are sharing documents with you or you’re sharing files with the client, security is a top priority.

Incorporate secure and fully custom branded TaxDome client portal to share documents with clients and keep sensitive information safe is to use an all-in-one solution that has been built from the ground up to be secure.

Lisa Chaud

Lisa Chaud

Lisa is a Marketer at TaxDome. With her experience in B2B and E-commerce, Lisa is passionate about doing marketing research and delivering insights to the community. In her free time, she prefers doing different kinds of sports.

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