Why SMS is not Secure for Client Communications & Inefficient for Your Practice

Texting clients has become more popular in recent years because it provides an easy mechanism to communicate with clients on the go. Texts & push notifications have high responsiveness (there are a myriad of stats on comparing e-mail to sms) and it’s convenient for your clients.

But, is it optimal and convenient for your firm? Does it meet IRS security recommendations and keep customer data secure? And, are there better ways of providing the same mobile-friendly chat, yet with far more functionality and security?

TaxDome secure messaging does just that, allowing you and your team to save time and stay far more organized, while allowing your clients to communicate with you from their phones.

Messaging app use grew 10x since 2011 (while SMS has declined)

As a starting point, let’s examine SMS & WhatsApp. According to Statista, the number of SMS messages sent in the United States peaked in 2011.

Source: https://www.statista.com/chart/12109/

Since that time, Whatsapp has grown more than 10x in usage.

Why do billions of people find Whatsapp more convenient than SMS? It has far more functionality and benefits, while maintaining ease-of-use. We’ll analyze this to see why TaxDome secure messaging is the next level of communication for any modern practice.

SMS is not secure

Data security is paramount in today’s day and age. The IRS releases countless documents and best practices for how to keep customer data secure, and yet obvious risks are ignored. SMS (and email) are not safe methods of communication for secure data. It’s one thing to plan a dinner, it’s another to ask for a social security number over SMS.

TaxDome secure messages are, as their name implies, a secure, mobile-friendly alternative to ensure you can communicate with clients effectively, in their mode of choice (mobile phone), while protecting client data and abiding by IRS recommendations.

Your clients receive a mobile push notification and email when you send a secure message.

SMS does not have document integration

If a client sends over a file over SMS, you (or someone that you pay) has to manually download that document, and organize it. Not only is this not secure (see prior paragraph), but it’s tedious and time consuming.

With TaxDome everything your clients send you will be tied to their account, and you can quickly access it. No more manual “save and organize files” needed.

Clients can either upload or scan files that will be mapped to their client account automatically.

Join demo

SMS does not automatically remind your clients

Ever forget to respond to a message? We all do. And we all hate chasing clients even more. With TaxDome secure messages, you can set up “auto-nag” and remind clients automatically. No more manual follow-ups or remembering who has to bring what. Texts (and even Whatsapp) do not offer this functionality.

Sample of message reminders.

You can fully control how often reminders are sent, and how many times (maybe you want to cap it at 3? Maybe 10?). Communicate with your clients (even automatically) precisely how you want to.

SMS does not have task lists

Do you ever start a message chain and 5 messages later you’ve gone off-topic with some follow-up questions, and your recipient has now forgotten what you needed from them? SMS is one long chain of messages with no order to it.

Your clients never lose track of what you need them to complete with TaxDome. Whichever topic you’re discussing and however messages you have, their outstanding task list will still be visible and easily accessible from within the secure message as well as prominently visible on their To-do.

Even if clients ignore your message, they will see the missing info in their To-Do.

SMS lacks organization

When clients respond to messages, you have to manually sort their answers. One long text chain is hard to sift through, especially in a business context.

TaxDome secure messages allow you to start new threads for different topics (and this can be automated, so that each month you can send a new message with your updated task list). You can archive messages, and 6 months from now when your business has grown & you have new staff members, they can easily see the history of communication in the client profile.

Each client profile stores all events related to the client, including messages.

SMS is not dead; it has its uses

Yet, SMS does have its place. It is simple. Everyone knows how to use it and it does not require any training. Additionally, some people may have older phones and do not want to install any apps.

That’s why TaxDome will be adding SMS as a communication tool in 2021 - but we believe that tax practitioners should view SMS as a backup, not a primary mode of communication per the reasons above.