What is a client portal?
A client portal is a way for businesses to securely send documents to external contacts, often for a designated period of time. The idea is that these contacts can add to, confirm or sign these documents without the need for email.
Why is a client portal important?
Many businesses, especially accounting firms, are being told to avoid email as a way of transferring confidential client information as it is an unsecure method of communication. Slightly more secure methods, such as sending a Dropbox link, are not ideal either as you still have to communicate the password to the contact somehow. Unless you can do this in person (which is unfeasible for many), there are still security risks.
A client portal can also provide additional value through a digital signatures feature or the ability to update files/upload new ones from the client's side. This would make gathering and sharing documents with people outside your organisation much more efficient, especially if documents can be synced back to your document management system.
Will Suite add a client portal to SuiteFiles?
A client portal has been a particularly hot topic here at Suite HQ and why we decided to discuss it on the blog. Many customers and prospects have gotten in touch to ask us this question, and the answer is yes, we do plan to have a client portal in the future. We just need to figure out what will be in it and how it will work.
There are a few different ways that people see the client portal working, for example is it just a site online where a version of a document can be placed for a client to approve, or can a client edit the document and have it saved as a new version in SuiteFiles. This and other more technical questions we'll be looking to address very soon.
In the meantime why not let us know how you currently send files to contacts outside your organisation and how you need it to change. What limitations around sharing do you currently face, or what security measures do you wish you could take?
Let us know in the comments below or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FAQ Friday is a chance for us to answer some of our most frequently asked questions or to address a topic we know there is interest in.
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