What Is A Portal In Accounting?
Every accounting firm starts with spreadsheets and accounting software like Quickbooks. But what happens when your firm gathers more clients with bigger accounts to manage? You need better solutions to manage your business as you scale up and grow. This is where client portals for accountants become crucial to your efficiency. But what is a client portal, and how does it work? Read this guide to find out.
What Is A Client Portal?
A client portal is an application that allows a company to share information and collaborate with clients in a secure digital environment. Client portals are usually cloud-based to enable remote access for a firm and its clients. They also use multi-factor authentication and other security features to ensure safe data exchange. An accounting firm can use tax client portal software for their customers to submit their paperwork, but law firms and financial brokers also use client portals for their file-sharing needs.
Benefits Of Client Portals For Accountants
1. Easy File Uploads
A tax client portal software enables you and your customers to drag and drop files into the platform. Files include documents, spreadsheets, scanned receipts, PDF forms, and other digital files necessary for accounting.
2. Quick File Previews
A client portal helps accountants to identify specific documents by thumbnails or previews in addition to file names and numbers. A visual cue can help you find the right assets more effectively than searching for file names. This is much easier than searching through your email inbox or desktop files for attachments.
3. Improved Company Image
Client portals improve your customers' interactions with your accounting firm. You can customize what your clients see when they log in to make their user experience easier. This leads to excellent reviews and recommendations, putting you ahead of the competition.
4. Resource Savings
A client portal saves time and money by removing tedious tasks and automating workflows. Build a solid knowledge base and set up chatbots to guide your clients through the portal. You'll spend less time and energy on manual data entry, responding to common questions, or gathering document signatures in person.
5. Customer-Facing Platform
Some accounting firms host their customer data in their internal project management software. Unfortunately, this may expose clients to your inner workings and complicate account management. A separate client portal limits access to your company processes and keeps accounting simple.
Best Features Of Client Portal Software
Here are the outstanding features to look for when choosing client portals for accountants:
1. Remote Access
A client portal is a single access point for all your accounting files. It should be accessible from any location through a desktop or smartphone browser or app. All you need is login credentials for different user categories to enter or update the portal.
2. Secure Collaboration Environment
A tax client portal software uses the latest data security protocols to protect your accounting documents and messages. Once your customers understand that their sensitive information is secure, they can freely use the platform to upload, edit, comment, or share their documents.
3. Digital Signature Collection
Client portals for accountants should allow for e-signatures on digital documents. You no longer need to print, sign, scan, and email your documents to use in your accounting firm.
4. Activity Tracking
Tax client portal software also notifies you when a client or team member uploads, edits, or downloads a file. This feature gives you a clear audit trail to help with your accounting operations.
Why Qbox Is The Right Client Portal Solution For Accountants
If your accounting firm relies on Quickbooks desktop, then Qbox is your ideal document-sharing platform. In addition to the benefits above, Qbox also comes with the following features:
- Multiple file and format support: You can share Quickbooks files, as well as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access files. Qbox also supports JPEG, PNG, TIFF, PDF, and other formats for easy file sharing.
- Multiple user support: Qbox MU uses a local network to connect your Quickbooks and MS Access users and cut down on bandwidth and drive storage. Remote users simply log in to their Qbox Client account to collaborate on files saved in the cloud server.
- Patented lock and sync: To protect your audit trail, Qbox uses the lock and sync process to minimize errors and encourage collaboration. Lock each file before editing, and automatically sync the changes after closing the document. Only one user can edit and lock files to prevent multiple simultaneous document changes.
- User-friendly dashboard: The Qbox Web Dashboard simplifies administrative tasks, such as adding folders, sharing invitations, managing team permissions, paying bills, and more.
- Flexible file versions and rollbacks: Qbox allows for up to 20 versions of each file on the cloud server, so you can roll back in case of corrupted files or unnecessary changes. Qbox also keeps deleted files for 30 days for your peace of mind.
- Generous file storage: Your Qbox client folder can carry up to 10GB of files, meaning you can take on many more clients as you scale your business.
How To Use The Qbox Tax Client Portal Software
Here are the basic steps to set up Qbox as your client portal for accountants:
Step 1: Create Your Qbox Account
Sign up and create your Qbox folders, ideally one folder per client.
Step 2: Download And Install Qbox Client
The Qbox Client program runs on your desktop to link with your current Quickbooks Desktop version. Your client folders then sync with your online Qbox directory for file sharing and collaboration.
Step 3: Invite Your Team
Your accounting team must also install the Qbox Client software on desktops to sync their projects with the online Qbox directory. Send an email link to each member to create Qbox accounts.
Step 4: Sync Your Folders
Your team can drag and drop Quickbooks and other supported files into the Sync folder in the Qbox cloud server. You can then access each other's files right from your desktops through Qbox Explorer.
And that's it! Ready to start collaborating on the best tax client portal software? Get in touch with Qbox for your free 30-day trial today.