Experiences of the Online Client Portals
For most accounting firms and their clients, portals are now the preferred method of communication and delivering documents besides their primary role of trafficking tax returns for their clients. The security advantages of sending electronic files that are encrypted instead of sending hard copies by mail through the use of portal technology standardization is now accelerating. Four firms which are leveraging their client portals in order to have their work flow and services streamlined had this to say:
- One of the firms confessed that it enjoyed a seamless delivery of tax returns and client documents. They also added that fitting portal with other tax products and CCH Axcess document usually enhances this experience because the files that are usually uploaded in the document normally get published in the portal.
- From a remote view point, it is also possible to publish client documents at different times during the day.
- The preparedness of firms which begun last November assisted the smooth running of the tax season. Communication was streamlined because documents that were uploaded to the portal could be discussed in a short while instead of using excessive emailing.
- Paper reduction is another major immediate benefit. An organization put the entire client’s data on the portal regardless of whether they are using it or not and only giving hard copies of returns as well as other documents when requested.
- The greatest advantage that portals hold over CDs is that it lacks issues concerning compatibility with respect to certain operating systems.
- Client aversion is one of the major roadblocks of using portals even though this is anticipated to subside. Even then, by means of trouble shooting, there have been relatively minor technical or compatibility problems which can be solved through a three minute telephone call.
- One other challenge of the system is that with the completion of the initial migration of data, client acceptance still remains to be a major difficulty. Even then, challenges are just procedural, just helping clients to have their passwords reset or being reminded to hit at the submit button after scanning documents is just procedural.
- For some time during the tax season peak period, the system was quite down. However, the company responded swiftly.