7 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Portal for Your CPA Firm

TechTipTuesday-6

At PK Tech, we service several industries, but our roots lie deep in CPA firms. Since the beginning, PK Tech has provided IT support for CPA firms, and we’ve learned a few crucial things in the process.

When choosing a portal for your CPA firm, there are several essential things to consider. This blog will dive deeper into what you should be analyzing before choosing a portal for your firm.

Start by asking some key questions. How does your firm exchange critical financial documents with clients? Do clients send bookkeeping and tax documents through email attachments or by regular mail? These are essential questions to consider because these are not necessarily secure or scalable methods to transfer sensitive client information.

This is where a portal comes in. What exactly does a portal do, and why is it so crucial for your firm? A client portal offers a simple, secure solution where accountants and clients can log-in to share, upload and view documents, messages, and files.

Seven questions to ask when choosing & implementing a portal for your CPA firm:

  1. Does it integrate with your firm’s line of business applications (practice management system, document management system, etc.)?
    Tip: far too often, CPA firms choose unintegrated solutions that require duplicating their client list. Avoid solutions with client list islands when possible. 
  2. How do notifications work, and how will your firm stay on top of them?
    Tip: modern firms are using Microsoft Teams channels for notifications.
  3. Does it have eSignature integration? 
  4. Does it support multi-factor authentication (MFA)? 
  5. Does it have a general “firm inbox” feature that integrates into your website? 
  6. Is document retention built-in?
    Tip: your firm should have a policy on deleting old client data, and your portal should make this an easy process per document type. Also, FYI you typically get charged for excessive portal storage usage. 
  7. Have you identified your “firm portal champion”?
    Tip: this makes or breaks any new software solution introduced into a firm. An internal resource needs to own this solution, know how to add/remove users, maintain firm how-to documentation, and manage the relationship with the vendor.

Check out our related blog: Checklist: 7 Steps to Take Your CPA Firm Paperless.

As you consider these seven questions, PK Tech is here to help you find the correct answers for your firm. Choosing a portal that is the right fit for your specific CPA firm will aid your firm’s efficiency and profitability. Questions about choosing the right portal for your firm? We’re here to help. Contact PK Tech here.

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