Accountants work with confidential financial information for clients daily. If this data gets into the wrong hands, it can cause significant issues for everyone involved, including the accounting firm and accountant. As such, finding reliable and secure file-sharing tools is crucial, but in a saturated market, how do you differentiate between the various tools? To help make the decision easier, we’re sharing the must-have features accountants should look for in new document-sharing software and workflow automation.
What Is Secure Document Sharing?
Among the three modes of sharing files, secure document-sharing platforms make it safer and more convenient for businesses and individuals to send files securely. These platforms include additional security measures and encryptions to ensure that your files are kept private while being shared.
Document-sharing platforms are also great for sending larger file sizes without compressing them or losing file quality. Email and other communication platforms have a limit on the file sizes you can send. This means if your file is too large, you’ll have trouble sending it. Secure document-sharing platforms have much larger file size and storage limits and can send these bigger documents with ease.
How Can Accountants Use Secure File Sharing Programs?
Using a secure file-sharing platform is about more than convenience for accountants; it’s essential. Clients need to send their accountants a range of financial documents and other accounts. This information is often confidential and should be protected. However, relying on email or other communication apps is irresponsible, as they are easily hacked or breached, placing the clients’ data at risk.
There are numerous benefits of using a secure file-sharing platform for accountants. Here are a few of them:
- Easy to use
- Securely send files
- Offer additional security layers such as permissions and password protection
- Secure file storage
- Enhanced data protection
- Better data accountability
- Improved file-sharing abilities
- Peace of mind
Must-Have Features of File-Sharing Programs?
If you start looking for a secure file-sharing platform for your accounting firm, here are the features you should look for:
- Secure cloud storage
- Permission control
- Straightforward pricing plans
- Ease of use
Secure Cloud Storage
Many secure document-sharing platforms also include cloud storage. Ensure that the storage on offer is enough to store all your confidential files. On the security side, you want to make sure that it’s protected and includes encryption, access limitations, and other features that will ensure your stored files are secure.
If you prefer using your own storage systems, make sure that you apply as many security protocols as possible to ensure that the documents are secure. Also, consider how the setup will work and who has access to the files.
Accountability is essential when working with any confidential data. As such, you must choose a tool that includes accountability and workflow features such as user tracking and automation. These features will monitor the entire lifespan of a document, showing you who accessed the document, when it was shared, and who with as well as other useful information.
This makes it convenient to check who worked on the document last if you have any questions about it. Besides the convenience aspect, this also adds to the security because you’re able to see at a glance who’s had access to the document and what they were doing during the time.
Permission controls are essential. Unfortunately, giving employees access to all files and documents opens up a business to breaches and leaks. This increases the chances that confidential information could end up in the wrong hands, which can be devastating to the client, accountant, and business.
When looking for a document-sharing program, make sure it includes permission controls. With permission controls, you’ll be able to set who has access to a document; you can even fine-tune permissions to limit certain features.
This comes in handy when you have a junior accountant working on a client but don’t want them to be able to share the signed document with a client until it’s a senior colleague has approved it. Granular permission control is essential for accountants as it adds an additional layer of security and protection to the documents.
Straightforward Pricing Plans
File-sharing platforms come with a range of different pricing plans. Some plans exclude certain features on lower tiers meaning you need to upgrade your plan if you require features on a higher plan. Other plans may give you all the features straight on the basic plan but will have certain limitations such as storage size or file sharing size limitations.
When looking for a secure document-sharing plan, consider your business needs when looking at the pricing plans. Make sure to choose one that offers all the features you need at a simple and straightforward price. Also, ensure that there are no hidden fees for additional services.
Ease Of Use
This feature may seem obvious, but it’s imperative. Keep in mind who will be using the platform and ensure that it’s easy enough to understand. You might work in an accounting firm where many other employees use the same software, and they should be able to learn how to use it quickly and easily. Not only that, but it should also be easy and straightforward for your clients to use as well.
In this case, it might be best to opt for free trials before committing to an account. A free trial will allow you to test the software and see how it works. During testing, make sure the user interface is easy to navigate and that all the tools you need are available.
When it comes to choosing a secure file-sharing platform, there are many great options to choose from. However, this also makes it challenging to find one that meets your requirements. In a field like accounting, this decision becomes even more critical as you’re dealing with a lot of personal financial information. However, if you stay clear on what your needs are and ensure the program has the features you need, you’ll soon find one that works for your business.
If you’re looking for something a little simpler and more cost-effective, you should look at the SecureDocSharing microapp. This convenient app was created with the simple purpose of sharing files securely. Why not have a look at what SecureDocSharing offers and how this app can benefit your business?