Ways to securely get information from your accounting clients

February 9, 2016
With the 2016 tax season in full swing we have many clients out there who need to get us the supporting documents and other provided by client items in order to prepare their taxes. This seems simple on the surface and it can be.

One of the easiest ways is to drop the documents off securely in person with the good old in person document hand off. If the documents are scanned in or digitized, can be an encrypted USB drive. These two methods are very effective and also extremely secure.

However sometimes we are unable to get these documents in person so other means of transmission are required.

You could consider using email, however please be warned email is not a secure way to transfer files. There are however ways that you can make email secure enough to transfer these sensitive tax related documents which often contain social security numbers, and very personal information about the client’s income. A simple way is to encrypt the documents being sent. This can be done using free and easy to use tools, like 7-zip (7-zip.org). When encrypting the files a good method to use is AES-256 encryption and this is supported by the product mentioned.

Another easy alternative is to use your accounting workflow system to transfer files. This is particularly useful if the files are large as systems like CPASquirrel can accommodate very large files and provide the necessary security to ensure your client files are never compromised. With CPASquirrel the client user can be created by simply inviting them, you will then be able to see what they have uploaded because any items uploaded get tagged for your review. When you are busy it is always best to be able to see what clients have queued up for you so that you are never caught unawares.
Easy access for new users accounting workflow software for CPAs EAs

know what your clients need you to review accounting workflow software for CPAs EAs - 1120s

Serving many clients usually requires using a hybrid approach as one size definitely does not fit all. In order to be effective some flexibility in your accounting practice will be required, but whatever methods you decide to use, please make sure to choose secure options and guide your clients toward those same secure methods.

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