Guide: Secure File Sharing for Accountants

accountant-secure-file-sharing

If you’re an accountant or work for an accounting firm, your main job is to help clients get their finances straight, right? You deal with extremely important and confidential statements, tax records and personal information on a daily basis. 

Secure file sharing for accountants not only provides security and protection of these crucial documents, it also helps you maintain accountability, gives you precise permission control on certain files and makes working with and sharing files exponentially easier.  

Why Secure File Sharing Is a Must  

Secure file sharing is your gateway to effective accounting, not to mention, if you don’t practice it, you could risk losing business. Your clients want an easy way to send you tax forms or financial records. Not only can secure file sharing facilitate this instantly, it ensures that their files are safe. 

Without a secure file sharing platform, clients may end up sending confidential documents over email or a public network which puts their information at a greater risk of getting placed in the wrong hands. It’s an accountant’s responsibility to practice and promote secure file sharing to protect client privacy.  

What Secure File Sharing for Accountants Should Include  

There are many levels of secure file sharing for accountants and different options you can utilize in order to run a business more effectively. At the very least, your secure file sharing service should provide:  

  • Secure cloud storageSeems like a no brainer, but make sure you have enough space within your cloud storage and that the space you have can only be accessed by you, your team and the client.  
  • Ease of use. Make sure your secure file sharing service has a user-friendly interface, aka – it must be easy to navigate to the average user (in this case, your client). When your client can drag and drop the right files into a platform instantly and easily, it makes their experience working with you that much better. Plus, it makes your job collecting or gathering their financials more streamlined and efficient.  
  • Accountability. Your secure file sharing service should hold you and its users accountable (excuse the pun). At Onehub we have advanced activity tracking that tracks every event that happens in your Workspace, including individual file sharing.  
  • Precise permission control. This means you have the ability to grant precise permissions and access to certain documents to the right people. Granular permission control adds an additional level of security to the protected documents being shared.  
  • Straightforward pricing. You’re in the business of balancing the books and making sure the price is right. The last thing you need to add to your workload is dealing with vague pricing on secure file sharing services for accountants. Look to a provider that’s upfront about how much a service cost and make sure there aren’t any hidden fees for adding additional storage and other features.   

Best Practices: Secure File Sharing for Accountants  

Understanding what secure file sharing is, is one thing, but properly executing the practice so that it reaches its full potential is another. If you are an accountant using a secure file sharing tool or service, take the following steps to ensure maximum security.   

  1. Give the Right Permission to the Right Parties: Whenever you upload various folders, NDAs and documents to a secure file sharing data room or in a cloud storage space, be cognizant of who you give permission to access the files. Onehub’s services let you place granular permissions on the documents that are being shared. Additionally, you gain more control when sharing. For example, instead of sharing an entire folder, you can choose to share just a single file. You can also give precise permission to who can download or print a file.  
  2. Monitor ActivityTo practice extra secure file sharing for accountants, opt for a virtual data room service. Oneub helps you stay on top of your job giving you the ability to continually monitor activity happening within the file sharing platform. You’ll be able to see when someone has opened a file or created another version for you to review. This paves the way to a smoother workflow that moves along a process or a job in the right direction.  
  3. Centralize Your Communication: Onehub’s secure file sharing service offers a messaging function and message board feature—use it to your advantage. You can communicate with both clients and colleagues to ensure everyone is on the right page and working towards the same goals.  
  4. Create NDAs and Watermark Documents: One advantage of using Onehub’s virtual data room service is gaining the ability to create or upload NDAs right within the portal. This allows you to conveniently share confidential contracts securely. To add, you can place a watermark on a file that has been shared. Adding a watermark that states a person’s email or IP address lets you easily and quickly identify whose documents you’re reviewing. 
  5. Create a Client PortalBeing able to store common documents such as contracts and guidelines in one place can streamline business operations for accountants with a lot of clients. By creating a client portal, accountants can make workspaces for each individual client. You can manage multiple client portals in one virtual data room. This works to unify communications and file sharing across all clientele in one place. Client portals help you stay organized and makes operations more efficient.  

With so many forms, files, contracts, accounts and disclosures that accounting entails, securely sharing these documents is crucial to the business. By understanding what online file sharing platforms and services are available and how you can use their different features, you can promise security to your client and your company and also run a better organization. Optimizing and streamlining processes can lead to a more organized way of going about all sorts of accounting tasks.  

Check out the specific services Onehub can provide when it comes to secure file sharing for accountants and beyond.