Why Your Accounting Firm Needs Secure File-Sharing and One-Click E-Signatures

Tim Sines

With more companies doing business online, there’s a greater risk than ever that a hacker may target your business. A whopping 45% of US companies experienced a data breach in 2021. And if you think that you’re safe because you’re a small business, think again. 43% of cyber attacks target small businesses because they tend to have less security than big firms.   

Even though those stats can seem scary, there is hope for running a more secure accounting practice: secure file sharing and one-click e-signatures. When implemented, you can use these tools to send and receive key documents quickly and conveniently while protecting your clients’ financial information.   

It’s not just about security, either. Both secure file sharing and e-signatures streamline your workload so you cut administrative costs and focus on the work that matters most to your accounting firm: keeping your clients happy. 

Secure file sharing protects your clients 

Secure file sharing is a way to send encrypted documents back and forth between you and your clients so that hackers can’t access them. While some secure file sharing software requires a client portal that your clients must remember a username and password, other secure file sharing solutions can send documents directly to your client’s inbox.  

Secure file sharing tools allow you to streamline your document management and send necessary invoices and other accounting documents in less time and with less hassle, which can be especially crucial if your CPAs work remotely.  

But not all secure file sharing offers the same level of protection. Make sure the secure file sharing platform you choose offers bank-level security. 

Look for bank-level security in your secure file sharing 

If you think you’re safe sharing documents with a software like Dropbox, you might want to think again. In 2016, the hacked data of 68 million Dropbox users surfaced on the web. It’s an alarming example of how secure your files need to be to protect your clients’ financial information. 

When comparing secure file sharing platforms, look for bank-level security encryptions. Bank-level security requires the SHA-256 encryption algorithm—that’s what the NSA uses. This algorithm protects data transfers between your computer and the server. But that’s not the only time your data is vulnerable—you need to keep it under lock when it’s at rest in your server or in the client’s email. Thankfully, the SHA-256 algorithm used by software like MangoShare can keep files encrypted and secure behind a certified firewall, no matter where they’re at. 

Secure file sharing saves your firm time and money 

While you need secure file sharing to protect your clients, it also saves your firm time and money. It lessens your workload by removing steps you used to have to take with paper files, and you’ll receive signed documents from your clients more quickly. 

Secure file sharing lessens your workload and lowers administrative overhead 

Whenever you have to share or send a paper file, it means that someone on your admin team has to print it out, staple it, copy it, use sticky tabs to point out where your client needs to sign or initial, etc. But once you switch to secure file sharing, all your employees have to do is send one email to securely share files. And if your file sharing includes one-click e-signature, your client can sign it and send it right back to you in minutes. 

This means you no longer have to wait days for a client to return an important invoice or waste your administrative assistant’s time with phone calls tracking down the person for a signature. Your admin assistants can spend time on more important items, like client care or working on business development initiatives.  

Secure file sharing helps your clients work with you easily 

Sharing files securely doesn’t just make life easier for you, it also makes life easier for your client. They no longer have to wait a couple of days for an invoice they need to sign to arrive in the mail or drive over to your office just to sign a few forms. When you do everything online, it means your clients can sign your documents whenever they have a few free minutes. 

Things are even more convenient for your clients if you choose a file sharing solution that allows sharing via email rather than through a client portal. The issue with client portals is that your client has to remember an email and password or figure out a password-protected PDF. Password-protect PDFs are one of the number one causes of client confusion and often create miscommunication when trying to send a password back and forth.  

You can remove all the hassle for your client by sharing files directly to their email. With the right software tools, clients can securely access and sign files conveniently from their email inbox. 

One-click e-signatures create more streamlined workflows and reduce signing errors 

An electronic signature uses virtual fingerprints to confirm the identity of a signer and their intent to sign the document. All you have to do is send them a secure email, and your client can send the signed document back minutes later, reducing paper waste and time spent sending documents by mail. 

And an electronic signature is legally binding, just like a real one. According to the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act and the Electronic Signature in Global and National Commerce Act, an e-signature is legally binding if:  

  • The signer’s identity can be confirmed using a digital marker, like an IP address 
  • The parameters of the transaction are clear and the signer undeniably intended to undergo the method of signing 
  • The signature associated with the document is verifiable and has evidentiary documentation 

When you choose your secure file sharing service, make sure it includes e-signature and has a robust digital audit trail so that it complies with federal regulation. When you do that, there’s no question it’s legally binding. 

One-click e-signatures can also reduce time-consuming signing errors. When you send a paper copy, it’s easy for your client to miss a place they were supposed to initial or put their signatures in the wrong place on the document, even if you put a “sign here” sticky note on it. When you use a secure e-signature, it restricts your client to sign only in certain areas. This means they won’t miss the signatures the first time around.  

Mango maximizes security in your accounting firm’s file-sharing tools 

Mango’s robust suite of practice management tools also includes MangoShare, a secure file sharing and e-signature solution designed specifically for accountants. Mango knows what every accounting practice needs, so the software is intuitive and easy to use for your firm. And if you have any issues, Mango’s support team offers free, unlimited data migration and training. 

Schedule a demo and start protecting your firm with Mango’s bank-level security today. 

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