Client Portal Software Delivering Modern Client Experiences

A custom cloud-based client portal makes it simple for your clients to work with you, wherever and whenever, with secure file sharing, form fills, eSignatures, and more. 

What is a client portal?

A client portal allows you to share information and documents securely online. Online document storage allows your team to store and organize digital files through an app or a website. With online document storage, authorized staff and clients can access files securely from anywhere at any time.

Provide Modern, Personalized Service and Self-Serve Capability

Chasing down clients, getting bogged down by admin tasks, and dealing with messy paperwork is exhausting. SmartVault gives your clients complete self-service capabilities, so they can share, download, and collaborate on documents securely in a remote portal.

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Customizable Client Portals
From adding your firm’s logo and colors to configuring standardized folder structures based on your specific needs, there are many ways to customize the client portal. Add the link to your portal wherever you’d like (directly on your website, emails, social, etc.).
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All-in-One Convenience
Clients enjoy a seamless experience, accessing documents, completing forms, and eSigning tax returns without needing multiple platforms or applications.
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Securely Share Files in the Cloud
Build client trust with secure, compliant document exchange backed by bank-grade security like encryption, strict access controls, and automatic data backup.
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Simplify Requesting and Collecting Documents
The request portal facilitates easy document submission and collaboration. Status tracking and instant notifications keep document collection organized, ensuring timely completion and follow-up.
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Redefine Customer Service
Meet modern clients’ expectations for personalized, efficient service while maintaining security and compliance, setting you apart from the competition.

Why Customers Love SmartVault's Client Portal

We are 95% paperless. Phone time is down 75% because we've trained clients to access their info directly from SmartVault.
Jason Gabriel Owner, Gabriel, Gibbs and Associates LLC

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a client portal?
A client portal is a secure, private, and authenticated online platform for companies to provide services or exchange information with customers. A client portal typically sits on the company website, with a link for customers to log in with a username and password.

There are many types of client portals that serve different purposes. A doctor’s office can have a client portal that allows you to schedule appointments, access medical records, or send messages to the medical staff. Your accountant may have a client portal for secure file sharing and document download. Whichever type of client portal it is, it’s a modern and convenient way for businesses to collaborate with customers digitally and securely.

Why do businesses use client portals?
With a password-protected client portal, you can add your clients as guest users and give them access to a shared folder that has all the documents they need. Instead of attaching critical information in emails, you can simply invite authorized recipients directly to access documents from a secure portal, significantly reducing the risks of hacking in the process.

A client portal should empower you to request specific documents and/or a standard group of documents from multiple clients at once. Built-in templates can help ensure you don’t spend time manually asking for documents again. The most powerful solutions can also send notifications to clients, gently reminding them to complete a given action item. The system should also automatically notify you when documents are received and downloaded.

What is the benefit of using a client portal?
A branded, customizable client portal gives your clients a secure, easy, and professional way to collaborate with you from wherever they’re located. It’s easy to invite clients to the portal, and they can access the portal directly from your website. Customizable folder templates automatically put the right folders in each client portal, which makes onboarding a breeze.

At a higher level, when you make things easier for clients, they may be encouraged to return and refer your business to others — which better positions your business to thrive. SmartVault’s customizable client portal delivers capabilities that make it easy for your clients to securely share files and collaborate with you online.

How do client portals benefit customers?
Your customers want to access the information they need at a time that suits them. You will find you have happier customers when they are able to find and share information outside of normal working hours. Also, if your client portal integrates with eSign technology like DocuSign, it means they can sign important documents directly within the portal. This eliminates the need to print, sign, copy, and send (or post!) a signed document. The time and hassle your clients save by not having to go through those steps should be greatly appreciated by all.
How does a client portal save time and increase success?
Using a client portal can help you:

Prevent loss of files and emails.
A client portal allows both you and your clients to send, receive, and access documents from one, easy-to-view location.

Access files anytime, anywhere.
Don’t lose valuable time because a file exists only on one machine that might be temporarily inaccessible, or worse, destroyed.

Sign documents instantly.
No longer do you need to spend hours or even days printing, scanning, or mailing documents. Built-in tracking allows you to see who has opened or signed a document.

Back up files along with version history.
Document version history provides a backup of your files in case of deletion or errors in recent versions.

Organize files automatically.
Documents are filed automatically to the correct folder.

Send batch communications.
Save time by automating the distribution of routine documents to clients. Send documents to 5, 50, or 500 clients with a single click.

Automate notifications.
You and your clients know right away when a file is uploaded, downloaded, or signed thanks to automatic notifications.

Are client portals a secure way to work online?
A client portal that’s built with security and compliance in mind will offer the following measures:

Encryption of data during transit and while at rest.
When sensitive data is at rest or being exchanged over the internet, it’s crucial that your data is encrypted every step of the way so no one can hijack your information and use it for malicious purposes. By using advanced encryption methods such as SSL and AES-256, a cloud DMS could provide stronger protection for your data.

Controlled access to information.
How your information is stored and who has access to your information are critical to your overall security and compliance framework. With a security and compliance-first cloud-based DMS, you can easily set granular access permissions to folders and documents, then allow access to files through authenticated logins only. These added security and compliance steps help enhance your data and document security measures, which could help you stay more compliant with various regulations.

Secure data backup.
Your documents and metadata are always stored using highly redundant replicated storage. Multiple copies of metadata and documents are stored in multiple geographical locations and backed up regularly to ensure data availability.

An activity log.
An activity log is an automatically generated, time-stamped trail of all activities that happened in your document management system. It tracks all events from all users — including document creation, download, and deletion — and generates an audit trail of what’s happening in your account. No person, including the engineers of the platform can make any changes to this trail, making it the authoritative record for auditing purposes. This feature is a requirement from several industry-specific compliance regulations. Depending on your industry, it could very well be the single most important determining factor during your cloud DMS vendor selection process.

How can I create a client portal for my business?
A client portal will typically sit on the company website, with a link for clients to log in with a username and password. To create a client portal for your business, consider partnering with a trusted vendor who can provide a client portal and an integrated document management system. A document management system (DMS) — also known as document management software — allows businesses to quickly and securely store, organize, access, and share documents. It’s a core part of having a beneficial client portal experience.
What do powerful client portals provide?
Unlimited Cloud Storage
Standardize and centralize documents with unlimited online document storage.

Unlimited Number of Users
A client portal should scale with you as your business and clients grow.

Secure File Sharing
Share files in the cloud without compromising on security.

Custom Branding
Give your clients a secure, easy, and professional way to collaborate with you in the cloud.

Customizable Folder Templates
Streamline your client onboarding process with templates that auto-create folders based on client type.

Mail Merge and Email Templates
Distribute documents in bulk to one or all of your clients.

Document Request Lists
Simplify how you request, collect, and manage client-prepared documents.

Automatically route files to the right folder for the right clients.

eSignature Integration
Send documents for signatures, approvals, and payment, and route them back to SmartVault automatically.

Activity Alerts
Get notified via email when documents are uploaded or downloaded.

Full Text Search
Find the file you need, when you need it. Search on file names, tags, and even text within the file.

Mobile Apps
Access your files anytime, anywhere from a mobile device.

Bank-level Security
Files are automatically backed up and encrypted using bank-level AES-256 bit encryption.

Activity Reports
Automatically generate a timestamped audit trail of all activity.

Microsoft Outlook integration
Automatically file email conversations with clients into their SmartVault folder.

What does a client portal do?
An on-premise document management system is hosted by a physical device or a piece of equipment you own. Think of your USB or portable hard drives, personal computers, local servers, or even file cabinets. With on-premise document management systems, your organization maintains ownership of how and where documents are stored, as well as offline management and access.

A client portal is a secure online platform that enables accounting firms to interact and collaborate with their clients efficiently. It serves as a central hub where clients can access and share documents, complete forms, and sign documents electronically. The primary purpose of a client portal is to streamline the exchange of information and facilitate seamless collaboration between the firm and its clients.

What should a client portal include?
A comprehensive client portal should include the following key features and capabilities:

  1. Document Management: Clients should be able to securely upload, download, and view their documents, such as tax returns, financial statements, and supporting documents.
  2. File Sharing: The portal should allow for secure file sharing between the client and the firm, enabling clients to easily submit documents and the firm to provide completed work or other necessary files.
  3. Electronic Signatures: Clients should be able to electronically sign documents, such as engagement letters, tax returns, or other forms, directly within the portal.
  4. Form Completion: The portal should provide clients with the ability to complete and submit forms or questionnaires, streamlining the data collection process.
  5. Task Management: The portal may include task management features, allowing clients to view outstanding requests, due dates, and status updates related to their engagements.
  6. Customization and Branding: The client portal should be customizable with the firm’s branding, logo, and color scheme, providing a consistent and professional experience for clients.
  7. Mobile Accessibility: The portal should be accessible on mobile devices, allowing clients to access and interact with the firm’s services on the go.
  8. Robust Security: Client portals should prioritize security features such as multi-factor authentication, data encryption, and granular access controls to protect sensitive client information.

By incorporating these features, a client portal can significantly enhance the client experience, improve communication and collaboration, and streamline processes for both the accounting firm and its clients.

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