Okay, picture this everyday situation for a moment: you need to get your client to sign off on a report or other important financial document. You need to get it to them pretty quickly, so sending via snail mail isn’t really an option. What do you need to do? Do you print it, sign it yourself, then scan it back in, attach and email it all over to the client – then have them download it, print it, sign it, scan it in, attach and email it back? How many steps is that? Eleven?
Surely there are better ways to use your time?
What if, instead of all of that hassle, you had an easy way to digitally sign a document? And, once you’d added your own signature, you could simply send a secure access link to the client, who digitally signs the copy, too? No downloading, scanning, printing or emailing required. Doesn’t that sound like a far better option?
That’s exactly how systems like Sharefile work. Documents are centrally stored on the cloud (in UK or European data centres), behind layers of encryption that meet all data security compliance requirements. Using a secure link, all stakeholders access the original file, which they can edit or sign as required without losing track of which version they’re looking at.
Once executed, everyone who needs an e-copy is sent one – but it stays safely tucked behind the cloud provider’s security, accessible only by those with the right credentials. It doesn’t hang around, unsecured, in an email system or on a mobile device.
What’s more, going paperless can help you to streamline the way you work. It makes it so much easier to keep track of your files and progress, avoiding the daily headaches that come with mismatched versions of documents or accidental overwrites.
It means you can access documents and business apps on the fly, without compromising their security, allowing you to make client meeting far more productive, to keep up a regular dialogue with your team and to tick off your to-do list wherever you are, whether in the office, at home, or on the train.
Data security for UK accountants can feel like a headache. There’s so much confusion over precisely how your compliance obligations pan out, especially when technology gets thrown into the mix. It’s hard to keep track of the exact journey that your data – and you clients’ data – takes.
You have to know whether it ultimately stays safely hosted on UK servers. Whether the recipient’s email provider meets your own complex compliance requirements. Whether everyone on the team appreciates which devices it’s safe to access work documents on, and why.
A coherent cloud-based system, on the other hand, removes these headaches by essentially shifting your entire business behind a secure, encrypted wall with multi-layer authentication – and then giving you the keys to access it from wherever you are, on any device.
In this way, your confidential data stays confidential, your working process gets easier – and all the while, your accounting information systems become top notch, without you having to splash out on any expensive infrastructure.
There is a lot to figure out so it’s no wonder that many accountants end up avoiding new technologies altogether, even if they could ultimately improve the way they do business. The best thing to do is talk to someone who understands the concerns of a business like yours and specialises in the technologies that can improve your business, and life.