During this age of remote and virtual work, it has become more important than ever to have a secure, reliable file-sharing system. Email continues to be one of the most common ways for information to be accessed or stolen. If you’re using email to send and transmit files with your clients, you are potentially setting yourself and your clients up for disaster.
Think about it…When you send an email it can hop around the world from server to server and even if you do your best to send it encrypted and securely, there are no guarantees your clients will be tech-savvy enough to know that they should then return any information you requested back to you as safe as possible.
For academy members, there’s good news! CounselPro™8 has a client portal feature that lets you not only share files with your clients and third parties, but also communicate securely as well.
It’s easy too! From within each matter, you can choose which external parties have access to the portal for that matter. By customizing permissions by role, you can control whether your clients can read, create, upload, or delete documents by folder. By limiting permissions to “upload only,” clients and external parties can upload documents to a folder, but not see the contents of that folder. This allows you to have several unrelated parties upload documents to a central folder and still retain confidentiality. This can be particularly helpful for example, when you’re working side by side with a Financial Planner or Accountant to create a client’s plan.
The Portal allows sharing of documents and other files in an easy-to-use, secure manner. It is preferable to email as a file-sharing method because it is more secure and also HIPAA compliant, whereas email/Google Drive is not. The Portal acts as a secure document exchange (sdx) that creates a direct, encrypted connection. All Portal activity (such as accessing and uploading documents) is recorded in an audit trail, so you will be able to tell when your client has actually logged on. The Portal also provides a sense of security to the client, as they will set their own password which cannot be seen or updated by the firm.
There are several practical use cases for the portal. It mainly functions as a file-sharing system between you and the client. Here are some common uses of the portal:
- Sharing a client’s legal service agreement and invoices
- Collecting your client’s asset information like bank statements.
- Providing an electronic copy of their completed portfolio documents like their Certificate of Trust, Health Care Power of Attorney, etc
- Uploading the client’s personalized Final Signing Video. You can upload files up to 2 GB in size, so it can come in handy for files that are too large to email.
- Collaborating with third parties like CPAs, financial advisors, and family members. Documents can be shared in either direction, so this can help to minimize the risk of data breaches through email exchanges.
Finally, the portal has a chat feature that can be used for simple communication. The chat functions like a typical instant message platform, allowing the client the opportunity to communicate with the firm directly and easily and vice versa. For the firm, chat messages come through via email and also appear at the bottom of CounselPro™8. The client will receive any chat messages in email form and can also view them on the portal interface.
We’d love to hear how you’re using the portal in your firm. Make sure you share your comments below!
Want to learn more?
If you’re a current Member, check out this video on our CounselPro™8 Knowledge Base or email the CP8 team.
If you’re not yet a Member, email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a demo.
Technical Support Representative
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (858) 453-2128
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