cPaperless - CPA SafeMail
800-716-2558 ext. 100
From the January 2012 Review of Client Portals.
Professional firms seeking a stand-alone system that will make it easy for their clients to send files to them, as well as securely share returns and other documents with their clients.
- Simple for clients and firms to use
- Strong security customization options
- Customizable firm branding
- Two-way firm/client sharing and collaboration
- Dependable hosting, security and uptime
- Unique file structure on portal is not folder-based
- Little direct integration with outside programs
CPA SafeMail, which was developed by the same team as the Tic, Tie & Calculate Adobe Acrobat tool, is a secure document exchange and collaboration solution that is focused on email delivery, using various technologies to encrypt and protect files. The web-based system is designed specifically for accounting firms, can be used to share any type of files and documents, and to-date has been used by professional practices to share more than one million client tax returns.
Firm User Experience - 4.5 Stars
CPA SafeMail offers multiple methods for accountants and clients to share files, including via direct email that encrypts and password protects all attachments prior to sending, as well as a more traditional portal that allows storage of documents and communications on a secure site.
When setting up the program, users can create bulk portals for all clients and either automatically assign passwords for each or use the system to invite clients to log in and create their own. Template messaging can be created and used to ensure consistency of emails to all clients. The program includes an Automated Password Manager utility that creates, stores and manages the status of each client’s password. It also automatically encrypts PDF email attachments with the client’s password.
CPA SafeMail is essentially comprised of three components. The first is an email-based secure file sending system that clients can use simply by going to an online email system that doesn’t require users to have a login, but that protects the attached files that are sent to the firm user. For direct emailing of files to clients, firm staff can use an Outlook plug-in that automatically combines all file attachments and encrypts and password protects them as a larger bundle. When the client receives and opens the bundle, the individual files are no longer password protected. This allows the client to more easily share files with coworkers or financial advisors. The other two components of CPA SafeMail include a two-way file sharing system with the Automated Password Manager, and the secure portal. The portal and client emails can be fully branded with firm logo and contact information, and can be linked to from the firm’s website.
CPA SafeMail can be used by any number of professional staff at the firm, depending upon the user agreement, and always allows any number of clients and client users. All users on both sides can have varying access rights based on user roles determined by the administrator. Password protection for client users can include multi-level authentication. The system is housed on the SAS 70-audited servers of RackSpace, located in Virginia, one of the largest secure data hosting providers. License agreements do not include guaranteed uptime. However, in the past 12 months, RackSpace has had 99.999 percent uptime. Data is encrypted prior to transmission and remains so at all times during storage, meeting all state and federal regulations for client data protection.
Client User Experience -4.5 Stars
One of the unique aspects to CPA SafeMail is the inclusion of a webmail type function that allows clients to send secure and encrypted files to the accounting firm without having to remember a new login and password. This provides a very simple method for clients to share documents requested by the firm. This feature is only available on the client side for sending to the firm, but additional features are also available from the full client portal, which requires a password and can be set with additional levels of user authentication.