XCM Solutions - XCM Portal
From the January 2012 Review of Client Portals.
Firms using or considering the broader XCM Workflow Management system to provide structured digital management of their engagements, including the ability to securely share files with clients.
- Simple client interface
- No storage or bandwidth/transfer limits
- Customizable firm branding
- Two-way firm/client sharing and collaboration
- Dependable hosting, security and uptime
- Broad support for mobile devices
- Not intended as long-term document storage
- Multiple users at same client can’t have different access rights
XCM Solutions is best known for its workflow management system, which is available in versions for firms of various sizes, and provides an enhanced digital routing sheet that helps firms monitor the processes involved in engagements, including the following: managing tasks, tracking e-filing, monitoring due dates, handling jurisdictional issues and staff, creating firm-wide checklists and maintaining knowledge bases. The vendor’s new portal solution, which XCM debuted in June 2011, is designed to extend the file management functionality of the workflow management system to include secure document sharing with clients and third parties.
Firm User Experience - 4 Stars
Designed by a CPA with more than 20 years of practice experience, XCMportal is an add-on module that’s integrated into the XCM system, offering quick movement between the firm workflow functions and file sharing with clients. It provides tools for quickly setting up customizable portals for clients, either individually or en mass using a quick-create function that sends a registration email, after which clients must log in for their portal to be active.
The portals can be branded to reflect firm logos and contact information, including the creation of client communication templates, which populate emails that can be sent directly from within the program. As a part of the broader workflow solution, the portal system can support the same number of staff users as that solution, and can be used to create and manage any number of client portals, each with multiple users on the client side, but with little access right controls for the client-side users. On the firm side, the program has very specific permission-based access rights based on staff roles. Client groups can also be created.
The XCM system and its portals are hosted on the SAS 70 audited servers of enterprise web hosting and services firm Savvis, which is based in Boston and has servers across the United States. Neither XCM nor Savvis guarantee uptime, but historical uptime over the past year has been more than 99.999 percent, including scheduled maintenance, during which the data is available from mirrored sites. Data is encrypted at all stages, from initial transmission throughout storage, meeting federal regulations and all state laws for protection of client data.
Client User Experience - 4.5 Stars
The client side of the portals offers a similar view as the accountant side, showing files and folders as they’ve been shared by the firm or as the client has uploaded them. Client users can log into the program either from a link embedded on the firm’s website or from email communication sent by the firm.
The two-way sharing of XCMportal enables clients to upload tax files or other documents, while the firm can also upload returns and other files to clients. The system also has built-in communication functions, found on the tabbed interface, that include the ability to quickly ask questions or request documents based on the firm’s needs. The program’s password management functions enable lookup or resetting by the client or by the firm user, with the ability to also manage access rights.
Portal Capabilities - 4 Stars