Thomson Reuters - NetClient CS Portals
From the January 2012 Review of Client Portals.
Firms using other programs in the Thomson Reuters CS Professional Suite, particularly those using the document management and tax programs.
- Customizable firm branding and integration of login on firm website
- Two-way firm/client sharing and collaboration
- Broad integration with programs in CS Professional Suite
- Ability to offer clients online access to productivity programs (Word, Excel)
- Dependable hosting, security and uptime
- Must be using other Thomson Reuters CS Professional Suite programs
Thomson Reuters was the first of the large professional accounting software developers to introduce client portals, with its system debuting in 2001, when the company was still called Creative Solutions. Now known as NetClient CS portals, they are the most widely used accountant-client collaboration system, with more than 500,000 active portals. The system integrates with most of the CS Professional Suite, enabling sharing of finished documents such as tax returns and financials, providing invoicing and payment solutions, as well as giving clients access to a wide selection of remotely hosted bookkeeping and office productivity programs.
Firm User Experience - 5 Stars
NetClient CS is offered in packages of portals that enable firms to offer them to all clients who want to use them. The system includes a mass portal creation feature that simplifies activation of portals for multiple clients at the same time. For users of UltraTax CS, this feature is found in the Client Communication center, which lets the firm user set up default passwords, with the client receiving an invitation to log in and manage their features.
For firms not using UltraTax CS, access to a similar bulk portal creation function is found in the NetStaff console, which serves as the central remote access point for firm employees. The NetStaff console gives the firm access to client data, firm data, communication tools, news and information, and programs. Firm users can also easily access files uploaded by clients, such as tax source documents and other materials. These multiple methods of managing the portals and client deliverables simplify working within the system for most users.
The Firm Administration area of NetStaff includes functions for controlling security, access rights, and privileges for staff and clients, including setting up multiple users for each client with different access rights. On the firm side, staff access rights can be varied to suit their role, and those with access to the administration functions can use features for creating new clients, portals, and staff and client groups. Specific users and groups on the client side can be granted varying levels of access, including no access, view-only or full control. This allows client managers to delegate tasks to junior staff, such as time entry for payroll, while not giving them total access to salaries, account information, reporting and other details.
NetClient CS portals can be branded with firm logo and identifying information, and the login panel can be integrated into the firm’s website. The system can support any number of firm users and any number of clients, with multiple portal users for each client, each with their own login and access rights.
All data is encrypted prior to transmission of files and is stored on Thomson Reuters' secure redundant servers in Minnesota, which have undergone an Enterprise Security Audit that addresses external and internal penetration assessments, as well as application security. The encryption and data security processes meet or exceed all state laws requiring protection of transmitted client documents. Over the past year, the Thomson Reuters system has experienced no major downtime, at a rate of more than 99.999 percent uptime. The license agreement does not explicitly guarantee uptime.
Client User Experience - 4.75 Stars