If you are like most firms, you have secure solutions for clients to use when sending sensitive information to your firm. But how many of your clients actually use those solutions? The lower the percentage, the higher your firm’s risk factor.
The challenge is to strike the right balance between keeping the cyber criminals at bay and making things easy for clients. Sadly, many solutions in use by accounting, tax, and bookkeeping firms today fall short of being easy or convenient, so clients boycott them and just use the easiest, most convenient method for them. Security suffers, and the sensitive information is transmitted to your firm over unencrypted email or by text. This leaves it vulnerable to cyber-attacks and places the firm and the client at significant risk.
Email is not the right tool for secure communications and document exchange.
Since most cyber crimes begin with phishing emails, it is important to understand how using it to communicate with clients can create a disaster just waiting to happen. The scammers are so convincing that victims willingly click a link in a phishing email and “log in” or “change their password” to a sensitive site - thereby giving the criminals the credentials so they can log in as the user. It’s therefore VITAL to have a secure system (that your clients will actually USE) that is NOT based on email.
The usual advice given to prevent being a victim of a phishing scam is to carefully check the actual email address of the person sending it. If the sender is you, the practitioner, and it's your actual email address, it should be safe for the client to proceed, right? WRONG. What happens if (in the case of a Business Email Compromise) the cybercriminals have gained access to your email inbox and not only have unfettered access to read all your emails and download all your attachments but also have the ability to send out an email to your clients, from your actual inbox, asking them to take a certain action that leads to them being scammed?
If you are thinking this can’t happen to you, you need to think again. Most of the time, criminals gain access to firm emails because a staff member has given up their credentials via a very convincing phishing email. And this creates an atmosphere where email simply cannot be trusted for secure communications of any kind.
So how can firms maintain security AND make it easy for clients?
This is where an invitation-only secure client communication app like Liscio becomes a valuable tool in your security plan. Just as your bank gives you a secure system whereby you log in securely and interact with them via their app or by logging in on your browser, a secure client communication app provides the same level of peace of mind and assurance for you and for your clients. Imagine if you could also make it as easy, fast, and secure for clients to send you a sensitive document as the banking apps make it to deposit a check? That’s Client Experience 2.0 in action, and it's available today for all firms.
Create your action plan now and roll out Client Experience 2.0 in your firm!
One of the things that firm leaders are sometimes worried about is client adoption and how much of a “lift” it is to roll a secure client communication app out to clients and staff. Look for a system that allows multiple methods of securely logging in. Ideally, the mobile app should have choices like the ability to log in using Face ID or Username and Password and also the option to use your Google or MS365 login credentials as well. These choices eliminate the need for you to help clients log in or troubleshoot the system staff. You need to choose a system that plays well with your current practice management system and your accounting and tax solutions. Again - Liscio is a great choice here because anything you can print to PDF can be securely sent to clients using Liscio Dispatch, in just a few clicks. “ Easy for everyone” means that you can be quickly up and running.
Make 2023 your most secure and productive year yet
Once you move your clients off email and texting, and all communications, documents, tasks, e-signatures, emails, and messages are in one secure place, you’ll find that staff saves a lot of time versus your old systems. This is because when you make it drop-dead easy for them to work with you digitally using a mobile app, you become the accountant in their pocket, and they no longer send things in using so many creative and different ways. This significantly reduces the amount of time you have to search for things, and your team can collaborate easily without any hiccups. You see, when you make security EASY for clients, all boats rise, and your team benefits too.