Will portal software keep my accounting firm compliant?
18th Dec 2017
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Reviewing your needs for portal software can be time-consuming and complicated. And when it comes to compliance, requirements will be stricter and will require more detail, if you want to get the green light from management.
Of course, security is a priority for accounting firms, no matter the size. Accountants, financial controllers, bookkeepers; there will always be sensitive information that needs to be dealt with carefully. Payroll information, invoices and billing details, tax returns, profit and loss accounts; the list is endless, and so the following four features will be neccessary to ensure your firm meets its security and compliance requirements.
1. Strict content access permissions: By giving the account administrator/s control over which users can have viewing, editing, downloading and deletion rights within your portal (whether that’s team members, staff, clients, business partners or anybody else that you’re sharing content with), this level of granular access ensures that your firm will always be in complete control over its data.
2. Audit trails and activity tracking: Controlling content access is the first step, however, account administrators also need access to audit trails of activity to monitor how users are using the content that they’re accessing and for accountability purposes. Within the audit trails, administrators will be able to follow who has logged in to their account, or viewed, downloaded, created, updated and deleted content, which can be downloaded as a CSV report.
3. Encrypted data in transit and at rest: A crucial step to portal software compliance is end-to-encryption, meaning that your data will be kept secure when it’s being uploaded, as well as when it’s stored in your solution. As an example, Clinked uses 256 bit in transit and AES encryption as rest – which is the same level of encryption you find with banks, whilst also supporting 1.2 TLS for communication.
4. Controlled logins and automatic logouts: Authenticated logins and automatic logouts add additional layers of protection to prevent unauthorized access to your portal software. For instance, when logging in, accountants and clients should be required to use two-factor authentication in order to access their account; and should then be automatically logged out after a set number of days.
Consider a private cloud solution?
There are three options when hosting your portal in the cloud – public, private or hybrid. Using a private cloud would be the equivalent of hosting your solution on-premise, in terms of security and performance, but offers the benefits of a cloud-based solution. For instance, you’ll be able to restrict access to your portal by IP addresses or geographical location.
Now that you’re aware of the features in which portal software can offer your accouring firm, in order to meet compliance and security requirements, you can get started with finding your perfect solution.