• This is docSAFE

    docSAFE is the clever way to work. For anyone working with a client base – those in the professions, creatives – in fact, just about any kind of business – you’ll wonder how you managed without it before. It’s contemporary and innovative but surprisingly simple. docSAFE is a client portal – an online office with lots of functionality and clever stuff.

  • In the Cloud

    Working in the cloud is a concept. You are simply accessing a portal online and giving your clients secure access to do the same. In the portal you can store and work on documents, exchange information, collaborate, sign things off online – all in highly secure, backed up environment. It works across all your devices and even has its own mobile app.

The legalities of e-signatures

An e-signature is used in any situation that is facilitated by an electronic device to create an agreement between two or more parties. Basically you sign digitally, using your device, instead of with a traditional pen. It is becoming more commonplace and an increasingly acceptable form of ‘sealing the deal’ in all sectors, from finance to leisure. Whilst most IFAs will think instantly of an online contract or financial document, it covers all sorts of scenarios – from you agreeing new T&Cs on your phone upgrade to deliveries being signed for on a hand-held device. E-signatures have been around for many years and whilst everyone understands their benefits (super quick, efficient and neat), not everyone understands their legality. Wet signatures have the great advantage of being real in the sense that you can touch and see them being undertaken – whereas the e-signature exists in a world of IP addresses and actions taken between digital devices and more recently digital platforms. Of course an e-signature might raise eyebrows in sectors where technology isn’t front and centre but slowly these barriers are coming down. It is useful to explain how an e-signature is actually more secure. Without getting bogged down in the technical detail, the devices and networks that you use to electronically sign are offering an immense ‘weight of evidence’ to back-up the simple question of exactly who signed exactly what. Weight of evidence is a legal term used to determine whether you did or didn’t sign a document. It is vital if the signature later becomes open to dispute. The heavier the weight of evidence, the more confident the court will be to side in favour of a signature having actually been undertaken. For this reason you will be asked to identify yourself as you either login or start the process of e-signing. Furthermore, the software used will be tracking your actions from login to accessing the correct document to actually agreeing to sign the document. Some systems may even send you a final summary of your actions to cement the process and provide even more proof (and opportunity to disagree) with any actions you have agreed to by signing the document. In reality, e-signatures offer far more weight of evidence that wet, ‘real world’ signatures can. FAQs My clients are always on the move so can they sign on a mobile phone? E-signatures can be used on most mobile phones and smart devices.All you really need is access to a functioning web browser. Can I get a client to sign multiple times on different pages of a document? The best solutions allow you to sign the same document in any number of places as well as options to agree terms and conditions via separate tick boxes. Can I get different people to sign the same document? Yes, multiple parties will be able to sign the same document. The very best software, often using portals, will allow the same master document to be signed rather than having to send separate copies to each person for signing. Those systems that use a master structure are client-based models whereas those rather require separate uploads for each signatory are called user-based models. Can I get a husband and wife to sign the same document even if they use the same email address? Yes but ideally the greatest weight of evidence is when each signatory can be identified using their own email address. The husband and wife would be required to login using the same email but sign separately with each of their names. Can I countersign a document in the same way as my client can? Yes, some packages offer you the ability to sign the same document as the client signs. You, as the originator, can name yourself on the document and once the client has finished signing it will prompt you to countersign before completing the process. Furthermore, the best systems also allow any number of clients and countersignatures on the same document. I even once came across as many 50 or 60 on the same large reporting document. Are E-signatures accepted by everyone? E-signatures are legally no different to wet signatures in their own right but historically some people prefer a traditional wet signature – probably as it is more traditional.

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Why working from home is your new superpower

Having the ability to work from home is no longer just a nice, useful option, it’s become absolutely essential. However, even given a normal set of circumstances, being able to work from home gives employers an additional layer of flex that can be used at a moment’s notice. Sometimes your team might not be able to get to work but they are perfectly able to carry out their roles, given the right technology. It’s one of the reasons we developed docSAFE, to give you the ability to work from wherever you are, accessing documents in the cloud. Then we took it further – constantly over the past decade or so – and added an array of functionality that makes docSAFE a good choice for working from anywhere in the world. docSAFE is a secure client portal – a cloud-based hub – where you can safely store and retrieve documents. You can give your clients access to selected areas of docSAFE so they can access their documents too. The security levels are extremely high, multi-layered and continuously updated. We added the ability to sign online – legal and traceable – so you can skip non-essential meetings (great right now) or waiting for the post. It speeds things up and makes everything more efficient and slicker. You can also see, quickly and easily, who hasn’t signed so you can chase them up easily. You can upload and send multiple documents in one neat pdf which is another tick for professionalism. One of the most important features is the way using docSAFE to communicate documents negates the need for email. Email is not secure and really shouldn’t be used to send or receive anything important, confidential or sensitive. Human error is one of the most common ways to send things to the wrong people but don’t underestimate the hackers who are growing increasingly sophisticated. And finally we added an assurance of getting docSAFE ISO accredited – a series of checks and guarantees that it does exactly what we offer, with all of the security layers you need for peace of mind. So when you are working from home, or setting up your teams to work from home, consider docSAFE as a tried and tested way of communicating, storing, collaborating and sending information. Ask us for a demo. We can set it up within 24 hours and it costs very little per month, from as low as £50, depending on the number of users and space you need.

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Where docSAFE fits in your 2020 plans

As we head towards a new decade, it’s worth remembering that docSAFE has been around for 2 of them and, as a result, is one of the most time-tested, resilient and enduring client portals available. If you’re not sure what a client portal even is, in layman’s terms, it’s a central hub where you can store documents and do a whole host of valuable, clever things that make your work-life streamlined and efficient. You work with your clients online in a professional way that is as useful as it is impressive. It is perfect for any business with clients – accountants have been our main clients since we began but we are increasingly attracting solicitors, creative agencies, insurance companies, estate agents and business owners who can see how it works for them.
  • Work and access files from anywhere 24/7
  • Sign online
  • Exchange files securely
  • Eliminate email (especially for sensitive documents)
  • Set up a secure audit trail – see status updates instantly
  • Add a payroll module for secure communications
  • Update everything automatically
  • Give your clients access to whatever you need
  • Brand your docSAFE with your corporate colours and style
docSAFE and its contents are sealed in tight layers of security so it satisfies GDPR and, more importantly, means your business credibility will never be compromised through security breaches. We are constantly adding state of the art and innovative solutions that will protect your data, keep your client and staff information safe and make sure hackers can’t get in to your systems. We are increasingly seeing hackers targeting all kinds of smaller business – not just the household names. They can find a way to access your most important and sensitive information, including your personal data and finances. Our exhaustive approach to security formed part of our recent ISO 27001 accreditation. Talk to us about introducing docSAFE into your 2020 systems. We can give you a demo or a trial and talk you through some of the features that make it so popular. Click on our weblink and our signature video will tell you more in really simple terms.

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Another docSAFE update – by popular demand!

We have added a another feature that we’ve had a few requests for… Staff can now print documents from the preview screen which we believe will be a welcome and valuable addition to the portal. As you can see docSAFE continues to develop. We are highly responsive to the feedback we get so please let us know if you have any suggestions that would make docSAFE even better.

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3 docSAFE upgrades you will LOVE

Users of docSAFE will be very pleased with three significant developments in yesterday’s new release. The first one being that you won’t receive any more updates that need you to do anything – all updates will happen automatically! We’ll update everything from our central location, meaning that you won’t have anything further to install yourself. Anything that saves you time and hassle has got to be bonus! A regular issue we’ve encountered is resetting passwords for your clients. Historically, and for a number of reasons, we have always done this for you. However you are now able to reset your clients’ passwords yourselves – giving you greater control and less reliance on us. We’ve always aimed to do these kinds of things immediately but it sometimes isn’t possible. This way, you can reset passwords as you get the request. We think this will provide a far greater level of client care for your own clients. The third update is the fact that you can now choose any combination of files to download in one go, reducing your admin burden and making life quicker and more efficient.
  1. All updates will happen automatically – nothing for you to install
  2. You can reset your clients’ passwords
  3. You can choose any combination of files to download in one go
We’ve listened to you, the users, and recognised a pattern of requests that we have received and responded in the only way we know how – to make docSAFE even better! If course, we are here for you if you have any issues you need us to look at, including working with any of the new features we have described.

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Cybercrime webinar: Tuesday 30th July 2019 with PracticeWeb

Cybercrime: it happens to other people. It won’t be me, surely?

Tuesday 30th July 2019 12 noon – 1pm Join us for our next webinar with PracticeWeb’s sales and marketing director, Stuart Pringle and DocSAFE MD Mike Couzens. Stuart and Mike will be discussing: What cybercrime and fraud trends there are, and who is susceptible Common forms of cybercrime How you can protect yourself If it isn’t you affected, it could be your clients How to lead the conversation and to secure your information We have teamed up with docSAFE to provide you with a simple, secure client portal to manage and share information. Built just for accountants, this client portal has been built with a huge amount of functionality that will improve how you and your team work. Join us for our latest webinar for a sensible take on threats, best practices and how technology can be used to protect your clients and yourself Book here: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/8774772792632310541

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Why sign online?

docSAFE has long since had the facility to allow your clients to sign online. This function has proved extremely popular so we thought we’d ask our clients why they felt it improved their business performance: “We don’t need to print anything – everything is done online and we keep digital copies of everything – which we think is much more secure than a filing cabinet full of paper” “We don’t need to set up meetings when we’re just after a signature. We save the meetings (expensive in terms of travel and time) for when we can sit down and talk about important things” “docSAFE has this really useful tool that shows us who hasn’t signed following a request. It automates follow up emails asking for the client to complete the paperwork. It’s really efficient” “Occasionally we have the opportunity to revisit a customer who had gone away to consider taking the next step. If it’s over the phone or email, we can simply request their signature to complete the sales process and get them signed up. We find that very useful in terms of our sales activity” “Who wouldn’t want an electronic signature, filed neatly away, complete with an audit trail? It’s so tidy!” “At tax return time, we literally are swamped with paperwork that needs a client’s signature. By managing everything online, we can move swiftly to continue to work on accounts and not spend hours doing admin!”

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Why is docSAFE better than email?

If you send emails to clients – and we all do – there will be times when the content is confidential and it is vital that it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Sometimes we might not be aware of how sensitive data is, especially from a client point of view. Email is great for small talk, arrangements and quick communications but it is not secure and highly susceptible to human error. How many times have you sent information to or received information from the wrong source? I am regularly wrongly emailed client documents by a highly intelligent, trusted professional simply because I have a very similar name to his client. It is completely understandable but it could have any number of repercussions. A client portal is a cloud-based safe. The documents go in (added by you or your client), the recipient is notified and they are then retrieved. It is also subject to several layers of top-level security. Signing online is another more efficient way to exchange and complete documents – and usually, anything requiring a signature is subject to some sort of security requirement. We offer a highly encrypted online signing facility that has saved many thousands of hours by turning legal documents round in seconds. No more waiting on the post or queuing to send things by special delivery! For the sake of your practice, your reputation and your clients’ trust, switch from email to a secure client portal before it is too late. We can help, advise and support a quick transition to a much safer and more professional way to communicate.

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Cyber trends for 2019

Juniper Research has estimated that cybercrime could rise by as much as 175% over the next 5 years and, of course, as hackers get more sophisticated and determined to succeed, so must we make sure we are doing all we can to make life difficult for them. Why be an easy target? It’s not just large-scale organisations like banks and hospitals that are the targets for cyber crime.

Hackers infiltrate every level of business to add links and diverts to other websites, they compromise your client data (could your business afford even a sniff of that?) and generally cause trouble whilst they are poking around your systems. There is much in the news about wide-spread attacks, one of the latest being the new energy smart meters that we are being urged to introduce to our homes. It is anticipated that these could be a relatively easy target – which brings all sorts of other, mass consumer, digitally connected devices into question. However, many hackers go for the low hanging fruit which means they will enjoy easy pickings and wreak havoc within businesses who aren’t protecting themselves sufficiently.

We are reading about botnets, swarm networks and hive nets to name just a few of the ways our systems are being targeted. The level of complexity is such that it is hard to put into words for a savvy IT business, let alone the man in the street. It’s complicated and, most importantly, it’s not going away anytime soon. We work very hard to make sure that docSAFE is protected under multiple layers of security and this is something we have always done to stay ahead of the game. We are always updating, improving and building the layers we employ – to protect your data and also all the data you hold on clients, suppliers and your staff, for example. This isn’t just for GDPR – it’s for business survival!

“Given the benefits of the networked world, the move to digitalisation isn’t going to slow down. It’s important we realistically assess our dependence upon cyber and the potential consequences of a disruptive attack. Maintaining physical backups or other redundancies, changing operational processes, and even keeping less data can reduce the impact of a successful attack.” says Suzanne Spalding, former DHS Under Secretary, USA.

It is expected we will see more ransomware – malicious software that blocks access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid. Crypto-jacking – the practice of taking over a device or network of devices to operate a crypto mining operation (a digital or virtual currency that is used and operated independently of a bank) and other such attacks.

Talk to us and make sure you don’t fall victim to any cyber crime this year.


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Why docSAFE works for every business

It’s hard to imagine a business that wouldn’t benefit from docSAFE. With the MD’s accountancy background it was originally designed for accountants – and then gradually opened up to other professions. We challenged ourselves at docSAFE HQ with the notion that it actually works for everyone, regardless of sector. Quite simply if you communicate with the outside world then docSAFE is your greatest ally in terms of efficiency, professionalism and security. For efficiency docSAFE streamlines many processes that you might spend a long time on ordinarily. Helpful things – like merging and zipping multiple documents into one neat pdf – right through into providing online signing. Online signing is hugely popular with our clients. It allows them to send a document to the client portal (securely of course) with an automatic alert to announce its arrival. The client signs (within the portal) and you are alerted on its updated status. This not only saves hours of meeting time but it also gets an important job done within the safety of docSAFE, never leaving it to jump on an email or get accidentally mailed to the wrong person. For professionalism, showcasing the security and functionality of the system gives your business an edge. No more bog standard Dropbox or WeTransfer for large files. Instead you direct your clients to a personalised, branded space where they can collaborate, sign, review and update documents – from anywhere, 24/7. For security, there is nothing else quite like it. docSAFE has layers and layers of security of all kinds to make it as fortress-like as possible. 2 factor authentication, security keys and much more. We understand the way businesses can be compromised and how much of a risk this can be, especially when you hold contact information and sensitive data on staff, suppliers and clients. Hacking is no longer the province of the big corporates, we have helped small businesses who have been targeted in a number of ways for a whole host of reasons. So in a nutshell we decided to let docSAFE loose on all businesses, of all kinds, in all sectors. Try it for yourself.

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