I often get asked “what is the easiest/ best way to send files, documents or spreadsheets to clients”.
For many, the traditional way is to send the file as an attachment via email or other electronic messaging. Unfortunately, this method can create confusion and havoc as shown below:
- Recipient cannot remember where they downloaded and saved the file (folder or drive)
- Recipient makes changes to the document without your knowledge or consent
- If requesting input, the recipient may return the incorrect file, version, or provide incomplete information – requiring you to send the document back to them for additional input.
- If you update or change a source document, a new version must be sent to the recipient with hopes that they delete the old outdated version.
- Sending attachments with confidential or sensitive information via email or other unsecured methods are at risk or being hacked.
Here are 2 ways to send information I find to be easier
1) Use Google Docs, Sheets or Slides
This is the easiest way for 2 or more people to collaborate on a document, spreadsheet or presentation. These are an alternative to their Microsoft counterparts that live in the cloud. Other people can be invited to view, edit or comment on these files without the need to have a Gmail or Google login. This is an easy want to request input from clients on transactions or financial reports without the need to send documents back and forth.
2) Sharing MS Word, Excel or PDF files or folders stored in a cloud drive (Google Drive or Dropbox)
This is an easier and more secure way for recipients to access shared information. If using a Dropbox Business plan, files and folders can be password protected for an additional layer of security. Using links to folders allows you to provide access to multiple related files with a single link.
3) Use a workflow solution like Client Hub to make it easiest for your clients
Client Hub accountant users can share, organize and manage files in a variety of ways. Client specific files can be sent to clients via the conversations feature and organized on the Files Manager. Commonly used forms, how-to articles and other shared resources can be shared as links via the Resources section (practice library).