Just wondering if anyone has considered using ShareFile by Citrix vs. e-Courier? We’re considering adopting one of these platforms, but haven’t had the chance to talk to many people with experience on either.
I think more people would be familiar with e-Courier. Integration with TaxCycle is a big pro, but the two downsides I see are that the client needs to create a user account, and I’m not sure how easy secure client file uploads are. As crazy as it seems to me, I know that we would get a lot of pushback from clients for adoption because setting up a user account and then remembering a username/password is somehow a monumental task for a lot of people.
Sharefile has a couple pros it seems - you can create a branded secure client upload portal that is pretty well fool proof (ex. clients just click on a link in your email signature, or a link on your website), which would really help with collection of digital documents. The client also doesn’t need to setup a user account. It also gives more in the way of team collaboration tools - essentially dropbox style file syncing with your team (so both an internal and external secure file sharing solution). If/when the CRA manages to accept digital signatures, that functionality is also baked right in. Major cons appear to be the fact that they are US based (although they claim to meet gov’t requirements for server storage, etc.), they’re pricier and bill in USD (although they’ve said they’re willing to offer lifetime discounts to compensate), and no TaxCycle integration.
Anyways, thought this forum would be a great place to get some input. Any comments would be much appreciated!
I have used Sharefile. It’s a combo of e-Courier and something like Dropbox (but with much better security). The Outlook plug-in to send encrypted emails or secure attachment is very seamless from the sender’s perspective. From the receiver, it depends on how strong of security you enforce: there are three levels and with two most basics one it’s also quite frictionless for the receiver. The top level requires username and password, which would put it on par with e-Courier. We used it on one of the first two level with our client, unless they requested specifically for the top level, and we had 98% adoption for receiving email without any need for our support, and about 40% adoption for client using the secure upload to send us documents.
I never fully explored the cloud-storage aspects of Sharefile, but did use the portal solution which is also very handy. I feel that to make the best of all of Sharefile features, I would need a full time IT person that speak developer jargon to spearhead the implementation (I feel the same about Microsoft’s Office 365). Citrix is the kind of company that has certified implementation partners so complex it can be. Also the kind of company that charge extra for implementation and training after the first orientation session. So a mature company with a mature product that has some embedded complexity if you want to use it fully.
That said, you can get the Outlook plug-in going very easily and quickly, and same for a basic portal. We use the electronic signature add-on and it was also very easy to use, and get employees onboarded and trained. My only resevation with the electronic signature aspect was that it only supported email of documents; no kiosk mode, so I couldn’t use it to get a document signed on a tablet at the reception or during a meeting.
The company is US base, but you can have the data hosted in Ireland or UK - can’t remember which one - and I heard soon in Canada, but that should be confirmed. If you’re still concerned about hosting data on foreign servers, you can add a service like Boxcryptor that encrypts everything before it leaves your computer.
It really can’t be beat for ease of use with Outlook and making your email communication that much more secure. That’s got to be worth something.
I didn’t realize that e-Courier gave a client portal as well. Looks like it’s branded, etc. too, which is great. Also sounds like the password resets, etc., haven’t been too much of a headache for you, which is good to hear.
I wish they had some demonstration videos/etc. available to see it in action… I’ll need to sign up for a free trial. Just need to find some time!
Thanks for the input, it’s put some of my reservations to rest.
You raise some good points about implementation… I’m the de facto IT manager at a pretty small firm and I might have a mutiny on my hands if I put them through much more change. I’m even getting a lot of grumbling from switching to TaxCycle from Profile, which is clearly a change for the better in my opinion!! We have very limited resources for proper deployment, so I could see us making limited use of the functionality with a pretty high price tag.
At 98% received with no trouble it must be pretty fool proof, which is the impression I got after going through a presentation with one of their reps. Will need to run some numbers on pricing.