As the end of 2013 draws near, it's time to make plans for 2014. In my office, I have a large whiteboard with a list of many initiatives. In this post, I'd like to share one of them and begin a dialogue with you, asking what your plans are for next year.
Online Document Storage
This has been on the list for a while. I have no doubt that some of you have already done this. There are many vendors providing this type of service. In an effort to keep the expense down, I have selected NetDocuments.com. They have three subscription levels ranging from $20 per month to $38, per user. Because there is a minimum of two users, you can double the cost. Still, it remains one of the lowest-cost online document storage providers I've found. In addition, you can add an email integration with Microsoft Outlook for $6 per month. Again, minimum two users. This will allow you to send emails with passwords and expiration dates if you wish.
The only drawback I see is that NetDocuments does not have the client view set up with folders as you would see in a Windows tree. Instead, they have what they call "Shared Spaces." This is essentially a header which you title. For example, you can title a header "Income Tax." Then, you can drag and drop, or save in the usual way, to place a client’s income tax return under this header. By using multiple Shared Spaces with separate titles you can segregate a client’s documents.
For example, here are some possible titles: Income Tax, Financial Planning, Insurance, etc. The client can access all of their Shared Spaces with one login.
I believe NetDocuments is considering creating a folder system, which would make this product even more appealing. However, with no long-term contract, if I find something better in the future, I am free to make the switch. Of course, if NetDocuments deso implement the folder system, I think I would be quite content.
I plan to integrate this with my website to allow clients to access their important documents by clicking on the link in their private portal. Of course, security is of paramount importance and the comapny claim to have the highest encryption available. Plus, NetDocuments two servers in different parts of the country to back up their files.
I hope you all have a great 2014 and enjoy the holidays!