SharePoint Foundation 2010: A Cost-Effective Way to Provide Secure Anytime Access to Client Documents
After implementing a SharePoint-based document management system, Bodtke & Stewart, an accounting firm in Peoria, Illinois, wanted a way to share sensitive information with their clients and provide a means for their clients to share information with the firm. Infogenic Solutions was tasked with setting up an extranet to provide clients of Bodtke & Stewart a convenient and secure means to upload and download tax documents. Before the extranet, clients of Bodtke & Stewart would call or stop by to request copies of their tax documents or drop off documents for their CPA to process. By providing their clients online access to documents, Bodtke & Stewart has significantly reduced the amount of employee time needed to track down and deliver information.
Infogenic Solutions built upon the existing SharePoint document management system by adding an extranet. Clients can visit the extranet website at any time to download their completed tax returns or upload working documents for use by Bodtke & Stewart CPAs. Bodtke staff is automatically notified via email whenever a client uploads a document to the extranet, thus improving the firm’s workflow. The Bodtke Client Extranet was implemented in SharePoint 2010 Foundation, the free version of SharePoint which is available with a Windows Server 2008 license. Since they already had a Windows Server 2008 license, all they needed was to obtain a Windows External Connector license and have the solution implemented on their server. The extranet provides a sub-site for each Bodtke client, and each sub-site contains two document libraries called Working Documents and Final Documents. Working Documents contains files uploaded by the client, and Final Documents contains completed tax returns, audits and other client deliverables. This allows both the CPAs and their clients to access the files they need 24x7 and without the need for support staff involvement. It is also possible for clients to change or reset their passwords without contacting the firm, thus providing a hassle-free experience for all parties.
The advantage provided by the extranet in this case allows for both Bodtke & Stewart employees and their clients to access and share sensitive information in a secure environment. The logins and passwords prevent unauthorized access while allowing the authenticated users to see only the files that are permitted by their access rights. By using the extranet to share documents, a greater level of collaboration between Bodtke & Stewart and their clients has been realized. The amount of time spent on busy-work has been reduced, freeing up employee time to work on revenue-generating tasks instead. All of this is accessed with a web browser via the Internet while maintaining regulatory security compliance.
About Bodtke & Stewart
For more information about Bodtke & Stewart, visit www.BodtkeStewart.com.
Please visit our case study for the document management system built for Bodtke & Stewart.