Dave explains how to use the portal, and why it's good for our customers - and the environment.
May 2018 saw a big change in Data Protection legislation that came in the form of four letters that caused many of us headaches – GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). This change in a nutshell means that anyone (person or company) that handles any individual's personal information (even a small amount) must ensure the security of that data and assess if they even need to keep it at all.
We have always taken our clients' privacy and confidentiality very seriously, so GDPR wasn't a big deal for us. However, it was clear that traditional e:mail was no longer a 100% safe medium to communicate, so we took the decision to launch our portal to enhance the security of communications with our customers.
The Scholes CA Portal uses advanced, high-level security to ensure that data transmitted electronically cannot be intercepted. It can be used to send us information as well as to receive it, and to approve documents online.
Sending us a message
To send us a message, click on the new message button on the home page. Select who you want to send the message to, enter a subject for the message and enter some text for the message itself, you can then attach any documents you want to send, too.
Replying to a message
Simply open the message and click reply in the bottom right corner. Enter your message and add any files as necessary.
Tip – for security reasons, there is a timeout feature in place, so for longer messages we recommend composing your message outside of the portal and pasting it in, or attaching it eg as a Word document.
Go paperless and be more efficient
Generating thousands of paper documents every year is very wasteful, and it is a fact that, legally, most accounts and tax returns don't actually need to be printed and signed any more. HMRC doesn't require it, nor does Companies House; both are happy to accept electronic documents.
We want to reduce as far as possible the amount of paper that Scholes CA consumes, so if you use our portal, you can help us - and help the environment - by accepting electronic versions of your accounts and tax returns
What's more, when we are able to upload your documents on the portal - instead of posting them - you'll generally receive them at least a day or two earlier, making the whole process more efficient.
Approving a document in the portal is simple; just open and read the document(s), select the box next to it, click "approve" and enter your secure portal password as confirmation. Documents can also be rejected in the same way if amendments are required. Hundreds of our customers are already doing it this way and if you get stuck we're always here to help.
You don’t need to worry about missing a message from us either – the portal delivers a message to your email advising you when there is a new message from us, without divulging any sensitive information. Simply click the link in the email and login to access the message at a time that suits you.
Secure storage and access to historic information
Any messages and documents sent to you through the portal are securely stored for you to access any time you want, so as time goes on you will stil be able to access historic accounts, payroll information, VAT return confirmations etc when it suits you, without having to ask for it to be sent again. A win-win for busy people who want to get on with their work at a time to suit them.
If you are not already signed up to the portal and want to join all our customers who have, please let us know. It's quick and easy to sign up.