2017 Review of SmartVault Document Storage

SmartVault Document Storage


From the Dec. 2017 Review of Document Management & Storage Systems.

SmartVault Document Storage from SmartVault is a good fit for mid-sized accounting firms. SmartVault includes a client portal while offering integration with QuickBooks and QuickBooks Online, and also offers apps that provide integration with other accounting applications such as Xero and FreshBooks.

SmartVault is a completely online application that can be utilized from a desktop system, a web browser or a mobile device. All files are stored as PDF’s, with users able to utilize the SmartVault PDF Printer, which will convert and save any document as a PDF.

SmartVault uses vaults to store all documents. Users can easily create a vault for each client, and add secondary folders as well. During setup users can choose both the vault and folder structure they wish to use. SmartVault includes nine default folder templates which include Accounting, Client, Payroll, Employee, Financial Services, Tax Engagement, and Wealth Management. Users can opt to use one of these templates when creating a folder structure, or create their own folder structure by editing a template or creating a new structure from scratch.   A single vault/folder structure can be used for all clients, or users can customize clients or projects using a custom structure. SmartVault allows firms to easily store multiple versions of each document, and users can easily retrieve deleted files if desired. For added convenience, the SmartVault inbox allows managers to easily share documents with others. Users can also use the inbox to upload files from the computer into SmartVault for later processing. SmartVault also offers seamless integration with ScanSnap, creating an easy way to manage QuickBooks documents. The product also offers integration with all TWAIN compliant scanners, including Eastman Kodak, Epson, Hewlett-Packard, and Xerox.

The SmartVault Client Portal allows firms to offer easy access to stored documents, with firms inviting the clients and associates they wish to provide portal access to. Firms can easily brand the portal to reflect the firm’s logos, taglines, and colors, and the portal can also be linked directly to the firm website, where clients can simply log in. New in SmartVault, users can view documents in a browser window without having to download the file, and documents can be accessed from any device including smartphones and tablets.

SmartVault offers excellent security, with users able to assign passwords to selected files and documents. Users can also assign file permissions to each file, and can assign a specific level to each file such as read only, write, edit and delete permissions.   All documents are encrypted for added protection. For firms that prefer to share files securely via email, the SmartVault Plug-In for Microsoft Outlook can be utilized. The plug-in allows users to securely share documents via email, upload email attachments directly to SmartVault, and convert email attachments to secure links. SmartVault also offers system activity reports so managers can easily view file access details, including file access information.

SmartVault offers excellent integration capability with both QuickBooks and QuickBooks Online. QuickBooks users can enjoy another level of integration by using the integrated Toolbar for QuickBooks. There are also a series of apps available that provide integration with a variety of third-party applications including Intuit ProSeries and Lacerte, FreshBooks, Xero, Acctivate, Tallie, and Method: CRM, along with several others, with the apps priced separately.    

The Resources option found on the SmartVault website offers users a variety of tools including webinars, videos and articles. Case studies and press releases can also be found on the Resources page. The SmartVault Customer Center offers an interactive Help feature where users can search for solutions to issues as well as a list of help topics, self-help guides and a live training hub. Additional training options are available through SmartVault University. Product support is available via chat, telephone or email, with the cost of support included in the monthly subscription.

SmartVault is an excellent solution for QuickBooks users, along with those using FreshBooks or Xero. Available as on online subscription, a tax prep version is available for $30 per user, per month. The Accounting Pro version is $40 per user, per month, and is best suited for small to mid-sized firms. An Enterprise edition of the product is also available with pricing available via custom quote and those interested can access a free 30-day trial, with no credit card required.

2017 Rating – 5 Stars