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Modern Day Meetings & Client Portals: Why & When We Use Them

Updated: May 22, 2023

Cambridge Financial Services uses modern day meetings and Client portals in a variety of useful settings. However, when is comes to understanding you and your business, sometimes there is no substitute for in-person meetings.


While video meetings offer numerous advantages, it's important to note that they do not replace the value of in-person meetings in certain contexts, such as touring business operations, management preferences for high-stakes planning or negotiations, certain team building exercises, and other situations requiring physical presence. Striking a balance between video and in-person meetings can maximize the benefits of both formats.


A quick overview of what you can find in this article:

In-Person Meetings - Advantages & Best Uses

Video Meetings - Advantages & Best Uses

Client Portals - Learn More


Tools We Commonly Use

  • Teams: Microsoft Teams is a powerful platform that integrates chat, video meetings, file sharing, and collaboration tools, offering seamless communication, enhanced productivity, and simplified remote collaboration. With its user-friendly interface, advanced security, and scalability, Teams is ideal for businesses of all sizes, facilitating efficient teamwork, streamlined workflows, and improved collaboration. https://www.microsoft.com/en-ca/microsoft-teams/free

  • Meet: Google Meet is a user-friendly platform for virtual meetings and video conferencing, offering easy scheduling, high-quality communication, accessibility across devices, collaborative features, and robust security, promoting effective remote collaboration and engaging virtual meetings. https://meet.google.com/

  • Zoom: Zoom is a widely adopted video conferencing platform that offers high-quality audio and video capabilities, intuitive interface, collaboration features, and advanced security, enabling effective remote collaboration and engaging virtual meetings. https://zoom.us/

  • iFirm Client Portal: The iFirm Client Portal offers secure communication, document sharing, and collaboration for businesses and clients. With 24/7 accessibility, streamlined document management, and personalized features, it enhances efficiency and client satisfaction. For more information on iFirm Client Portal, contact your Account Manager or Account Representative at Cambridge Financial Services.

  • Dropbox: Dropbox is a secure cloud storage and collaboration platform that simplifies file management, enhances productivity, and enables efficient teamwork through features like file synchronization, sharing, and real-time collaboration. https://www.dropbox.com/

  • Google Drive: Google Drive is a cloud-based storage and file-sharing service that provides users with a secure and convenient platform to store, access, and collaborate on files from any device with an internet connection. https://www.google.com/intl/en_ca/drive/

 

In-Person Meetings

“Understanding your business is the key to providing you with services that best serve you, and that often means seeing how and where your business works.”

Cambridge Financial Services is not your typical financial services firm. We believe that understanding your business is the key to providing you with services that best serve you, and that often means seeing how and where your business works. Some milestone events where in-person meetings can be most helpful:

  • New Client Onboarding: In the context of new client onboarding, in-person meetings offer distinct advantages. In-person meetings allow for real-time clarification, prompt resolution of questions or concerns, and support the immediate establishment of a strong working relationship, setting the stage for a successful partnership. Additionally, they enable personal connections, build trust, and facilitate effective communication, leading to a deeper understanding of client needs and expectations.

  • Annual Tax Planning: In the context of annual tax planning, in-person meetings allow for comprehensive discussions, immediate clarification of tax-related questions, and a more nuanced understanding of complex regulations. Over time, in-foster stronger client-advisor relationships, instill trust, and enable personalized tax strategies tailored to the client's specific needs and circumstances. Over time, these meetings can evolve to video meetings, based on the personal preferences of our Clients.

  • Growth Opportunities & Pain Points - Strategic Planning: In the context of strategic planning, in-person meetings allow for dynamic and interactive discussions, fostering collaboration, brainstorming, and the exchange of ideas. In-person meetings create a conducive environment for building consensus, aligning goals, and making strategic decisions in real-time. Over time, these meetings can evolve to video meetings, as decision-makers have developed stronger relationships, trust, and a deeper understanding of stakeholders' perspectives.

Sometimes, the advantages of in-person meetings can make a material difference in the outcome of a meeting:

  • Active Engagement and Focused Discussions: In-person meetings promote higher levels of engagement, attentiveness, and active participation, resulting in more productive and meaningful discussions.

  • Spontaneity and Creativity in Problem-Solving: Casual interactions during in-person meetings often spark spontaneous brainstorming and innovative problem-solving, fostering creativity and fresh insights.

  • Building Trust and Rapport: Face-to-face interactions facilitate the development of trust, rapport, and stronger professional relationships, which can be challenging to establish solely through virtual means.

  • Immersive Environment for Productive Interactions: Being physically present in a dedicated meeting space creates an immersive environment that encourages focused and productive interactions, reducing distractions and fostering collaboration.

  • Enhanced Communication and Nonverbal Cues: Face-to-face interactions enable immediate interpretation of nonverbal cues such as facial expressions and body language, enhancing understanding and communication effectiveness.

 

Video Meetings

“... video meetings facilitate seamless sharing of financial data and reports, including regular reporting and approvals for ... and other keystone reporting requirements, enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of controller services."

Cambridge Financial Services uses video meetings for a wide variety of purposes, and we cannot list them all here. Generally speaking, video meetings provide a cost-effective and time-efficient solution, eliminating travel expenses and reducing the logistical challenges of coordinating schedules for face-to-face meetings. Here is a snapshot of some of the most common practices for which we use video meetings:

  • Controller Services: In the context of controller services, video meetings offer distinct advantages. They enable remote collaboration between controllers and clients, allowing for real-time discussions, financial reviews and approvals, and tactical planning without the need for in-person visits. Screen sharing and shared document capabilities in video meetings facilitate seamless sharing of financial data and reports, including regular reporting and approvals for accounts receivable, accounts payable, payroll, sales tax, and other keystone reporting requirements, enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of controller services.

  • Period or Year-End Internal Financial Statements: In the context of reviewing internal financial statements, video meetings allow for remote collaboration between financial professionals and clients, enabling real-time discussions without the need for in-person meetings. A video meeting can cover a lot of ground in a short period of time, rather than sifting through correspondence in emails, and offers the convenience of sharing screens and documents, real-time clarity related to questions and answers, and facilitates a comprehensive analysis of financial data, enhancing the efficiency and accuracy of the review process.

  • Training & Education: In the context of training and education, video meetings offer a flexible and accessible platform for remote learning, allowing participants to attend training sessions and educational programs from any location with an internet connection. Video meetings enable interactive learning experiences through features like screen sharing, virtual whiteboards, and breakout rooms, facilitating engagement and collaboration among participants. Additionally, recorded video meetings can be valuable resources for reviewing content, enabling self-paced learning and knowledge retention.

In many cases, the advantages of video meetings can make a material difference in the outcome of a meeting:

  • Visual Engagement and Shared Content: Video meetings provide visual engagement through video feeds, screen sharing, and shared content, enhancing communication and facilitating effective presentations, demonstrations, and discussions.

  • Cost and Time Savings: Video meetings eliminate the need for travel expenses and reduce time spent on commuting, resulting in significant cost and time savings for both individuals and organizations.

  • Flexibility and Convenience: Video meetings offer the flexibility to join from anywhere with an internet connection, allowing participants to attend meetings from the comfort of their own homes or while on the go.

  • Recordability and Accessibility: Video meetings can be recorded and easily accessed later, enabling participants to review important discussions, refer back to shared information, or share the meeting with absent colleagues for increased collaboration and knowledge sharing.

  • Remote Collaboration: Video meetings enable seamless collaboration among geographically dispersed teams, allowing individuals to connect and work together regardless of their physical location.

 

Client Portals

“From simple document sharing to secure digital signing, there's never been a safer way for financial professionals and clients to communicate."

The iFirm Client Portal offers numerous advantages for businesses and their clients.

  1. First, it provides a secure and centralized platform for seamless communication, document sharing, and collaboration, ensuring confidentiality and data protection.

  2. Second, the portal's 24/7 accessibility allows clients to conveniently access important information, review documents, and track progress at their own convenience.

  3. Third, the iFirm Client Portal streamlines document management, reducing paperwork, eliminating the need for physical file transfers, and improving overall efficiency.

In addition, the personalized features of the portal enable clients to receive real-time updates, access self-service capabilities, and tailor their experience, enhancing client satisfaction and fostering effective collaboration. For more information on iFirm Client Portal, contact your Account Manager or Account Representative at Cambridge Financial Services. An overview can be found here:

 

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