Connected Portal - Using the Portal from HowNow

Terminology Used in the Portal


These are employees of the firm using the portal. Employees can perform core actions on the Portal such as creating clients, creating accounts with assigned clients and configuring the system settings. They have access to all the clients, accounts and documents that reside inside a firm’s Portal. 


Clients take on the traditional role of a client of a firm. Clients are the entities that are serviced by a firm. The portal is a way for the firm and the client to exchange documents of any size or file type.

Account (User)

User accounts are individuals who have been given access to a client(s) to access documents that have been uploaded to that client. They can be the owners, directors, shareholders of a business or people associated with the business, such as a bookkeeper.

Managing Clients and Accounts

Clients  and accounts are added to the portal from within HowNow - this ensures that the client in HowNow will be connected to the client in the portal. A client (company, trust, individual, etc) is added to the portal when the first account is added for that client. If the client is added directly into the portal, it will not be connected with HowNow. 

NOTE** If the Account email address needs to be changed then this must be done on the Portal. Please make sure any signing tasks have been removed first. 

A client is added to the portal the first time an account is invited to join the portal. To add a new or existing account to the portal go to Contacts and right-click and select Invite to Portal. If you have not logged on to the portal recently, you may be prompted for your password.


After you have logged in to the portal, you will be shown the Add Account form. Either select an existing account or add a New Account. Review or add any of the details and press OK.

From that point the new account will be sent a notification email asking them to activate their account and set their password. Once accepted the account will show in the portal under the Invitation column as accepted. If the account does not accept and you need to resend the invitation, you can do that from the portal (note only accounts who have not accepted their invitation will be available to resend the invitation). 

Uploading Documents to the Portal

In most instances documents are uploaded to the portal from within HowNow. There are two types of uploads - documents uploaded for the clients to access and documents that require signatures. Adobe Sign is used for documents that require signing - there are two types of signatures:

  • Simple Sign - this option means that the client signs the whole document in one place, there are no other signatures throughout the document.
  • Advanced Sign - with this option you can add signature, date and text fields throughout the document in the desired location. The client then signs or enters data in each of these designated areas.

Adobe Simple Sign is completed using the process shown below.

If you require Adobe Advanced Signing follow the steps below for Uploading Records, but do not assign any accounts or employees to sign the document. Once the document is uploaded, the Advanced Signing is completed in the Portal - click here for instructions on how to do this. 

Uploading Records

Upload a document requires that the document has been set as Ready for Portal - to do this right-click on the document and select the status. 

When a document or documents have been flagged as Ready for Upload they can be exported to the portal in one bulk export. Select the document or documents, then right-click and select export.

 Then select To the HowNow Portal.

Then select the filter required for the document(s) and click Next. 

If the document does not require signing, select process on the next screen.


Select the Sign Document checkbox for each document that requires signing. Wait for each document to bring up the Portal Accounts to Sign box. Choose the account you wish to sign the document, and Employee if needed. 

Click OK - this will take you back the Export Wizard each time to setup the rest of the documents.

Select the Disable All Notifications checkbox if you wish for NO notifications to be created for the life of the document. Be aware that Notifications for this document will need to come manually from your Firm, for example in an email. Use the Email Links provided after clicking on the Process button in the next box.

After the documents have been exported to the Portal you will receive notification of the success or failure of each document. Use the drop down arrow to see detailed upload results.

Use the email Links to manually send documents to Accounts. Usually this is only required if you have clicked the checkbox Disable All Notifications. Click on the Email Link Envelope Icon, and a new email will open with the link inserted.A notification email will be sent to the Account(s), with a link to the document asking them to sign, unless the Disable All Notifications checkbox is ticked.

After the Account(s) has signed the document, the Employee will receive an email notification informing them that the document now requires their signature - the email will include the link to the document. 

Once signed by all parties, the document will be automatically downloaded from the portal into HowNow - the document title will have "_Signed" attached to the name and will have the status of "New Client File".

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