Client Portal Overview

Created by Allison Cloyd, Modified on Wed, 08 Feb 2023 at 07:41 PM by Kylie Mitchell

The Actionstep Client portal is a secure way for firms using Actionstep to share documents and messages with external parties.

Sharing documents via the client portal offers a few key advantages over email exchanges. First and possibly most importantly, the client portal is more secure than email. The portal acts as a Secure Document Exchange (SDX), creating a direct and encrypted connection between the external party and your Actionstep system. External parties granted access to the client portal are met with the same email verification and login credential setup process as a normal Actionstep user. Once inside your Actionstep system, all activity by the user is logged in the audit trail. In addition to offering a more secure way to exchange documents the portal also offers a less labor-intensive alternative to emailing important documents. Since the portal integrates seamlessly with your Actionstep folder structure, your customers can upload documents directly to your firm's document management system.

Using the Portal

Adding Users to the Portal

The permissions you set up in Admin are general permissions, however, you still control who can see what on a Matter-by-Matter basis.

  1. Open up a Matter and click on the portal icon.
  2. Here you will see a list of the matter participants. Click on each participant to grant access to the portal for that specific matter. When you grant them access they will inherit the permissions you set up in Admin.

    client portal tab on a matter
  3. Once you have granted access, the user will receive an email inviting them to the Portal.
    If the user has never accessed Actionstep before, they will first be invited to create an Actionstep login. After creating a login, they will be added to the portal. If they already have an Actionstep login then they will simply get an invite to this portal. The email will look something like the following:

    client portal email invitation

Adding Documents to the Portal

To add documents to the portal, add them to any folder that has been set up as a portal folder in Admin. Portal folders show with a special icon in the Documents area for each matter. See below:

documents tab on a matter with the client folder


If you created a sub-folder in your Matter, you may have run into the issue of a client not being able to view documents or important files you've uploaded. In order to be able to view documents in the sub-folders, you can either move all of the documents into the main Client Documents folder or you can create and enable each of the sub-folders in the workflow admin section.

NOTE: Please note, that if you have folders and/or sub-folders in multiple Matter Types, you will have to repeat this process for each specific Matter Type.

  1. First, you'll want to go to Admin > Matter Types > Select the Matter Type with the sub-folders > Folders
  2. Add the sub-folder on this page
  3. Once added, click on the sub-folder and select "Push to all Actions".
    folders screen on a matter type in admin
    After you've added your sub-folders and selected "Push to all Actions" for each sub-folder, you'll need to enable the portal for the new folders.
  4. Go back to the Matter Type Settings for this matter type and scroll down until you see the Client Portal section.
  5. You'll then add the new folders, select the correct permissions, and hit save. client portal settings on a matter type in admin

Exchanging Chat Messages

You can send and receive chat messages with portal participants. These will appear under the messages tab when accessed by an external invitee.

client portal chat

Client Portal Permissions

Client Portal Permissions allow you to share folders to contacts assigned to that participant type in each matter. After configuring, you will still need to enable access for each client on a per matter basis (see the section above, "Using the Portal") 

To adjust the Client Portal Permissions,

  1. Go to Admin > Matter Types > Select the Matter Type > Matter Type Settings
  2. Scroll down to the very bottom until you see the "Client Portal" chart. 

client portal permissions in admin

Client Portal Permissions Explained:

  1. Full - Toggle all portal permissions on/off.
  2. List - Allow the user to list documents in this folder. Without this, the folder will always appear empty even if they upload a document.
  3. Read - Allow the user to read/download documents from this folder.
  4. Create - Allow the user to create/upload new documents to this folder.
  5. Update - Allow the user to update/upload replacing an existing document.
  6. Delete - Allow the user to delete documents in this folder.

NOTE: Please note, that Client Portal Permissions have to be adjusted per Matter Type. For example, if you are adjusting the permissions for a General Matter Type, this will not update your Estate Planning Matter Types.



Q: Can members of the client portal see other members' activity in the portal?

A: No, the client portal will not show recent activity to other members of the portal. For example, Douglas and Holly both have access to the client portal. Douglas already viewed the documents folder, but Holly will not be notified of this activity. Only users within Actionstep will see the Recent Activity of the client portal.


Q: What will happen to the client portal if I close a matter?

A: You cannot close a Matter if the client portal is enabled for a user. If you try to close your Matter with the portal still enabled for a user, you'll receive a message stating you have a portal user on this matter (see screenshot):




Q: If I email a document to a client (outside of the client portal), will it also be sent to the client portal folder? 

A: Unfortunately, this isn't an available function at the moment.  If you are emailing the client a document through Gmail, Outlook, etc., it will not automatically upload to the client portal folder. You will have to send documents to the client through the portal.


Q: I have placed multiple documents in a subfolder inside the portal folder, but my client can't see the files?

A: Unfortunately, the client won't be able to access subfolders inside a portal folder, a solution for this would be to zip the subfolder and this would allow the client to unzip the subfolder and access the files inside.




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