Security Tips for Online Banking…
You might not be aware that in my role at Hamilton Taggart Business Advisors I help a large number of client’s with their bookkeeping needs. Whilst doing some Xero bookkeeping for a client this month I encountered a bank processing error that could have cost our client thousand’s of dollars!
Due to a computer malfunction at the bank there was a double up in a payment made, with $5,000 being transferred twice into a business Partner’s bank account. Luckily I noticed the error quickly during my regular bookkeeping with Xero and reported it to the bank.
The good news was that the extra money was paid to a Partner of the business so it was returned quickly. What would have happened if it wasn’t an owner or a friendly supplier and they wouldn’t or couldn’t return the money quickly?
It got me thinking about the need for all small business owners to review their bookkeeping, banking systems and processing procedures. Doing it now is important with the introduction of the new “Real Time” payments by all major banks in Australian in early 2018, which will increase these risks.
Computer fraud is a growing risk to all business owners who operate their banking and business bookkeeping online.
At Hamilton Taggart’s when we review our client’s banking and bookkeeping security procedures associated with online banking we ensure that the following strong controls are in place to protect our client’s business bank accounts. We suggest that you have the following processes in place as a minimum;
- We suggest you have a separate stand alone device to do all online banking transactions. That is a clean lap top with Wi-Fi that cannot send or receive email. It’s primary purpose is to do internet banking and cannot be used for anything else
- We suggest that clients have different passwords for different bank accounts and other online services. Don’t have 1 widely used password for everything you do and have online
- We strongly recommend that our clients have two factor authentication on all bank accounts. This double checking process should be turned on for every service that you use like making a payment, changing your daily payment limit, changing a payee’s details or adding or deleting an administrator. Two-factor authentication involves the bank sending you a message to your mobile phone with a special code which has to be entered if a payment is made or there are any changes associated with the administration of your bank account. This means you need to have the mobile phone as well as a password to approve the payment or change in your bank details
- Regularly check you bank account and quickly question any unusual transaction with your bank
Changes to modern technology mean that your money is not only at risk from cyber crime but also operator error and as we recently found out, bank errors.
If you have any concerns about your procedures or would like to discuss your bookkeeping needs, please give me a call on 4962 2022.