Struggling with the growing demand of bookkeeping for your business and ready to outsource to a bookkeeper, but still have a few questions?
When it comes time to hand over the bookkeeping for your business, one of the big questions you may have is “is my financial information going to be safe?”. Information breaches can leave businesses vulnerable and can be cause for concern. Especially if you are turning over your business’s financial information when you outsource to bookkeepers and accountants.
There are a few factors that you can look at in order to help settle any residual nerves that you may have.
Employees are Screened and Educated in Data Security
When it comes to hiring, most businesses will have recruitment procedures in place when it comes to screening possible employees. This may include such things like reference checks and police clearances.
Bookkeepers understand the importance of their clients’ privacy and financial information and want to make sure that anybody employed by them and representing their business meets the same standards.
Bookkeeping firms will also ensure that their employees are trained and up-to-date with the latest technology related to data security. This will help to ensure that all staff are aware of industry best practices and are following it.
Secure Computer Networks, Hardware and Software
Before you work with an outsourced bookkeeper, make sure you analyse the security of your own business and make any necessary improvements. There is no point in worrying about the security of your financial information with a bookkeeper if you have issues that need to be addressed in your own office.
You need to look at such things as
- security of your computer network
- ensuring that all hardware and software is up-to-date and performing as it should.
We also have more information about cyber-scams and security and how best to protect your business.
Once you have been through your own business, you can then use this as a guide of best practice for finding a bookkeeper that prioritises security as well. You will have a better understanding of what issues could arise and what questions to ask any prospective bookkeeper. It will help you to notice any potential red flags.
Keep it in the Cloud
Most bookkeepers will use a cloud-based accounting system. Not only do these systems make it more efficient when working together, they can also be more secure.
When you are cloud-based, your accounts and records are all saved and continuously backed up and encrypted. There is no need to regularly perform back-ups.
Some of the security benefits are:
- an off-site automatic backup server
- regular security audits
- high-level digital security software with inbound and outbound encryption
- multiple segregated networks
- multiple built-in user authentication methods
- dedicated anti-malware software
They undergo Continual Education and Have to Belong to Professional Industry Bodies
To be accredited, bookkeepers have to belong to a professional body such as the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB). These institutes have certain requirements that need to be met in order to join and a conduct that they must follow.
These requirements are in regards to
- education and qualifications
- ongoing professional development
- behaviour and conduct
- The purpose of these rules and membership requirements is to provide standards of conduct for members that are appropriate to employment and practice and the preservation of the dignity of their profession. These rules apply to all members of the Institute in all jurisdictions. Members must comply with these conduct requirements and any failure to do so shall constitute misconduct.
When talking to a potential bookkeeper, you can inquire as to what industry body they belong to. This will give you an idea of what requirements they have had to meet and what the code of conduct and fundamental principles are that they follow.
The bookkeeping and accounting industry is very heavily regulated and the people in it work hard to establish good reputations and strong working relationships with their clients. They have proven and established systems in place to protect your information.
Most of all they want to help you in your business, your bookkeeper can’t help you get the most out of your accounts unless you feel comfortable enough to be completely honest with them. Rest assured that any reputable bookkeep takes the security and privacy of your financial information seriously.
If you need help with your books and feel ready to talk to bookkeepers, Sense in Numbers are fully accredited bookkeepers that have your information security at the front of their mind.