8 Things you can do to Build Digital Trust in your Practice and Bookkeeping Business
As we all know, our digital activity has expanded dramatically over the past financial year, as has our reliance on the internet. As a result, it’s given malicious cyber criminals an entry point for finding loopholes in Australian businesses’ technology set up and digital tools used to run their Accounting Practice and Bookkeeping business.
So when we start looking at the impacts of invoice fraud, email compromise and cyber security threats on our economy, along with cloud base innovations available to Accountants and Bookkeepers such as STP2.0, E-invoicing and Open Banking to get ahead of the game, it can all be a tad overwhelming.
Digital Trust & Statistics
Let’s briefly discuss cyber’s significance in fostering digital trust in the economy, as well as its horizontal position.
Based on AustCyber’s 2020 Year-End Report, cyber security threats have had a major financial digital disruption causing $30 billion impact on our economy in just four weeks. That’s an incredible number, given that it was from the beginning of the pandemic.
To break it down:
1. This amounts to around 1.5 per cent of the country’s total domestic product
2. An average loss per successful attach equates to $50,600
3. If we translate this into jobs, you’re looking at over 163,000 jobs being impacted or disrupted
Apart from the financial ramifications, it also erodes people’s trust and confidence in the use of digital services and activities.
Below is a summary on the 8 Things to do to build digital trust in your Practice and Bookkeeping business, now and in the future.
1- If I’m a solo bookkeeper or run a small accounting team, do I need to be worried about cyber attacks?
The short answer is YES. Even the smallest businesses will have customer data. It has been found that cybercriminals are stealing identities, file false tax returns, or, in the worst-case scenario, someone’s life savings or business savings have been stolen.
2- At what stage of my business do I need to be carry out a cyber security assessment?
Cybersecurity must be, by design, built into your organisation from the beginning, since adapting it, adding security measures or controls, or introducing new processes or adjustments to operations is always far more complex and potentially more expensive after the attack. It not only ensures that you are better protected against an attack, but it also implies that you have a significant competitive advantage in the marketplace.
To get your FREE cyber security assessment by reaching out to our speakers who were featured in our webinars on “How to future Proof your Practice and your clients Business” and “How to provide your business with champagne level security on a beer budget”:
3 – What impact can a cyber security breach have on my Practice , Accounting business or my clients’ business?
A cyber security breach can result in financial loss or wipe-out, as well as negative publicity. It can even have long-term consequences, such as the future employability of you as an Accountant or Bookkeeper.
Be proactive and get your:
- FREE cyber security assessment from FortNynja or Concept Data
- Practice or Bookkeeping business digital health check with Technology and Digital Tools you use from Digital Humdrum
- Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable process automated so that you can switch on e-invoicing to remove potential invoice fraud and email compromise with LUCA Plus
4 – How would I know if a cybersecurity attack has happened to my Practice or my clients’ business?
The beauty of cyber attacks is that you may not realise it has occurred. This is why you should take early measures to protect yourself and your clients’ business.
It’s time to be proactive than reactive to avoid financial and reputational loss.
Here are some TIPS on what what to look out for with suspicious emails and text messages:
- Respond to or click on links from suspicious emails, take your time to read the email
- Don’t click on links because you know the person, read the email or text message them first to confirm they sent it
- Messages that ask you to open or install a particular software (with a .exe file) is a no no!
- The message is sent from a public email domain (@gmail.com, @hotmail.com)
- The email domain name is misspelled to trick you that it is coming from a legit organization
- The email is poorly written, with hefty grammar and spelling errors.
5 – Who can I contact if our Practice or Bookkeeping business or my clients experience invoice fraud, email compromise or a cyber attack?
For cyber security advice, or to report any malicious activity contact the ACSC on 1300CYBER 1 or through cyber.gov.au.
ACSC have a 24/7 support service. That includes an online reporting tool and a hotline number you can call. The online tool is great to guide you through addressing and recovering from an attack and its a step-by-step process and straightforward to use.
Second, if financial impacts are involved in a breach, get in touch with your bank. Let them know as early as possible to start kicking in their processes to support you.
Third, if you need to engage a local cyber expert for assistance, head over to the AU Cyberscape directory with all the cybersecurity companies in Australia.
6 – What do I do to prevent potential invoice fraud and email comprimisation?
Automate your AR and AP process by switching on e-invoicing.
Get in touch with our team today to get a FREE demonstration on how it works
7 – What is the best setup to protect me and my clients’ business from cyber-attacks and invoice fraud?
- Setup an anti-malware
- Setup 2FA – two-factor authentication
- Use reliable Password Managers
- Switch on e-invoicing
- Consult with a professional team for more complex system architecture
8 – How do I make sure my Practice and Bookkeeping business is future-fit?
So when we think of what Future Fit means, it’s basically meaning “be ahead of the game”, adding value to your clients business, by listening to their business challenges and goals, seeking the right digital tools/solutions out in the market and linking your teams to gain results, is where the magic happens.
Here are the innovations which are currently available to Accountants and Bookkeepers ready to become ahead of the game:
- Single Touch Payroll Phase 2 (STP 2.0) enables transferring customer data from one accounting platform to another easier.
- Switch on E-invoicing E-invoicing boosts efficiency significantly. It eliminates the need to manually enter or scan invoices into accounting systems, fix errors, or track down missing data. One of the most significant advantages of e-invoicing is receiving payments more quickly and protecting yourself from potential invoice fraud and email compromise.
- Open Banking provides business owners with a better understanding of their finances thanks to Open Banking. They will manage and anticipate cash flow more efficiently and prevent unexpected financial shocks if they have rapid access to their company transaction data.
To find out more about the above innovations helping Accountants and Bookkeepers to become Future Fit, download a copy of Intuit QuickBooks “Future Fit eBook” here