If you’ve been reading this blog, or a fair amount of other business literature for that matter, you probably have some idea of the benefits of using virtual accountants. And, like most business owners, you’re always looking for ways to save time and money, and virtual accounting will certainly do that for you. Still, we understand that there may be some concerns. Perhaps the biggest one is security. One of the questions that we’re asked most often is whether it’s safe to trust your financial matters to virtual accountants.
It’s certainly a valid concern. Many of us are used to the idea of having all of our financials housed on our own site, locked up securely when we close at night. The thought of moving all of our mission-critical information to some invisible location “in the cloud” is understandably a bit scary. Fortunately we’re able to tell you with confidence that not only can you trust virtual accountants, but also that in many ways it’s even safer than managing your books in-house. Here are some of the reasons why.
Blank checks are a big risk.
These days, we don’t often think about this, since we do so much business electronically. But every company certainly still has a checkbook, and your in-house accountant or bookkeeper will have access to it. We don’t want to think about the possibility of our employees being dishonest, but it’s a very real risk. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners reported in 2014 that the typical organization loses 5% of its revenues to fraud, and employees in a handful of departments, most notably accounting, perpetrated 77% of these. Blank checks in the office are a risk, especially when they can be made out to cash. Virtual accountants won’t have access to your checkbook.
How much do you really know about your in-house accounting staff?
We all try to do a thorough job of screening our employees when we hire them. You may run a background check and get references from previous employers. But do these really tell the whole story? Your new bookkeeper may have a few skeletons in the closet that you won’t find out about until you learn the hard way. With virtual accountants, you’ll be getting a team of professionals who has been thoroughly vetted by the firm, as well as a number of people always looking over your account to keep everything in check.
Bank grade security
I’ll admit that it may feel a little uncomfortable at first to move all your most sensitive data from being physically kept under lock and key in the office to this mysterious place called “the cloud”. And what about hackers? In reality, cloud storage means that your data is kept on a server somewhere, and you access that data by way of the Internet. Modern server security has come a long way, and virtual accountants will use the highest level available (we like to call it “bank-grade security”). They’ll also make sure that all information you transmit to them, and vice versa, is sent using encryption that is almost unhackable. Nothing is completely safe, but keeping your data secure is part of the service that virtual accountants provide.