How to protect your business from payment fraud

Does your business pay bills using cheques? Do you send out printed invoices? You could be revealing sensitive business information to criminals. We spoke to online bill payment company Bill.com to find out you can avoid payment fraud.

Online bill payment software is fast, easy – and safe

Small businesses often have fewer people and resources available for accounting tasks.

Which is why many business owners record their transactions on paper. While that may sound like an easy option, there are hidden dangers with using paper documents.

Larger companies often use enterprise accounting software for bill payments, invoicing and other transactions. 

It’s much safer and easier to use a payments solution that enables you to do all your work online. Online payment software paying your bills simple. It can be done quickly and easily from anywhere – as long as you have an internet connection.

And you only have to key in data once, which means fewer errors – and no more manual double entry.

Five ways to reduce your risk of payment fraud

The great news is an online payment software can help you get rid of paper documents forever. And with a few other simple measures in place, your business can further reduce the risk of fraud.

  1. Get rid of paper cheques and invoices
    Paper cheques and invoices contain information that can be used to commit fraud. So the best way to protect your business is to get rid of them completely. Moving to an online or cloud-based accounting system helps keep your information secure.You can access your information securely from anywhere – at any time. And you can send out online invoices or make payments from your laptop or smartphone quickly and easily.
  2. Cut out manual processes
    There are software packages that eliminate the need to do everything manually. Online payment and accounting systems can automate many manual bill payment and accounting processes.You can scan or email your bills to online payment solutions that will take care of all the payments online. Your information is stored, tracked and updated online so you can shred your paper documents and get on with more important tasks.
  3. Find where your ‘fraud weak spot’ might be
    Take a look at your business and figure out where fraud is most likely to happen. Then create ways of doing things that make the risk of fraud less likely. Write clear standards of behaviour into your employee manual.Let your people know what the penalties will be for fraud. Think about setting up a ‘tip line’, as a large percentage of fraud is uncovered through tips.
  4. Split up important tasks
    Divide up tasks so that no single employee has complete control over an area of your business. Get different people to handle the approval, processing and recording of your transactions. Review every payroll cheque yourself. Reduce the number of people with cheque signing authority.
  5. Keep tabs on your business internally
    Do regular internal audits. Consider getting an outside accountant to do an independent review of your systems.

Is it time you binned paper cheques and invoices for good?

It looks like the paperless office has finally arrived. Small business owners can now reduce the risk of fraud in one easy stroke by moving to online payments. Results from a recent survey of 540 accountants and bookkeepers found 41 percent of accountants said they were moving to bill payments online within six months.

Making payments online reduces your risk of fraud and streamlines your workflow – and that’s got to be good for business.

Call us today to get help setting up your paperless office. We can ensure all your systems run smoothly and cover all the essential tasks – with the added bonus of keeping your information safe and secure.

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