Clients come to your accounting firm for assistance with a wide range of financial concerns. However, it’s not common for clients to broach the subject of fraud themselves – because nobody expects to become a fraud victim! By taking a proactive approach to your clients’ fraud vulnerabilities, you could help them save thousands of dollars and a lot of time in protecting against cybercriminals. Fortunately, evolving technology has made this easier to do.
Require All Employees to Have a Different Password
One simple recommendation you can make to your clients is that they require every employee to have a unique password to access anything on the company servers. The danger of using a single password to gain access is that it’s impossible to track down who initiated a transaction if it turns out to be suspicious later. Requiring unique passwords to login to shared company platforms and their own computers is an important fraud prevention measure.
Put Fraud Control Measures in Writing and Hold Employees Accountable
Your clients know what they personally do to prevent cyber fraud, but have they put these steps in writing and required all employees to abide by them? It’s never safe to assume that people know exactly what to do in this type of situation. To avoid future problems, encourage your clients to create a formal fraud prevention policy. They should also require employees to read and sign it, as well as post it in a conspicuous place so they can refer to it often. Here are some things for your clients to consider as they draft a fraud prevention policy:
- What are the company goals when it comes to fighting fraud?
- What are the most problematic industry and company risks?
- Which risks take priority in terms of prevention?
- What is the company’s current level of exposure to cybercriminals?
- What is the initiation point of each risk?
You may also need to spend time convincing your clients that investing time and resources into protecting company assets is worthwhile. Unfortunately, many business owners feel that fraud will never happen to them, but also take no active steps to prevent it. The larger your client, the greater the risk of falling victim to fraud. Not only are there more assets for fraudsters to go after, it can also take longer before anyone notices the missing funds. An administrator for a smaller organization with a smaller budget is likely to notice such a discrepancy right away.
Become a Member Today to Access More Resources that Can Help Your Clients
The Professional Accounting Small Business Association (PABSA) is a member organization for CPAs, enrolled agents, and public accountants to share resources and learn from one another. We invite you to check out our list of benefits and then contact us about becoming a member.