A well-secured cloud-based accounting program is your greatest defense against hackers, scammers, and internal data theft, but only if it’s up to the task.
The truth is that many accounting solutions only offer basic security features. With the growing complexity of cloud technology, matched with your unique business processes and the rise of data theft, these aren’t enough. Inefficient accounting programs will actually harm your data security even with the best practices in place. Let’s examine major lapses in typical accounting programs.
How Does Security Within Accounting Programs Work?
A strong IT architecture and properties like encryption help keep hackers away from the data. Internal security features, also known as internal control features, focus on keeping your accounting consistent, accurate, and help you track activities within the system itself. Internal control functions also let you dictate who can do what within the accounting system. These also provide a secondary layer of protection even if your accounting is penetrated by hackers. You need this full range of protections in today’s modern cloud ecosystem, but many accounting solutions simply fall short of these essential features.
How Secure Are Typical Cloud-Based Accounting Programs?
Accounting program security depends on the robustness of its IT architecture and its internal security features. Some are more fortified than others.
Every accounting system will provide basic security settings like the use of usernames, passwords, and even locked closing periods. While these are still important IT protections, they are relatively superficial. Your accounting data is still open to more invasive threats both outside and within your company. For example, passwords alone don’t dictate the scope of the restrictions within the system. Therefore, accounting records can be altered incorrectly, shared, or stolen by anyone who has access.
IT security is really at it’s best when your solution lets you easily monitor work and user’s actions, control who can do what within the system (user roles), and has resilient architecture. The biggest security functions are based on controlling how the accounting data is entered and handled. Many programs lack proactive functions that help you define who can do what in the system. And more. Let’s at areas standard accounting programs fall short.
Core Areas Lacking Accounting System Security
Insecure IT Infrastructure
Several accounting applications have reports of stolen banking info and being easily hacked. This is usually caused by minimal encryption and transmission features. This can also be caused by poor Application Programming Interface (API) – how a solution connects to your accounts and other business tools. A secure cloud accounting tool will have a robust API and have a reliable cybersecurity design.
Spreadsheets are notorious for being prone to data errors and being insecure. Any accounting tool that makes you rely heavily on spreadsheets instead of consolidating the data securely is a major risk. Spreading financial data out in spreadsheets makes accounting harder to manage, which also generates more costly mistakes. Access is difficult to control on spreadsheets. Anyone in or outside your company can see and damage the data. Once changes are made, they’re almost impossible to detect until it’s too late.
Leaders and decision-makers should know when accounting data has been viewed or altered. This is critical for detecting any external or internal tampering. Not all accounting solutions provide notifications of these instances, or may only have vague activity reports. You need to know what accounts were affected, how, and by whom in real-time.
Preventing data errors, sabotage, and theft must be a core design of an accounting program. However, many systems have little functionalities that let you control the levels of accessibility. You’ll want to be able to define user roles and levels of access each teammate has. This is essential for preventing errors and theft internally, as well as to help block hackers from sabotaging or stealing data should the system be attacked.
Control your accounting data and you control the quality and accuracy of your finances. You also prevent people from falsifying or tampering with accounts. By defining rules and processes around how accounting data is logged, monitored, and used, you ensure mistakes are avoided. As a bonus, you can identify suspicious or erroneous activity if people are trying to override or enter info contrary to the rules you define. Many accounting systems don’t provide articulate features around data handling.
Many accounting systems do offer data tracking or activity tracking tool(s) but they can be minimalist depending on the solution. Ideally, your accounting system should be equipped with a notification and approval process that can be monitored alongside features like an audit trail. Otherwise, you might have to hunt for accounting information which could cost you time. These delays can also lead to further security breaches that cannot be contained or prevented.
Secure Your Accounting, Secure Your Future
Investing in a reliable accounting program equipped with the latest accounting security features isn’t just a preventative measure, it’s an asset for thriving on the cloud. One of the core values of an accounting platform like Accounting Seed is that users have access to endless options for how they manage their finances, including defense. Our flexibility and blend of internal and external data security features gives you a 360-degree of protection for both you and your customers.
Powered by Salesforce’s robust IT architecture, Accounting Seed has the security features you need to fully protect your accounting data from any threats. Tailor our out-of-the-box internal security features however best suits your individual needs. At Accounting Seed we’re focused on removing security concerns to give you the peace of mind to use your accounting data effectively for your organization.