Here is the Accountants' Data Security Template
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If you are using paper, that is costing you far more than just the cost of printing.
Clients often ask for copies. It is not just the five minutes to make a copy, but the interruption in your workflow, pulling the file out, running the copy, stamping ‘copy’ on it, and sending it over by mail or spend time on small talk if the client came in to pick it up. That wasted time could have been spent acquiring more clients and generating new revenue.
Email is not an option. Your bank never emails your statement.
Joint research by University of Michigan, Google, and University of Illinois Urbana Champagne, measured over 700,000 mail servers, and found that most had glaring loopholes that allow attackers to reroute emails to their servers. Their investigation of Gmail showed that up to 20% of Gmail messages were routinely attacked.
On Oct 27th, 2017, California accounting firm CHJ reported that their customer data was leaked from one of their email accounts including tax returns, W-2s, 1099s, other tax related documents, and direct deposit bank account information including routing numbers and account numbers.
Accounting practices and tax preparers are specifically targeted because their customer data includes social security numbers and tax filing details that can be used to not only sell the stolen identity on the black market but also to file fraudulent returns and claim refunds. Look at your state's Office of the Attorney General website that reports data breaches for all businesses. Accounting firms are one of the common type of businesses found in those listings.
The risk is so high that your E&O policy or liability policy usually does not cover it. Look at your policy details and you will find an exclusion for personally identifiable information, or PII. To cover that risk, you could buy a cyber-risk policy. It is very expensive, and even then, only covers documentable expenses such as reporting costs or business interruption costs.
It does not cover the actual loss of business revenue and reputation. Supermarket chain, Target, for instance, did have a cyber-risk policy but it covered only 36% of their actual loss.
Clients do not understand whose fault it is.
It does not matter whether they believe it was your negligence, incompetence with technology setup, or just random chance that brought your data under attack by hackers. What matters is that they will want to avoid your firm from that point on.
While a big business such as Equifax or Target can survive a leak, 60% of small businesses actually shut down after a breach, according to the SEC.
Each time your client emails you a sensitive document, you know they have increased their own risk for identity theft and your risk for business data breach.
You do want to offer electronic paperwork to your clients, but previous solutions were both difficult to use and expensive. Indeed, clients are not willing to pay extra for a client portal. If anything, they expect savings from not having to print and mail documents, right?
Clients want the paperwork electronically so they are not waiting for it in the mail and it’s easy to share with others such as their loan officer or business partners. But portal accounts add friction. The reality is that even the simplest account creation or setup instructions can get complicated for people. You invariably end up creating client accounts and resetting their passwords from time to time.
You want to reduce burnout by removing the paper printing, stamping, and mailing workload but that’s no good if the client portal introduces its own complexity and training overheads.
At Encyro, we believe that digital security should be available to everyone, and not be limited to large corporations with big budgets or dedicated IT departments. That is why we made it free and super easy.
We looked at the entire process around setting up a client portal and getting clients to use it, and then designed a new solution that takes away all the pain points experienced by accountants using previous systems.
The first thing we did to make it easy, is remove practically all of the configuration steps required. Almost everything is automatic with Encyro. You simply login to your Encyro account, type in your client's email address and attach the required files to be sent. Encyro takes care of the rest.
On your side, it automatically creates a folder for each client. All documents and messages to or from a client are always available in the client folder. You can even forward them to your staff members or others as needed. You do not have any setup tasks for the client.
On the client side, they receive an email informing them of your secure message. The email does not include the secure document or message. Rather it gives them a link to access the document on a secure webpage. With just one click - no answering security questions or entering passwords. The link automatically expires to keep information secure.
The secure webpage also lets the client create a password to get permanent secure access to their document, should they wish to. It is free for the client to send you secure messages or documents.
Or even share those documents securely with others, such as sending a copy of their tax return to their mortgage broker or their W2 to a new landlord.
You do not have to worry about getting your clients to sign up. You send them documents the same way regardless of whether they create a password or not.
We also made it easy to integrate it into your main website, regardless of whether it is an elaborate web application with multiple functions or a simple WordPress or other website.
The entire Encyro system is mobile friendly.
Your Encyro account also lets you send and receive secure messages. So you can stop playing phone-tag with your clients. No need to run a 24/7 call center to be always available. Clients can send you secure messages at any time and you can reply at your convenience. Since the message is secure, they can send sensitive information such as payroll data or financial figures.
Client retention is big for client portals. But most do not live up to it. We changed the design to provide you something that no other portal provides. With Encyro, your client can use their free account to securely send documents to their loan officer, directly from where they receive the document from you. They too get an auto-organized folder for each party they transact with.
So you are giving them real value for free that encourages them to stick with you. Your folder - with your name, and optionally your photo or business logo, is seen by your client whenever they access their secure documents, even when not transacting with you. Your tax clients will remember you outside of the tax season.
When re-designing to make it super-easy, we also re-designed security safeguards to make it more secure than previous portals.Encyro uses 13 layers of security, far more than the 5 to 7 layers used by most portals:
While others can build a document portal, few can match Encyro’s corporate commitment to make information security easy for everyone.
Your business can benefit from our engineering team’s advanced technology degrees from top universities, dozens of patents in cloud and security technologies, and decades of combined experience in building secure and compliant cloud applications.
Encyro's product outshines the competition on every dimension that matters to you and your clients: be it security, ease of use, or price.
Most importantly, you win client trust and loyalty. You give them a portal to not just transact with you but with their entire network including loan officers, property managers and other vendors. Your name and logo remain in the forefront whenever they transact with anyone in their network.
And you get the most mobile friendly portal. Take pictures of paper documents on the phone and send directly, instead of scanning and transferring files.
There is no contract, no set up fee, and no upfront investment in configurations. You are always free to switch away from Encyro should you not find our service exemplary.
More than half of all accountings firms already offer electronic access to documents. More and more clients now expect to receive all their paperwork electronically. You are essentially leaving money on the table if you are not taking advantage of the best product available.
Deliver the convenience of electronic documents with a system that is easy to use for you and your clients. Simply click the button below to sign up for your free Encyro Essential membership. (No credit card or payment information is needed.)
So stop wasting time using paper delivery or risking your business with email attachments. Sign up today. The free-forever account is still available but prices may change once the busy tax season starts.
Your clients will love it when they receive their documents electronically, and hassle-free. And you will love the time saved.
Claim your free-forever document portal before the busy tax season.Get Encyro Essential (FREE)