Why does your Bookkeeper need read-access to your online business accounts?
When entrusting us to streamline financial management, you would be asked to provide your bookkeeper with access to your bank accounts, credit cards, other financial institutions, and tools. We understand this request might make you pause to consider the obvious questions, concerns, and potential dangers that you might imagine would come with granting us that kind of access.
We would like to address those questions and concerns.
Doesn’t my bookkeeper already have access to my bank and card transactions on Fincent? Why would I need to provide further information?
Your bookkeeper does rely on your transaction feed in Fincent to categorize transactions and prepare your books. However, come month's end, we require bank and card statements to reconcile your books.
The reconciliation process ensures that all transactions that have gone through the bank and card statements have been reviewed and checked against your transaction feed, thus ensuring no errors in the data used to prepare accounts.
Why does my bookkeeper want online access? I can provide my statements if requested or at month's end.
Online access allows us to access your bank and card statement information in a digital format. With this easily retrieved, on-hand information, your bookkeeper will have relevant information ready when needed, and we won’t need to come back to you each time new information is required.
Why can’t I provide copies of my statements digitally in PDF format? Isn’t that enough?
Online access also allows your bookkeeper to download rather than manually input information into our accounting software, saving time and minimizing possible errors created by manual entry.
What about my other financial tools and accounts? Why would my bookkeeper need access to those?
There are many financial tools used for specific purposes, including invoicing, time tracking, payroll, providing a POS (point of sale) or e-commerce platform, tracking inventory, and more.
Based on the tools you use to manage your business, your bookkeeper would need access to your data to complete your bookkeeping and provide you with enriched data.
Is it safe to give someone access to my banking information?
The simple answer is yes; and there are ways to ensure your data is secure:
- Provide your bookkeeper with his or her own login and credentials (most major banks allow this).
- Make sure the bookkeeper has “View-Only” access. This means that your bookkeeper can see statements and check images but CANNOT make transactions or transfers, pay bills, or move your money.
- Make sure that they do not have any administrative rights to add more users or make changes other than those relating to their own access.
You are already providing details about your business accounts to your accountant, so they are already taking actions to safeguard your information. Therefore, online access is simply a part of your financial security that they will safeguard.
So in a nutshell, what are the benefits to me of providing access to my bookkeeper?
- The Bookkeeper can access information in the moment and save you time, effort, and any costs associated with retrieving additional information that may be required.
- Having continuous access means any questions that arise can be addressed in a timely fashion, not months later when you may not recall a transaction.
- Your bookkeeper can be proactive in providing advice, which can result in reduced tax liabilities, among other possible cost savings.
- Online access will provide additional time to discuss financial matters with your bookkeeper throughout the year, thus, avoiding any last-minute surprises come tax time.
- You’ll have another set of eyes watching over and protecting your accounts from any misappropriations or mistakes.
Checkout the below links for the steps to provide access to your bookkeeper: