Ann Andrews has a been a CPA in Northwest Austin since 1980.
She likes to help her clients make sense of our complex tax and financial environment. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org Learn about the CPA firm at www.btascpa.com
Lights… Camera… (no) Action!
Has a little security breach (like theft) turned into a wake up call to upgrade your security? Do you have a cyclical business that might have a slow season coming up soon? Whether it’s prompted by extra time (unlikely) or an unpleasant incident, this fall is probably a good time to give your business a security checkup.
If your business involves frequent public access, you should review the entire location for ways to improve security. As our metropolis grows, crime does not seem to decline. Many security measures are very inexpensive or less expensive than they used to be.
Think about the way you handle cash, checks, and credit card information. Do you make bank deposits often, or do cash and checks remain in your office overnight? If you hold money, do you keep it locked in a place that would be difficult to enter? Do you protect your clients’ and customers’ credit card and other private information?
Think about installing outside lights with either photo sensors or motion detectors. Lights and security camera systems discourage criminal activity. Security company signs and window stickers greatly discourage crime to your premises.
Do you offer a location that’s as safe as possible for your employees to work? Do you have overlapping schedules to minimize the amount of time that only one person works?
Not Just the Building…
As I visited with a client on the phone about these measures, our conversation segued into other important security concerns. Think about data and computer security. If you set up your current backup system a few years ago, it may be time to upgrade. Our office now has much more redundancy in the backup system than we had in prior years. The technology to operate it was easy to install, and the daily and weekly process does not take much time to complete. If you need help in this department, call us for a referral to our computer technician.
Next, think about accounting security. Although we all hire excellent employees and would never suspect any misbehavior, it’s always good company policy to have procedures in place to consistently encourage honesty and discourage fraud of any kind. Even in a very small business, separation of duties helps to accomplish this process.
Usually the duties of handling cash and bookkeeping can be divided among the office person, the owner and the outside bookkeeper. Call us if you want to come over for a brainstorming session on various aspects of security.
When you finish your review of business security, take the process home and put into place your good ideas for physical security, computer security, and identity theft prevention. You know the old saying: An ounce of prevention is worth many days of cleaning up after a disaster!