Online invoicing indeed makes absolute business sense. With it, small and medium sized businesses actually benefit a lot. No more wrestling with tons of paperwork, organizing is easy, billing your clients is faster, and most of all, it gets you half (or even more) the time to get payments from your clients. But despite all those advantages, it is a known fact that these also come with a price. Your business is at risk of being involved in invoice scams.
With cybercrimes on the rise, business owners are getting more and more in danger of being victims of invoice fraud. That is why, your partners at Enterprise Global are here to help you learn ways on how to effectively protect your business from it. Read on.
What is invoice fraud?
In a simpler way to put it, an invoice scam happens when cyber criminals deceive you by making you think they’re your supplier/s, and eventually lead you to giving out payments; or the other way around, when you think your client sent you a payment but then you end up just waiting for the payment to reflect on your account but it doesn’t. The best way to give you a clearer picture of how this happens is this: you email your client or supplier with an invoice that obviously contains your bank account details and other data. The attackers or criminals now use these info to compromise your account and eventually trick you to dealing with them instead of your real client or supplier.
Unfortunately, this isn’t an isolated case. These criminals take great lengths just to victimize anyone. So no matter where you are, despite how big or small your business is, and regardless of what industry you’re in, because of technology, you are at risk of invoice scams – or any other kind of online fraud for that matter. And the real bugger is, once you’ve been a victim of it, it’ll cost you more time, more effort, and even more money just for you to get back what you have lost.
So how can Xero help you?
To effectively guard your business against invoice scams, you must do two things: backup your payment processes with a strong defense system AND easily spot warning signs for fraud. By using Xero accounting software for your business, you can effectively do that. Here’s how:
1. Xero sees to it that invoices are approved before they are actually paid.
To help you avoid paying for goods or services that haven’t been officially received, your invoice in Xero must be tagged as “approved” so that payment could finally be made. The bills you enter in Xero sit in your list of accounts and labeled first as ‘Waiting Approval’. Then, once you or your bookkeeper or your accountant marks it approved, it’ll then be moved to the list of ‘Awaiting Payments’. Finally your payments could be approved through online banking.
2. Xero restricts access to changing bank accounts easily.
Because Xero allows you to make batch payments (to be more efficient), they help you restrict access to changing bank account details – to help protect you from exposing yourself to cyber criminals who are out to scam you. Remember, be very mindful of the people who you give access to ‘Change Supplier’ and bank account details in Xero.
3. Your Xero Assurance Dashboard is a great tool to review regular activities.
Like what we’ve said, early detection of signs of fraud is your best defense. Thus, Xero accounting software helps you do that. Using the assurance dashboard, you and your accountant can easily review the bank accounts and other files that have been recently edited. You can look out for rounded invoices (if you receive a high volume of high invoices with rounded amounts), invoices below your approval limit, and abnormal invoice volume.
4. The Xero Security team is always ready to help.
The Xero Security team constantly finds ways to help protect its partners and users against invoice scams and other cyber crimes. You or your accountant must always visit Xero’s security page so that you are updated with the latest security issues and updates. Plus, you may easily get help from them once you have spotted some suspicious emails or activities in your account.
Running your business online and offline is a lot easier (and of course enjoyable) when you are confident that you’re protected from such fraudulent transactions. By using Xero cloud accounting software, you get that assurance of working in a sure and secure virtual environment while you reap the huge benefits of doing business processes faster, easier, and more efficiently.
So if you’re already a Xero user or partner, make sure you utilize all their security features to protect your business from such scams. If not, there’s no time to waste. Migrate to Xero accounting now and take advantage of all the benefits.