Increasingly, day-to-day business operations are going virtual. In recent years, numerous brick-and-mortar companies have adopted digital business practices to achieve greater flexibility and lessen their dependence on physical offices.
This trend has extended to the professional services sector. In particular, a growing number of accounting professionals are moving their operations online to better support the shifting business landscape.
While business leaders are gradually embracing the shift to virtual accounting, concerns remain about the safety of online accounting processes and systems. Every company wants to ensure that its data is safe from intruders and external attackers.
Below, we’ll examine the safety of virtual accounting and the benefits it offers to businesses and accounting professionals. But first, let’s understand what virtual accounting is.
What Is Virtual Accounting?
Virtual accounting refers to accounting tasks that are completed remotely with the aid of technology. Virtual accounting systems store data in the cloud, allowing accountants and their clients to accomplish key financial tasks without being physically present in an office or workplace. This allows for greater collaboration between business departments, as well as between businesses and accounting professionals. Additionally, virtual accounting solutions often present opportunities for integration and automation, helping businesses streamline their accounting activities and consolidate all their financial data in a single place.
Virtual accounting applications can help businesses:
- Automate accounting and bookkeeping processes
- Enhance accuracy and reduce errors
- Improve team collaboration
- Enhance data privacy and security
- Perform expense tracking, invoicing, and payroll processing
- Improve tax preparation and planning capabilities
However, for virtual accounting to be a useful tool, businesses must select a secure and scalable software solution. Fortunately, today’s leading accounting software developers have placed security at the forefront of their offerings.
Making Security a Priority
If you use a reputable virtual accounting solution recommended by accounting professionals, you can be confident that your financial data is safe. Today’s leading accounting software companies prioritize security due to the highly sensitive nature of the data they process. Most solutions automatically deliver security patches to your application as needed, ensuring that your accounting operations are as safe as possible. They also encrypt all data moving through the network and ensure continuous off-site backup to avoid data loss. Other standard security features include firewalls and extended validation (EV) SSL to enhance the security of internet transactions.
Virtual accounting solutions that support multiple users can improve a business’ collaboration and flexibility, but more user profiles can lead to more security concerns. Many virtual accounting solutions bolster the security of their login processes with multi-factor authentication (MFA). Instead of requiring static login credentials tied to each user’s email address, MFA prompts users for a one-time password generated by their mobile service provider or the Google Authenticator app.
Additionally, recent advances in technology have led to new software security strategies that eliminate security vulnerabilities at the code level. These strategies include secure coding practices like code minification and obfuscation, which make it difficult for attackers to access or understand code.
By choosing the right accounting software, you can improve your accounting efficiency while keeping your organization safe in the digital world. Of course, you’ll still need to prioritize cybersecurity best practices to reduce the risk of cyberattacks.
Common cybersecurity best practices include keeping software up-to-date, using a secure file sharing solution, installing anti-malware and anti-virus software, and being wary of suspicious emails and links. You should also use strong passwords and educate all employees on the importance of cybersecurity policies.