Who Pays for Business Account Fraud?

The short answer – your business does. Your business, not the bank, is liable if one of your employees or some cyber-stranger gets access to your bank account and takes your business funds. Sure, if you’re lucky, your bank might detect the unusual activity and block it. However, that is unlikely and you can’t depend on it. This unhappy situation was highlighted recently by John Ydstie of NPR News – http://n.pr/1UX9ENo

The prospect of a theft from your business bank account is the strongest argument for having effective financial controls and procedures to protect those funds. It’s essential to control the access to business bank accounts and the systems used to access those accounts.

Nothing is perfect or foolproof but some actions can reduce the risk. Implementing these steps will enhance controls over access to funds and reduce theft opportunities.

  1. Raise employee awareness about phishing and other scams that are used to capture passwords and other system access information. Clicking on a nefarious link in an e-mail can make your systems vulnerable.
  2. Emphasize rules about securing passwords and never sharing passwords with a co-worker or other person. Sure, it’s convenient for everyone to use one password, but it’s a huge risk.
  3. Implement security software and keep it up-to-date. Attacks are increasing in frequency and sophistication, and it’s imperative to have the latest and strongest protection against attacks.
  4. Limit all financial transaction activity to one computer that is not used for any other purpose. Install additional security features to restrict access to that computer.

Making sure that you have effective controls and procedures over bank accounts and financial systems will reduce the chance of an unscrupulous person stealing your funds. Knowing that the bank won’t make your business account whole increases your incentive to take risk reduction steps and protect your hard-earned funds.