Don’t Become a Fraud Statistic: See How Apron Protects You
In the often complex worlds of accounting and bookkeeping, managing client payments manually has been a longstanding practice.
However, with the increasing prevalence of security threats and fraud risks, it's crucial for accounting firms to prioritise payment security. Last year we mentioned a family business in Stoke-on-Trent, who lost over £1m to invoice fraud.
Neither you, nor your clients should have to go through something like this.
In this blog post, we'll delve into the key security and fraud risks associated with manual payment processes and explore how Apron can provide not only a reliable shield for you and your clients, but also a boost in speed and confidence when it comes to payments.
The Importance of Payment Security for Your Clients
As you know, clients relying on you for secure payments form the foundations of a smooth and long-lasting partnership.
The trust placed in accountants and bookkeepers extends beyond number crunching; it includes safeguarding financial transactions.
A breach in payment security not only jeopardises the client's financial stability but also erodes their trust in you. We’re going to help make sure this doesn’t happen.
The Consequences of Insecure Payments
Consider a scenario where a client's payment falls victim to fraud. The repercussions are far-reaching – disrupted cash flow, damaged relationships with suppliers, and potential legal complications.
We know that you’re aware of this, but it’s worth repeating because, as you get busier, threats can become harder to spot.
Businesses depend on timely and accurate payments, and any compromise in this process can lead to a ripple effect impacting the entire business.
The World Can Be a Scary Place For Payments
Globally, payment security is facing unprecedented challenges. As businesses become increasingly interconnected, the risk of fraud and security breaches is on the rise.
Traditional manual processes are more susceptible to human errors and malicious activities. This is as true for large firms with global clients, as it is for small firms with only a handful of clients.
This statistic from UK Finance shows the scale of the problem in the UK alone:
“Over £1.2 billion was stolen by criminals through authorised and unauthorised fraud in 2022, equivalent to over £2,300 every minute” — UK Finance Report
The Real Challenges Faced by Firms
Independent accounting and bookkeeping firms face unique challenges in securing payments. Limited resources and manpower often translate to increased vulnerability.
Addressing these challenges is not just a matter of efficiency but a critical component in fortifying the financial health of both accounting firms and their clients.
The Threats Are Real
Fraudsters are becoming more sophisticated, exploiting vulnerabilities in manual payment processes.
From invoice fraud to identity theft, accounting and bookkeeping firms are grappling with an array of risks that can have severe consequences. Recognising and addressing these risks is paramount to ensuring the integrity of financial transactions.
Sometimes the threat is as simple as sending a fake invoice containing different bank details. But invoice fraud is a sophisticated operation.
Fraudsters can go to great lengths to find out about your client’s business, even contacting staff for information which they can use to falsify payment requests.
It’s what makes having a single, secure platform for payments so important. With known supplier details securely stored inside Apron, you’re less susceptible to fraud attacks.
Apron: A Shield and a Confidence Boost
Apron is a payments solution designed specifically for accounting and bookkeeping firms and their clients. Apron doesn't just streamline the payment process; it enhances security through innovative features tailored to address the challenges faced by accounting professionals.
On the security front alone, we’re doing more than most to keep your clients funds safe, and your reputation intact.
Apron Does More For Your Security
1. Greater accuracy with payment details
Together with bills, Apron pulls through attachments from the ledger software. Our AI then automatically scans those attachments and grabs payment details from them.
This eliminates the chance of accidentally typing in the wrong payment or bank details.
2. Ensuring Payments Go to the Right Place
Apron works with ‘Confirmation of Payee’, just like you’ll see in a banking app. This feature matches a supplier’s name to their bank account details to prevent money going to the wrong person, protecting you from invoice fraud.
3. Finer control over payments
Apron’s “Roles” feature means that you have greater control over exactly who approves and who pays, preventing any unwanted payments from leaving at the wrong time.
For example, you can create a payment workflow in which only certain people may approve or pay, so that when a payment does leave, it’s because someone with payment rights has executed it.
4. Spotting suspicious details
Not all changes of supplier bank details are suspect, but it only takes one missed signal to cause havoc. We built a special feature that detects when a known supplier sends an invoice containing different bank details.
This can help to prevent invoice fraud, in the event that the supplier or invoice has been compromised. This feature is unique to Apron, and can protect both you and your clients from serious harm.
5. Automatic alerts and audit trails
When someone adds a supplier, changes an amount, or makes any other kind of edit, it’s highlighted in Apron, along with a full edit history, meaning everyone’s always on the same page.
This important feature helps prevent instances of fraud like the one we mentioned earlier in this post regarding Stoke-on-Trent, where a small change can go unnoticed for a long time.
As a team, we’re uniquely placed to help you solve the challenges you face with complex payments and payment security.
Why? Because from day one, we’ve taken time to get out on the road and actually speak with accountants and bookkeepers.
Apron is built for you, in collaboration with professionals like you, so we’re confident that it works.
Don’t Let It Happen To You Or Your Clients
The importance of payment security cannot be overstated. It's not just about protecting finances; it's about safeguarding the trust clients place in their accounting and bookkeeping partners.
As threats to payment security evolve, the time to act is now. Waiting exposes you and your clients to unnecessary risks.
Apron can protect you. Let us show you how with a 1:1 demo.
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